Hey, I'm new here and just cobbled together a new HTPC. I was running Kodi v13 or less for a few years on an old budget i3 laptop with a cracked screen, eventually it died (probably due to being always on in a drawer with the lid closed for years).
So i threw a J3355B-ITX, an old SSD and the laptops RAM into a ten year old desktop chassis and installed LibreELEC. It's been great, the old laptop wouldn't play HEVC above 720p and this one plays just about anything I throw at it.
Anyways, seeing as Apollo Lake barely came out I can't find much online about it that isn't in German. I was hoping to get user feedback, issues and experiences with people using Apollo Lake.
For example, I initially tried installing the latest stable build of OpenELEC and it didn't work, gave me a "failed to start xorg, is your GPU supported" error. Because of this i found out about LibreELEC and tried it, but I got the same error. So I installed the latest Alpha build (7.9.008) and all is working well!
So in summary, if you are planning to use Apollo Lake right now, it seems you'll have to use the Alpha build. Which makes sense, but I didn't know and it took a bit of time to work through to that solution.
Another thing that has come up is HEVC 4K playback.
The ASRock Specifications page states that this board supports 4K (UHD) @ 30Hz via HDMI and it has 10 bit HEVC decoding. Which to me seems good enough for about the next 10 years (as I have almost no content of any resolution above 24Hz anyways).
So naturally one of the first things I did was play some HEVC jellyfish test files.
NOTE: My system currently only has 8GB of SINGLE channel DDR3 which I've read can be an issue for 4K playback.
This was also being piped from an external HDD, but it's USB 3.0 so I'm doubting that was an issue.
NOTE: CPU usage is CPU-Kodi value from Debug Log (as far as I can tell it just adds the load of the two cores)
1080p 90Mbps Main10 - stuttering (CPU avg ~160% max 197%, avg 35FPS)
1080p 110Mbps Main - perfect (CPU avg ~30% max 37%, constant 60FPS)
2160p 120Mbps Main10 - stuttering (CPU avg ~185% max 199%, avg 17FPS)
2160p 250Mbps H264 - perfect (CPU avg ~ 42% max 55%, avg 60FPS)
Jellyfish doesn't have any 8 bit HEVC UHD content so I used the "Demo LG Ultra-HD/4K/IPS - View the Feeling"
2160p 24.9Mbps 8bit - perfect (cpu avg ~34%, max 44%, constant 60FPS)
All of these results are just my general outtakes from observing the debug log while the videos are running, not AT ALL conclusive. (Apparently the "O" shortcut from viewing system info doesn't work on the latest Kodi build).
So, 10 bit HEVC isn't working on my system. Certainly worth knowing as I know Apollo Lake is something many HTPC users were looking at for low powered 10 bit 4K playback. The single channel RAM may be an issue but CPU usage suggests that HW decoding isn't happening. I'll report back when I have dual channel, but I'm guessing that Linux/Kodi/LibreElec don't yet support the drivers/behind the scenes features to enable 10 bit HEVC on apollo lake, I don't know though.
Anyways, please chime in with your own Apollo Lake experiences and issues!