ASRock Vision 3D 252B HTPC Review

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The ASRock Vision 3D 252B performed very well throughout our entire battery of tests. Its performance in comparison to the other HTPC and low-power systems we tested was excellent and power consumption was somewhat lower than the previous-gen Vision 3D PC we tested. Within the confines of a system designed to be an HTPC though, the user experience is also a big factor in determining performance, and in this regard the ASRock Vision 3D 252B excelled. The system’s combination of high-performance components and a GeForce GPU allowed it to flawlessly playback all of the media we tested.


The ASRock Vision 3D HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play

We think home theater PCs should conform to certain criteria. They need to be quiet and low power. An HTPC also needs to be easy to connect and use and capable and playing back a wide range of media types. It should also be unobtrusive, able to blend in with other AV equipment, and hopefully be aesthetically pleasing. In our opinion, ASRock has hit the mark on all points.

The ASRock Vision 3D’s use of mobile components results in relatively low power consumption and its active cooling solution is never loud or annoying. The components used in the system also offer strong performance and allowed ASRock to design a small chassis that we think looks great. The system also offers a host of connectivity options and since there's an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU on board, it’s compatible with a wide range of operating systems, HTPC front-ends, and can playback virtually any file type with the correct software.

The only caveats are price and availability. ASRock’s HTPC systems are somewhat tough to come by in the US and they are priced at a premium. The Vision 3D 252B model we tested sells for about $900+, which is no small chunk of change. Please keep in mind, however, that if you were to try and build a system like this yourself, similarly performing parts alone would cost upwards of $700, which includes a mini-ITX case. Factor in the time it would take to assemble the system and the cost of software like Cyberlink’s PowerDVD which is included with ASRock’s Vision 3D machine and the price disparity gets even smaller. Even then, you wouldn’t be able to build a system as compact and it likely wouldn’t have as many ports either.

We’re big fans of ASRock’s mini-PC and HTPC systems. If you’ve got the means and are in the market for a system like the ASRock Vision 3D, it is absolutely worthy of consideration.

  • Great Performance
  • Small Form Factor
  • Quiet Operation
  • Flexible Connectivity Option
  • Good Looking

 

  • Pricey
  • Higher Power Consumption Than Fusion or Atom based HTPCs

Tags:  Nvidia, Intel, Blu-ray, HTPC, 3D, ASRock

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