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ASRock Core 100HT-BD (Mini Core i3 HTPC) Review

ASRock Core 100HT-BD (Mini Core i3 HTPC) Review

ASRock Core 100HT-BD HTPC Review

ASRock Core 100-HT-BD – Internal

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By removing two screws on the back panel we release the top of the system and this reveals the drive caddy. On the top of the caddy is the Philips/Lite-on Blu-Ray player with DVDRW capability and suspended below this is a Seagate 5400RPM Momentus drive with 500GB capacity and 8MB Cache. It is possible to install a second 2.5" drive next to this and ASRock provide all of the screws and cables required to do this.

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After removing the drive caddy (2 screws) we can see the motherboard and major components. The CPU cooler is most visible and next to this there is a passive chipset heatsink.

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At the back right corner we find three SATA 2 ports which run off the Intel Southbridge, two are populated by ASRock and the third is available for the end user to add their own drive. Over at the back left corner we can see the exhaust van and this sits alongside the two 2GB DDR3 modules. Our review sample used 1333MHz ASInt branded sticks with their speed set to 1066MHz by default.  Next we can see a clearer view of the CPU fan and over in the front right corner is the Atheros 300Mbps Wireless-N card which sits beside the NEC USB 3.0 controller.

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ASRock list CPU support as any mobile i7/i5 or i3 CPU and our sample used the Socket 1156 Core i3-330M. This is a 32nm Arrandale based processor which runs on a 133MHz Bus and uses a 16x multiplier to achieve its 2.13GHz speed. As with other recent processors it is 64-bit capable, runs SSE 4.2 and supports Intel Virtualisation Technology. There are two cores in this CPU with Hyper-Threading and cache levels are set to 2x32KB of L1 Data and Instruction, 2x256KB of L2 and 3MB of L3.

The i3-330M contains an Intel HD based GPU which is a 45nm part with 4 ROPs and 12 shader units and is ideal for standard desktop/media use as it is a low power part that supports Windows Aero/DirectX 10.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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