ASRock Vision 3D 137B HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play - HotHardware

ASRock Vision 3D 137B HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play

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Although Home Theater PCs have been around for quite some time, they are still somewhat tough to define. For some, the term HTPC conjures up images of an ultra small form factor, low-power system that will be used for nothing more than accessing multimedia files. But for others an HTPC is more akin to a hardcore piece of A/V and entertainment equipment that can do it all—play back virtually any file type, browse the web, play games at 1080p resolutions—you name it.

The muddled state of the HTPC market is compounded further by OEMs and DIYers as well. Pre-Built home theater PCs are as varied as can be; compare the diminutive and affordable Zotac ZBox AD03 to something like an extravagant Okoro OMS-GX3000 and you’ll see what we mean. Similarly, do a quick search for HTPC in our pricing engine over there in the right margin and you’ll find a dizzying array of case options available. For the uninitiated, choosing the right HTPC setup can be daunting to say the least.

There may not be a "one size fits all" HTPC. However, there are some HTPC features that are universally (well, almost universally) desired. For one, it’s our opinion that an HTPC should be as quiet as possible. It should also be capable of any multimedia related task, it should be easy to install and use, and it should look like it belongs in its environment. Even with those guidelines in mind, an HTPC can be many things. However, it looks like ASRock, has struck a great balance between performance, form factor, and features with one of their HTPC lines and have come up with a solution that will likely please a wide swathe of potential HTPC consumers.

The ASRock Vision 3D HTPC, with NVIDIA 3DTV Play technology, is an attractive home theater PC on many levels. We show you why and how in the video below and will step through many of its features and performance on the pages ahead.

ASRock Vision 3D HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play
Specifications & Features
CPU Intel Core i3-370M Mobile Processor
Support Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 Mobile Processor Family
OS Microsoft Windows 7 / 7 64-bit / Vista / Vista 64-bit / XP / XP 64-bit compliant
*Due to VGA driver limitation, 3D function only supports Windows 7 / 7 64-bit / Vista / Vista 64-bit.
Chipset Mobile Intel HM55 Express chipset
Memory 2 x 2GB DDR3 1066MHz
Support DDR3 1066MHz, 2 x SO-DIMM slots, Max. up to 8GB*
VGA NVIDIA GeForce GT425M Graphics, NVIDIA 3D Vision, 3DTV Play Capable
HDD 500GB, 7200 rpm
Support 2.5" SATA HDD
ODD BD Combo
Front I/O 2 x USB 3.0
1 x MIC
1 x Head Phone
4-in-1 Card reader (MMC/SD/MS/MS PRO)
Rear I/O 1 x HDMI
1 x DVI-I (Dual-Link)
5 x USB 2.0
1 x S/PDIF
1 x eSATAII
1 x USB 3.0
LAN Gigabit LAN
Sound 7.1 CH HD Audio with THX TruStudio Pro
WiFi 2T2R WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Remote Controller MCE Remote Controller
Power Unit 90W/19V Adapter
Dimension 200mm(W) x 70mm(H) x 200mm(L)
Volume (liters) 2.8L
Software NVIDIA 3D TV Play software and CyberLink PowerDVD 10 OEM BD 3D

The ASRock Vision 3D HTPC offers a host of connectivity options on its front and rear. The front of the machine houses headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, an optical drive, flash card reader, a drive activity indicator and a lighted power button. On the back of the machine, users will find an HDMI output, a DVI output, an eSATA port, six more USB ports (5 x 2.0, 1 x 3.0), various audio inputs and outputs, an RJ45 LAN jack, a Kensington lock port, and a power port. About the only thing “missing” here is a Firewire port, but with USB 3.0 and eSATA available, that’s not much of a concern to us.

There are a number of accessories included with the ASRock HTPC. Along with the PC itself, ASRock throws in an IR MCE Remote Control, basic 3D glasses, a VGA to DVI adapter, a 19v power brick, user’s and quick installation guides, and a couple of CDs. One CD contains all of the drivers and utilities necessary to properly set up the machine and the other is a copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD 10.

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Sony Sucks!!! LOL!!

Where's 3vil..wait till he sees the video...hahahaha.

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That's nice SONY killed the video for copyright...

Thanks for the review it looks like a really nice machine that can really handle just about anything. Bye bye cable hello internet TV.

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Oh snap! They should put more effort into their ps3 network instead of blocking hardware videos on youtube. Did you guys bad mouth sony in the video or something? Great review though, looks like a killer little machine; a bit on the pricey side though.

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Wow, ain't that some s--t! :)

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Well, we have the Viddler version in there now. Works like a charm. ;-)

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Nice review Marco. This looks like a really good solution for someone's living room. While I can agree that is is a little pricey, if you pay it, you get something with full capabilities right out of the box. No messing around is sometimes worth the extra cash.

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After looking at just the specs I want one. This is what I wish my Intel based Mac mini was. 67 watts isn't bad for a full system under load. If they were cheaper I'd consider building a folding farm out of them, of course when the fans spin up full tilt I bet it gets loud.

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@Digitaldd - I've never heard the fan spin up in the weeks I've been using the thing.

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Marco C:

@Digitaldd - I've never heard the fan spin up in the weeks I've been using the thing.

Good to know, @ $760 with 2x2GB DDR3 1066MHz memory, 500GB, 7200 rpm hard drive, & a BD Combo Slot-in Optical Drive its looking really good to me.

 

 

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Marco C - good review, thanks.

I am using an Asus EEbox right now and having problems with 1080p films (from file) so I am thinking of getting the Asrock 3D. Would you recommend shelling out the extra cash for the 156b (with Intel Core i-5 processor)?

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