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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  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - link

    As nice as it looks, I'll pass.

    Cool PC, bro --but there are options that will get this job done equally well, for far less. Ones that don't have Asrock's track record for awful customer support if something goes wrong (having owned one of their high-end mainboards briefly, I experienced that personally).

    Less expensive options have desktop CPU upgrade options too. The mobile Sandy Bridge systems currently out aren't upgradeable to mobile Ivy Bridge, so I doubt this is, either.
  • cjmccarthy72 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    I almost dare not admit to owning one of these- I can imagine the comments especially from the build your own brigade....

    But I got one just before Christmas and it is a real box of joy. I stuck a SSD from my previous HTPC inside it and this goes like the wind. Large photo, music and movie collection load really quick in WMC. Streams HD media with ease. Extremely quiet- the fans on my plasma are more audible!

    Very small- and yet it is truly a one box solution- despite this review I can play most games like Street Fighter IV at full spec on it.

    I live in tiny city centre flat and so yes it is expensive, but it beats having a laptop or desktop on the floor, taking up space. Paired with a soundbar and HD tv it means very little space is taken up with my equipment and so my wife is happy. It means that my AV cabinet is now taken up with more family friendly boxes- Scrabble, Monopoly, Battleships!

    Last, but not least, it has Blu-Ray- now if only Windows 8 supported it natively....
  • allensays - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    I can do the same things with my similarly spec'd Asus K73S laptop, then unplug it, go out on the deck or take it to the beach...

    ...For much LESS $.

    What a waste.
  • cjmccarthy72 - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    I'm happy for you- no beach or deck where I am I am afraid- & lots of rain at the moment here unfortunately... but also no USA Amazon so no "similarly spec'd Asus K73S laptop". Our Amazon has listed only an Asus K73S- but this only has an i3 cpu, dvd only, 4gb ram only, 320gb hard-drive only - all for $852 equivalent price in dollars. So you clearly have the better deal your end.
    I have a company laptop which sounds like a jet taking off so I like the silence of this HTPC but I also use it as my PVR so want it hooked up all the time- yet hidden away without my family needing to plug it in and hook it up. + I can do some limited upgrades with it. My last HTPC, a Sony VGX-XL, was also relatively expensive- but I had it for over 5 years before I sold it and so thought that was a reasonable investment.

    But clearly for some people this would be a waste- I agree- no argument. However as an owner I thought I would add an opinion about this HTPC, as the majority of comments here only deal with the price.
  • iq100 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    There are better alternatives to the $50 JRiver MediaCenter game. Did you know that JRiver will charge you again and again for each new release? Worse is their censorship. Criticize them, post about alternatives, and you will be BANNED for life. And they will get their 'commercial friends' to do the same. These folks are NOT like anandtech. They are not about sharing ideas. They add on free GNU softward without embracing the spirit of open source code. They are about commercial money wars. If they were Egypt, or Iran, or Iraq, the would kill your right to speak.

    the best way to delete an idea is to post one of your own.
  • ix400 - Sunday, June 3, 2012 - link

    Or is there an alternative tool for finding out the exact refresh rate of the display?
  • iq100 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    With MPC-HC:

  • ix400 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    ... but this tool doesn't show me a precise value of the refresh rate that is actually set.
  • iq100 - Friday, June 8, 2012 - link


    You can do this in java:

  • shurik_1 - Thursday, August 2, 2012 - link

    try to create couple of dozen gig archive on another PC. create a parity set. corrupt a few bits. transfer to Vision 3D. try to repair and see for yourself what happens...

    I have complained to ASRock about this and was forced to send entire PC for repairs (no they do not refund shipping costs you have to swallow it). Only change is that BIOS now is 1.10c instead of 1.10. A friend of mine managed to get from their support the actual BIOS without shipping back and indeed it solved his issues as well.

    Now I try to update memory to 16GB and the issue is back. Had to go back to 8GB. It's been over a month since I reported this new issue to them and still no fix.

    Note that they never acknowledged the issue and never posted updated BIOS to their site. Customers data gets silently corrupted meanwhile...

    Other than that is has everything I wanted in HTPC.

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