Introduction

We recently looked at ATI's X1800 XL version of the All-In-Wonder, which combined powerhouse graphics along with its multimedia capabilities. We were impressed by how much gaming power the card had on top of the video features, but questioned how practical it would be given the price. The X1800 XL A-I-W handled graphics as well as any high-end card can be expected to do, but many of those on the market for an All-in-Wonder ATI card would probably prefer something a little less bulky and pricey (in the graphics dept), but still have the features of the newer A-I-W.

Luckily, ATI has an answer for this in the form of the ATI All-In-Wonder 2006 PCIExpress Edition. The A-I-W 2006 is based on ATI's X1300 line, making it more budget-friendly than it's X1800 XL big brother. Because it's based on a budget part, the A-I-W 2006 looks like a much more practical alternative for an All-In-Wonder solution, if not quite as impressive. Still, the full motion video playback and recording features, as well as the hefty software bundle add to the desirability of this card.

This is our first look at the All-In-Wonder 2006 PCIe Edition, and apart from the obvious graphical performance difference from the X1800 XL All-In-Wonder, these two cards are very similar. The All-In-Wonder series offer various multimedia features such as TV playback and recording, as well as online program downloading and scheduling for recording shows. We'll be looking at these features more closely later in the review.

We will also be looking at the performance of the A-I-W 2006 PCI-e in some gaming tests, to see how this version of the X1300 handles a couple of games at different resolutions. Interestingly, while the A-I-W 2006 architecture is based on the X1300, it's clocked lower than a standard X1300 Pro (which we tested in our X1000 series launch articles), and we will compare the two in the performance test section.

Also, we'll be looking at any differences we might see in the multimedia features of this latest All-In-Wonder part over the earlier versions, and we'll again be testing power consumption as well. The X1800 XL A-I-W costs about $380 right now, and with a suggested retail price of $199, the A-I-W 2006 is significantly more affordable. Given the fact that at the time of release, the X1800 XL A-I-W retailed at about $490, we might see a similar drop in price for the A-I-W 2006 a while after it's out, which is a good thing.

As far as availability goes, we have another "proving ground" situation for this launch, as we won't know for sure if the card will actually be buyable today, the day of the launch, but we are giving ATI the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully ATI will make good their promise and we will see some quantities of the A-I-W 2006 PCIe for sale sometime today. The recent X1800 CrossFire Edition launch was a little light on availability, but there were cards around for those who looked hard enough. We'll keep our eyes open.

We like the capabilities of the All-In-Wonder family of cards, and this one looks to be another member of the same quality. The price is still a big factor in how desirable this card will be to the individual user, especially as we are dealing with a much less powerful card for gaming. Given the fact that prices are very much subject to change, and that different PC owners will have different preferences when looking for a multimedia solution, there is a fair amount of subjectivity in the value of this card. But that said, the A-I-W 2006 has a lot of potential, so lets go ahead and take a look at the card.

The Card
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  • rob46 - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    Since the AIW 2006 PCIe is based off the architecture of the x1300, can any other x1300 card be used to set up a Crossfire system? There was an article a little while ago that stated that the x1300 series wouldn't need a Crossfire master-card so any x1300 card should, in theory, be able to complete the Crossfire system right? Reply
  • macraig - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    It's really bad review journalism that so many reviews are done in a vacuum. None of a product's features or characteristics have meaning as an absolute... they're only meaningful *relative* to other similar competing products. That makes perfect sense, since even human intelligence isn't and can't (yet?) be measured as an absolute. Neither has meaning except relative to a peer.

    I'd like to see AnandTech and all other sites offering things called reviews to save their words and efforts until they can do the job right, with a full comparative head-to-head spread. "Reviews" in a vacuum like this raise an obvious question of motivation: is this an actual objective review, or merely a verbose conspiratorial marketing ad?

    Mark
    Reply
  • Galloway1520 - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    What I'm most curious about is if this card can OC up at least to stock X1300(445MHz up to 600MHz) engine clock. If so, then it should be able to do Crossfire, as the X1300 & X1600 do not require a master/dongle combo.
    It not, my understanding is that Crossfire automatically 'underclocks' the faster card, and then this combo doesn't look as promising
    Reply
  • andlcs - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    The review didn't mention the memory of this card.

    Newegg says it's DDR.
    ATI Web Site says it's GDDR3.
    I think it's F-BGA/GDDR2.
    Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    "The fact that certain parts (ie. X1600) took so long after launch to actually become available made us go from slightly annoyed to eventually worried that something horrible had happened at ATI to cause such delays."

    It's been known for months why the x1000 series was delayed. As always, Google is your friend.

    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    There are lots of reason for the general "delay" in x1000 series parts, and these have been well documented. Initially the R520 was supposed to launch this past summer and the rest of the lineup would follow in october/november. There was a circuit bug that ended up forcing ATI to push the R520 launch back to the RV515 timeframe. RV515 (x1300) was generally on time, and the RV530 (X1600) was announced at the same time as the rest of the X1000 series (early october). RV530 was scheduled to hit the streets on 11/30. All this is well and good, but it's not what Josh was talking about.

    The X1600 wasn't available until recently. The X1800 XT was available about 3-5 days after it was scheduled to be (11/5), but it took longer for the X1600 to show up. This is the delay we are talking about -- the delay from when ATI says something will be on shelves until the day it actually is.

    We are happy to see some real availability of the All-In-Wonder 2006 today at major online retailers. It was also nice to see a few sites selling the X1800 CrossFire Edition a couple days ago.

    This week is certainly a welcome change from what we are used to seeing from ATI.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    If this thing is $200 or lower at launch(and $150 or so as time goes on?), it'd be a good option for people with an "SLI" mobo, but no interest in a SLI setup. Put your gaming card in slot 1, put this card in slot 2, use this for VIVO, and the gaming card as your actual video card. Reply
  • Donegrim - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    or buy a dedicated TV card for vastly less money, and get a pci one so you wouldnt have to havee a dual PCI-E motherboard. These AIW cards seem pointless when you can get a decent TV card for about £30 ($55 ish) Reply
  • BigLan - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    For people in that situation, a pcie theater550 card would be a much better option. Hardware encoding makes a huge difference (despite what was said in the article) and the 550 is much cheaper than this card.

    Actually, getting a regular x1300 + theater 550 card works out about the same price as the x1300 aiw, and would be a much better option imo (faster gfx card + better TV picture.) Plus it would give you something to put in those pcie x1 slots :)
    Reply
  • ksherman - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    ah but that 1x slot is inbetween my two Vieo slots... and i dont think any card will fit in there..... (DFI Ultra-D) some times, i get really angry @ DFI for their board design... Reply

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