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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  • BPB - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Hook this up with an HDHomeRun Prime and you have one heck of a DVR. It will do lots more than any of the other items you mentioned.

    But, the point about the Mac Mini is a good one, you can just buy one of those, load Windows for $100, and you're good to go (sans blu-ray).
  • Southernsharky - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    HP Pavilion dv6-6c50us Notebook Intel Core i5 2450M(2.50GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 750GB HDD 5400rpm BD Combo Intel HD Graphics 3000

    In stock.
    Was: $799.99
    Now: $759.99

    Ok yes it only has 6gb of memory, but it also has a quad core processor... and of course a screen and that sort of thing.... And oh yeah... its 759.99.

    Its even got the 750gb HD.......
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    That would compare with the Core HT 252B we reviewed earlier (There is no dGPU in that model).

    Add the dGPU, and the laptop cost would turn out to be similar to that of the system here. The only difference is the screen (we have analyzed this in the first generation Vision 3D review), and the reason the laptop turns out cheaper is because of the economies of scale (more laptops are bound to be sold compared to the number of such HTPCs).
  • Wurmer - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    I agree with many posters here, 1190.00 $ for an HTCP is way too much money. I've built a few by mostly salvaging parts from older computers. Some may argue that I don't get the best power efficiency by doing is so but I certainly save a bundle of cash in parts. Anyways, you don't need a super powerful rig to play Blue ray and store media. A good mid end rig of three years ago is plenty good for HTCP usage. I got some parts on the cheap so my next HTPC will include an AMD x3 455, 8 gig of rams and cheap MSI board, GT 430. The only thing I'll be spending cash on this time around is a dedicated HTPC case from Lian Li (200.00$) which should last me many years. The only real thing that is expensive with that kind of built is the storage since the last year or so HHD prices have gone through the roof and if you use you HTPC quite a bit then you need some serious storage space.
  • philipma1957 - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Yeah I agree I even set about building a htpc/gamer with new parts.

    an intel 2500t 210 or a 2500k for 210 I have both.
    a crucial ssd 199
    a wd 2tb hdd 99
    a passive gpu card hd7750 140 or a hd6870 with a fan for 150 I have both,
    a mobo 130
    samsung ram 80
    a cheap rosewill case 25
    a seasonic psu 110
    a samsung bluray 65
    total 1058

    add soft ware and a tuner and you are at 1.2k all new parts. functionally it is just better.

    It will game that gpu gets 7.4 on wei and if you sub a hd6870 you can game at almost all games. I know I have a hd6870 and it runs hotter uses more power but gamers better and gets a 7.8 for wei.

    now if you are in an apartment and are really tight for space this unit makes sense over my build.

    If you have rack space this unit does not make sense at least to me it doesn't. my wei scores are 7.3 for the cpu and 7.4 for the gpu. and 7.8 for all other. if you swap the 2500k and the hd6870 you get 7.8 for all score . same price but more watts used. this all fits in a 14 by 14 by 7 inch case.

    I can't see using the asrock unless space is really really really tight.
  • Scannall - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    A Mac Mini with an i7 and a real video card is $4.00 less. And a better machine.
  • Wurmer - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    I've considered the mac mini but the IGP Intel 3000 is a bit weak and the one with the optional AMD GPU is not much more powerful. When the Mac mini gets Ivy bridge and Intel 4000 IGP things will be more interesting I think.
  • justniz - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - link

    This unit comes with an IR receiver.
    Why are most manufacturers still producing/supporting IR remotes instead of wireless remotes?
    Wireless remotes have many advantages and no disadvantages, such as better range, including through walls, they still work in bright sunlight, and theres no need to point the remote at the receiver.
    The ergonomics of remotes is limited by the need to point them. Without that limitation their whole design could be improved.
  • JSt0rm01 - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - link

    for $99 you can get a apple tv that while it has way less raw "features" Has the ability to stream content from your main system and stream from the internet all in 1080p with 5.1 digital audio output. I dont see how these feature sets are worth $900 more then the feature set of a apple tv or roku.


    Also, after being a member of the anandtech forums for 10 years I was permanently banned by the moderators there because they wanted to censor a website ( that had conversation that was critical of their moderation. I find that the free flow of all information on the internet is critical. For a tech website such as this to limit the flow of information is offensive the core of these beliefs and its all because certain people in positions of illusory power deem that information detrimental to their positions.
  • axellslade - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - link

    I just built a brand new HTPC but I can't seem to be able to find the VESA mounting holes on the side of my HAF X. And it's weighting like a ton. I think I did something wrong.

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