How they compare: Rockchip RK3188 vs Allwinner A31

cortexa7cortexa9If you’re on the lookout for a new budget tablet or phone, two of the more popular quad-core CPU options you’ll find at the moment are the RK3188 from Rockchip and Allwinner’s A31.

These CPUs are often pitted against each other, however, they’re very different devices, not only in terms of architecture but also their GPU and manufacturing process.

Rockchip has gone with a smaller 28-nanometre process node on the RK3188 compared with the A31′s 40nm option, which allows Rockchip to either gain reduced power consumption or a higher clock speed for a given TDP (thermal design power). The A31 is built on ARM’s newer low-power Cortex A7 architecture, the ‘LITTLE’ in ARM’s ‘bigLITTLE’ twin-CPU strategy.

What’s interesting from a gaming perspective is Allwinner’s decision to go with PowerVR’s SGX544 MP2 graphics processor unit (GPU) instead of ARM’s stock Mali400. CNX-software has a very good comparison of the GPUs inside these chips.

At a standardised 200MHz, the SGX544 MP2 can handle 12.8GFLOPS against the Mali400′s 7.2. However, the practical difference here is that Rockchip is rumoured to have the GPU at 533MHz while Allwinner is ticking the SGX544 MP2 over at only 355MHz. That said, we believe the SGX544 MP2′s superior processing speed would still have it out in front in terms of end performance if these clock speeds are correct, even with the reduced clock speed comparison. But with its CPU cores only topping 1.2GHz, the A31 in terms of CPU speed starts at a disadvantage to the RK3188.

So in overall times of an ‘RK3188 vs A31′ comparison, the choice would depend on the application. The smaller process node potentially gives the RK3188 a lower power consumption while the SGX544 MP2 gives the A31 very good gaming graphics.

CPURockchip RK3188Allwinner A31
Family ArchitectureARM Cortex A9ARM Cortex A7
Instruction SetARMv7-AARMv7-A
No of cores44
Clock SpeedUp to 1.8GHzUp to 1.2GHz
L1 cacheN/A256KB
L2 cacheN/A1MB
GPUARM Mali400PowerVR SGX544 MP2
GPU Clock533MHz355MHz
GPU cores48
Semi production28nm40nm
Memory SupportDDR-DDR3, 533MHzDDR2-DDR3
Devices using itCube Pea IIMele
Cube U30GT2Onda V812
PIPO M8ProAinol Novo 9
Rikomagic MK802 IVChuwi V99
Ugoos UG802BNextway F9X
Measy U4B
Tronsmart MK908

 

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