Better gaming CPU – Rockchip RK3188 or Allwinner A31

sgx544mpWith all of the budget and mid-range tablets and mini PCs coming out of China at the moment, you’d be forgiven for thinking there is a myriad of CPU options floating around to choose from.

The reality is somewhat different. While you’ll find a number of solutions from MediaTek, these generally incorporate 2G/3G data connectivity and rarely turn up in tablets and mini PCs. In practice, the choice generally comes down to two if you’re considering a quad-core device – Rockchip’s RK3188 or Allwinner’s A31.

But what about gaming? Which of these chips is the answer to your Android gaming wants? And since it’s the SoC that contains the graphics core powering your favourite games, it is the important choice in any tablet or mini PC choice.

So which of these two is the pick?

Let’s look exclusive at gaming for the moment and consider the GPU.

According to, the PowerVR SGX544MP2 delivers a geometry rate of 70MTriangle/second at 400MHz, nearly double the Mali-400′s 44MTriangles/second. Its core processing speed is well ahead of the Mali-400 per core (12.8GFLOPS vs 7.2) at the same 200MHz clock rate. It also has double the shader cores (8 to 4) of the Mali-400 design.

So, in terms of gaming prowess, the RK3188 may well give you a Mali-400 MP4 quad-core GPU solution, but the Allwinner A31 has a superior setup in the SGX544 MP2.

But what’s it costing you?

The RK3188 is an unusual SoC – it’s older Cortex A9 technology, but manufactured at a new 28-nanometre scale, which makes it a surprisingly efficient little solution. Most Cortex A9 chips tend to 40-nanometre types.

Compared with the A31′s slower Cortex A7 architecture, the RK3188 has superior performance when it comes to general application speed.

So it really comes down to this – how much do you want gaming speed? If you’re happy to sacrifice a margin of general performance to get it, the Allwinner A31 is your best option. But if you want an all-rounder that doesn’t do anything badly, the Rockchip RK3188 should be higher on your list.

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