Broadcom Crystal HD Mini-PCIe or Similar

  • Really? That processor is more than 10 years old. :rolleyes:

    If you invest into a mini-PCI-e graphic card, you will still suffer from slow data bus. That's a bottleneck for modern media formats.

    Better use your money for a new Intel NUC or an RPi4B, depending on the media standards you want to play.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • These days there is nothing "add-on" like the broadcom card (which had horrible drivers btw) so it's more economical and sensible to change the whole device. The eco-friendly negative of "dumping" the old box is somewhat offset by switching to something that uses considerably less power to run.

  • Really? That processor is more than 10 years old. :rolleyes:

    If you invest into a mini-PCI-e graphic card, you will still suffer from slow data bus. That's a bottleneck for modern media formats.

    Better use your money for a new Intel NUC or an RPi4B, depending on the media standards you want to play.

    It works very fast in general, boots faster than an android box with the SSD, and its more than fine for watching 1080p movies and I have ordered an Athlon II X3 420E for like 10$. HVEC is playing but skipping frames, this will be fixed with the new 420E cpu.


    Without the upgrades it smokes the android ugoos UT4 I had before also it has space for a 3.5'' HDD where I can install my 6TB drive and will no longer need my NAS that was ON 24/7.


    The whole experience is very pleasing even if its 10 years old and it works with all the movies I currently have. At the moment I don't need 4K. Plus repurposing it its FREE and it will replace my old android box + my NAS box.

  • I don't have anything against old hardware, I just wouldn't invest more money into it.

    If Full-HD is OK, then an RPi3B+ will do for most streaming services.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • I don't have anything against old hardware, I just wouldn't invest more money into it.

    If Full-HD is OK, then an RPi3B+ will do for most streaming services.

    I just bought a CPU for 10$ and a HDD caddy for 5$ to replace the optical drive with a SSD. So now I can have a SSD for the OS and a 6TB drive for my movies. Everything else I already had.


    I don't think a RPi3B+ will be any faster from the Zino for sure it will consume like 1/10th the power but I can't install my HDD in it. I am trying to consolidate things.

  • You can attach the HDD to the RPi, if you put it into a case. RPi has good software support, which is important to be future-proofed. I think an RPi is a minimalist solution.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • I don't think a RPi3B+ will be any faster from the Zino for sure it will consume like 1/10th the power but I can't install my HDD in it. I am trying to consolidate things.

    I can appreciate you're trying to consolidate, but you're also building yourself into a blind alley unfortunately.

    As others have said, for the money an RPi3B+ will take some beating, it's well supported and you'd obviously just need an additional HDD enclosure (or DIY your own etc)

  • The Pi does not have a SATA interface and I will have to use USB. I have done that in the past with different devices and it was not as reliable as SATA.


    It would work most of the time but there were times that I would try to watch a movie only to find that the usb drive was disconnected and I need to unplug-replug it. Plus I have noticed that in some USB enclosure the HDDs spin constantly and don't power down when not in use this is not happening while connected to SATA.


    So I made myself a tiny atom based NAS running CentOS and used it with my Ugoos Android box. Now it seems like a good idea to replace both those devices with the Zino ( Android + NAS = should be about the wattage of Zino )and so far the experience is better than what i previously had.


    Thanks for the help guys


    So to sum up add on cards like the Broadcom Crystal HD Mini-PCIe are no longer supported and the only offloading the CPU can do is to a real not onboard Nvidia/AMD GPU.


    Correct ?

    Edited once, last by Biomecanoid: Merged a post created by Biomecanoid into this post. ().

  • So to sum up add on cards like the Broadcom Crystal HD Mini-PCIe are no longer supported and the only offloading the CPU can do is to a real not onboard Nvidia/AMD GPU. Correct ?

    Preference for GPU vendor is #1 Intel > #2 AMD > #3 nVidia .. because nVidia does not support GBM (only their proprietary alernative, EGL streams) and Kodi does not support EGL Streams; so when we drop X11 support and use GBM/V4L2 on everything (hopefully for LE11) an nVidia card will not work with LE anymore. You'd still have the option to use Kodi under another distro, but not LE.

  • Preference for GPU vendor is #1 Intel > #2 AMD > #3 nVidia .. because nVidia does not support GBM (only their proprietary alernative, EGL streams) and Kodi does not support EGL Streams; so when we drop X11 support and use GBM/V4L2 on everything (hopefully for LE11) an nVidia card will not work with LE anymore. You'd still have the option to use Kodi under another distro, but not LE.

    OK that explains why the hardware acceleration settings in KODI seem to work with the onboard graphics of the Zino.

  • Major update:


    The AMD Athlon II X3 420E CPU is here. I have installed it, applied new thermal paste, booted up the Zino CPU is detected fine and Libreelec is performing much better.


    I can finally watch x265 HVEC movies properly instead of stuttering. So far everything is stable but will know soon enough if it mi-behaves because I use it every day.


    Now I am still waiting for the HDD caddy and the mini-pcie WiFi card.


    So far I am happy the Zino is a big upgrade from the Ugoos UT4 android box that I had before that was supposed to be 4K but it reality could not even play 1080p HVEC movies.