The ASRock VisionX 321B HTPC comes with a BIOS that greatly resembles the BIOS of many of the boards I've reviewed before, including the ability to limit internet access from right inside the BIOS, which is great for parents or others that need such features desperately.
There aren't very many voltage control options, other than for the RAM. The timing selection offered for the RAM is pretty good considering this is a laptop in a desktop case.
Both the fan for the HDDs and the CPU can be controlled through the BIOS, which allows for the system to run quietly; the fans can obviously also be set to run at full speed if cooling needs to increase a little.
Everything offered here is, all in all, pretty impressive, easily matching everything you expect from any other desktop system and then some. Using an unlocked mobile IvyBridge chip may unlock other clocking features, and you can definitely upgrade the provided CPU to something a bit more powerful, should that be your need. Getting it up and running should, when you do, be pretty simple, thanks to the control ASRock offers through the BIOS.
But do you really need any upgrades? Since there is no provided OS, you'll have a bit of work ahead of you after initially plugging the system in. With that in mind, time between opening the box and first powering it up would best be spend making those upgrades. Be that as it may, I don't see much of a point in adding anything other than an SSD for faster OS boot times. Let's take a look at stock performance. I will, as usual, let the numbers do the talking. If you looked at the specifications list, it should be pretty clear that this unit is going to outperform most of the previously tested mini-PCs.
PC Mark 07
|Futuremark PCMark 07 Full Bench|
|ASRock VisionX 321B HTPC||ZOTAC ZBOX nano XS AD11 PLUS||ARCTIC MC001-BD||Foxconn NT-A3500||Zotac ION F||Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC||Desktop PC Intel i7-930|
|PCMark 07 Score||2358||1429||984||1070||905||1687||4198|
|System storage score||1409||2798||1676||1357||1725||1421||4487|
|Video playback||23.98 fps||22.99 fps||22.86 fps||19.91 fps||22.8 fps||22.99 fps||22.93 fps|
|Video transcoding - downscaling||2546.71 kB/s||638.41 kB/s||717.22 kB/s||1086.94 kB/s||540.56 kB/s||2086.41 kB/s||5735.49 kB/s|
|System storage - gaming||3.19 MB/s||10.47 MB/s||4.13 MB/s||3.24 MB/s||4.21 MB/s||3.32 MB/s||15.32 MB/s|
|Graphics - DirectX 9||58.86 fps||8.83 fps||8.38 fps||7.85 fps||4.79 fps||20.41 fps||65.73 fps|
|Image manipulation||10.04 Mpx/s||2.77 Mpx/s||2.52 Mpx/s||2.66 Mpx/s||2.13 Mpx/s||5.58 Mpx/s||9.16 Mpx/s|
|System storage - importing pictures||5.15 MB/s||10.38 MB/s||5.68 MB/s||4.42 MB/s||6.3 MB/s||5.47 MB/s||19.71 MB/s|
|Web browsing||12.94 pages||2.97 pages/s||2.58 pages/s||3.38 pages/s||2.14 pages/s||6.41 pages/s||15.35 pages/s|
|Data decrypting||93.42 MB/s||26.02 MB/s||9.72 MB/s||22.26 MB/s||11.25 MB/s||59.28 MB/s||63.97 MB/s|
|System storage - Windows Defender||1.13 MB/s||4.17 MB/s||1.42 MB/s||1.19 MB/s||1.59 MB/s||1.14 MB/s||5.4 MB/s|
|Web browsing with 3 tabs||12.91 pages/s||3.88 pages/s||2.83 pages/s||3.34 pages/s||2.27 pages/s||6.78 pages/s||10.94 pages/s|
|System storage - adding music||1.14 MB/s||1.32 MB/s||1.21 MB/s||1.15 MB/s||1.22 MB/s||1.15 MB/s||1.4 MB/s|
|Text editing||10.54 operations/s||3.20 operations/s||1.65 operations/s||2.92 operations/s||1.95 operations/s||5.10 operations/s||10.7 operations/s|
|System storage - starting applications||1.77 MB/s||7.94 MB/s||2.48 MB/s||1.78 MB/s||2.36 MB/s||1.98 MB/s||30.67 MB/s|
|Web browsing 1||9.37 pages/s||2.32 pages/s||2.04 pages/s||2.19 pages/s||1.67 pages/s||1.86 pages/s||10.23 pages/s|
|Web browsing 2||9.61 pages/s||2.45 pages/s||2.11 pages/s||2.26 pages/s||1.66 pages/s||5.09 pages/s||10.25 pages/s|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - texture fill||24.31 fps||4.21 fps||3.62 fps||3.5 fps||1.66 fps||8.86 fps||37.23 fps|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - color fill||3.16 fps||0.49 fps||0.64 fps||0.41 fps||0.32 fps||1.077 fps||6.84 fps|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - POM||29.65 fps||2.89 fps||1.96 fps||2.41 fps||1.58 fps||9.16 fps||36.58 fps|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - GPU cloth||29.66 fps||11.26 fps||5.26 fps||4.02 fps||4.65 fps||22.16 fps||35.57 fps|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - GPU particles||32.13 fps||4.73 fps||5.92 fps||4.09 fps||2.2 fps||10.65 fps||56.77 fps|
|Graphics - DirectX 10 - Perlin noise||52.81 fps||6.01 fps||1.55 fps||5.16 fps||2.51 fps||22.66 fps||88.05 fps|
|Video transcoding - high quality||2791.99 kB/s||163.75 kB/s||176.78 kB/s||192.71 kB/s||145.46 kB/s||437.25 kB/s||1247.87 kB/s|
|System storage - video editing||13.38 MB/s||17.29 MB/s||17.15 MB/s||12.09 MB/s||16.83 MB/s||15.53 MB/s||21.58 MB/s|
|System storage - Windows Media Center||7.44 MB/s||7.91 MB/s||7.72 MB/s||6.64 MB/s||7.28 MB/s||7.12 MB/s||7.98 MB/s|