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Android Mini PC vs. Linux Mini PC???
#1
I am really interested in setting up a dedicated Mini PC as a HTPC to run XBMC. I currently run a Core i5 HTPC but am intrigued by the really low power mini pc's that are the size of a USB thumb drive and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the matter. There is a variety of quad core Android powered devices and I was looking at the Odroid device that runs Linux which I could run XBMCbuntu on.

Any ThoughtsHuh

Thanks

Don
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#2
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: I am really interested in setting up a dedicated Mini PC as a HTPC to run XBMC. I currently run a Core i5 HTPC but am intrigued by the really low power mini pc's that are the size of a USB thumb drive and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the matter. There is a variety of quad core Android powered devices and I was looking at the Odroid device that runs Linux which I could run XBMCbuntu on.

Any ThoughtsHuh

Thanks

Don

Keep your i5 ...
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#3
The smallest way to go is a http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-N...22989.html

Mini PC in an USB thumb drive is not good.
maybe if you like SD video.
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#4
Hi there!

I do not agree.

I am the proud owner of a CX-919 Android mini PC running XBMC. I love it.

It sits behind my TV, out of sight, you cannot hear it, it has a quad core processor, 2 GB ram, 8 Gb flashdisk and a quad core graph CPU. Unbelievable in such a small box. And it is fast! Furthermore it can be used for airplay (Ipad, Iphone, Itunes) and you can install all apps from the Android Play Store. Everything out of the box.

The only problem with running XBMC is not the computer, but XBMC. XBMC is not yet capable of hardware support under Android so video playback is being dealt with by the microprocessor in stead of the graphics chip. But my supplier shipped it with a custom XBMC and it can run 720p with no problem. On top of that I installed Navi-X which is capable of hardware support so I can play 1080P or even more without any problem!

What I am saying is that if you just want to look at 720p in XBMC, it is great. And I just know that in the near future the hardware support issue will be tackled. From that moment on there is absolutely no reason to stick to a normal PC to run XBMC.

Back in the old days there were roughly three platforms that could run an OS with a mouse. There was windows 3.1(1), Macinosh and Atari ST. Windows came on 9 floppies. The software for the Mac and the Atari ST just on one. Yet it was much more powerful than the windows thing. Those 'Tosses' as they were called, were much better written, much more economical and more logical. Nowadays things did'nt get better: Android is approx 85 Mb (SDK version) where Windows 8 takes a full DVD...

That is why an Android Stick can be so powerfull. The CPU just does not have to cope with all of the weight of Windows. Android runs smooth and is great for XBMC.
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#5
A really bad thing about android players is that when a new model is released all previous models tend to go to oblivion ( in matter of firmware development) ..
There are many examples of those xx core devices that cannot be upgraded to 4.2.2 android - or later when released- simply because the next ultra bigger xx+2 core was released ...

So i wouldnt buy any xxxxx core player with the hope that maybe one day would work perfectly with xbmc...
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#6
You should look into one of these devices.
- Raspberry PI
- The Little Black Box
- Pivos Xios
- Ouya

Nothing compares to a i5 though.
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#7
I just picked up a raspberry pi it is working great so far with XBMC, overclocked to the max preset, openelec installed to USB, and running the Amber skin. Much better performance than I expected the USB/overclock tweaks really eliminate any lag and still seem stable.
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#8
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: I currently run a Core i5 HTPC but am intrigued by the really low power mini pc's that are the size of a USB thumb drive

Stay with the Core i5 for now.
The CX-919 that somebody else mentioned runs on an RK3188 chip. This isn't bad, but it isn't perfect either. No linux for RK3188 at the moment, and no openelec. Maybe when the 'libstagefright' hardware acceleration builds work on RK3188 it will be worth another look.

Raspberry Pi, Pivos XIOS DS won't hold a candle to your i5. They are old technology.

Wait, because something good is on the horizon late this year, or early next year. I'd pin my bets on a new box from Pivos, or cheap and small x86 PCs based on the Haswell Celeron & Bay Trail Atom processors.
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#9
(2013-08-09, 07:44)solamnic Wrote:
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: I am really interested in setting up a dedicated Mini PC as a HTPC to run XBMC. I currently run a Core i5 HTPC but am intrigued by the really low power mini pc's that are the size of a USB thumb drive and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the matter. There is a variety of quad core Android powered devices and I was looking at the Odroid device that runs Linux which I could run XBMCbuntu on.

Any ThoughtsHuh

Thanks

Don

Keep your i5 ...


i hate to repeat what others say, but just in case solamnic didnt stress it enough : KEEP YOUR i5

arm mini pc are awesome and have a lot of potential, but will be ideal to replace an x86 pc in maybe 1 year.. today.... they are just projects...

if low power is your idea i just built a new low power x86 pc... used an intel G1610 with a mini itx b75 mobo, with a picopsu clone 90wats.. it draws just 22wats in idle and 35wats is the max ive seen... it is running with an i5 750 stock cooler without a fan... completely silent

Juanjo
Philips 32PFL6606D
Intel G1620 + Gigabyte B75N + 4Gb DDR3 + Kingspek SSD 64Gb + 3TB WD Green
Hama MCE remote.
Ubuntu 14.04 minimal install + KODI 15
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#10
(2013-08-09, 15:54)joelbaby Wrote:
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: I currently run a Core i5 HTPC but am intrigued by the really low power mini pc's that are the size of a USB thumb drive

Stay with the Core i5 for now.
The CX-919 that somebody else mentioned runs on an RK3188 chip. This isn't bad, but it isn't perfect either. No linux for RK3188 at the moment, and no openelec. Maybe when the 'libstagefright' hardware acceleration builds work on RK3188 it will be worth another look.

Raspberry Pi, Pivos XIOS DS won't hold a candle to your i5. They are old technology.

Wait, because something good is on the horizon late this year, or early next year. I'd pin my bets on a new box from Pivos, or cheap and small x86 PCs based on the Haswell Celeron & Bay Trail Atom processors.

I agree. I tweeted Pivos a couple weeks ago and they said new hardware is on the horizon. I don't know when but I'm waiting on their stuff.

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#11
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: Any ThoughtsHuh

I would buy an Android TV box, not a stick, over linux.

The android interface, blown up to a TV, is completely legible from 12 feet away... so the whole experience ties in really well with XBMC.

Running Windows, Linux, or that Apple Corporation software means you have a schitzo system, part you can operate from the couch, and part you have to get up to read what's on the screen.

Android all the way.

Mark.
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#12
The point being with a system like tlbb is the underlying Linux is purely for running xbmc. You don't see it you just see xbmc.
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#13
(2013-08-10, 18:41)fredphoesh Wrote:
(2013-08-09, 05:18)DonWie63 Wrote: Any ThoughtsHuh

....
Android all the way.

Mark.

Sure... when xbmc will start working properly....
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#14
I would go with linux and have it automatically launch xbmc at boot.

It's neat that XBMC runs on Android now, but Android devices become obsolete in the blink of an eye. Very few of them receive significant updates after they're released, and I can't think of a single one that has been kept current. I want a device that I can keep updated with the latest OS, utilities, and security fixes for years after the vendor has stopped supporting it. I also want access to all the source code in the system (including drivers and boot images) and the ability to recompile or replace any part of it that I don't like. Anything that automatically phones home to Google or anyone else, or that requires me to give up functionality to prevent it from doing so, is unacceptable. Linux is the clear choice for me.
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#15
until a box like OUYA wins!
it just needs a little more and it'll be a winner!
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Android Mini PC vs. Linux Mini PC???51