ASRock Vision 3D NetTop
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 19 November 2010. Page 7 of 7. 7 Comments

ASRock has certainly turned out to be a reliable and interesting vendor for nettop computers. They began with the simple and common Intel Atom nettops like the other hardware vendors and have since successfully expanded into more powerful systems while preserving the small form factor and keeping the power consumption at a minimum.

The ASRock Vision 3D is more than powerful to serve as once very nice Home Theater PC (HTPC) with its NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M that is compatible with VDPAU on Linux for effective GPU decoding in nearly all popular Linux multi-media applications. The Core i3 370M CPU is also plenty fast to handle multi-media encoding and other tasks. Even if you are not after a SFF PC for an HTPC, the Vision 3D system could serve well as a modest Linux desktop that would be plenty fast for nearly any task. The GeForce GT 425M fits in nicely here too for ensuring a fast, composited, tear-free environment that can also handling running a few games too, more so than any Intel IGP could with its Mesa driver.

This system also offers excellent connectivity/expansion options with eSATA and USB 3.0 support, a Blu-ray drive, and 802.11n WiFi. About the only thing we do not like about the ASRock Vision 3D system is its price tag, which is around $1,000 USD. Spending $1,000 on a multi-media PC may be a bit much to most people who purchase their desktop PCs for a lesser amount, but this is one very nice system that we are impressed by for those who are concerned about the best performance and capabilities within a very small form factor PC.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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