Supported hardware

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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.

Contents

1 Supported hardware by OS

1.1 Android

Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC on Android without researching the device you want to buy. If you do buy, make sure multiple people can verify that it works! If in doubt, don't buy that box!
  • Due to the nature of Android hardware it is hard to give exact requirements. The basic set of requirements include:
    • NEON compatible ARM processor (for example: Nvidia Tegra 1/2 probably will never be supported, while Tegra 3 and later will be fully supported.)
    • Android 4.0 or later is supported, but Android 4.4 and later is recommended.
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC is likely a must for HD video playback (720p+). Don't expect this to work on any device until someone has specifically tested it and can confirm hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
  • The main aim for the Android port is to initially target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as interface device, (that is the same market at HTPC). However expect tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.

1.2 iOS

1.2.1 ATV2

  • To Install XBMC on ATV2 you must have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 running versions 4.1 to 5.3
  • XBMC only works on the second generation Apple TV (ATV2), which is the black version that outputs 720. XBMC does not work on the newer third generation Apple TV (ATV3) that outputs 1080, because there is no jailbreak for the ATV3.

1.2.2 iDevices

  • To install XBMC for iOS you must have a jailbroken iDevice running iOS 4.0 through 7.0.6. (4.3 or higher recommended)
  • For hardware: iPad (1,2,3,4), iPad Air, iPad Mini (1,2), iPhone (4, 4S, 5, 5c, 5S), iPod touch (4, 5).


1.3 Linux

1.3.1 Desktop

CPU x86 processor such as: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium M, AMD Athlon XP/64, AMD Opteron, or newer CPU (that support SSE. Anything made in the last few years does.).
  • If your GPU/VPU does not support hardware video decoding then you will require a fast modern processor is required to decode some videos (H.264, VC-1, etc) in 1080P. Editor note: Hard to quantify this, but maybe we can get a rough benchmark score in here?
  • There is very limited Power PC (PPC) support: [Linux] How to install on Linux-ppc
RAM
  • Minimum: 256MB
  • Recommended: 1 to 2GB or more
Graphics

XBMC will run on most graphics cards made in the last few years, including hardware video decoding support. This includes most cards from ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA which support OpenGL 2.0 or later.

ATI Intel Nvidia
Minimum: ATI Radeon RV710/M92 (HD 4300/4500) Intel GMA 950 (945G) Nvidia GeForce 6-Series
Recommended: ATI Radeon Cedar (Radeоn HD 5400 Series or newer Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer Nvidia GeForce 8-Series or newer
Video decoding For hardware video decoding, which may be necessary on various low-performance CPUs to playback 1080P content, make sure your GPU or VPU supports either VAAPI, VDPAU, or CrystalHD.
Note: Ubuntu 12.10 (or newer) users of ATI graphics cards are recommended to use a UVD 2.2 or higher graphics card for proper hardware video decoding support.
Drive space The XBMC binary generally takes up between 100 to 200 MB of space, depending on how it's compiled. Technically speaking, if your hardware supports netbooting, you don't even require a hard drive for either the OS or XBMC.
  • Minimum: 4 to 8GB
  • Recommended: 16GB or more
Depending on how big your video library is. Most of the space required for XBMC comes from the images/artwork cache, which can be adjusted: HOW-TO:Reduce XBMC disk space.

1.3.2 ARM/embedded

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.
  • Various "Android" boxes - 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 these "Android boxes" 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. Editor note: need feedback on performance. A little snippet, like the one above for the R-Pi, will do
  • CuBox - Limited support, as it is generally not a development target by Team XBMC. Editor note: need feedback on performance. A little snippet, like the one above for the R-Pi, will do

1.4 Mac OS X

  • XBMC v12 Frodo and later requires Mac OS X 10.6 and only runs on Intel Macs.

1.5 Windows

  • OS minimum to run XBMC: Windows Vista. Added in v13 Gotham: XP support is dropped in XBMC v13 Gotham.
  • 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.

Added in v13 Gotham: Only processors with SSE2 are now supported.

  • 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.
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