ATI All-in-Wonder X800 XT

Review

posted 5/13/2005 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
The old Philips tuner definitely wouldn’t have fit on this card. With real estate being a premium, there had to be a new design. In comes the Microtune Digital TV tuner that takes up much less space and uses less power. I’ve used this tuner with the TV Wonder Elite and had no problems. You can see the size differences between the two in the picture below. The small size of the tuner helped enable the inclusion of the VGA and DVI connector.

ATI is touting this All-in-Wonder card to be the first one with both VGA and DVI connections on the bracket. Sure enough the card does have both and looking at the bracket, the connections look almost like most video cards out there. With that you can connect two different monitors for dual monitor configuration.

You’re probably wondering where the rest of the connections are such as for cable, FM antennae, and the plethora of video inputs and outputs with no space left on the bracket. Here, ATI has done away with the purple breakout box that we’ve been used to for a few years and they’ve developed an elegant solution. First of all, there’s a hub that holds connections for various functions. See the square like connector on the bracket where some cards have an S-Video connector? That’s the initial connection with the new input cable. The input cable breaks out into the cable and FM antennae connector, a general video output connector, and a general video input connector. Now, what about the rest of the inputs and outputs?



In comes these new stackable Lego-like boxes that hold just about any video connector you’ll need. There are three of these boxes that come with the card and each provides separate functions. One box will plug into the video input connection of the hub and another box plugs into the video output connection of the hub. You’ve got almost every connection you need in these three boxes that can be placed on top of each other. Having the ability to stack the boxes is a nice touch and helped clean up my desk by not having the three boxes scattered about.

After all that’s been written about that this card holds, the card STILL only fits in one slot. So if you want to use this in a small form factor case, you shouldn’t have any problems. While we’re seeing some movement to dual slot configurations for some high-end cards, this powerful card will easily fit into a single slot saving space.
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