ATI's All-In-Wonder has been a big success for the Canadian graphics company. Combining 3D gaming power with TV tuning and multimedia features, those looking for a consolidating solution need to look no further than their AIW lineup. From mainstream to high-end, ATI typically covers all the bases to meet the user's economic and entertainment needs.
With the growing trend towards PCI Express, mainly due to AMD/NVIDIA jumping onboard, it was a matter of time before ATI brought an AIW card to this platform. Surprisingly, it wasn't the X800 or X850 version released first, but the X600 Pro. Clearly targeted at the mainstream crowd, it's no secret this won't be the card to give you 100fps in Half-Life 2, but it does give PCIe owners an option for not only a 2D/3D graphics card, but also one that can be used as part of an entertainment hub.
I won't rehash the marketing overview, You can also grab the
The All-In-Wonder X600 Pro
Since we've covered the X600 here at VL before, I won't go into too much detail about the technology. Some things to highlight; The codename of the X600 is the RV380 and is built on the same architecture as the 9600 (RV350). It's a native PCIe part, built on a 13 micron, Low-K process, with 4 pixel pipelines, 2 vertex engines, and a 128-bit memory bus. The reference X600 Pro is clocked at 400MHz core and 300MHz (600MHz DDR) memory and supports DX9 Shader Model 2.0. As you can see in the above images, no external power is required for the card, despite the extra multimedia based hardware built into the PCB.
Since the X600 can be looked at as a native PCIe version of the 9600, it's not too surprising they went with the same cooling system. The heatsink covers the entire VPU core and surrounding area with the fan slightly offset to blow through all the fins.
The AIW X600 Pro comes equipped with 256MB of SDRAM. The ram is officially rated at 300MHz, which is in line with ATI's reference X600's ram speed. For the card's IO, we have a DVI and VGA out as well as a connection for ATI's new modular input and output blocks which we will discuss shortly. While the AIW X600 Pro is capable of dual CRT output, no DVI-to-VGA adapter is included so you'll need to pick one of those up if you need to.
Other than the VPU and memory, the other important chips that make up the AIW X600 Pro are the RF modulator TV tuner and Theater 200. The TV tuner is quite a breakthrough as it's a mere fraction of the size of previous tuners. While there is not much of a physical benefit for the X600 Pro, the upcoming X800 version of the card, as well as future versions of the AIW that require more PCB space for cooling will benefit greatly from the smaller tuner.
New with the AIW X600 Pro are the modular input and output blocks. These new blocks are stackable, making for a much neater setup as ATI adds more for additional functions. The move to these blocks also frees up some rear PCI backpanel space for the DVI and CRT connections as well.
Setting the card's modular blocks requires the installation of an input cable into the back of the card as discussed earlier. Afterwards, you connect the modular blocks, followed by any cabling that you need depending on your task. Keep in mind that no cables are included, and you'll need to pick those up on your own.