Date: June 30th, 2005.
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor / Hardware Reviewer)
Product was submitted by: ATI Technologies
<--CLICK FOR PRICES ON AN ATI RADEON VIDEOCARD IN AMERICA
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PRODUCT VALUE FOR THE MONEY
Now a lot of people are saying that laying down close to US$400 bucks for a videocard is a little tough. But, when you add everything that comes with the package, it's actually quite a steal.
Take these prices for example (USD):
Serious Magic's Visual Communicator: US$99
Pinnacle Studio SE: US$99
Matchware Mediator 7: US$69
GemStar's GuidePlus+: US$249 Lifetime Subscription (which is included with this card)
Muvee AutoProducer DVD Edition: US$49.95
Remote Wonder 2: US$49.99
Add those up: ~US$615.95 + the actual value of the videocard. Now you see, for US$400 , you get nearly US$615.95 worth of value and that is not even taking in the videocard into the equation. These All in Wonder Cards bring hands down the best bang for the buck on the market. The software alone is worth more than the actual whole pricetag.
VIDEOCARD PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a walk around this card and get you acquainted with your possible future purchase.
This AIW comes equipped with the same temperature controlled VPU cooler seen on the X800XT Platinum. The only small difference is that the version on this card is slightly bigger and is powder-coated gold instead of the natural copper color. Exactly air flow reading on this cooler are hard to come by but judging by the amount of air it pushes, it isn't a slacker in the cooling department. The cooler does not directly cool the memory modules and does hinder the modules from getting any sort of airflow at all. Later on we will see if this will hinder any overclocking efforts.
The back of the card is barren other than the supporting brace and fastener for the VPU cooler. Although there is no direct memory cooling, at least these modules do have access to airflow.
The rear connection from left to right are comprised of the I/O dongle, a digital DVI and a analog VGA monitor connection. With the bundling of the multimedia connections through one port, ATI has been able to now offer dual monitor support. Too bad they didn't show a little foresight and include dual DVI connections and a couple adapters to allow the buyer to choose between dual digital or dual analog monitors instead of one of each. When are manufacturer's going to get this and allow the buyer to have more options.
For the AIW X800XT, ATI decided to ditch the large Philips analog tv tuner seen on previous AIW versions and used the smaller Microtune based digital TV tuner which was first brought forward with the release of the AIW X600pro. Using the smaller TV tuner saves a lot of PCB space, weight and cost along with the flexibility, low power consumption and higher efficiency of a digital signal processor.
The AIW X800XT uses the tried and true Samsung 1.6ns (8 x 32Meg) GDDR3 memory capable of far more than the conservative 500Mhz clock rate ATI has applied. This memory is theoretically capable of reaching 600Mhz if conditions are favorable. In a couple of sections I will show you if it can reach that level and unlock some hidden pixel crunching power. Stay tuned.....