ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 Review

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The ATI AllInWonder Radeon 7500 Review - Page 2

 

The ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 Review
Not Just a TV Card

By, Jeff Bouton
April 4, 2002


 

Quality and Setup of the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500
Looking Good...

Quality:

When we first took a look at the card, we were impressed with how tight all of the components were packed on the PCB.  ATI can really squeeze a lot of components onto a PCB, without needing to increase its size unnecessarily.  At the heart of the card is the Radeon 7500 GPU running at 260MHz.  Although the GPU runs very cool, even when overclocked, ATI did the right thing by adding active cooling to the GPU.  The main selling points of the Radeon 7500 GPU are the 2.11 Charisma Engine, Pixel Tapestry Archetecture and HYPERZ Technology.  The Charisma Engine boasts the ability to handle key DirectX 8 functions, such as Keyframe Interpolation and 4-Matrix Vertex Skinning.  Pixel Tapestry Architecture is the cards rendering engine, handling all bump mapping processes as well as environmental mapping.  The HYPERZ technology increases memory bandwidth by 20% without the need to increase the memory speed, by not rendering objects in a scene that are not visible. 

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64MB of DDR RAM complement the GPU, running at 180MHz. and a Philips tuner module drives all of the TV features of the All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500.
 


With all the features on the backside of the card, this left little room for ATI to accommodate both DVI and Analog monitor connections.  So they took a new approach, including an adapter that easily converts the on-board DVI to the more popular analog connector.  This however, is not the most ideal design in our opinion.  There have been rumors around the net of people having difficulty with this adapter with certain computer cases.  Apparently some slots on these cases are slightly narrower at the base of the adapter, making it difficult to seat properly.  The adapter also appears to increase the stress on the card if a thick monitor cable is connected.  Perhaps if they made the adapter flexible the seating problems would be resolved and there would be less stress placed on the card itself.

Remote Control:

One of the most useful features of the All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 is the RF Remote control.  Using Radio Frequency, the remote control can operate the card from other rooms, not requiring a clear line of sight as with conventional infrared remotes.  With the card connected to a TV in another room, a user can easily control the card while watching a television program or DVD.  I must admit that initially I thought that this might be a bit if a gimmick, but once the card was up and running, using the remote turned out to be a real pleasure.  This is without a doubt one of the best features to be included with a TV card.  It was refreshing to realize that ATi didn't reserve this option for just the higher end Radeon 8500DV.


Next we'll cover setting up some of the external devices.
 

Setup:

Once we had the card installed, setting up the added cabling was a snap with the easy to follow diagrams included in the package.  ATI obviously went through great lengths to make this part of the installation as simple as possible, even for a novice.  Once we had the ATI adapter installed, connecting to a DVD player, VCR or TV was simple and painless.


 

Drivers of the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500
Lots of Options.

The driver package included with the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 is loaded with options.  As we perused the various tabs, we found numerous settings available to let us customize how the card behaved.  Whether adjusting simple 2D processes or needing to control how the card handled DirectX and OpenGL games, ATI has covered all of the bases.  Below are a few screenshots to demonstrate what features are available.

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Next up, we will take a look at some of the software that comes with the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 and then we'll start putting the card to the test!

   

Software and 3DMark2001SE

Tags:  ATI, Radeon, review, view, IE

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