I've been using the Asrock Beebox as my day to day HTPC for a few months and it's been doing a fantastic job, so I didn't expect it to be replaced so soon. Nonetheless, Asrock has sent an updated Beebox-S model sporting Intel's new 7th-generation processor based on the Kaby Lake-U architecture.
Those on the hunt for an affordable book-sized HTPC will have likely come across the impressive Asrock Beebox. Now meet the faster Asrock Beebox-S. Powered by a Core i5-6200U, the mini PC has received other enhancements including DDR4 memory support, a high-speed PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, USB 3.1 Type-C and 4K support at 60Hz via HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.4.
The Origin PC Omega is a small, quiet gaming machine that comes in a few different shapes, all of which are based on Silverstone’s great line of mini-ITX SFF cases. Our review unit is built on the slim desktop design of the Silverstone RVZ01, which houses an overclocked Skylake Intel Core i7-6700K and a full-sized Geforce GTX Titan X graphics card.
The Asrock Beebox N3000 measures 0.6L and boasts a mere 4 watt TDP. This incredibly low power rating has allowed Asrock to create a tiny HTPC that is completely fanless draws less than 10 watts under typical usage. The company is heavily promoting the fact that its latest mini PC can support triple-monitors using three video outputs simultaneously.
Setting a new bar for small form factor PCs, ECS launched the Liva earlier this year, making comparable machines look oversized and overpriced. Since its debut, ECS has updated the Liva with a 64GB option and though that's double the storage, we have only seen a mild price increase to $185. Paired with a super efficient fanless design that promises smooth 1080p playback it certainly grabbed our attention.
In our budget CPU roundup earlier this year, AMD's Kabini Athlon 5350 squared off against Intel's Bay Trail-D Celeron J1900, showing itself to be better at gaming and encoding workloads. The new Asrock Q2900-ITX ships with a Pentium J2900 on a Mini-ITX board for $104 and is aimed straight against the same AMD offering.
Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium. The case is pretty new and pricing isn't entirely clear yet in the US, but it's going for €85 or about $115 in other regions -- over twice the Elite RC-130's price.
It's been a few years since we published an enthusiastic review of Asrock's pricey yet powerful Vision 3D HTPC. The company has since kept our attention with annual updates, now on its fourth generation, the Vision HT 420D has received a proper upgrade to Intel's Haswell architecture as well as other improvements that contribute to the system's respectable list of features, making it one of the most impressive HTPCs to date.
Intel started the trend of integrating a GPU along with the CPU in the processor package with Clarkdale / Arrandale. The GPU moved to the die itself in Sandy Bridge. Despite having a much more powerful GPUs at its disposal (from the ATI acquisition), AMD was a little late...
Korean outfit Hardkernel has launched a new development platform that could be a solid alternative to the Raspberry Pi if you need a little more oomph. Priced at $129, the ODroid-X is equipped with a Exynos 4412 system-on-a-chip that houses a quad-core...
Steadfast in its mission to deliver retro machines, Commodore USA has unveiled a modern take on the Amiga. Called the "Amiga Mini," the system is compact enough to serve as an HTPC at 7.75in x 7.75in x 3in (197mm x 197mm x 75mm), yet powerful enough to be a workstation...