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ASRock ION 330HT-BD Net-top Review

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stonedsurd 27th November 2009, 12:56 Quote
Mod: Fixed, thx
Xir 27th November 2009, 13:04 Quote
Conclusion: Ion good, Atom still mediocre at best.
Quote:
the same pile of fail as mobile internet devices and virtual reality
Depends if you count things like the Iphone as a "Mobile Internet Device" ;-)
tripwired 27th November 2009, 13:05 Quote
Great review. Really tempted by the machine, but that cooling is truly sub-par. What are the temps going to be like after 6 months with a user that doesn't remove dust from their machine regularly - eg. installing a HTPC for parents, or grandparents.

I wonder if a bit of modding could get a decent fan in there somewhere, although really, one shouldn't have to do that when paying over £300 for the hardware.
eldiablo 27th November 2009, 13:06 Quote
Will this flash update also support the intel chipsets with which the atom started out?
Would be nice if i could finally play some flashgames on my aspire one.

Also did you guys pay attention if it would be possible to squeeze in an 80mm fan or something like that in the 2nd harddrive compartment?
Or wouldnt it be able to draw some air if you squeezed it in there?
Bindibadgi 27th November 2009, 13:07 Quote
We were talking "MID" not portable internet "convergence" device, like a phone.
John_T 27th November 2009, 13:24 Quote
Why oh WHY do so many manufacturers take no notice of noise? I really don't understand it. Are they all deaf? Do they all sit there at work with their iPods plugged into their ears & just forget about it?

This machine is now very close to what I want, but I want it silent...
Combatus 27th November 2009, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiablo
Will this flash update also support the intel chipsets with which the atom started out?
Would be nice if i could finally play some flashgames on my aspire one.

Also did you guys pay attention if it would be possible to squeeze in an 80mm fan or something like that in the 2nd harddrive compartment?
Or wouldnt it be able to draw some air if you squeezed it in there?

The latter - its a 2.5in drive bay with no clearance beneath it so no way you'd fit any fan in there really and as you mentioned, it wouldn't be able to draw in air either.
John_T 27th November 2009, 13:29 Quote
Just for a giggle, I wonder how many of these you could fit inside that LianLi PC-C32 case - I reckon at least six...
sandys 27th November 2009, 13:45 Quote
I had similar noise issues with an Aopen 945VXR MiniPC, I just thought that was how it was supposed to be but when I had to RMA it for an IR failure the replacement was whisper quiet, my original fan must have been faulty, mine was cooling a 1,6Ghz Core Duo so should require more than that machine, sounds like yours is faulty as with 2 fans it has much more cooling than my Aopen.
Jipa 27th November 2009, 13:46 Quote
Would be more than happy to get an Atom 330 board w/ ION and four S-ATA connections.. Would do great as a media server/player.
GoodBytes 27th November 2009, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
Why oh WHY do so many manufacturers take no notice of noise? I really don't understand it. Are they all deaf? Do they all sit there at work with their iPods plugged into their ears & just forget about it?

This machine is now very close to what I want, but I want it silent...

Although you have to built-it yourself. Have a look at Zoltec ION-A motherboard. It's a fanless design, (PSU has no fan, nor the CPU/GPU), life time warranty. A fan is provided in the case you ever need it (not enough air flow trough the case... but the fan is fairly quiet for it's size, and you can add yourself from vibration damping attachment to help even further, if you are that picky. Now the most noisy component in your computer will be the HDD, and optical drive when a disk is inserted and used.
ChaosDefinesOrder 27th November 2009, 14:18 Quote
hang on, did I somehow miss that Windows Media Player in Windows 7 can play Blu-Ray movies?
Shagbag 27th November 2009, 14:19 Quote
Quote:
We suspect that if the Net-top market is still going strong this time next year, it will owe a huge debt of gratitude to three products - Windows 7, Nvidia's Ion and Intel's Atom 330.
That's your view, but I really don't see what the first two have got to do with it. Net-tops are not gaming boxes, so there's no need for Windows. As to Ion, the jury is still out on that one.
Combatus 27th November 2009, 14:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
I had similar noise issues with an Aopen 945VXR MiniPC, I just thought that was how it was supposed to be but when I had to RMA it for an IR failure the replacement was whisper quiet, my original fan must have been faulty, mine was cooling a 1,6Ghz Core Duo so should require more than that machine, sounds like yours is faulty as with 2 fans it has much more cooling than my Aopen.

