Last summer we reviewed the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-powered NetTop computer that had come out of this vendor known for their affordable motherboards. The NetTop ION 330 combined an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA's ION platform to provide a low-power PC while offering modest computing and graphics capabilities. Earlier this year we then reviewed the ION 330HT-BD, which was ASRock's revised nettop with more features and was topped off with a Blu-ray drive for greater media capabilities. Today we are now reviewing the ASRock Core 100HT, which is their newest nettop and it boasts an Intel Core i3-330M processor with 4GB of DDR3 system memory, a 500GB hard drive, and is completed with USB 3.0 and 802.11n wireless network connectivity.
Nice coverage of the various HTPC options but It would be especially useful if you could do more in depth testing of the sound and video support on those...
I'm referring to CPU load while playing various 1080p sources to see how much the Intel (or others) video decoding offloads the CPU.
But most importantly, I'm curious to see how those newer models handle HD audio. ie. LPCM/bitstreaming supported? (sadly only under windows so far but still) HDMI sound automatically detected under XBMC?
Keep up the excellent work, you're helping linux move forward...
I'm curious what the difference in power consumption is between these machines. I know they'll be better with an Atom, but I'm trying to determine how much better. It would be nice to have info on power consumption both in idle and at load.
Practicals tests should have been more relevant : HD video playback (particularly accelerated), is the HDMI working fine, and other real-world tricks (like the "manually setting up the MCE" : how it had to be done ?).
RAW CPU perf can be done with any OS you want. But putting this comp just in your living room and plug it to the TV is what the consumer want. Could be Win or Lin based, it just have to work. Here, it seems, but we don't know exactly how to do ourselves.
I'm looking toward this kind of setup, as it is more affordable and ready-to-use that mounting my own Media-box. But I don't want to mess around for a week just to make it work under linux. It has to just work. Is it possible ?
The last thing that I would personaly be concerned about is CPU offloading when when I'm watching a 1920*1080 video; it is not as if I'd also be doing something else at the same time on my computer.
What is also very important about a HTPC is how it looks. It is not as if you want a giant beige ATX case in your living room. The design of this HTPC enclosure inspires me to get creative with wood: http://slipperyskip.com/page29.html