Most powerful hardware for libreelec and emulation for under £200

  • Hi all, as the title states it all.

    After looking at the Nvidia shield for some time, I'm just not sure it warrants the £200 cost for what you get. Therefore I would like a cheaper option which ideally can handle up to GameCube emulation (dolphin) as well as run libreelec, ideally from the same interface (without having to swap SD cards etc.) I currently run a pi3, and as much as I love them, they are always not powerful enough to run decent emulation or now some of the newer 10bit 256 formats.

    Ideally I want one interface which I can switch between Kodi / gaming for under £200.

    Is this possible or do I need to spend a bit more?

  • It kinda comes down to how much playing around you want to do...

    The shield is ok and pretty stable for what you get but the downside is its not really all that open to development...

    Probably the best bang for your bucks would be a 4 gig N2 or RockPro64 sbc board as they are pretty flexible but the downside with both of them is they are still heavily under development when it comes to the hardware side of the GPU stack... Things are getting better with both but i would suggest to do a bit of reading on both before deciding which way to go as one is Amlogic driven while the other is Rockchip and depending on what your intent is the teeter-totter is not perfectly balanced...

    As well theres the Raspberry 4 (i can't say much about as i don't own one). the same goes for the Allwinner driven devices...

    The other option would be to look at something like the H2 which would get you out from lack of GPU hardware support issues found on both the Amlogic and Rockchip devices as the board is Intel based (more like a regular PC), but again its new and still being developed...

  • Tinkering doesn't bother me, however I would prefer something that works, specifically graphically. I've had the first odroid when it first came out and that suffered with a lack of driver support for a long while, in the end I settled with a pi and have been there ever since, as picture quality wise it's hard to beat.

    So when you say still being developed, do you they are not usable yet or they are usable but you get small bugs like artifacts etc?

    Can you give me the full description of the H2 type device?

    Long ago before the odroids, pi's, etc I had a mini pc from Maplin for about £250. It was great and Kodi ran really well (openelec Linux I think) and I had it for years before the fan died (and proved costly to replace), but it lacked in emulator support. So I would be happy with this, preferably fanless and low powered.

  • For that price you could consider the Odroid H2, which is x86_64. It will beat the crap out of any ARM based SBC on the market and even run Dolphin well. Intel's Linux support has gotten very good these days and the Mesa Iris/anv drivers are excellent.

    Or take the step up to for example an Intel NUC7i3. You might even be able to find it used for cheap.

  • escalade Hey thanks for that recommendation, the odroid h2 is now a front runner! Going to have a look a bit more at the support side, but it's a real tempter!