ATI All-In-Wonder X800GT

Written by Tim Smalley

September 6, 2005 | 16:32

Tags: #aiw #all-in-wonder #digital #dvb #dvb-t #television #tuner #tv

Companies: #ati

All-In-Wonder - isn't it just wonderful?

On Friday, we had a look at the gaming performance of four ATI Radeon X800GT's, including the All-In-Wonder X800GT, which is expected to enter full production in the next couple of weeks. Rather than clog up our round-up with the plethora of features that the All-In-Wonder X800GT has, we felt that it deserved its own separate article.

Back when we previewed the All-In-Wonder X800 XT, we noted that there was a new tuner that was designed in-house, rather than using the previous Phillips tuner that was found on the likes of the All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro and All-In-Wonder 9600 series. This basically meant that ATI could add in extra functionality to the tuner when they felt that it was necessary, including the likes of DVB-T. For those who don't know - that's for digital terrestrial television broadcasts.

DVB is being rolled out worldwide as we speak and has been for a while now and there are many different incarnations of DVB across the world, but they all work in a very similar fashion. The signal is transmitted using either an MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 format to an antenna that is capable of picking up the streams, allowing you to watch digital television through your aerial.

In Britain, there are several forms of DVB television, two require subscriptions and an additional installation in your property, while the final option is digital terrestrial television that is received through your standard television aerial. Currently, there are around 60 channels available to UK residents for no additional cost once you've purchased a DVB-T enabled tuner or set top box; that number is slowly on the increase, too.

ATI All-In-Wonder X800GT Introduction ATI All-In-Wonder X800GT Introduction
We had a look at the card on Friday, but it's worth a second look here. Unlike the other Radeon X800GT's with 256MB of frame buffer, the All-In-Wonder X800GT only has 128MB of frame buffer that is bandwidth limited by a 128-bit memory interface. We won't be going in to the gaming performance again, but it does affect the way it performs - it's certainly no GeForce 6600 GT killer like its 256MB sibling in terms of out and out speed, but it is clear that the additional features are the focus of this video card.

The card uses the same PCB design as the All-In-Wonder X800XL and it is no surprise that there's an R430 GPU underneath the heatsink. We believe that the All-In-Wonder X800GT will use the R430 GPU exclusively and as such it'll not overclock quite as well as the R423 and R480 based Radeon X800GT's.

ATI All-In-Wonder X800GT Introduction ATI All-In-Wonder X800GT Introduction
The DVB and analogue tuning is handled by the MT2121 tuner located underneath the gold ATI Tuner shell located in the top left corner of the video card. It feeds the Theater 200 chip with a decoded AV stream from the TV and Radio connections while the NxtWave NXT6000 performs demodulation, along with some filtering and error correction for the MT2121 tuner.

The All-In-Wonder's goal hasn't changed - ATI are still doing what they've done so well in the past. They're combining a very capable GPU with multimedia functionality and features, such as TV and Radio tuning. The software suite, known as MultiMedia Center combined with official support for Windows Media Center Edition makes this piece of hardware one of the most feature-rich components available at the moment.
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