X88 Pro X3 with fake 4GB RAM

Hi all,

I just want to share my experience with this box.
First, it is working great with CoreELEC 19.1 when booting from SD or USB stick using the 2GB dtb (I used sm1_s905x3_2g_1gbit.dtb).

Install to emmc did not work for me as partition layout was reverted at boot time to original android layout.

My box was sold as X88 Pro X3 with 4GB RAM and 64GB flash storage. The box use encrypted bootloader (probably to make it hard to detect the fake RAM!)

Here are pictures from top and bottom of the box:


As I mention above, box work great with 2GB dtb. With the 4GB dtb the box just hang right after u-boot.

U-boot log show only 2GB RAM detected:

U-Boot 2015.01-g0503fbb-dirty (Jun 27 2020 - 09:54:35)

DRAM: 2 GiB
Relocation Offset is: 76e4d000

Andoid kernel from the box was compiled by foxluo@hugsun02 as it show in dmesg or in the uart boot log:

[ 0.000000@0] Linux version 4.9.113-g76de9b2-dirty (foxluo@hugsun02) (gcc version 6.3.1 20170109 (Linaro GCC 6.3-2017.02) ) #1 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jun 27 09:59:17 CST 2020

if you look down several line in same android kernel log I see a weird/suspicious comment “fox.luo” right above the line reporting memory information …

[ 0.000000@0] —fox.luo pagepage=522240k
[ 0.000000@0] Memory: 3210436K/3915804K available (13312K kernel code, 1251K rwdata, 4864K rodata, 1024K init, 1338K bss, 41816K reserved, 663552K cma-reserved, 643072K highmem)

Using Android I tried to see if I can use more than 2GB RAM. For that I used Memory Fill android app from here:

Surprise surprise! You will not be able to fill more than 50% of memory!!!

The least I was able to have free was 51.1% (1935 MB) of RAM … after that you start seening OS notfication about “System freed some resources”.
Here is screenshot from the X88 Pro X3 box showing lowest memory free of 51.1%:

I did exactly same Memory Fill test on a similar box X96 Max+ borrowed from a friend. Spec are almost identical … same SOC S905X3, also 4GB RAM and also 64GB flash storage.
On this box I was able to fill memory up to 7.3% (272MB) free RAM.
Here is screenshot from the X96 Max+ box showing lowest memory free of 7.3%:

For reference here are full uart logs from my box :

  1. booting coreelec 19.1 from USB with the 2g dtb x88prox3-2g.dtb.txt (83.5 KB)
  2. failing (hang) when trying to boot coreelec 19.1 from USB with the 4g dtb x88prox3-4g.dtb.txt (10.8 KB)
  3. booting stock Andoid x88prox3-Android.boot.txt (102.6 KB)
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