The noise was simply coming from the blades of the 30mm fan. It's so small it to spin at a rediculous rpm to shift any air hence the noise. Chances are your Aopen machine had larger fans which by default would probably be quieter - yes the ASRock has two fans but one of them is quite simply pathetic.
GoodBytes 27th November 2009, 14:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
hang on, did I somehow miss that Windows Media Player in Windows 7 can play Blu-Ray movies?

With a codec yes.


One question that was not addressed. Was Windows 7 32 or 64-bit was used. And was 32 or 64-bit video codec used (Windows Media Player 12 32 or 64-bit)?
Ross1 27th November 2009, 14:24 Quote
I dont seem to have the fan problems with the first asrock ion 330... it stays pretty cool and pretty quite.... making it pretty much the perfect htpc! (rather than what you see to have). I would try putting ubuntu + xbmc on it.... works amazingly, especially the movie/ tv show scraping. uses dxva, which is a must for the ion.
Bindibadgi 27th November 2009, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
That's your view, but I really don't see what the first two have got to do with it. Net-tops are not gaming boxes, so there's no need for Windows. As to Ion, the jury is still out on that one.

Im using Ubuntu on one. Flash playback is completely non-existent making it crap for internet and iplayer/hulu etc
Combatus 27th November 2009, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
hang on, did I somehow miss that Windows Media Player in Windows 7 can play Blu-Ray movies?

We used PowerDVD for that but it does support H.264, Xvid and DivX out of the box which is handy.
ChaosDefinesOrder 27th November 2009, 14:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
hang on, did I somehow miss that Windows Media Player in Windows 7 can play Blu-Ray movies?

With a codec yes.


One question that was not addressed. Was Windows 7 32 or 64-bit was used. And was 32 or 64-bit video codec used (Windows Media Player 12 32 or 64-bit)?

Just a codec is not enough to play Blu-Rays, you have to have the licensed decoder of the copy protection system in order to play Blu-Ray discs, hence even Media Player Classic: Home Cinema can't play Blu-Rays (yet)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
hang on, did I somehow miss that Windows Media Player in Windows 7 can play Blu-Ray movies?

We used PowerDVD for that but it does support H.264, Xvid and DivX out of the box which is handy.

right, the screenshot accompanying that was misleading then as it looked like the video playing in WMP was the Blu-Ray video...
GoodBytes 27th November 2009, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
Just a codec is not enough to play Blu-Rays, you have to have the licensed decoder of the copy protection system in order to play Blu-Ray discs, hence even Media Player Classic: Home Cinema can't play Blu-Rays (yet)

I meant Windows Media Player 12 + Blu-ray codec. I am not going to start a list of crappy or incomplete multimedia player to exclude.
PureSilver 27th November 2009, 15:05 Quote
Why is this thing so expensive?!
kenco_uk 27th November 2009, 15:07 Quote
Link please :)
ChaosDefinesOrder 27th November 2009, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
Just a codec is not enough to play Blu-Rays, you have to have the licensed decoder of the copy protection system in order to play Blu-Ray discs, hence even Media Player Classic: Home Cinema can't play Blu-Rays (yet)

I meant Windows Media Player 12 + Blu-ray codec. I am not going to start a list of crappy or incomplete multimedia player to exclude.

the Blu-Ray codec is just H.264, but you need more than that to get it to play due to needing the copy protection license, which is a significant cost. Windows 7 has H.264 out of the box, but doesn't include the Blu-Ray license. The license isn't a simple "codec" otherwise MPC: HC and VideoLan Client would have Blu-Ray support...

(unless you're specifically saying that there IS a free plugin for Windows Media Player 12 for Blu-Ray disc support, in which case I'm misunderstanding you somewhat)
Shagbag 27th November 2009, 19:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Im using Ubuntu on one. Flash playback is completely non-existent making it crap for internet and iplayer/hulu etc
That's strange. I've not had any probs with Flash on Karmic. I take it you installed Ubuntu yourself and it didn't come factory pre-configured. Are you using the Medibuntu repos?
sandys 27th November 2009, 20:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Im using Ubuntu on one. Flash playback is completely non-existent making it crap for internet and iplayer/hulu etc

Interesting I was running ubuntu on my eeepc 1000h and had no bother with flash video sites, I could even do full screen without the tearing/slowdown xp would do.

Running some of the ads on Bit though was nigh on impossible :o
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