Which affordable S905X3 box?

I would like to upgrade by current s905X box with a S905X3 box.

I have read a lot of threads here, and I can’t find one at a reasonable price that looks ok.
X96 Max Plus and X96 Air were my first choice but they seem to overheat.
Tanix TX3 seems to work fine but has no bluetooth
A95X F3 Air does not seem to overheat as much but it looks like it uses MT7668 that is not supported for bluetooth.

I’m at lost about which one does not overheat and has complete Wifi / blutooth, VFD support, and is still around US$40.
Could you share your experience with good boxes ?
Thanks !

Your Beer Budget

Will not buy you Champagne.

You’ve researched and found all the answers.

The problem here is your budget. :wink:


Its not difficult to solve the overheating of the X96Air if budget is the issue.
Any box with adequate heatsinking is going to double the price. The new C4 from hardkernel looks to be an excellent choice for €50.00 but postage will add another €20.00 unless you can find a local supplier.

You get what you pay for.


I got an X96 Air and while it does get hotter that I would like, it in no way overheats. Mine hovers around 68°C to 74°C which is still below the thermal limit of the S905X3 chip at 105°C

And as @Shoog said it’s a simple task to modify it and bring the temps down. I got mine for £40 UK on Amazon. It’s one of the better “cheap” boxes I’ve used… and I’ve used a lot :slight_smile:

This is not true, thermal throttling kicks in at 75C on this box. I have seen it happen as my performance governor should lock the CPU at 1900mhz and when it hits 75C it drops to about 1500mhz.
Its less likely to throttle if you have “on demand” governor, but CE comes with the governor set at “performance” by default and it certainly helps performance this way.


TJ MAX for the chip is 105°C so if that is what he meant by thermal limit then it is indeed true.

Thermal throttling will however kick in well before that point as you have pointed out.

Did not know that… as I said mine never hits that high or if it does it’s only for a few second. The point is even without any modifications it’s still a perfectly usable box for the price.

The reason it only hits it for a few seconds is because it throttles and the temp drops in response. As you say its perfectly functional in this state, but aesthetically its bad form and I worry about long term reliability.


What happened to the VIM3 I sent you?

I have used both an Odroid N2 and a VIM3 as my main CoreELEC hub.
By far the best S905X3 / S905D3 box I have used in other rooms is a VIM3L. The HTPC kit is not overly priced, is fully supported by CE and has no issues with overheating since both a heatsync for the top of the board and a metal plate for the bottom are included.
As pointed out by kostaman you pay for what you get.
Personally I don’t understand people who are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands for TV’s and surround systems who won’t then spend a smaller (in comparison) amount on a supported box or system to run it all.

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+1 from the entire team to that.


Still in use as my main device :smiley: The X96 is used in the bedroom.

There is nothing that meets your requirements. You either accept heat issue’s (and resolve them) or pay twice as much for a product that is well engineered. There is nothing that offers both.


ok so that’s really heat issues that we have to deal with. Could changing the heatsink be sufficient to lower the temp to an acceptable range ? is that feasible ? I saw the fan mod and I must admit I don’t think that I’m able to do that much

People have achieved good results with a heatsink - but to my mind the physical modifications necessary are more difficult than a lazy fan. However increasing the through venting with some well placed holes would probably knock 5-10C off all by itself.


Thanks @Shoog. More holes sounds like something achievable. One more question. X96 Max plus and X96 Air seem to be the same, except for the case. Could it be that X96 Max plus handles dissipation better ?

X96 Max … S905x2
X96 Air … S905x3

@JohnBoyz true but X96 Max Plus S905X3

x96 Max plus looks no better thermally than the x96 air.

Worth considering the A95X F3 (just noticed bluetooth is an issue for you)


The Max Plus has holes drilled in the bottom already, might buy you a degree or two. :smile: