The ATI name has long been synonymous with performance 3D video, and their Radeon 9800 Pro line is currently one of the top choices for the enthusiast gamer. But this is really only the tip of the iceberg, and ATI is also the market leader in highly-integrated, multimedia video cards. The All-in-Wonder brand name is a virtual industry standard, owing the ability to get TV-tuner and Video-in/out functionality on some of the top-end ATI 3D card designs. This "Swiss army knife" functionality is key to the AiW's success, as not only do you receive a richly featured multimedia card, but the gaming side is more than taken care of.
ATI has positioned their AiW line-up so that it covers a wide range of potential markets. The basic multimedia functionality remains unchanged between models, and primary multimedia features of the AiW line include Cable TV, Video-in for recording, editing and mastering, and Video/TV-out. The Cable TV and Video-in features are the bread-and-butter of the AiW design, and are incredibly popular with the home computer user. Features such as TV on Demand, Guide+, and timed program recording can transform the PC into a second TV-VCR combo if required, and the Video-in functionality has proven extremely popular with home video aficionados.
The base functionality may be similar between models, but as you move up the AiW line, the main upgrade path is centered on 3D performance. At the entry-level, we have the AiW Radeon 9000 Pro and AiW Radeon VE, while the mid-range is covered by the new AiW Radeon 9600 Pro. The high-end is where things start to get intriguing, and is where the powerful AiW Radeon 9800 Pro makes its entrance. The ability to have all the multimedia options present in a top-of-the-line 3D video powerhouse has an allure that is hard to describe, and represents the absolute cream of the video crop for many buyers.
The All-in-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro combines high-end 3D gaming speed with a wealth of audio-visual goodies, so our review will concentrate on evaluating both sides of this video card. We'll confirm that the AiW Radeon 9800 Pro can keep up with ATI's best pure desktop cards, along with taking it for a ride through some hand's on audio/video and Cable TV testing.