From the very start, ASUS' Eee Box nettop caught the eye as a potential media PC, and the company themselves threw their hat into the ring with the launch of the Eee Box B206. Swapping the DVI output for an HDTV-friendly HDMI, and slotting an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 GPU with 256MB of its own DDR2 RAM in instead of the integrated graphics, the B206 promises high-definition playback above its humble Atom roots.
The Register have been taking a look at the nettop, and in some ways the B206 does deliver. Standard definition video runs with no problems, and DivX 720p files in Windows Media Player were also smooth; however, the B206 showed itself to be particularly picky about codecs.
The problem is that not all media player apps support DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), the technology which lets the Radeon HD 3450 GPU get its teeth into the video. Without that, it's up to the Atom N270 1.6GHz chip to keep things ticking over, and we already know that Intel's CPU struggles with high-resolution media.