The ASRock Vision 3D 252B package contained the following:

  1. Main unit in a 2.5L chassis (200mm x 200mm x 70mm)
  2. 90W AC / DC adapter
  3. Media Center remote with batteries
  4. Support CD with drivers and miscellaneous software
  5. SATA and power cables / screws for user installation of second hard disk

The industrial design is unchanged from the previous generation, and the pleasing round edges are a step up from the CoreHT series.

When compared with the first generation Vision 3D, we find that one of the USB 2.0 ports in the back panel has been replaced with a USB 3.0 port. The front panel is identical in both versions.

Just like a notebook, this unit also supports simultaneous display on two monitors. Testing was done mostly with the HDMI output connected to a Elite VSX-32 from Pioneer, and then to a Sony KDL46EX720 1080p 3D TV. For non-media playing related testing, the HDMI port was connected to an Acer H243H 1080p monitor.

Our review unit shipped with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and a OEM version of Cyberlink PowerDVD for Blu-Ray playback. However, the OEM version has a number of missing features such as lack of HD audio decode. To test these, we installed the full versions of both Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 as well as ArcSoft Total Media Theater 5.

We will conclude this section with a table to summarize the data and A/V connectivity options for the ASRock Vision 3D 252B HTPC.

A/V Connectivity Options for the ASRock Vision 3D 252B
Option Status
HDMI Yes [v1.4a]
Component No
Composite No
VGA Yes (with Adapter - Not Supplied)
SPDIF Yes [Optical]
Stereo Yes
Data Connectivity Options for the ASRock Vision 3D 252B
Option Status
Optical Disk Drive Yes [Blu-Ray / DVD-RW]
USB Yes [4 x v2.0, 4 x v3.0]
eSATA Yes [1 x v3]
LAN Yes [ 1000 Mbps GbE ]
Internal HDD Yes [ 750 GB ]
WiFi Yes [ 300 Mbps 2T2R 802.11n ]
Card Reader Yes


Introduction System Teardown and Analysis
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  • Southernsharky - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    As other people have noted, you could just buy a laptop with almost all of these specs, except for the 750 gb HD for 1/2 this price. You could buy a quad core laptop and an external hard drive for less than $800. This product screams rip off.
  • blackbrrd - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    You can get 1tb laptop hdds for around 100$, so that's not really a problem
  • BPB - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    My issue would then be speed. You can get 1TB notebook drives cheaper these days, but the speed is 5200rpm and 5400rpm. I wonder how they would handle recording 3 HD shows?
  • blackbrrd - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    A typical HD movie of 2 hours takes maybe 4gb which comes down to about 0.5mbyte/s. Writing three hd streams at a time (1.5mbyte/s) shouldn't be a problem. I haven't tried it though.
  • seanleeforever - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - link

    A typical HD movie of 2 hours takes maybe 4gb which comes down to about 0.5mbyte/s.

    how about 3 times as much? at 4GB you are talking about DVD quality, which is no where near HD level.
  • lenkiatleong - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    I am puzzle how you can bitstream HD audio via optical as quoted "..when playing back a 1080p24 Blu-ray movie from the optical drive with HD audio bistreaming.". Do you mean Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master?

    Another question is, can the HDMI bitsream Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD master using PowerDVD 12 to your AV?
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Yes, the HDMI can bitstream HD audio using PDVD 12. Of course, through optical SPDIF, only Dolby DIgital and DTS can be bistreamed. Note that when I mentioned optical drive, I meant the Blu-ray drive as opposed to something from the hard disk or an externally attached hard drive / over the network.
  • lenkiatleong - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - link

    Thank you for the clarification. There is another thing which i have in doubt from day one. It would be good if you could enlighten us.

    The question: Is there any difference if one uses HTPC like this AsRock (bluray ISO source or optical drive, PDVD12 and HDMI) to feed HD audio (Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master) and HD video to mid/high end AV as compare to using average bluray player in the market?
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - link

    In most cases, no. The reason is that you are at the mercy of NVIDIA drivers for certain functionality, and if they get broken in a certain driver release, you might not get perfect output (scaling from 4:2:0 Blu-ray video to 4:2:2 / 4:4:4 needed by HDMI for transportation may be achieved by different algorithms in the case of hardware Blu-ray players / even the NVIDIA driver algorithm might not be perfect). Note that a hardware player itself is not guaranteed to do this properly either.
  • DerPuppy - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Not sure if I'm a little behind somewhere, but is there a simple/straightforward guide to configuring a media player like MPC-HC somewhere for one to peruse in the interest of properly configuring a media center? or would anandtech be interested in creating or maintaining one?

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