SDK 2.0 Can’t Fix Chinese Retina-Class Tablet Hardware Limits

IMP3Net has done an excellent analysis of Rockchip’s SDK 2.0 meant to improve the performance of existing 3188-based Retina-class tablets [Google English].

While certain aspects of tablet functionality are improved, the actual limitations are in the hardware — and go beyond the CPU and GPU.

Here’s some astounding info:

RK3188 memory for single-channel 32bit DDR3, in theory, the machine has a bandwidth of 0.528 × 32/8 × 2 = 4.224GB / s, the actual effective bandwidth available to smaller than this will be a lot. As we all know, domestic retina flat-panel’s screen configuration is the to imitate new iPad from. But Apple iPad 3’s 4 × 32bit LPDDR2-800 memory bandwidth of 12.8GB / s, even so in some cases iPad 3 fluency is still subject to criticism. Apple’s latest iPad 4 so the memory upgrade for the 4 × 32bit of LPDDR2-1066, bandwidth is a staggering 17.056GB / s. iPad ultra-high of memory bandwidth on a mobile platform basic yes second to none, for the retina-screen under the need to per second huge throughput is computed speaking, this is the most solid guarantee, so even is the equipped with the memory capacity twice the Yu iPad, still unable to resolve this limitation. Moreover This also is not the older ARM Mali-400MP4 heel the iPad 3 SGX543MP4, iPad 4’s SGX554MP4 high specification GPU the performance gap between, RK3188’s GPU in the 594MHz under the handling capacity is about 23.76GFLOPS, iPad 3’s 250MHz GPU for the 36GFLOPS , iPad 4’s 280MHz GPU for the 80.64GPLOPS (this data may not be entirely accurate). In terms of bandwidth bottlenecks and GPU performance under the constraints, including the RK3188, and other a lot of CPU want to truly fluency driven by retina-screen still there are tremendous pressure.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Both the memory bandwidth and GPU performance of the iPad 4 are nearly four times that of currently-available Chinese Retina-class tablets based on the Rockchip 3188. So, basically, current Retina-class tablets are one-fourth of an iPad 4. That’s just staggering.

This is why I said I think AnTuTu 4.0 is going to reveal a lot of things people didn’t know about current tablets. It will measure memory performance too. Manufacturers who have been trying to get away with the cheapest memory are going to be exposed.

And here’s what SDK 2.0 means for an AnTuTu score for the tested Teclast P98HD tablet:


That score is below the 17,000 range of the Chuwi V88, Vido Mini One, and ICOO Fatty 2. For a Retina-class tablet! That’s absolutely painful.

And remember, that tablet is using the Rockchip 3188. Imagine how poorly a Retina-class tablet using the AllWinner A31 CPU must do!

There’s no justifiable reason to buy any single existing Retina-class tablet from China. The pretty screen is just lipstick on a pig and users will quickly become frustrated by the tablet’s lack of strength. It’s as if instead of buying a modern PC, you went and bought a now-underpowered PC from several years ago. Why waste money that way?

The good news is Rockchip is working on a more powerful CPU and other companies are adopting the octa-core Exynos 5410 CPU. So the situation will improve — somewhat. There’s no telling how much until the products are out and have been subjected to AnTuTu 4.0.

Previously here:

Voyo A18: The First Retina-Class Android Tablet Worth Buying?
Retina-Class Screen Tablets From China: Avoid


Filed under Android

7 responses to “SDK 2.0 Can’t Fix Chinese Retina-Class Tablet Hardware Limits

  1. Ric Day

    It is a reasonable assumption that Apple will move to LPDDR3 for their next generation of iPads later this year, and notch up GPU specs, so the differential will be even more obvious. These Chinese makers are following the old Dell/Gateway model: invest in something fancy that is visible to the consumer (screen), then offset that with grossly under-spec things the average consumer doesn’t see – in the Dell/Gateway model, that was cheap, slow, small RAM and cheap, small, slow HDDs. Then you cripple the device with crapware which 3rd party vendors pay you to add.

    These tablets are the new ‘Guchi’ handbags you buy in the side alleys of Shanghai when you want to carry around something that looks vaguely like the real thing,even if it doesn’t actually do much.

    • mikecane

      They’re not fooling many of the native Chinese, however. At least not the ones at the forums I read. Outside China, probably fooling many people.

      And yeah, typing this on a Dell. I know *exactly* what you mean. POS.

      • Richard Day

        Agreed re. the people in the forums: they’re technology aware. But the average person on the street in China, new to the emerging middle class, wants to flash some bling, and an inexpensive “look alike” clone works for that. My guess is that they’re moving quite a lot of units via small stores in smaller cities and suburbs. Won’t do anything to make their brand sustainable, but will provide some cash now.

        China right now is a bit like America in the mid/late 50’s – sudden “hey, we’re making it” realization for a lot of the population. When that happened in the Eisenhower years, cars suddenly sprouted acres of chrome and massive “fins” – and consumers bought them in bulk, even if they had rust perforation within 24 months and used Jell-O for suspension. So a Chinese crapware tablet that barely works is “cool” because your neighbour _might_ think you have an iPad.

        Yeah, we have a Dell “compact laptop” in the meeting room in the office and it is a steaming POS. Essentially no video RAM and 1GB of slow, semi-usable memory after XP loads. Steaming POS. Takes up to 10 minutes to fully boot. No one wants to use it, so people bring their own iPads and MacBooks to meetings.

      • mikecane

        I have the desktop version of that laptop, it sounds like.

  2. on the other the low end.. (ipad mini) the chinese ‘offerings’ are good enough, I won’t call them clones cause they only appears so in their looks but the two 8inchers I tried were both satisfactory (if you ignore battery life and wifi troubles with some). I don’t think the Chinese manufacturers should try to compete on the high end, they can much more easily fix the minor issues with their lower end and compete on price.

  3. Nils

    If you know what to exspect these tablets are not to bad. Got myself a 9,7″ Retina RK3188 2GB tablet, sold locally and domestically branded (XORO 9719QR, also known as Visture 97 HD etc.)
    It’s used for reading mainly, some web browsing, show some photos to family, watch films.
    While the UI is definitly choppy it does all of the above rather well. Battery life is quite good. WiFi reception is on weak side but no problem for my locality. Build quality is good, working HDMI, USB Host, micro SD, 24 Watt charger. Running BOINC on 4 cores is 100% stable. Manages to play 2 HD videos in windowed players plus a youtube flick simultanously.
    It’s a good tool if you don’t exspect to get an IPad.
    My Dream: Cyanogenmod and a somewhat smoother 2D experience.

    • mikecane

      For you it seems to have worked out. I need more than that, though — see my posts about Google Books PDFs . Maybe the Exynos-based ones can deliver that. Did you apply SDK 2.0? It’s supposed to smooth out UI performance.

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