|CPU||Rockchip RK3188||MediaTek MT6589|
|Family Architecture||ARM Cortex A9||ARM Cortex A7|
|No of cores||4||4|
|Clock Speed||Up to 1.8GHz||1.2GHz|
|GPU||Mali-400 MP4||PowerVR SGX544|
If you were wanting a two-horse race to decide the most popular quad-core ARM processor doing the rounds in most budget tablets at the moment, it’d be between Rockchip’s RK3188 and the MediaTek MT6589.
You can barely move without running into an RK3188 processor in Shenzhen and while the MT6589 might not be quite as popular, it’s still seeing plenty of use in tablets and smartphones alike.
However, these two chips are quite different and really only share the ARMv7 instruction set and a 28-nanometre production process in common.
The RK3188 is a unique chip in that its an older Cortex A9 design scaled down to 28nm. The MediaTek MT6589 uses the same scale but is based on the smaller (and cheaper) Cortex A7 design. So off the bat, the RK3188 will deliver better performance. Throw in the fact it can clock up to 1.8GHz against the MT6589′s 1.2GHz maximum rate and the RK3188′s performance superiority is assured.
The RK3188 also does well on graphics with a quad-core Mali-400 MP4 graphics subsystem up against a single PowerVR SGX544 core in the MediaTek SoC CPU. The SGX544 core is a good performer but it can’t catch four Mali-400 cores.
The one area where the MT6589 is likely to outperform is battery life – with a low-power A7 design at 28nm, it’s setup nicely to deliver long battery life. The Cortex A9 being a more powerful design will use more power, even manufactured at the same 28nm scale.
In a Rockchip RK3188 vs MediaTek MT6589 battle, both of these chips serve their products well but if you want all-round performance, the Cortex A9 base of the RK3188 comes out in front.
Try these similar stories:
- How they compare – Allwinner A31 vs MediaTek MT6589
- CPU differences – Rockchip RK3066 vs RK3168
- How they compare – Rockchip RK3188 vs Freescale i.MX 6
- MediaTek roadmap shows 2013-14 smartphone and tablet CPUs
- MediaTek MT6592 delivers eight-cores by month’s end
- Dual-core ARM battle: RockChip’s RK3168 vs Allwinner’s A20
- Better gaming CPU – Rockchip RK3188 or Allwinner A31
- How they compare: Rockchip RK3188 vs Allwinner A31
- Rockchip RK32xx quad-core Cortex A12 SoC CPU for 2014
- ARM punches out new mid-range Cortex A12 processor