If you own a large collection of 3D-enabled Blu-ray Discs or computer applications -- and a 3D HDTV capable of playing them -- reviewers say the ASRock Vision 3D-137B (*Est. $750) is your best option for a home theater PC. The computer's Intel Core i3 processor and Nvidia GT 425M graphics make it one of the few HTPCs capable of playing 3D, and the system further enhances its media-streaming claim to fame by including a Blu-ray drive, Nvidia's 3DTV Play, THX TruStudio Pro technology capable of 7.1 channel HD audio, and HDMI 1.4a, S/PDIF USB 3.0 eSATA and DVI ports.
The Vision 3D uses more potent processors than its competition and reviewers say it shows: the HTPC handily beats other nettops in benchmark testing, it streams HD and 3D content without issue, and it's even capable of moderate gaming. There are a few downsides: that kind of performance comes at a high sticker cost, and the Vision 3D doesn't come with an operating system installed. While you can install a free, open-source operating system like one of the Linux variations, opting for Windows 7 will set you back even more cash. If you don't need 3D playback capabilities, reviewers say the Acer Revo RL100-UR20P (Discontinued) should provide most users with a great blend of everyday computing performance and enhanced media-playing chops.
Niche publications take a look at the ASRock Vision 3D-137B, and they do so with vigor, including page after page of benchmark testing and hands-on impressions. AnandTech.com, HotHardware.com and Britain's TrustedReviews.com are the best sources for information.
AnandTech.com's reviews tend to be amongst the most detailed around, and this review of the ASRock Vision 3D-137B is no exception. The reviewer puts the HTPC through several benchmark tests and compares them against the competition; the ASRock wins them all. "For anyone in the market for a high end HTPC with a small form factor and low power consumption, the Vision 3D is the perfect choice," Ganesh says in conclusion.
Review: ASRock's High-End Vision 3D HTPC Reviewed, Ganesh T S, Oct. 3, 2010
This review of the ASRock Vision 3D-137B is another multi-page, testing-based affair. Like AnandTech.com's reviewer, Marco Chiapetta subjects the Vision 3D to multiple benchmarks and compares the results against its HTPC competition. The ASRock system delivers excellent results and earns a Recommended award from the publication.
Review: ASRock Vision 3D 137B HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play, Marco Chiapetta, May 9, 2011
Once again, the ASRock Vision 3D is the subject of an in-depth benchmark-based review, although TrustedReviews.com isn't quite as thorough as AnandTech.com or HotHardware.com in its testing. The publication reports near silence from the whisper-quiet PC, even when subjecting it to gaming tests that are normally reserved for full-fledged traditional desktops. "As an overall package it's probably the most desirable HTPC we've seen so far," Seghers writes in conclusion, although he admits that "there are cheaper alternatives that will perform similarly in core tasks like Full HD video and 3D Blu-ray playback."
Review: ASRock Vision 3D Review, Ardjuna Seghers, Jan. 18, 2011