This Old Box
#1
It's good to see that Kodi can run on fairly old, lower-spec hardware.  I have an old PC that was collecting dust in the closet and was considering even getting rid of it since it was under powered for most games.  Instead, I decided to see if it could be used as an HTPC.  It is a Dell Inspiron Zino HD 400 released late 2009.

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It is more or less a copy of the Mac Mini design except with Windows 7 x64.  I reformatted the hard drive and installed Windows 10 Pro x64 1903 then Kodi 18.3 with a few plugins including Netflix.

Here are the specs:

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Despite the low end GPU it is able to play 1080P streams smoothly.

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Local HD content also plays smoothly.

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All the system drivers are Windows installed since Dell only has drivers for Vista/7 on its website.  I did initially have problems getting a good WIFI connection with the built-in Dell WLAN 1397 Mini card - it appeared to be a driver issue since it worked fine in Windows 7.  I couldn't find a solution so I ended up getting a USB AC600 Wifi dongle which had its own drivers for 10.  Money well spent because not only do I get an even stronger signal than I ever got with the built-in WIFI but the dongle connects to 5GHz 802.11ac (my router is AC1900 and is in a different room ~50 feet away).  The built-in was 802.11g 2.4GHz.

Granted, this PC is probably on the bare minimum specs required for Kodi 1080P.  I haven't tried 2K/4K or even 10bit HEVC but I sincerely doubt it would work or if it did, probably 100% CPU/GPU and dropping frames like crazy.

So what's the oldest, lowest spec PC anyone else has gotten Kodi to run smoothly on?
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#2
Hrm, so if I read the specs correctly, it'll take MXM 3.0 graphics cards?  I wonder if there's anything in that form factor that would give you HEVC decoding.
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#3
Not with this model (Zino HD 400) - I would need to have The HD 410 series which come with MXM graphics and can be upgraded.  I'm just happy that I was able to give new life to an old under powered PC.  I also didn't want to invest any money into it - I didn't mind buying the WIFI adapter because that's USB and can be used with any other PC I have.
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#4
(2019-08-17, 11:23)ClippyBeer Wrote: Not with this model (Zino HD 400) - I would need to have The HD 410 series which come with MXM graphics and can be upgraded.  I'm just happy that I was able to give new life to an old under powered PC.  I also didn't want to invest any money into it - I didn't mind buying the WIFI adapter because that's USB and can be used with any other PC I have.

My bad, I was Googling specs since I wasn't familiar with this particular Mini PC and I musta found slightly incorrect info. Smile
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#5
(2019-08-16, 15:36)ClippyBeer Wrote: It's good to see that Kodi can run on fairly old, lower-spec hardware.  I have an old PC that was collecting dust in the closet and was considering even getting rid of it since it was under powered for most games.  Instead, I decided to see if it could be used as an HTPC.  It is a Dell Inspiron Zino HD 400 released late 2009.

Image

It is more or less a copy of the Mac Mini design except with Windows 7 x64.  I reformatted the hard drive and installed Windows 10 Pro x64 1903 then Kodi 18.3 with a few plugins including Netflix.

Here are the specs:

Image

Image

Image

Despite the low end GPU it is able to play 1080P streams smoothly.

Image

Local HD content also plays smoothly.

Image

All the system drivers are Windows installed since Dell only has drivers for Vista/7 on its website.  I did initially have problems getting a good WIFI connection with the built-in Dell WLAN 1397 Mini card - it appeared to be a driver issue since it worked fine in Windows 7.  I couldn't find a solution so I ended up getting a USB AC600 Wifi dongle which had its own drivers for 10.  Money well spent because not only do I get an even stronger signal than I ever got with the built-in WIFI but the dongle connects to 5GHz 802.11ac (my router is AC1900 and is in a different room ~50 feet away).  The built-in was 802.11g 2.4GHz.

Granted, this PC is probably on the bare minimum specs required for Kodi 1080P.  I haven't tried 2K/4K or even 10bit HEVC but I sincerely doubt it would work or if it did, probably 100% CPU/GPU and dropping frames like crazy.

So what's the oldest, lowest spec PC anyone else has gotten Kodi to run smoothly on?


Hello Clippy,

I am currently trying the same thing . I have. A Zino 410 HD with windows 10 but chrome will load pages and won’t download and Java throws up an error ? Did you face any issues with yours ? Kodi is on just doing a build
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#6
Windows 10 is a pig especially on older hardware such as our ZINO PCs.  I had to disable a lot of the pre-installed bloat (find my phone, etc.) in order for Windows 10 to run and not crawl.  I'm not sure why you're having problems with Chrome, maybe an extension is causing problems.  Try disabling all your extensions and see if it works, then enable them one by one until you isolate the problematic extension.

If all else fails try a different browser.
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#7
Unless you absolutely need to run Windows, why not either try LibreElec, which is optimised for Kodi, or a generic Linux distro?
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#8
I did, Kodi 18.3 with Lubuntu 18.  Was working fine but for one annoying thing - if I enabled system screensavers they would kick in while I was watching any video.  In Windows they only kick in if the video is paused.  Couldn't find any solution so I am sticking with Windows on this PC.
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#9
To fix that in my case with Xubuntu as a base I just uninstalled all the screen saver packages. In the case of 20.04 I believe gnome-screensaver, light-locker, and xfce4-screensaver. Never had that happen again, although that shouldn't be the ideal answer of course.
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