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

    I am planing on doing the same thing. Been trying it out with my notebook and like the way it's working with my HDHomerun Prime, so it looks like I'm losing a notebook but gaining an HTPC that's going to use little power and can be unplugged and still used as a laptop when needed. Now I have to get an good size external HDD and I am set. The nice thing is when the notebook is in use as a notebook I can use my desktop PC and Xbox combination to record/watch TV.
  • IntoxicatedPuma - Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - link

    Yeah you could easily by an Asus U36 series for around $600-$650 with similar performance. I don't know that I agree with the article about desktop CPU's being noisy and hot. For half the price of that machine, you could build an H61 machine with a 2100T, same hard drive, and equivalent video card that was about the same size and used about the same amount of power, and wouldn't run any hotter or be any noticeably louder.
  • yottabit - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Regarding the line:
    "We are a little worried about the full loading power consumption being more than what the power supply is rated for"

    I'm not sure this is true since you are comparing apples to oranges. Power supplies are typically rated for DC OUTPUT but you are comparing the rated DC output to the draw at the wall. Assuming the PSU is 80% efficient, then a 90W rating should equal approximately 90W/0.8= 112.5 W at the wall. Just a food for thought, I see this error commonly.
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the pointer. The power consumption of > 109 W is still more than that of the first generation Vision 3D which was 82 W. This still makes us worried. I am trying to determine the power efficiency of the PSU (Delta Electronics ADP-90CD DB).
  • Angengkiat - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Hi Ganesh,
    Any idea what software to use if we want to play 3D nicely on the machine, cos I am using TMT5 but it does not seem to be able to display the same 3D effects compared to a dedicated bluray player?

  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    That is a bit surprising. TMT 5 has full 3D Blu-ray support. Maybe the 3D Blu-ray player is assuming some settings which have to be configured in TMT 5 (like the depth of view). Also, did you run the NVIDIA 3D display setup?
  • MichaelD - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    $1.2K. REALLY? That's just nuts. Nice piece of hardware, but not worth what they're asking for it. Plus at this pricepoint there had better be an SSD in there. At least a 64GB for the OS and programs. There's enough room in the chassis for a second 2.5" drive. They should've done a 2-drive, SSD/HD combo at this price.
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Agreed :) I have recommended the same to ASRock.
  • tctc - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Hi - couple of questions about the twin GPU configuration

    1. What determines which GPU is used by a particular application?
    2. Can the iGPU be disabled so that only the NVIDIA 540 is used?

  • ganeshts - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Yes, this is handled by Virtu. If you don't install Virtu, the 540M is the only one that is used. You need Virtu to choose applications for which the iGPU gets used (commonly MediaConverter / any app for which you want to use QuickSync)

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