Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
ASRock Core 100HT Home Theater PC Review
|Product:||Core 100HT HTPC|
|Date:||Fri, Mar 25, 2011 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Justin West -|
The ASRock Core 100HT: Inside and Out
To start off the inside and out tour of the ASRock Core 100HT HTPC, we will start with the face of the unit you will see for a long time if it were integrated into your home theater. On the front of the Core 100HT, we have the DVD Super Multi Slim optical drive. While not having a Blu-Ray ROM in a brand new HTPC may seem like a mistake to many, note now that ASRock does offer the Core 100HT-BD model that does include a Blu-Ray optical drive, but ASRock offers this model to hit a lower price-point for those consumers on a budget.
Below the optical drive are the two USB 3.0 ports, along with a mic and headphone jack. Notice that there is no reset button to sit next to the power button, so if the PC locks up, a cold boot is your only option. The last thing to point out on this HTPC is that there is an IR receiver hidden in the air vent on the left side of the front bezel. This makes for a nice and inconspicuous IR sensor to maintain the clean and elegant look of the Core 100HT.
On the back of the ASRock Core 100HT are a plethora of ports, inputs and outputs. In the lower left is the power adapter input. Next to that are the jacks for the 7.1 HD Audio. Then there are the six USB 2.0 ports along with the gigabit LAN port. The red port is the eSATAII port, the blue port is the D-Sub VGA port, and the black port next to the eSATA is the HDMI port. Remember that the bundle includes an adapter to use in the HDMI port if you have a DVI monitor you wish to use with the Core 100HT. That's it for the outside, on to the guts!
Removing two tiny screws will allow you to remove the top cover of the ASRock Core 100HT. The DVD Super Multi Slim optical drive is attached to a tray with the HDD below it. We can't see much with the drive tray in the way.
We had to remove two more screws and then we could slide the drive tray back while slightly lifting up until the face of the optical drive clears the inside lip of the case.
By flipping the drive tray upside down, we can see the HDD hidden under the optical drive, but attached to the same drive tray structure. In order to attach a second HDD or SSD, you must remove the optical drive and the HDD to be able to attach the second 2.5" drive using the 4 screw holes obstructed by the HDD in the image above. So the second HDD or SSD is mounted to the bottom of the drive tray, not in it.
Moving the drive tray out of the way, we can see the motherboard within the Core 100HT. At the top of the board we have the 2 x 2GB DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, followed by the low profile heat sink cooling the Intel Core i3 330 CPU. Below that we have the 802.11b/g/n wireless network card. Also note the open red SATA port that is utilized when you add a second HDD or SSD.
The RAM used by ASRock is ASint DDR3 2GB modules running at 1333MHz. It is nice to see ASRock providing 1333MHz modules instead of just going with the minimum 1066MHz DDR3 modules. Now for a few BIOS shots!
Next Page - ASRock Core 100HT BIOS
Page 1 - An Incredibly Small HTPC
Page 2 - The ASRock Core 100HT: Inside and Out
Page 3 - ASRock Core 100HT BIOS
Page 4 - 3DMark Vantage
Page 5 - PCMark Vantage
Page 6 - Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark
Page 7 - Geekbench
Page 8 - x264 HD Encoding and Blu-Ray ISO Playback
Page 9 - Youtube HD and Netflix HD Playback
Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 11 - Final Thoughts on the ASRock Core 100HT HTPC