XBMC + Windows 8 works well even on older hardware

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icebox Offline
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Post: #1

Others reported it as well but I wanted to document my success as well. When I moved to a Full HD tv I found that I have to move away from XP to windows 7 in order to get decent hardware acceleration out of my integrated graphics. Because of power and heat I didn't want to use a dedicated card. Now I moved the whole setup on a new disk and decided to try windows 8 consumer preview.

  • Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H motherboard (AMD 780G +SB700 chipset,
  • AMD 4850e dual core energy efficient cpu
  • 250Gb hdd (all media is stored on a NAS)
  • 6Gb RAM

Windows 7 was running everything fine, including high bitrate full hd mkv's (which failed on XP)

In windows 8 everything including hd worked out of the box, without installing any drivers. Still after installing the Windows 7 graphics driver found on AMD-ATI website performance is even better.

The system boots fast, xbmc works wonderful. Also the darn metro tiles look pretty good on a big screen - actually I hated metro on the desktop but on a big screen they look at home.
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #2
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icebox Offline
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Post: #3
Just a quick update,

I upgraded to Windows 8 Release Preview, actually it's more a clean install then an upgrade and again everything worked out of the box. I did install the windows 7 versions of drivers for the graphics, audio but it worked fine (including high bitrate 1080p) without them too.

The case (antec) lcd and remote is the only thing that hanged once, I needed to disconnect the internal usb and power to have it working again.

Again boot times are really good (considering the aging hardware and the slow 250gb mechanical drive).
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Livin Offline
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Post: #4
If you find any 'advantage' to using Win8 please let us know... I have not seen any benefits to it with XBMC... or WMC, which many of us use in conjunction with XBMC.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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PatK Offline
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Post: #5
I kinda think there will be many more XBMC converts as Win/8 unrolls. The WMC support is lacking, and from this article http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/23/two-m...p-options/ it looks like it will be downright regressive. MS has disabled the ability to boot directly to Windows Media Center, and the ability to test TV tuners and remotes is no longer included in Windows Hardware Certification Kit.
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vinistois Offline
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Post: #6
I just had a hard drive die and replaced it. I installed windows 8 onto the new drive.

The install is streamlined, quicker, less painful in general.

I installed only one driver, the intel HD Graphics driver for windows 8. Everything else works, so I just didn't bother looking for other drivers.

XBMC works great
Sick, Sab, Couch - all work great
Plex server - works great

Everything is good. Performance seems better, not sure if that's because of the new faster hard drive, clean install, or windows, but its great.

Some video files were distorted before with dxva2. Now they run smoothly. I could not find a single video with any performance or visual issues whatsoever.

The lack of a start menu on the desktop is very dumb. Why would they get rid of it.... a good example of MS trying to fix something that isn't broken. Of course it will take years to get used to its absence.
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hatman24 Offline
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Post: #7
Do you use a Remote Control? If so which one, and is it working fine in Win8?
How easy/hard is it to jump in and out of XBMC?

I plan on using Win8 as well. Have an XBMC tile, one for Media Centre (TV only), and some tiles for various other things.
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cesarvog Offline
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Post: #8
I noticed Windows 8 was lighter the first time I installed it on a virtual machine. My 2 cents is that Microsoft somehow finally decided it was time to remove all the bloat added over the years to convince us to keep buying newer hardware from it's OEM partners.
(This post was last modified: 2012-08-17 15:59 by cesarvog.)
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