ASRock Vision 3D 137B HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play
Although we cover the external and internal attributes of the ASRock Vision 3D HTPC in the video on the first page of this article, we have a gallery of stills to show you as well.
Vision 3D machines are available in either black or silver finishes. But all of the systems use the same form factor and have the same complement of ports and connectors.
The Vision 3D HTPC has an understated appearance and ASRock makes no effort to stealth or otherwise hide any connectors. The fact that all of the system’s various connectors are in plain sight at all times may turn off some potential users, but we think the machine looks great. The front is home to nothing but a slot for the optical drive and a single row of ports in a decidedly uncluttered arrangement. There’s lots of stuff happening on the back of the machine, but it many situations there will only be three cables connected to the machine—power, network, and HDMI. At least, that’s how it is in our setup.
As we mentioned in our video, the ASRock Vision 3D HTPC is built up using mobile components. Various Intel Core i3 / i5 / and i7 processor options are available, but the form factor and most other features remain unchanged, save for the optical drive, which can be either a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. There is an MXM module underneath a copper heatplate that houses the machines NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M GPU; the CPU and chipset reside under another heatplate adjacent to the GPU, which is also outfitted with the system’s only cooling fan. We should point out that while the fan is not dead silent, it is very quiet. Under no circumstances did the very slight noise generated by the fan detract from the use of the PC while playing movies, music, etc. in a home theater environment.
There are currently five different models of the ASRock Vision 3D HTPC available, the Vision 3D 137B (pictured here), along with the 137D, 146B, 146D, and 156B. The "B" or "D" in the model number designates the optical drive configuration (B for Blue-Ray, D for DVD), and the higher model number machines are equipped with progressively faster processors. The Core i3-370M in the model we tested, however, proved to be more than fast enough for every multimedia task we threw at the machine, though.