ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon

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ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon
The Radeon All-In-Wonder's little green circuit board contains one of the most powerful graphics accelerators on the market, and a great deal more. For starters, there is a TV tuner, plus on-board hardware support for DVD movie playback (and for some VCDs, too). In addition, there are AV inputs (via a small break-out box), and direct AV outputs for connecting to a VCR, TV set or Dolby Digital amplifier. As the cream on the cake, there is even a DVI port for connecting a flat panel monitor.
Installing an AGP graphics card requires an empty AGP slot, of course. But, removing an AGP graphics card from an existing slot can require more effort than removing a PCI card, so be prepared for a bit of stiff opposition. A good few graphics cards have two monitor ports - DVI, for an LCD monitor, and VGA for non-digital tube-based screens.
However, the ATI's very busy backplate has no room for two, so the company opted to leave off the VGA port and, instead, supply a VGA adaptor that fits onto the DVI port. Unfortunately, we found that the screws on the adapter were too short and did not reach the plate of the card, so the adaptor couldn't be fixed securely in place. We solved the problem by using a 5mm socket wrench to loosen the screws on the card just enough to allow the screws on the adapter to reach - something which shouldn't be necessary. All the other supplied cables and the break-out box fitted as they should.
ATI provides a driver installation CD for the card, plus three other CDs, one for each of the three included software packages. ATI's own CD also carries playback software installers for DVD, VCD, Audio CD and multimedia files. After installation of the ATI components, a task bar resides on the right hand side of Windows desktop giving quick access to the different programs. This task bar can be set to auto hide, or can be hidden altogether if it's a nuisance. In the system tray on the Windows task bar (below and on the far right), a small ATI icon also gives quick access to the various ATI programs as well as the graphics card settings.

The ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon is more than a graphics card that sports the latest in 3D acceleration. It's a TV tuner; video recorder; DVD, VCD, audio CD player; and video capture device. As such it can transform a humble computer into a true all-round multimedia entertainment centre with the ability to capture and export video. The supplied software helps make the All-In-Wonder Radeon a great buy.

More in the June 2001 issue of Computer Video Magazine

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Reviewed in June's issue:
Matrox Marvel G450 eTV
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon
Sony DSR-11
Panasonic AG-DVC15

In June's news:
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