ASRock Core HT HTPC (Sandybridge) Review

We reviewed one of the first ASRock Core systems, the ION 330 which was based on the Ion platform and was not the fastest system in the world. It’s great to see ASRock stay behind the product and continue to improve it, this time up with Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform.

The ASRock Core HT HTPC is a fantastic system which is generally very responsive, thanks to the capable Core i5 2520M processor which is clocked at 2.5ghz. While the Intel HD 3000 graphics is certainly not going to win any performance awards, it does offer video/media hardware acceleration and it can cope with non demanding gaming engines at 720p resolution, ideal for casual gaming in a living room environment. As long as there are no expectations that it will power demanding games such as Total War Shogun 2 at 1080p, then we think a wide audience will appreciate the overall balance.


  • Just curious – Other than

    Just curious – Other than aesthetics and maybe pricing(?), what would the advantage of using such a system for HTPC duties be over using a comparable laptop?

    This system appears very similar to a laptop (in a SFF case) and seems to be using motherboard, RAM and similar expansion/upgrade capabilities (no extra PCI-E slots) as a laptop. Unlike a laptop however, it does not have a built-in screen, keyboard or battery in case the user wants to use it disconnected from the monitor/TV.



  • I’m not sure, but in theory

    I’m not sure, but in theory the graphics capabilities of a similarly priced desktop platform board should outperform it’s laptop counterpart. I’ve never done a side by side test, but that’s how it use to be.