XBMC needs a 3D capable GPU graphics hardware controller for all rendering. The required 3D GPU chips are common today in most modern computers, and even some set-top boxes. XBMC runs well on what (by Intel ATOM standards) are relatively underpowered OpenGL 1.3 (with GLSL support), OpenGL ES 2.0 or Direct3D (DirectX) 9.0 capable systems that are IA-32/x86, x86-64, or ARM CPU based.
When software decoding of a Full HD 1080p high-definition video is performed by the system CPU, a dual-core 2 GHz or better CPU is required in order to allow for perfectly smooth playback without dropping frames or giving playback a jerky appearance. XBMC can however offload most of the video decoding process onto GPU graphics hardware controller that supports one of the following types of hardware-accelerated video decoding: Intel's VAAPI, Nvidia's VDPAU, AMD's XvBA, Microsoft's DXVA, Apple's VDADecoder/VideoToolBox, OpenMAX, and Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Media Accelerator. By taking advantage of such hardware-accelerated video decoding, XBMC can run well on most inexpensive, low-power systems which contain a modern GPU.
|The indicated place to discuss or ask about what hardware is good for XBMC is Hardware for XBMC subforum|
1 Supported hardware by OS
- XBMC for Android is still too early in development to have firm hardware requirements. As such, this is subject to major changes. A conservative estimate would be:
- Something similar in spec to the Pivos XIOS (the development target for the initial Android port)
- A NEON compatible ARM processor (for example: Tegra 1/2 probably won't be supported. Tegra 3 is okay.)
- Android 4.0 or newer (might work on older versions such as 2.3, but this is a conservative estimate after all)
- Hardware decoding support in XBMC is likely a must for HD video playback (720+). Don't expect this to work on any device until someone has specifically tested it and can confirm hardware decoding support for that device.
- Avoid hardware that uses the Allwinner series of chips (such as the Allwinner A10). Development is not going well for these devices.
- The main aim for the initial port is set-top-boxes/sticks. Expect tablet/phone/touch/etc support to improve with time.
- If you have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 running versions 4.1 to 4.4.4 then use these instructions
- If you have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 running versions 5.0 to 5.2 then use these instructions
- XBMC support for ATV2 5.2/iOS 6.1 was added in Frodo 12.0-1 and nightly builds.
- Look here to find out which version you are currently running.
- To install XBMC for iOS you must have a jailbroken iDevice running iOS 4.0 through 6.1.
- For hardware: iPad (1,2,3,4), iPad Mini, iPhone (3GS*, 4, 4S, 5) iPod touch (3-16GB*, 3-32GB*, 4, 5). *iPhone 3GS/iPod touch 3 might work still, but iPhone 4/iPod touch 4 and higher is recommended.
- x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor computer capable of booting to CD-ROM.
- For clarification; XBMC for Linux does not work on the Xbox game-console.
- ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA (recommended) graphic controller which supports OpenGL 2.0 or later.
It is very hard to generalize XBMC hardware requirements for Linux-based OSes on ARM hardware due to most of the work in this area still being early/on-going in development. OpenGL ES 2.0 is a must. For most ARM devices, hardware video decoding support will be needed for most HD videos (and possibly some SD videos). Some newer/faster ARM chips can decode some HD video using software video decoding.
Here are a few known Linux/ARM hardware devices that are known to work:
- Raspberry Pi - Hardware video decoding for h.264, mpeg2, and VC-1. GUI is responsive on most light skins.
- Pivos XIOS DS - can run Linux and boot directly into XBMC. Hardware video decoding for most video codecs, GUI is very responsive on most skins. Running Linux/XBMC on the Pivos will likely result in better performance than running Android/XBMC.
- Pandaboard - GeeXboX is a good OS/XBMC distro for this platform. Limited support, as it is generally not a development target by Team XBMC.
- CuBox - Limited support, as it is generally not a development target by Team XBMC.
1.4 Mac OS X
- XBMC v12 Frodo and later will require Mac OS X 10.6 and only run on Intel Macs. For the Apple TV 1 you will need to use a Linux-based OS to run XBMC v12.
- XBMC v11 Eden runs on Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) and later on both Intel and PPC Macs (G4 and above), as well as the Apple TV 1 (silver).
- OS minimum supported: Windows XP with Service Pack 3.
- OS recommended: Windows 7, which is required for hardware video decoding.
- Windows Home Server and Windows Server are not supported but have been reported to work with some tweaks.
- For end-users the recommended minimum requirement is a x86-based computer, with a graphic adapter that supports DirectX version 9.0c.
- x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor with SSE support.
- ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA graphic controller.
- ATI Radeon R420 (X800) or newer supported, ATI Radeon R700 (HD 4000) or newer recommended.
- Intel GMA 950 (945G) or newer supported, Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer recommended.
- NVIDIA GeForce 6-Series and newer supported, GeForce 8-Series and newer recommended.