[S905X3] X96Air_P3

I’ve tried two TV’s (oldish) they don’t work & a PC monitor which did… I’ll have to get a log

JimmyS thanks for info

Does anyone tested HDR to SDR?

Is HDR to SDR suppose to work fully, or not yet?
I have only SDR TV, but when I tested a few 4K HDR samples, one (LG New York HDR UHD 4K Demo.ts) has good colours, others (like LG 4K HDR Demo - Daylight.mkv) are greyed…

As has been said before HDR to SDR will never “work fully”. There will always be some file that won’t look nice with it. The best that can be expected is that most files won’t look to bad. The situation may improve a bit for some files on some devices, but it will never get to the point of every file looks great on every device.

Thank you for confirmation. Its not that important to me, I just testing new box and system, so I am gathering knowledge. More important is, if HDR work on HDR HW (which I cant test yet, but I believe it works?).

Maybe it would be good to add note “This conversion didnt work for all files/formats/systems.” to the description of this option. I mean the text on the bottom of the screen which describes function. This would prevent any further confusion and not necessary questions? :slight_smile:

Btw., I found 2.4Ghz wifi bandwitch VERY good on this device. Ive got 5-6MB/s, which is more than I could achieve with usual Edimax USB dongle.

The results was similiar to interactive as expected. I didnt found any drawback or problem, which would need disabling this option in kernel (is it oldest and most proven governor after all, although I read that new phones has interactive as default instead of it). The CPU was usually 667MHz, during playing both 1080 and 4K content.

I created Pull request to allow this governor on the next nightlies, lets hope it will be accepted, and you can do stress test with UHD channel to know, if the 250/667 MHz minimum is needed due to drop frames (667 is default minimum anyway, and there are some indications that 250-667 doesnt make that difference in idle temp). For me, with 100MHz minimum (same as on C2) the playback was good, but I dont have dropped frames shown on GUI, and maybe you had different file with different bandwitch.

But considering CPU values during 1080/4K proving me, that performance really isnt necessary in my use-case and other governorst brings high benefit in CPU utilisation, not only in idle, but also in playback (and you measure even more benefit 72 vs 61), so for me (and propably for others with small heatsink and HW-decoding playback use cases) ondemand are good default choice as has been before.

@cdu13a, do you think PR could be accepted? :slight_smile:

I have X96 connected through usual simple power meter, so I watched idle power consumption just for curiosity. Although there is not much difference (I think bigger difference makes higher heat inside box for shortening SOC lifespan than a few cents per year to wallet), I could see difference around 0.5W in idling performance and ondemand/interactive (aka utilised CPU).

Thanks to vpeter to pointing that out :slight_smile: You can try ondemand without compile, its available as a module

modprobe cpufreq_ondemand

Thanks for that info.
Have added the modprobe to my autostart file and reduced the min freq to 100,000 for tests later.

For UHD I use the test channels from satellite SES/Astra

I have just updated to latest nightly so will let the device sit for some time to allow temps to settle, before doing tests.

CoreELEC:~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq
CoreELEC:~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor


Left powered up for a couple of hours, idling.

Temp is at 47/48 C

CoreELEC:~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq
CoreELEC:~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq
CoreELEC:~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

The freq only rarely goes any lower - to 250000.

Ambient temp is at 24 C

Began to play UHD TV into 1080 monitor and temp immediately went to 51/52 C, so I left it for a while and it rose to 55C after about 20 mins. I will leave it longer, but have the idea that from there it is the build up of heat within the case that is affecting it.
The current freq is mostly at 500000 while playing the channel.
Scenes with lots of white snow show it rising to 667000 with the temp at 56 C

This looks very good for my use case.
I would like to, if I get the urge, to re-house the board in a case that allows for a more efficient heatsink and sufficient air-flow to cool it.
At some future time - maybe! :slight_smile:

I hope that gives a sufficient idea to make some comparisons.


Temp now at 58 C (sometimes 59 C)
I have been monitoring the frequency using
watch -n 3 -t cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq

and it rarely shows other than 500000 or 667000
all this time playing the UHD TV ‘Astra UHD Demo’ channel into the 1080 monitor.

HDR does indeed work on S905X3 boxes. I have a Tanix TX5 Pro S905X3 4/64 box and HDR works fine on it.
And thanks for the discussion on temps. It got me looking at mine. I was idling at over 60 C but after switching to interactive and setting min-freq to 100000 it’s idling at 40 C after sitting all night.
I still need to test responsiveness and temps under different loads.

