Choosing a S905 / S905X / S905D / S905W / S912 box guide

  • to be fair to LibreELEC i would not really suggest or imply that one is really better then the other as CoreELEC is basically pulled from LibreELEC and CoreELEC will merge with LibreELEC' master which they actually just did not all that long ago.

    I monitor and build both systems probably every other week or so by building the Amlogic S912 and some S905x projects on a couple of different Linux boxes ranging from 15:04 up to 18:04 as i refuse to use docker or any virtual setup ( im to old and old school, lol) i do it just to see where they both are and think in most cases the differences people sometimes see is more based on what box they are using and where the development for that box or derivative sits in each of the respective systems.

    RIght now at this time i would say CoreELEC is working pretty good on the boxes that i test it against and the rom/game support is working great as well, while if i was on a Rockchip or O-droid platform its easy to see from their respective github time stamps that LibreELEC is has been more active the last time i looked.

    LibreELEC was started and built off the older OpenELEC to better support other boxes and forks like CoreELEC took LibreELEC and did ithe same thing as the developer was trying to support what he wanted to do and theres others that do the same thing. Its hard and extremely time consuming to try and create a build system that can work on SoC's from different manufacturers and being pretty much all the coding is being done by people giving up their free time to help others creates different forks.

    "better" or "worse" are terms i try and encourage people to understand the reasons why one may be considered ahead or behind when it comes to the differences when making comparisons. Coders in some cases can take things really personal as its their time and output that the public benfits from and its easy to in some cases upset people which ends up driving people away or going private and not publishing public stuff and this sport is no different then any other and happens all the time. Kodi is a perfect example of that and anyone that has followed the xmbc/kodi scene since the beginning is aware of what i am talking about.

    To be fair...LibreELEC it is by far the most overall active and the people involved are a huge part of driving this part of the sport and depending on which coders are active at any given time tends to be a bit up and down based on the wide amount of SoC's its trying to support.

    As suggested its best to actually test for yourself and see what works best for yourself at any given time as things change all the time.

  • buzzmarshall

    Completely agree with everything you said. However what is something of a major difference between the two, even one thing. And also, is 2 GB of ram enough nowadays, I see that there are 3 GB chips from Khadas.

  • Being a long time xbmc / kodi developer as well as doing a lot of embedded controller development and reverse engineering over the years what my thoughts are would be this...

    Having more Sram is always a good thing and when the choice was 1 gig or 2 gig i always told people go with the 2 gig based on the facts that with Android running so much crap in the background and with Kodi evolving and requiring a bit more memory for running in that 2 gig was one way to help eliminate all the old random lockups back in the older dual core days. With the debate between 2 gig or 3 gig or even 4 gig i personally don't think its that much of a real issue anymore as 2gig is easily enough to run kodi even if it is still just another app running under Android and with things like LibreELEC should be plenty for sure. As far as bigger flash area i look at it from a cost point.

    Currently I think bigger amounts of Sram and Flash are being used by the marketers as really not much more then a way of trying to keep bringing to market new products, the few actual factories all sell oem and branded products and they all know that if things sit stagnate for to long the end users start to figure out just how many different brands and models are actually all the same other then things like cases and layouts so in between things like new Android versions they are all using the bigger Sram and Flash size as a method of recreating some perceived differences trying to gain a bigger part of the buying market.

    You can see what i am talking about in the box prices. i remember when the 1st 3gig and 4gig boxes came out and what the dealers wanted in a price increase for those few 1st boxes over the normal 2 gig boxes flooding the market at that time. The increase was huge when put into perspective to the real costs in both time and parts so for a short period of time the few dealers selling those boxes were doing much better in the market, now after a year or so pretty much everyone is up to the same point again. I develop and build a fair amount of embedded boards all the time and have a pretty good idea of cost and time so it was not all that hard to spot what was going on.

    Some will argue bigger is better while others say its negligible at best. Personally i look at it from a money point and tell people that if your buying a box thats got bigger on it because people are currently developing new software for that box and the price is not to bad then go for it. but if your just buying a box with bigger memory because some dealer says its better i would that unless your getting it for a real good price not to bother.

    Kodi runs great with 1 gig of sram on this type of hardware and if your running LibreELEC or one of its forks 2gig should easily perform well and even with rom games some methods treat the rom emulator as stand alone making Kodi release its sram till it starts back up so until things drastically change my approach is why bother.

