ASRock ION 330 NetTop
|ASRock ION 330 NetTop|
|Features and Specifications|
|Closer Look in the NetTop|
|Installation, Setup and Info.|
|Subsystem Tests and More|
|HD Video and Final Thoughts|
It's no secret that Intel has taken over the ultra-portable netbook market with the Intel Atom processor. For desktop boxes, though this processor seems a little under-powered - especially for a platform that doesn't have to be as portable as a 7" or 10" netbook. ASUS was the first to make an Atom powered desktop machine call the Eee Box, and this received very limited acceptance. The problem with the Eee Box is that it has a underpowered CPU, no optical drive and cannot decode HD video content in real time. Today we are taking a look at the NetTop ION 330 from ASRock and will look at how this dual-core Intel Atom 330 processor handles the desktop platform when bundled with the NVIDIA ION chipset. This is not a new combination as it's been around for several months, but this is our first-hand look at the platform and what it can do for you.
Bundle of Goodies:
When you purchase a budget system like the ASRock ION 330 NetTop, you really shouldn't expect much in the way of bundled goodies. That being said, ASRock does include a fair bit of stuff that should help you get up and running and keep your going for a while. The bundle includes the power brick and cable, as well as a quick install guide, a couple of extra screws, a driver CD for Windows XP and Vista as well as an anti-static pad and a HDMI-to-DVI adapter. It's pretty basic, but it should work.
When I first pulled the ION 330 out of the box, I was impressed by the compact size and overall finish of the unit. It has a very shiny gloss black finish on the top, sides and front, and the mini DVDRW drive blends well and doesn't detract from the nice finish of the unit. The front contains a single power button, as well as the ASRock logo and a pair of stickers advertising Intel and NVIDIA. The rear of the unit is quite interesting also as it has six USB2.0 ports, standard audio ports as well as an optical out. In addition to these, there is also an HDMI port as well as a standard VGA port and finally the 10/100/1000b Ethernet jack.
Power is supplied to the ASRock ION through the use of an external power brick and this helps conserve size on the unit and also keeps extra heat out of the little case. As you can see above, it is cooled by a single fan at the rear.
On the next page we'll quickly take a look at the features and specifications of this unit as well as the Atom processor and NVIDIA ION Chipset.