Pint-sized HD Cruncher - ASRock Nettop ION 330-BD


The ASRock Nettop ION 330-BD

The ASRock Nettop ION 330-BD

The ASRock ION 330-BD is undeniably larger than the Acer AspireRevo, and compared to the AspireRevo, the ION 330-BD looks sadly dull. However a couple of points to note here is that the integrated Blu-ray drive readily endows this ASRock machine as a perfect HTPC sidekick right out of the box. As a plus, due to its compact box-like design, it is also easy to upgrade and service components like the hard disk and optical drive in the Ion 330-BD.

At the front of the unit, all you will find is a power and disc eject button. Everything else, from USB ports to audio output jacks are all located at the rear and are clearly labeled and easily accessible. Our unit came in black and its casing was given a high-gloss finish (gloss seems to be all the rage these days), lending it a more up-market look. All in all, the physical outlook for the ION 330-BD is nothing to get excited about, but it is certainly functional.

The front panel of the ASRock ION 330-BD is bare, save for the power and disc eject buttons.

Coming to the rear, we find six USB 2.0 ports, a RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port, S/PDIF connector, HDMI and VGA video outputs, audio jacks, and a DC-IN.

You can access the internals of the ASRock ION 330-BD by removing these two screws here.

Removing the casing cover, this is what we see. A drive cage holds the slim optical drive and 2.5-inch HDD. Below it lies the mini-ITX form factor AMCP7A-ION motherboard.

The drive cage houses the slim form factor Blu-ray drive and a 2.5-inch 320GB hard disk. If you are wondering, the hard disk is a 5400rpm Seagate Momentus.

The Blu-ray drive is a Sony Optiarc BC-5500S. It reads Blu-ray discs at 2x speeds and is also capable of reading and writing DVDs and CDs.

Removing the drive cage, we finally see the AMCP7A-ION mini-ITX motherboard in its full glory.

ASRock has cleverly designed these SATA cables which help reduce clutter within the small confines of the casing, leading to better overall ventilation.