  • Sorry i meant to say as well:

    That maybe if your playing around with dvb and satellite streams then maybe it might be something to consider but to be honest because i don't play with dvb thru this type of box others may have a better informed opinion on the subject. I do know from years of sat hacking that the dvb transport packets and how the system handles decoding (especially if theres a CA involved) may require or perform better with more Sram

  • as it is mentioned as a good device

    Way Overpriced. That's Nvidia Shield TV price i purchased over Christmas. For LE /CE it's way over priced hardware.

  • Is the S905D the best choice if I want good support for CE/LE and Gigabit-LAN (incl. a good performance for Netflix and other Inputstream based Add-Ons) or is a S912 the better choice?

    I currently have a 905X but have some trouble with the 100M network connection (Wifi is no option).

  • I currently have a 905X but have some trouble with the 100M network connection (Wifi is no option).

  • I tried one of these. Although it was immediately recognized, the throughput was crappy :(

    Is there a certain chipset in these things that works best?

  • S905D seems the safest option - but choices are very limited and I don't believe all come with 1000mps ethernet. The Mecools are good value if you want a built in tuner.


  • Is the S905D the best choice if I want good support for CE/LE and Gigabit-LAN (incl. a good performance for Netflix and other Inputstream based Add-Ons) or is a S912 the better choice?

    Been away from the forums for a while and been a bit busy over the S.Hemisphere Holiday period. Been doing some testing as well.

    Previously users have been wary of the S912 with it's ARM Mali T820 GPU due to uncertainty with properly implemented Linux Mali GPU drivers which will be definitely be needed for Kodi v19 M. Which is at least a year away.

    As chewitt has already demonstrated in previous posts, work is already underway to add such stable T820 GPU driver support for Kodi v19 rendering.

    The S912 always had a problem with upcoming Inputstream-Adaptive - Linux / CoreELEC Kodi Leia - ffmpeg (CPU) h.264 decoding and rendering - needed for Leia Netflix Addon streaming. In fact you could not even ffmpeg decode and stream 720p

    The Kodi Leia rending performance issue has been hunted down by @fritsch and @peak3d just today and there is now a noticeable increase in ffmpeg decoding and rendering performance on ARM platforms. 720p Netflix now works smoothly with Kodi Leia on the S912.

    See the Kodi Leia PR HERE

    In fact I can decode and playback 1080p h264 Bluray Rips and (low bitrate) 1080p 10bit HEVC - using CPU software decoding alone on the S912 - MINIX U9.

    Be aware I'm using newer libhybris OpenGLES 2.0/3.2 - which I hope to include in future LE / CE versions - they increase rendering performance as well, especially with GLES 3.2 in Android 6.0 onwards.

    The GPU Overclocked S912 is now equal quickest S9xx platform I use, rivalling the SDR only Overclocked ODROID C2.

    Oh and the S912, Kodi dirtyregions workaround for S912 Subtitle stuttering will hopefully no longer be needed for Linux Kodi Leia with the above PR.

    Details about that HERE


  • wrxtasy

    Hey, I was asking earlier for the Minix U9 - I guess it still is a very decent device if I can get it around $110?

    Anyways, is this the recommended installation guide on it as it is an Amlogic 912, because there isn't an official one as there is for some devices (like a WeTek or a Raspberry PI for example):

    [HOWTO + FAQ] Install community builds on S905/S905D/S905W/S905X/S912 device

    Also, this version of LibreElec?

    [] LibreELEC Kodi Krypton - S905 & S912 devices

  • Hi, I want buy tvbox to watch films in 1080p and mostly 2160p and HDR with 7.1/5.1 sound. I dont need netflix and 4k streaming, only files with 4k. Now I have Mecool M8S pro+ with S905x. I want buy another m8s pro+ but there is no shop with this mecool.

    What should I buy now? Some tvbox with S905x, if so which? Or some with S912?

    Edited once, last by tgrzebien ().

  • High Bitrate 4K HDR Rips with 5.1/7.1 lossless HD audio need a device with Gigabit Ethernet.


    1) Add a Realtek or ASIX Chipset - USB3 > Gigabit Ethernet adapter to 100Mbit only Ethernet boxes, some even come with USB Hubs like the Ugreen ones.

    2) Get either a S912 or S905D AML box - make sure it is Gigabit Ethernet equipped aka 1000M

  • I also have not read about development on s912 for a while . The last thing i read over about a year ago is that there was no descent driver and library for linux. How have things gone since then? What was said back then is that there was no for the mali-t820 in the s912. efforts to get LE ported included using the android driver + library, which back then resulted in an generic "do-not-buy" advice for the s912. Is this still the case? Or has the appropriate driver and library become available? The advice used to be, when going the amlogic route, buy s905 duo to proper software support.