Introduction

ATI is no-doubt enjoying the limelight lately with the release of the X1900, which is no surprise considering their new card puts ATI back in the lead over NVIDIA in the performance category. With some form of the 7800 GTX so long on the top of that list, it's kind of strange seeing an ATI card take its place, especially given the timing of the release and the short lifespan of the X1800 series. Now that ATI has these incredibly powerful cards available to consumers, we're interested to see how future games will put this card to good use.

ATI has been successful with their All-In-Wonder line of multimedia graphics cards, and have been good about making them available on a wide variety of their cards. We recently reviewed the AIW 2006 which was based on the X1300, and ATI have apparently wasted no time in coming out with an All-In-Wonder card based on their newest part, the X1900.

The All-In-Wonder X1900 is the latest thing from ATI and it promises the same quality (if not better) of video and multimedia features we've seen before, on a card with the highest in gaming performance. Until now, the X1800 XL All-In-Wonder was the most powerful version of this card, and we were impressed by its performance. However, the X1900 AIW will obviously be better for gaming, even if it's not quite as powerful as a stock X1900 XT.

Many of the multimedia/video features remain the same as the previous versions, so we will be touching briefly on each feature for those who aren't familiar with what the AIW offers. Because the GPU is clocked lower than a standard X1900, gaming performance will be something for us to look at, and we will be testing the AIW X1900 against a wide range of cards, including the standard X1900 XT and XTX. We've already reviewed a few different All-In-Wonder graphics cards, but for this one, there will be a slight change of focus.

Video quality is something we sometimes take for granted when talking about digital video. Different DVD players can sometimes differ greatly in image quality, and these differences are not all subjective. We will be looking closely at how ATI's latest drivers handle digital video processing with a special HQV benchmark on this card, and we'll also be looking at how it compares to NVIDIA's decoding. There have been some changes by ATI which address some decoding problems in the past, and we're interested to see how well they've done. For now though, lets look at the All-In-Wonder X1900.

The Card and The Features
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  • ayersmj - Saturday, February 11, 2006 - link

    I am looking to build a Media Center PC. I need a card that has a YPbPr input and can be paired with a SB audigy to record the signal coming off my Directv HD Reciever. Tivo doesnt have a PVR yet that can work with this and I was kind of hoping to build one myself. Would this card allow me to do this? If not, what do I need. The MIT MyHD cards will not work as they do not have either a DVI input or a YPbPr input.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • PeteRoy - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    Hey put the old way of showing benchmark figures, this is too confusing and hard to read! Reply
  • Pastuch - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    "If performance continues to increase at the rate that it has been, we aren't sure how game software will be able to keep up. We are always happy when we see advancements in technology, but the huge sizes of some of these high end cards make us think better efficiency might be good direction for graphics hardware to move toward."

    I'm so tired of reading comments like these! Look at the benches of Fear and try to tell me that graphics power is in abundance. You have to buy a $600 graphics card to play the game at a decent framerate on pretty much any LCD monitor sold today. Even if you buy a low end 17 inch LCD you are going to be running 1280x1024 because that is your monitors native resolution and anything less results in a much poorer picture.

    With the number of features built into most motherboards I cant see any problem with filling the extra space with graphics cards. You dont need 5 PCI slots. The charm of the ATX standard is and always has been adaptability.

    P.S. The price of graphics cards is totally rediculous these days. The cheapest 7800gtx 512mb you can buy in Canada is $899 on sale! The x1900xtx can be found for around $680. I hope Nvidia doesnt continue this crazy pricing in their spring release.
    Reply
  • flashbacck - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    Where does one get the ATI DVD decoder? Does that only come with the AIW cards? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    It's taking ATI an awfully long time to figure out how to put the Theater 550 on All-In-Wonder cards in place of the Theater 200. Until they can do it, and thus give us hardware MPEG-2 encoding when recording video, I'd rather pay to have both a video card, and a separate tuner card (like my Hauppauge WinTV PVR 150) in my system. The All-In-Wonder X1900 is supposed to be the Cadillac; why are the video recording features more akin to a Chevy? Reply
  • Questar - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    Is this your attempt at a troll, or are you just uninformed?
    This card has MPEG 1/2/4 hardware encoding. ATI has had hardware encoding on the AIW card for over a year.

    http://www.ati.com/products/radeonx1900/aiwx1900/f...">http://www.ati.com/products/radeonx1900/aiwx1900/f...

    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, February 13, 2006 - link

    Gee, thanks for your insulting reply. It is possible to be informative without being insulting, you know.

    LoneWolf (the "troll" who owns a Radeon X800XL and an ATI TV Wonder PCI)
    Reply
  • Questar - Monday, February 13, 2006 - link

    How can you own an X800XL and not know it does hardware mpeg encoding? Reply
  • Questar - Monday, February 13, 2006 - link

    Oh, I get it, you didn't get the AIW version.

    Hmmmmmm....
    Reply
  • ianken - Monday, February 13, 2006 - link

    None of the ATI cards do HW based MPEG2 (or any other sort) of encoding. At least not yet. ATI has demoed their AVC codec, of which the released version of the demo does not actually use the hardware and produce horrendous quality becuasr they skip most of the AVC codec features to attain high speeds.

    To see this all you need to do is compare CPU load of teh AIW -vs- the ATI 550 Elite and see that the AIW is not using hardware of any kind.
    Reply

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