ATI All-In-Wonder RADEON 9800 Pro

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ATi's All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro
When You've Got To Have It All

By: Dave Atlavilla
June 9, 2003



Circuit Design, whether it be at the chip level or board level, is truly an art form.  Electrical Engineers and Architects are challenged with optimizing functionality, performance and cost, into an ever shrinking piece of real-estate, either in Silicon or FR4 PCB material.  Faster, smaller and better is the name of the game and "continuous improvement" is a given not a variable.  Oh, and did we mention your creative energy needs to be supremely focused within a blistering 6 month design cycle?  Sorry, no breezy 18 month hiatus in Cabo San Lucas for you, after launch day.  Once they take the wraps off your new baby, it's back to the grind, since the competition is already locked and loaded with another response to your new "earth-shattering" creation.  At this level of intensity, it's easy to miss the mark but there's no margin for error.

The Engineers at ATi certainly are keenly aware of this hostile environment and as of late, you've got to hand it to them, they've been executing flawlessly.  Comparatively, a flagship ATi board, like the Radeon 9800 Pro, is a significantly more efficient, cost effective elegant design than any NVIDIA high end product.  Anyone that has seen a GeForce FX 5900 side by side, versus a Radeon 9800 Pro, can easily attest to this.  Furthermore, if NVIDIA were to even consider integrating the features of an ATi All In Wonder product, it would be a monumental undertaking. 

As a result, the product we have on showcase for you today, one would say is in a league of its own.  Featuring ATi's most powerful VPU, the ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro also boasts TV and Multimedia features previously only found in discrete solutions.  This card is targeted at those who want it all and in one low profile AGP slot.  Are all things "wondrous" with this new high end ATi All-In-Wonder?  We'll try to answer that for you in the pages ahead.

Features of the All-In-Wonder RADEON 9800 Pro
Top End Enthusiast Gaming, TV , Video And Multimedia - You CAN have it all.

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  • Powered by the RADEON? 9800 PRO visual processor (VPU) clocked at 380MHz


  • 128MB of Double Data Rate DRAM clocked at 680MHz


  • Eight parallel rendering pipelines process up to 1 billion pixels per second


Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware


  • State-of-the-art full-scene anti-aliasing
  • Enhances image quality by eliminating jagged edges and bringing out fine texture detail, without compromising performance


  • Hierarchical Z-Buffer and Early Z Test reduce overdraw by detecting and discarding hidden pixels
  • Bandwidth-conserving technology removes a key performance bottleneck and provides end users with faster graphics performance


  • 2nd generation N-patch higher order surface support
  • Improves the appearance and realism of 3D characters, objects, and images to provide a smoother, more natural look


  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions and refresh rates
  • HYDRAVISION? software provides complete control over multi-display configurations with a user-friendly interface
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel palette DACs operating at up to 400MHz
  • Integrated DVI-compliant 165MHz TMDS transmitter supports resolutions up to WUXGA (1920x1200) Integrated TV-Out support up to 1024x768 resolution


  • VIDEO IMMERSION? II delivers industry-leading video playback

  • FULLSTREAM? Hardware accelerated de-blocking of Internet video streams

  • Integrated MPEG-2 decode including iDCT and motion compensation:

  • All format DTV/HDTV decode

  • Top quality DVD with lowest CPU usage

  • YUV to RGB color space conversion

  • Back-end scaler delivers top quality playback
  • 4-tap horizontal and vertical filtering
  • Upscaling and downscaling
  • Filtered display of images up to 1920 pixels wide
  • Unique per-pixel adaptive de-interlacing feature combines the best elements of the ?bob? and ?add-field? (weave) techniques
  • Hardware mirroring for flipping video images in video conferencing systems
  • Supports 8-bit alpha blending and video keying for effective overlay of video and graphics


  • Comprehensive 2X and 4X AGP support
  • Compatible with AGP 8X universal motherboards
  • High performance dual-channel 128-bit DDR memory interface supports 64/128MB configurations
  • Fully compliant with PC 2002 requirements
  • Optimized for Pentium4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon? 3Dnow! processor instructions
  • Supports optional THEATER? 200 companion chip for NTSC/PAL/ SECAM video capture
  • Highly optimized 128-bit 2D engine with support for new WindowsXP GDI extensions


  • Stereo TV tuner with 125 channels

  • TV-ON-DEMAND? records programs on your hard drive, pauses live TV and resumes broadcasts on your schedule

  • Gemstar GUIDE Plus+? provides interactive programming guides to select, schedule and record favorite shows

  • MULTIMEDIA CENTER? 8.5, industry leading suite of integrated multimedia applications

  • ATI?s new EAZYLOOK?? remote control user interface

  • Radio frequency wireless remote adds the flexibility of a hand held, 30 foot user interface

  • Video capture and editing including DVD and VideoCD Authoring

  • THRUVIEW? creates live, translucent TV, video and DVD windows for easy desktop access

  • MulTView? enables dual TV tuner capabilities including Picture-in-Picture and independent channel surfing*

  • THEATER? 200 video decoder and stereo audio processor with S/PDIF output

  • Component Video output via a YPrPb adapter (Adapter Included)


  • Remote Wonder RF USB Interface RF Transmitter and Remote Control

  • YPrPb Component Output dongle

  • Multimedia Center version 8.5


Those of you that are familiar with the specifications of a Radeon 9800 Pro, will note there is no difference, in terms of 3D Graphics specifications, between this card and a 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro.  The average Radeon card is already equipped with an s-video output connector, so all ATi had to do was drop in a TV Tuner with Cable input and S-Video in.  Additionally ATi's Theater 200 chip (backside of the card) provides full audio and video capture from NTSC, PAL and SECAM source inputs.  However, even though ATi has integrated all these features into a single board design, you're probably surprised to see in the picture above, that the card is actually slightly smaller than a standard Radeon 9800 Pro reference board.  One notable difference, other than the TV Tuner section, is that ATi went back to the 4 pin Floppy Power Connector on the AIW 9800 Pro, versus the 4 pin standard molex connector found on an R9800 Pro. 

Finally, the All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro only comes equipped with a single DVI Monitor output, which also supports standard VGA D-Sub, with an included DVI to D-Sub converter.  You can drive TV output simultaneously to DVI or VGA but there is no ability to drive two PC monitors with the All-In-Wonder R9800 Pro, since ATi had to remove the second monitor output to fit the Tuner and s-video input connectors on the back-plate.  So, maybe you can't exactly have it "all" with the AIW R9800 Pro but you certainly get plenty of Multimedia horsepower and the laws of physics and geometry preclude getting any additional connectors on that back-plate.

A Closer Look And The Remote Wonder

Tags:  ATI, Radeon, 980, pro

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