ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon X1900

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Our Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: Obviously, with a 256MB frame buffer, and much lower core and memory clock speeds than the other cards in ATI's Radeon X1900 line-up, the All-In-Wonder X1900 isn't a contender for the 3D performance crown. But that is not what this "jack of all trades" video card is tartgeted at. Throughout our testing, the new All-In-Wonder X1900 performed much like a 256MB GeForce 7800 GTX, except in Quake 4 (OpenGL), where the AIW X1900 was clearly outpaced by the other cards we tested. Overall though, the All-In-Wonder X1900's 3D performance should be considered very solid by today's metrics, thanks to its 48 pixel shader processors. The card's performance in the HQV benchmark was second to none. However, CPU utilization while playing back HD content was a bit higher than we had expected based on our experience with the All-In-Wonder Radeon X1800 XL. Perhaps future driver updates will remedy this situation.

***Update May 4, 2006: ATI dropped the price of All-In-Wonder X1900 from USD$499 to USD$449.

ATI seems to have taken two steps forward, and one step backward with the All-In-Wonder X1900. We like the fact that ATI was able to introduce a new All-In-Wonder based on their latest flagship R580 GPU so quickly. And we also like that a side effect of introducing new All-In-Wonders based new GPU architectures, is higher 3D performance and more features for these multimedia powerhouses. But ATI seems to have gone back to the "cut down" All-In-Wonder philosophy with the AIW X1900. With the All-In-Wonder X800 XT and X1800 XL, these cards had the same specifications as their "standard" desktop counterparts. With the All-In-Wonder X1900 though, the desktop parts are clocked much higher, have more memory, and as such offer much better 3D performance. Although the All-In-Wonder Radeon X1900 is technically the most powerful All-In-Wonder yet, we wish ATI kept its specifications more on par with its standard counterparts. Then again, perhaps the All-In-Wonder X1900 is a precursor to an as yet unannounced, lower-priced, X1900 based desktop derivative and ATI simply fast-tracked the AIW X1900 to bolster the launch of the GPU?  Time will tell.

At a $499 MSRP, the All-In-Wonder X1900 is the least expensive product in the Radeon X1900 line-up, despite its wealth of multimedia features. Couple that with the fact that the Radeon X1900 is arguably the most feature-rich GPU on the market, and you can't help but like the All-In-Wonder X1900. 3D performance wasn't awe inspiring, and we would have preferred a 512MB frame buffer, but thanks to the AVIVO video engine, video playback quality is excellent and the card's multimedia features are currently unmatched by any competing products. We wanted a little more 3D horsepower, yes, but in the end the AIW X1900 is still the most capable and feature-rich All-In-Wonder yet. We're giving the All-In-Wonder X1900 a solid 8.5 on the Heat Meter.

._Feature-Rich
._Excellent Multimedia Capabilities
._Single Slot
._Promised availability very soon
._48 Pixel Shaders for under $500
._Fastest All-In-Wonder Yet
._Remote Wonder Plus
._Adobe Software Bundle
._Free Guide+
._Lower GPU and Memory Speeds than any other X1900 standard board
._X1900 branding--X1800 performance

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Tags:  ATI, Radeon, x1

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