ATI All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 Review

ATI AllInWonder RADEON 9700 Review - Page 3


ATI All In Wonder 9700 Pro Review
The Fastest 3D in a Multimedia Package

By: Chris Angelini
November 4th, 2002

Four - Television
TV-ON-DEMAND Makes A Return

The All in Wonder?s television feature has evolved slowly over time.  It first consisted solely of television reception.  With the introduction of the All in Wonder RADEON, ATI added time shifting ? the ability to hit 'pause' during a live TV stream while the computer continues recording a compressed MPEG-2 stream into a buffer.  Once you resume playback, you?ll be watching video of comparable quality even though it is being played from the buffer.  At the same time, ATI also introduced a TV Guide in collaboration with GemStar.  The subscription service remains free and the Guide's listings are updated through the Internet. 

ATI?s multimedia team has made a couple of additions to the TV package, incorporated into the Multimedia Center 8.0 package.  The first, MulTView, enables picture-in-picture, picture-outside-picture and the ability to record one program using the All in Wonder while another channel is displayed using an additional TV Wonder card (purchased optionally for $50).

If you only connect one antenna, this is what you'll see with MulTView enabled.

VideoSoap - Cleaning up your act

The second enhancement to the TV software is VideoSoap, which combines up to four filters to remove random noise from an incoming video stream saved through the Personal Video Recorder.  Among the available filters are soft focus, de-speckle, sharpen, and a combination filter.  The result is a better-looking recording that can be saved using higher compression, and consequently, less disk space.  Each of the filters requires processing power, so ATI has wisely included an indicator that allows you to estimate the performance impact on your system given the desired filtering combination.

The Fifth Wonder - Drivers
Up to Catalyst 2.4

ATI has a sordid history with drivers, to be sure.  But with the introduction of the Catalyst program, ATI made an official commitment to clean up its act by increasing stability, enhancing performance, and most importantly, take feedback from the enthusiast community about bugs and possible improvements.  The latest version of the driver set includes dialog boxes for OpenGL and Direct3D adjustments, in addition to a rotation feature similar to NVIDIA?s NVRotate.  ATI has also included SMARTGART, a handy utility for setting the speed of your AGP bus and toggling Fast Writes on and off. 


The Sixth, System Setup, and Some Benchmarks


Tags:  ATI, Radeon, review, view, IE

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