HQV Results and Conclusions
Now that we have gone through the barrage of HQV tests, what were our final scores?
The ATI X1900 AIW with Avivo technology scored 118 points out of a possible 130. NVIDIA’s 7800 GTX with PureVideo scored 103 points out 130. The differences came in our noise reduction tests and a couple of the cadence tests, but the both card provided decent video quality. The edge goes to ATI’s video technology for now, but as newer versions of the PureVideo and Avivo drivers are released, this might change and we will be retesting.
The X1900 All-in-Wonder is definitely a step up beyond the X1800 XL All-in-Wonder that was released before it. Taking the 48 pixel R580 core and putting it into a multimedia video card was bound to bring the best gaming performance in that class of card we have ever seen. That being said, the 500/480 clocked X1900 AIW didn’t live up to the X1900 XTX or XT, as expected, but it was able to come out ahead of the X1800 XT in many benchmarks. The 30% clock deficit it has on both the X1800 and X1900 cards is surely holding it back, but with a single slot cooling design and the extra complexity of the All-in-Wonder features like the TV tuner and Theater 200 logic, the gaming performance is pretty impressive.
Interestingly, this card would be a good competitor to the 7800 GT lineup if they simply took off the video features and knocked the price down to around $300. Maybe ATI has this in the plans?
The heart of the ATI multimedia application, the TV software turned out to be pretty good. The image quality was acceptable for standard defintion, analog television, especially considering it is being converted from analong to digital and back a couple times before being displayed. The scaling engine on the Theater 200 produced good results in TV image quality even when enlarging it to fit a high resolution desktop configuration.
The DVR functionality was intuitive and the Guide+ system worked pretty well for my zip code, gaining me access to a free channel and TV guide right inside of Windows. The Guide+ software wasn’t fancy looking, but it made access to future shows and recording them a snap.
Despite being a small point on a long list of features, I probably played with the radio application as much as the TV or DVD players. I just liked getting my local FM radio stations on the PC and being able to record them to MP3s. I could then use an external application to cut up songs if I wanted and um, borrow them for a while. Want to hear your morning DJ (not Stern though, this olden-days FM radio bub) but not get up at 6am, set the recording and you’re good to go.
The DVD playback was very good, as is evident from our HQV benchmark results. Even more impressive is the fact that the DVD decoder comes free with the ATI’s X1900 All-in-Wonder and you don’t have to get a third party application or use the standard MS Windows Media Player with an additional codec cost.
One disappointment I have with this current generation of All-in-Wonder cards is that we have no way of getting access to HD content. Over-the-air or digital cable options are still NOT an option on ATI’s line up, partially due to a lack of standards and heavy regulations. Being able to record HDTV directly to your PC is surely not something the MPAA wants to hear about and chances are you ABC still wants you to buy DVDs of Lost this year too. HDCP compliance looks to be a real pain in the ass.
Pricing and Availability
The ATI X1900 All-in-Wonder has a set MSRP of $499, but we are already seeing them for sale for under $450. Prices lower than MSRP are always good to see, and a welcome change. Availability is also strong with numerous e-tailers stocking the card.
If you need to have the absolute fastest gameplay possible, you’ll probably want to look towards the X1900 XTX card from ATI instead. But if you want good gaming performance with good video performance and features, the X1900 All-in-Wonder is your best bet. No other card offers fantastic gaming performance, robust video input and output capabilities and suberb video image quality in a single package and chances are no one will for some time to come.
Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the ATI X1900 All-in-Wonder, and anything else you may want to buy!