Kodi has become the go-to streaming media center for everyone from cable cutters, to anyone wanting a great media experience.
The basic requirements to run Kodi are listed as 3D capable GPU graphics hardware controller for all rendering, a Dual-core 2 GHz or better CPU, and 2GB of RAM.
Of course, Kodi can be installed and used on slower machines but becomes laggy.
The minimum hardware specification for a Kodi box should be at least 2GB RAM and an S912 CPU or better.
Page Table of Contents
Android TV Box CPUs
Best Kodi Media Center Boxes with Details and Review Links
Best High-End Boxes
Best Mid-Range Boxes
Best Budget Boxes
Best Combination Boxes
Android TV Box CPUs
Here are the basic processor’s Android TV boxes currently use and what to look for.
Keep in mind some processors will be better at a certain tasks even if they score lower. For example, while the RK3399 beats the S912 at most tasks, it lacks support for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range).
M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905X2: Good low-range CPU.
S905X3 Good mid-range CPU.
S905X4: High Performance
S912: Good low-range CPU.
RK3328: Good mid-range.
RK3399: High Performance
S922X: High Performance
NVIDIA Tegra X1: High Performance
After being sent boxes to review for the last few years here is our picks for the best options. The units come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.
In full disclosure some of these boxes have been sent to us from companies to review which we have done with our own honest opinion and results.
As always be sure to read reviews on Amazon, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks For Best Android TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center
… Best High-End Boxes
- MECOOL KM6
- Nvidia Shield
- Beelink GT King Pro
- X99 Android TV Box
- HK1 Android TV Box
- T95Z Plus
- T9 TV Box
- GPD Win 2 Handheld Game Console
The MECOOL KM6 is an Android TV box that has the S905X4 CPU and 4GB of RAM.
Many Android TV box owners are familiar with the original S905 processor with the S905X4 a big improvement faster and better.
It also has dual band WiFi-6, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 5.0, and 64GB of internal storage.
While testing it played 4K videos @60 FPS and did well at basic game play.
The WiFi tested at 71Mbps download speed which while not the best is good enough for the minimum 25Mbps 4K video requires to stream.
The MECOOL KM6 is good for basic game play along with playing 4K videos and is a very good media player.
NVIDIA Shield TV | 4K HDR Streaming Media Player
Antutu Benchmark Score 130766
The Nvidia Shield is a very popular Kodi Android TV box that has many nice features.
It has an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, 3GB Ram, 802.11ac WiFi, and USB 3.0.
Two versions can be bought 16GB and 500GB that give more internal hard drive space. Most Kodi boxes don’t give this option and have limited internal space. If you have a large video library you want to store and play a 500 GB hard drive version can be bought.
There is a new version of the Shield that has improvements over the older version.
While more costly than other options it is a nice box to run Kodi on. The Nvidia Shield combined with Kodi is definitely a cable TV killer.
TV Box, HSYPC Beelink GT King Pro TV Box , DDR4 4GB/64GB, S922X-H Quad-core ARM Cortex-A73 and Dual-core ARM Cortex-A53, 3D Video Player with Voice Remote Control 4K Android TV Box.
Antutu Benchmark Score 94811
The Beelink GT King Pro is an Android TV box that uses the S922X-H CPU along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage.
It is more compact in size and made completely from metal. It also has 4 USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and SD card slot.
The unit has a new Hi-Fi audio decoding chip which brings support for Dolby and DTS audio
The bottom line this TV box performs more or less the same as the original Beelink GT King with the same powerful performance along with fast Wi-Fi.
But of course, it has some added upgrades to the audio build quality and the ports.
All-in-all this is definitely a nice box to use with Kodi.
The X99 is an Android TV Box built to play high-resolution 4K UHD videos as well as games and other media.
AnTuTu also gave it a very good overall score of 76606 which is higher than the Fire TV Box without the restrictions.
Read Full Review Here
… Best Mid-Range Boxes
Sofobod HK1 Box Smart TV Box Android 9.0, 4GB RAM 32GB ROM, S905X3 Quad Core 64bit Cortex-A55, GPU G31 MP2, 2.4G/5G Dual WiFi BT4.0 H.265 Decoding LAN 1000 RJ-45, HD 8K：HK1BOX 4+32
Antutu Benchmark Score 72207
The HK1 Android TV Box is a low-cost media center built to stream 4K videos at 60fps along with basic game-play.
This makes it a good unit for those looking for a mid-range low-cost media center box that can play 4K video.
… Best Budget Boxes
The T95Z Plus uses the S912 Octa Core processor with 3GB of RAM.
The S912 is an improvement over the S905 and a big improvement over the S805/S812 many older boxes ship with.
While testing the WiFi was fast and maxed out a 50Mbps Download, and 5Mbps Upload connection. It also can play 720p, 1080p, or the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
The T9 Android TV box is a small unit built for those looking for a budget media center box.
It has a RK3328 CPU and 4GB of RAM which makes it great for streaming HD videos or basic game-play.
During testing, the WiFi was slow at 12Mbps Download and 9Mbps upload.
While it will stream videos it would be best to run an Ethernet cable with the T9 for the best results.
It had no problems playing HD 4K videos @60fps.
Read Here for a Full Review T9
Best Combination Boxes
GPD Win 3-5.5 Inches Mini Handheld Video Game Console GamePlayer Windows 10 Laptop UMPC 1280×720 Touch Screen Tablet PC CPU Intel i5/I7 Processor,16GB LPDDR4,1TB NVMe SSD (CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7)
The GPD Win is a Windows 10 small gaming unit that plays Kodi, games, or almost any Windows 10 software.
It has roughly the same look as a Nintendo 3DS along with a nice button layout.
It is a great device for those traveling and needing an all around entertainment device, from playing games to watching videos with Kodi.
There is a built in battery which last 5-7 hours depending what it is being played.
Kodi TV boxes have changed a lot in the last few years going from 1GB of RAM to 3GB of RAM or more.
A box with 2GB of RAM will still run Kodi but is not ideal for future updates and cost about the same for a box with 3-4GB of RAM.
The processors have also changed with new units using the S905X3, S912, S922X, or better.
Many of the older boxes are still sold so be wary of these older boxes, especially since the new ones cost almost the same.
If you want the best one available most would agree that the Nvidia Shield is still the top box to get.
Many of the lower-end cheap boxes run Kodi well but do require some technicality.
For example, during a major update there will be almost no support, if any.
With that said and having reviewed many units they do work and continue to work. I know people who bought a cheap box 2-3 years ago and continue to use it daily.
Just keep in mind if a low-cost box has a problem you will need to get a bit technical. There are lots of YouTube videos and tutorials that can help.
When buying a Kodi box read the reviews on Amazon to be sure it meets your technical ability.
While any of these boxes will run Kodi they often come with some degree of setup that may not be for everyone.