All-in-Wonder X1900

Review

posted 6/6/2006 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC

When ATI announced the X1900 line of cards, I figured an All-in-Wonder version using R580 wouldn’t be far behind. The last release saw the All-in-Wonder X1800XL card released with the X1800 announcement. It didn’t take long but the All-in-Wonder X1900 is here and it looks to take the lead in gaming performance for the All-in-Wonder line.

Card

The All-in-Wonder X1900 is one of the few All-in-Wonders that doesn’t have an equivalent purchasable non-AIW variant. When you look down the All-in-Wonder line you’ll usually see a sister card that ATI has produced with the same specifications minus the multimedia features. For now, there isn’t one but I would gather that a regular X1900 card from ATI would be produced in the future for the mid-range folks.

So what are the specifications for the All-in-Wonder X1900? First of all the core is built on the 90nm technology. The engine clock speed sits at 500MHz while the memory is clocked at 480MHz DDR. Compared to the X1900 XT, the All-in-Wonder X1900’s core is 20% slower while the memory is 34% slower. When you compare it to the big daddy X1900 XTX, you get a 23% drop in engine speed and a 38% drop in memory speed. One thing that hasn’t changed is that the card features 16 pipelines.

Another difference from the regular X1900 line is that the card features 256MB of memory; half of what the other two cards feature. The card’s already packed to the gills with features so there probably wasn’t room to put another 256MB of memory on an already long board without some major re-architecturing of the card. Given the specs the card should still be a good performer and is also $50 less than the Radeon X1900 XT and $100 less than the Radeon X1900 XTX.

After all that’s included on this card, it makes it for a rather long piece of hardware to put into your computer. It’s naturally longer than a regular X1900 XTX (an already long card itself) so take note in the case and motherboard you are putting this card into. Make sure that you can live with any connectors or jumpers that might interfere with extended length of this card. There were a few motherboards where I put the card in and it blocked some SATA connectors as well as other connections.

The bracket features one DVI connector, one coaxial cable connector, one FM antenna connector, and the dongle connector for the other external connections. On the dongle are a VGA connector and two connectors for the included domino I/O blocks. If you’re using a dual monitor setup where the other one only has a DVI input, you can use the included adapter to connect the two. I’m hopping ATI decides to make the second monitor connector a DVI in their future products.

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