Review of ASRock ION 330 system with ATOM
1.6GHz processor based on NVIDIA ION chipset
Bluetooth 16 Sept 2009
Desktop machine have always been around despite
portable notebooks and netbooks become common place. While most people would go
for a desktop for maximum performance, it would be great if manufacturers could
make it smaller and more compact. The early days of such devices appear in the
form of Small form factor boxes. These devices are generally smaller than the
regular PC and provide enough power for work and gaming (with external
graphics). It would be better if it can be shrunk further. The major concern
would be heat issue, power consumption and graphics performance.
In fact, there are a couple of designs emerging in
Most paired up an Atom N270 or N330 with the aging 945GC chipset. As we all know
the power of the 945GM is quite limited. It is slow in 3D performance and it is
unable to decode H.264 with acceleration. In terms of specifications, the ION
330 supports a higher bandwidth of DDR2-800 while the original Intel 945GC only
The ASRock ION 330 is based on Intel Atom N330
processor clocked at 1.6GHz with NVIDIA ION chipset. The ION chipset which is basically a reinvention of the
defunct MCP7A comes into play. This chipset
is known as GeForce 9400M and comes with GPU Shader clock of 1.1GHz. It supports
DX10, OpenGL 2.1, NVIDIA® CUDA™ and PhysX™ games with ease.
The box is small (2.5L) and has a silent fan with
acoustic level below 26 dB. The system is also Energy Star 5.0 compliant.
ASRock uses solid capacitor is sourced form 100%
Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors. It also supports a
maximum of 4GB of DDR2-800 in dual channel mode as compared to single channel
DDR2-533 on other nettops. In addition, ASRock incorporated Instant Boot turn on
your PC in just a blink of an eye! For those who wants more speed, the ASRock OC
Tuner allows you to overclock the ATOM processor within Windows with voltage
adjustments. Alternatively, you could choose to o/c using the Eazy Overclock (EZ-OC)
pull down menu for the target processor speed 1.6 ~ 2.1GHz. There is also Good
night led option which allows one to turn off the annoying LED lights for HDD
and Power indicator of the box.
The package comes with the support CD, Quick setup
guide, AC power cord, AC/DC Adapter, HDMI->DVI adapter and a anti-slip pad.
Below is a video of the package.
- Intel® Atom™ 330
- NVIDIA® ION™ graphics processor
- 2GB DDR2 800 MHz memory, support dual channel,
maximum memory capacity 4GB*
*Due to the CPU
limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the
reservation for system usage under Windows® XP / XP 64-bit /
Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit.
- NVIDIA® ION™ graphics, support DX10 / Full
HD 1080p (Blu-ray / HD-DVD)* playback
*Blu-ray/HD-DVD disc is
supported by Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive.
- 2.5” HDD 320GB
- DVD Super Multi (Slim type)
- 1 x HDMI (with HDMI to DVI adapter), 1 x D-Sub VGA, 6
x USB 2.0, 1 x S/PDIF (Optical)