Introduction

While still having some trouble keeping pace with NVIDIA, ATI has been doing well lately with quality graphics solutions like the X800 GTO. The X1800 series has also shown promise, although there are still issues with the price, which doesn't quite reflect performance with respect to the competition (specifically the 7800) right now. The X1800 XL is showing up between $370 and $400, while we can find the 7800 GT at prices between $320 and $370. That said, as prices hopefully fall, the X1800 XL looks to be a good high-end choice from ATI for the holidays.



Many are familiar with ATI's All-In-Wonder series of graphics cards, which offer not only gaming power, but also various multimedia features such as TV playback and recording on your PC. ATI has released a few different versions of the All-In-Wonder, and for the most part, the multimedia aspects of them are similar. Recently though, we got a chance to look at the newest edition of the A-I-W, the X1800 XL A-I-W, and we are impressed with what we saw.

Obviously, the main difference between the X1800 XL A-I-W and past versions is the level of gaming power, which is highest here with the X1800 XL. The multimedia features have also been upgraded, and we'll look at that in the next section. The main features that the All-In-Wonder variation of this card provides are centered around video I/O, and the capabilities of this card make it quite useful to those who want an easy way to get video on to their PC. Due to the upgraded graphics performance, the X1800 XL A-I-W should look even more desirable to those gamers who want to be able to play the latest games and have some extra video options as well.

We'll be looking at all the different features of this card to give an idea of what it is capable of media-wise. We'll also take a look at how it performs in a few games relative to the competition, as well as what kind of power consumption we see for the card. As always, price plays an important part of the overall value of the part, and because we only know the suggested retail at the time of this writing ($429), there will be a fair amount of subjectivity here. That notwithstanding, there is no denying the X1800 XL A-I-W's potential, so without further delay, lets take a look at it.

The Card
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  • BPB - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    How does the X800XL compare to this card? I know neither has the Theater 550 chip, but I was thinking og getting a second turner card anyways for pip, and so I can record one show and watch another. The X800XL is much cheaper and probably meets my needs. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    More confirmation that a $320 7800GT is still the way to go. Reply
  • Wilco - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Interesting the GUIDE Plus+ website lists NVidia as a partner for PC cards but not ATi. Reply
  • rqle - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    I stopped buying these "AIW" cards. Couldnt jusify the price and continous upgrade. And bought a PCI version of ATI TV card, makes upgrade much easier, doesnt matter what video card i use, still have similar functionality. Reply
  • erwos - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    No HDTV tuner? Check!
    Only one DVI out? Check!
    No Theatre 550? Check!
    No availability? Check!

    What an underwhelming product. I like the AIW concept as much as the next guy, but it seems like they've really moved nowhere with the video features in the past few years.

    -Erwos
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - link

    Although I'm a ATI Fan...(fan, not fanboy), I find it annoying that they are still using the Theatre 200 chip....where are you 550??! Reply
  • agent2099 - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Couldn't have said it better myself. You'd think by this time the AIW cards would be incorporating HDTV tuners. Reply
  • phusg - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Here here. Although nowhere in the article does it mention the lack of HDTV support, I guess you got it from ATIs site. You would expect it on a 4Q 2005 >$400 card really though wouldn't you? Reply
  • bloc - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Anand's Benches have the 7800 GT over the X1800 XL

    while FS has X1800 over the 7800 GT

    Who's right? It makes a difference as one card is consistenly beating the other.

    Viperlair has x1800 on top

    motherboard.org has 7800 GT

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Different games, different levels, different settings, and different benchmarking methodologies. Combine those four aspects and you'll get variance in the scores. Our BF2 benchmark uses the Operation Clean Sweep level, which appears to run slower than other levels. Reply

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