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The ASRock ION 330 nettop features a dual core Intel Atom 330 CPU and NVIDIA ION graphics. It weighs just under 4 pounds, and is just barely large enough to hold a hard drive, DVD burner, and a few sticks of RAM. NVIDIA recently sent me a demo unit to test out.
The company recently launched an updated model with WiFi, a Blu-Ray drive and a media center remote control. That’s not the model I’m testing. But that’s OK, because I don’t actually have any Blu-Ray discs lying around anyway.
I’ll have more details to share after I’ve spent some more time with this nettop, but for now you can check out my unboxing video after the break.
The ASRock ION 330 is available as a barebones system (without an operating system) for $349.99 from Newegg.
I have a atom 330 board (d945gclf2) with both a HVR-1600 internal pci, and HVR-850 external usb tuner. This two work quite well with the intel board and windows 7 media center for scheduling/recording/watching. I am able to recorde one and watch another, record two and watched a previously recorded, and so on. It works really nice. The only problem I have is that I am in a fringe reception area so OTA can on occasion get a bit iffy.
Note: I output to my SDTV via the onboard s-video output at 800×600. Plays well from my eyes. HD content looks at or better than DVD quality on my SDTV.
It would be great if you could test the nettop’s ability to RECORD video.
The Ion nettop seems to be a dream HTPC with it’s small size, low power and quiet operation. And while it’s been well benchmarked for video playback and video streaming, I’ve yet to see anyone test it’s ability to record TV – HD or otherwise.
Good point. There’s no room inside for a full sized TV tuner, but I do have
a USB tuner I can give a try.
I just turned mine back because it doesn’t operate quiet at all. There is actually a very annoying high pitch sound from the little 30mm fan. I couldn’t watch television at a a low volume without being annoyed.
I’d be interested to know if that was a bad fan or a bad design… my recent desktop build had a very noisy PSU but once it was swapped out the problem was solved.
BTW Brad we look forward to your return home along at which point I’m sure will hear your informative Asrock review… 😉
Hi, it’d be good to see performance benchmarks & power consumption measurements on this unit, as compared to the Dell Zino HD which is comparably equipped but a lot less. The Zino’s 780G chipset can also handle 1080p, and the 2650e/2850e is in the same Atom class. Aesthetics-wise, the Zino wins out. Hoping to make a decision on one of these two units for a HTPC build. TIA.
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