10-bit HEVC HW Acceleration on AMD/ATI GPUs

  • Hello Everyone,

    I was very disappointed to find out that nVidia Graphics Cards do not support 10-bit HW Acceleration on Linux (and consequently on LibreELEC as well) due to company policy.

    Consequently, I'm thinking of switching to an AMD Graphics Card.

    Do AMD GPUs support 10-bit H.265/H.264 HW Acceleration on LibreELEC?

    If so, is a Radeon RX 550 with 2 GB RAM enough?

    Also, If so, how can I configure this? (Are special settings in xorg.conf necessary?)

    Greetings and many thanks in advance!


  • AMD has an even longer bad track record when it comes to Linux support for GPU drivers with a HTPC in mind. Almost 8-9 years by now, the Linux side of things has not been the focus of AMD developers. It's always been Windows.

    Some open-source movement is there for the newer AMD GPU cards, but the focus seems to be on games on not htpc-specific functionality... The successor for Nvidia's VDPAU support is not there yet. It's not easy to choose at the moment.

    For Intel-based pc, the best (least bad) solution is the newest Intel GPU. HDR support is in the pipe line AFAIK, so certain NUCs with the latest CPUs should be okay. M-ATX and M-ITX motherboards are harder to pick since only very few have HDMI 2.0(b) on board, most are limited to HDMI 1.4 (4K30fps).

    Otherwise, get a 'simple' S905(x)/S912 based box. Those should have all the goodies on board, graphics-wise.

  • There has been contact between developers on the AMD side of things and their work on VAAPI should (no guarantees, but should) fall into line with the future Kodi linux graphics architecture we're driving. No timescales though.

    Unless you've seen a particularly cheap AMD card to acquire I'd stick with the nVidia card for a while until the way forwards is more visible.

  • And with all due respect to my learned colleague Klojum, never buy something that has support "in the pipeline"!

  • Thanks for everyone's answers! :)

    So I guess the only alternative is nVidia Shield or Windows as a HTPC for 10-bit HEVC Support?

  • Hello guys! I wish I was smarter and researched the net before buying new TV. :-(

    I really wanted 4K HEVC 10bit HDR. I (wrongly assumed) my good ol' AMD Richland A10-6700 APU (Radeon HD 8670D) would be enough for it. It is not.

    Now, I'm thinking of changing things a little while staying on PC/LE platform (S905 is not for me). The easiest way is buying new graphics card. That's how I have gotten to this thread.

    As far as I understood LE does not have problem playing 4K. Also, It does not have problem doing it with 10bit x.265. Am I right here?

    But, I see the problem arises with HDR10 support. There are many reported problems and I understood it's Kodi's problem (at least in current stable release 17.6)

    Since LibreELEC (and before it OE) is my favorite Open source piece, I wanted to ask you what should I do? Should I buy new VGA; will it solve my problem? Should I wait for LE 9 (Kodi 18) for things to get better and then buy it?

  • HDR has a maze of dependencies and some platforms (Amlogic and Rockchip) have fewer of the jigsaw pieces missing (or more hacks to give some kind of HDR output) than others. No platform currently has a complete picture and can claim full support. Kodi v18 is ready for HDR and there is a continuous (slow) drip feed of improvements to AMD/Intel drivers over time. TL/DR; stick with your current video card and watch non-HDR things until support has evolved to a more definitive point.

  • Chewitt, thank you for responding. I guess I expected that answer :)

    Ok, I'll listen your advice and hold on for a little while. Next time I will do my homework properly before rushing into things.