The All-in-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro has the same basic design as previous AiW products, and should be quite familiar to potential customers. The card's backplate includes the now-standard DVI-I output, Cable TV input and Video-in/Video-out ports. The lack of a pure VGA port was a limitation earlier, but with the increase in LCD sales and the inclusion of a DVI-I to VGA adapter in the package, this space-saving design choice is much easier to swallow. Although this does not afford a true dual-display option, the AiW Radeon 9800 Pro does feature an EASYLOOK option for a dual-monitor/TV setup.
The AiW Radeon 9800 Pro may be a multimedia demon on the outside, but at its heart beats a powerful 3D performer. The card uses the same 380 MHz core and 680 MHz DDR clock speeds as the desktop version, along with sporting 128-MB of 2.8 ns Samsung DDR. The AiW Radeon 9800 Pro requires an external power supply, is a fully AGP 8X part, and uses an analog Phillips TV-tuner. The heatsink-fan is a slightly modified version (to allow for the TV tuner) of the desktop Radeon 9800 Pro hardware, and other than a few other modifications for the AiW design (such as the Rage Theatre 200 chip), there are few other differences between it and other ATI Radeon 9800 Pro desktop cards.
The standard AiW retail bundle contains a nice selection of both hardware and software, and the AiW Radeon 9800 Pro certainly keeps up to past ATI efforts. The retail box contains the video card itself, along with a cornucopia of audio/video cables and attachments. These include the standard ATI break-out box for A/V inputs (S-Video in, composite video-in and R/L audio-in connectors), an A/V Output Breakout Cable (S-Video out, composite video out, S/PDIF out and a line-in connector for the soundcard), an HDTV output connector, a DVI-to-VGA dongle, a Molex power connector, and both S-Video and Composite video cables. The AiW Radeon 9800 Pro is a high-end video card, and on the hardware end, ATI has not scrimped on a single detail.
The pack also includes a hardcopy 58-page manual that details all of the various functions and configuration options, but for those who like to dive right in, there is a quick install guide with basic instructions and some very useful, color diagrams. The Remote Wonder controller is also included, and looks to be standard equipment on the newer AiW cards. The Remote Wonder is bundled with the remote receiver (which attaches to a USB port), a user manual and four AAA batteries.
The AiW Radeon 9800 Pro's software bundle is also quite good, and includes some extras not found in the less-expensive models. ATI's Multimedia Center 8.1 is naturally included, and this allows a task-bar for one-click access to Cable TV, DVD, Video, and other ATI multimedia programs, and gives the AiW line a high level of user-friendliness. The multimedia authoring side is taken care of with Pinnacle Studio 8 (ATI version) for digital video importing, editing and mastering, along with the more specialized Mediator 7 Standard, which produces interactive video presentations for business or Web-based use. ATI hasn't forgotten the gamer in all this multimedia software, and also include a full version of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
Mediator 7 can be a useful tool for specific presentation needs, but the star of the show is definitely Pinnacle Studio 8. This is an all-in-one program that fits the AiW Radeon 9800 Pro perfectly, and allows video capture, editing and authoring in one program. The options are quite robust for a bundled program, and home video users will definitely have some fun tinkering with the features and adding transitions, music or sound FX, as well as inserting titles, and testing out the plethora of audio/visual bells and whistles. When your masterpiece is complete, Pinnacle Studio 8 lets you burn the finished product onto VCD or DVD media.