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|4th June 2012, 08:24||#1|
Join Date: May 2010
ASRock Revamps HTPC Lineup with VisionX, Vision HT and MINI Series
ASRock's mini-ITX form factor HTPCs have been held in high esteem by us, but their second generation refresh left a lot to be desired in terms of being revolutionary upgrades. The CoreHT 252B wasn't that different from the original Core100, except for the move from Arrandale to Sandy Bridge. In the case of Vision 3D 252B, it was a similar disappointment (with the GT 540M being just a overclocked version of the GT 425M used in the first generation version).
ASRock went back to the drawing board and have now come back with a completely revamped HTPC lineup. NVIDIA seems to have gone missing at the high end. We are not sure whether it is because of the 28nm Kepler shortage or whether ASRock just had enough of NVIDIA's rebranding shenanigans. In any case, the Vision 3D series has been renamed as VisionX, and gets a 28nm mobile AMD GPU. The Core series (plain Intel mobile CPU with the high end iGPU) is now rebranded as Vision HT, and gets the same industrial design as the current generation Vision 3D series. The MINI series is a new entrant based on the next-gen Brazos 2.0 platform.
Without further digression, let us take a detailed look at ASRock's 2012 HTPC lineup.
ION 3D Series:
The ION units seem to be surprisingly popular in the entry level market even now. ASRock continues to see demand for the ION 3D and will be continuing to manufacture this even in 2012. ASRock's ION 3D differentiates itself from the other ION units in the market by using a ICH8M chipset (which allows the GT218 ION GPU to operate at PCI-E x4) instead of the usual NM10 (which allows for GPU operation at PCI-E x1 only).
Since this is not a new model, interested readers can just hit up the specifications here.
Slated to make a market appearance in Q4 2012, these units are based on the AMD E2-1800 APU with AMD Radeon HD7340 graphics. The industrial design is the same as that of the Core100 we saw a couple of years back.
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