ATi X1900 All-in-Wonder review
We’re used to All-in-Wonder cards appearing some months after the initial flurry of a new chipset, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see that this card is based around ATi’s R580 core GPU – the same chip that powers the almighty X1900 XTX. Some of the specifications have changed, though – the core clock speed is down to 500MHz from 650MHz, and the memory has been clocked down to 500MHz from 775MHz.
These are fairly large drops, but the R580 still has 48 pixel pipelines, which proved more than sufficient in our benchmarks. Call of Duty 2 scored 35fps, while Half-Life 2 and Far Cry scored 81 and 63fps respectively at 1,280 x 1,024 (all with 4x AA and 8x AF on our standard Athlon 64 X2 4000+ test rig). None of these scores are as earth shattering as the X1900 XTX’s, but it’s safe to say you’ll struggle to find a game that can bring the All-in-Wonder to its knees if you pair it with a decent CPU.
But the 3D capabilities of the All-in-Wonder are only half the story, with the integrated digital hybrid TV tuner being its significant other. You can use ATi’s software to control your media, but as this card is compatible with Windows XP Media Center 2005 we strongly recommend this instead.
The number of outputs will be a revelation to those stuck with D-SUB and DVI ports on current graphics cards. There’s a standard DVI-I port on the back and, via a breakout box, there are also connections for scart, D-SUB, S-Video and component video, as well as another breakout box catering for component and S-Video in. To make the All-in-Wonder’s appeal even better, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 and Premiere Elements 2 are thrown in too.
The All-in-Wonder version of the X1900 clearly sacrifices some performance, but the wide range of video connections and premium software bundle will be sorely tempting to anyone with a camcorder or a PC in their living room. If you want a near-perfect combination of video options and gaming performance in a single card, this is the one to buy.