It seems to me that what probably happened is AML set out with the intention of releasing a real big little design, but under testing discovered that the SOC die was way to flakey at these speeds, with throttling and unacceptably high failure rates. Its bad enough that there chip can reach 90C as it is currently configured. Performance = heat and thats basic physics, and the cost of providing an adequate cooling solution is simply beyond the margins of their target market. Instead of admitting that their design was flawed they simply lied and made their software lie.
However none of this really matters to 99.9% of their user base since the chip is well capable of running Android as a media player at performance way beyond just about all of the similarly priced products. Also in the target market of media players performance of each CPU is totally unimportant - but the ability to do multiple tasks in the background competently and in parallel is critical - hence eight low spec CPU’s makes perfect sense and high performance high speed cores make none.
This just shows what an absolutely shitty company AMLogic is. They have shat on their reputation in the western market and it seems that they have abandoned most plans to stay within that market. Why , because they have spotted an opportunity to sell tightly controlled TV boxes to the domestic Chinese market - with the software locked down and the hardware optimised for this sole purpose.
Hobby SOC user’s are about as important to AML as a nat on the arse of an elephant.
If you want a decent product then move along and spend a bit more money on one of the Samsung based chips.
Its all a bit disgusting really. Its bad enough that I have sworn off ever buying a AML SOC product again and am fairly lairy of touching any arm based product that isn’t a Android phone (where they excel). Intel based SOC products are infinitely better performance and peripheral support wise, and are getting to be cost and energy competitive with the ARM based SOC chips and that is where my money will go in the future.