Nice… I dont think it will go over 60 in utilised modes. I believe heatsink will be restricting factor here. Much better than your previous 71…

Here is rough (because ondemand history could have some values when I switch to performance shortly due to test) comparation interactive vs ondemand in relativelly idle state. Wondering, if you must correct min from 100Mhz on ondemand due to dropped frames, or if different governor didnt solve that also…


I have various heatsinks prepared (one is just a little bigger than C2, others are bigger), waiting for thermal pad to try finalization x96 box (those boxes will go to bedroom of my relatives so I want to take care about heat, c2 values are prooven to by good as they are). Although I think box is relativelly fine with holes and stock heatsing, considering 48-49 vs 43 in idle.

Hopefully PR will be merged also :slight_smile:

For the layman… In layman terms, what will ondemand bring to the table for S905X3 users?

After a shutdown period to allow cooling I started it again … came up at 43 C but gradually rose to 48 C.
I started on BBC HD satellite channel and left if for 1Hr+ and it sits there at 62 C. Freq is generally 500000 with brief excursions up and down.

I am of the opinion that a proper heatsink would smooth out the variations in temp, even though the load varies briefly.

I have had no dropped frames at all, but even though I set the min freq to 100000 the current freq never went down there that I saw.
So I think 250000 is a suitable low - maybe even 500000 would be ok - when using on-demand.

Any further improvement in temps will be due to airflow and heatsink improvements I believe.
So it will be interesting to see how much difference different heatsinks have on your device. :wink:

thats great! This could be culprint, why default ondemand on C2-3.14 works just fine without dropped on his default 100MHz. Interactive seems to be even more savy, but with fine tunning (cpu min) I believe it worked also as you wrote earlier.

@ revolution6: Less heating, more saving CPU cycles with potentionally no “drawbacks” in user experience (at least for those who doesnt have 4K GUI, although I think devs didnt test ondemand). Default performance setting is max performance, but runs CPU on max all the time (even in idle state - that means no movie are watched).

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In this scenario a heatsink will have to be substantial to achieve much. Small heatsinks will just slow down the heat ramp up but it will get to the same endpoint. You need something the size of the N2’s heatsink to keep temps below 45C. Its quite a challenge to mount such a beast of a heatsink because there are components which are proud of the SOC and RAM chips with a high potential to not seat the heatsink or short some component and fry the board.

How I cool mine:


Well, I think almost any size heatsink will make difference, as the piece of metal is quite tiny, and most importantly its inside box, so it doesnt cool off quickly… And even with this small piece of plate it goes 48 on idle with correct governor.

Good thing is, that X96 air’s heatsink (well, more like piece of thin metal :slight_smile: ) its right below edge of box, so its easy to drill hole and attach whatever size you want ouside box (and width of box is enough to fit relativelly BIG heatsink and still not get outside the box dimensions) to an original heatsink. If someone really want to take care, the box is very narrow, I can imagine just drilling big square hole, get out of original heatsink and through thick thermal pad stick external heatsink. But as I said, considering original heatsink values I think it doesnt need to do so… Mine with original heatsink doesnt get above 60 with movie (4K) around 54-55 (1080), and 48 is almost fine with me on idle.

These are mine test heatsinks (just what I found in closet :slight_smile: which I plan to try (one of them I planning cut to two)

I think the smaller one is comparable with C2 one.

The coupling to the heatsink as stock is a massive bottleneck to extracting heat. A thick thermal pad cannot move sufficient heat. Without addressing this increasing the heatsink size will have marginal value.

I personally will max out my CPU in order to get the smoothest performance. Without the fan temps were at 71c at idle. The fan dropped that by about 30c


Although I appreciate the minimal size of the box for this, I think the best option might be a replacement housing which allows for larger heatsink and air flow - maybe assisted by slow quiet fan internal to the new housing.
It is at times like this that I wish I had a 3D printer :slight_smile:

71 is quite a lot on idle… Ive got 53 on performance, 48 on other governors… Fan is no go (and not needed for me)… I have very good experience with thermal pads… On router (Armada 385) I had quite a small cube, transfered to the metal case, and with additional big heatsink added to case, temperature in idle drops about 8°C, in high load the temperature max dropped around 15, but also there was drastic speed up cooling process to idle temp with added heatsink after load ends…

Lets see what X96 got, but I would be more optimistic than pesimistic… If I would decrease stock temperatures (with ondemand) for about 3-5°C its just fine for me, but I believe there will be more, especially on loads…

You will apply thermal pads + heatsink?

As I wrote yes, but I am on sick leave quite a long time, so I cannot go outside buy thermal pads/square alluminium stick… :frowning:

Meanwhile, I am testing VIM3L family, which comes with interesting findings. I think I will create “Temperature related” thread, because content is a bit offtopic with VIM3L (although SOC are very simmiliar). And will get back to this one, when I will be cured and will have some more results regarding X96 Air heatsink improvements (DIY for few bucks)…

EDIT: Testing results here

Can you take a pictures inside the box?
I’m thinking to buy some small heatsink like this
what measure you advise use for gpu, cpu and other components?