Skip to main content

ASRock Core 100HT-BD Home Theater PC

Benchmark Results: Entertainment

We’re not going to spend a lot of time gaming with the Core 100HT-BD because it has already been established that Intel's HD Graphics offers limited performance for this application. To Intel’s credit, the chipset represents the best graphics hardware it has delivered, and Intel representatives recently assured us that the company is working on fixing driver limitations. We plan to take a closer look at these driver improvements in the near future. Despite this, gaming is not the ASRock Core 100HT-BD’s forte. At best, Intel’s chipset can be used for low-fidelity games, typically massively multiplayer online (MMO) titles such as World of Warcraft, or simple Flash games at lower resolutions. Anyone interested in Intel HD Graphics game performance can check out our analysis here.

The PCMark gaming benchmark is actually a subset of the 3DMark 2009 suite. In this GPU-heavy task, the difference between the Core 100HT-BD and the Core i3-530 system doesn’t seem very notable, probably because the GPUs are identical, with only a 66 MHz difference between them.

When it comes to music playback and transcoding, the Core 100HT-BD suffers the same performance deficit we’ve come to expect compared to the desktop system, although music playback is just as smooth on either platform.

The HD video benchmark test uses two simultaneous threads, one of which transcodes HD video to a media server archive and the other plays back HD video in real-time. While both PCs are capable of performing the task smoothly, the Core i3-530 system does it with more CPU cycles to spare.

  • ivan_chess
    Interesting but I wonder if an AMD system would provide more value on your dollar.
    Reply
  • Stardude82
    Certainly beats a Zino, but the price puts it in the class of a Mac Mini. An M600 + HD4200 system would be interesting for a HTPC like this.
    Reply
  • zooted
    This would be great, if it were priced around $300-400
    Reply
  • DeZenT
    Asrock also puts alot of focus on the possibility of streaming true Bluray sound. One thing, that all other pre-buildt htpc lack
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    Well this is great and can do alot more than a regulr media player, but id prefer the ASUS OPLAY! and have a standalone media player while I also have a supercomputer or a monster PC and a console gaming system......
    Reply
  • amgsoft
    I'am testing one at home. Excellent piece of hardware for multimedia and TV center. This HTPC is much faster to boot and shutdown (S3 sleep mode) then the traditional DVB-T boxes i had previously at home (2-3 sec startup, 9-11 sec shutdown). All I needed to do was to buy a DVB-T USB dongle (terratec). In S3 it uses very low power (less then 1W according to the reviews on the internet). I'am using for watching the DVB-T, dvd's, playing music, showing photo. Its performance is more then adequate, so I cannot see any reason for overclocking the unit. The heat comming out of the unit is very acceptable, the noise is hardly, if at all, noticeable.

    The only limitation is the angle of the IR remote. The angle for remotelly controlling the unit from your living room is a bit narrow for home use and I hope that they will consider to provide an external IR receiver later.

    Regarding the price, I was trying to find a cheaper unit with same specs and same look and size, but I was not able to find any. Dell has a PC which is a bit smaller (a bit bigger then wii) however it is not a htpc unit. You can build a sligthly cheaper one. It will be larger, will need a larger power supply, the case will like a traditional pc which you don't want in your living room, and at the end of the day you will end up with something which has cost you more money. In my mind its a very good hardware piece and worth to consider if you want a home media center in you living room.
    Reply
  • jestersage
    Where I am, it's mighty expensive. But what I like about this article and the Core100HT-BD is that it inspires me to put together a similarly small and 'cute' system.

    I'm thinking along the lines of an e3300 and G31 chipset with a 200w or 300w mATX PSU (how I'd love to get my hands on a Silverstone 300w mATX unit from the SG05!).

    Without the powersupply, the unit will cost about USD250 here. With a decent 80plus mATX PSU, the cost goes beyond the USD320 mark.

    It won't play blu-ray but everything else would run better than, say, an Atom (even the ION variants). It would be twice as tall, almost twice large and a tad deeper, true, but it would have room for a half-height PCIE video card (ahem, HD5570) upgrade.

    One bit of constructive feedback for Don: why use a 650W PSU on the comparison unit? Wouldn't a 380w or even 300w PSU be sufficient - not to mention place the power draw closer to the center of the efficiency curve?
    Reply
  • rwpritchett
    A step in the right direction. I'd like to see more pre-built HTPC's like this but with better styling and more expansion options. A slot load drive would also be great.

    I wish they would make the parts available so us DIY'ers can build our own like this.
    Reply
  • domenic
    ni
    Reply
  • bunz_of_steel
    good review and attention to the real needs of an htpc. size, heat, noise and video performance. The price tag is just yuk! I would like to see how this would compare to a geek dude building their own and see how it fares... :)
    Reply