ASRock 3D Vision Reviewed
I’ve been following the 3D Vision for a couple months because it is one of the first full featured SFF pre-bulit HTPC available that actually look like they belong in the A/V stack. Sporting HDMI 1.4 (3D MVC support and bit streaming) via Nvidia’s newest lineup of GPUs it should be pretty future proof, although with Sandy Bridge coming in a few months reducing components will cut back on cost and heat. I’m a big fan of Ganesh’s work and he doesn’t leave much unanswered on this one, so well worth a read.
ASRock started introducing small form factor (SFF) HTPCs last year.
Their first play in the market was an ION based Atom nettop, and it
could best be termed as an entry-level machine. While being a good fit
as a secondary HTPC, it failed to satisfy the power users. Absence of HD
audio bitstreaming and lack of processing power for many common HTPC
tasks were important reasons. In an effort towards alleviating these
concerns, ASRock introduced a mainstream SFF HTPC a couple of months
back, namely, the Core 100. With a Core i3 mobile processor combined
with the integrated Arrandale IGP, things started to look good for the
SFF HTPC space. We had unreserved praise for the Core 100, but the Intel
HD Graphics did have some shortcomings for the purists in terms of
support for the latest Blu-Ray features and potential for gaming.