So, what’s our opinion about the All-In-Wonder cards from ATI and Sapphire? Yeah, we have got more positive than negative impressions, so let’s start with what we liked…
Firstly, although we didn’t mention anywhere in the article the performance of our testing participants, it’s evident the speed of these cards will satisfy the most demanding gamer. The RADEON 9700 PRO graphics chip and 128MB of graphics memory clocked at the frequencies of ordinary RADEON 9700 PRO based cards mean high performance and support of all modern 3D technologies. That goes without questioning. By the way, you can read our RADEON 9700 PRO Review for more details.
Secondly, the two cards are fully-fledged “all-in-one” combos: the integrated TV-tuner allows watching and recording TV broadcasts, while video in- and outputs offer basic video editing options. There shouldn’t be any problems connecting various video appliances to the PC as well as capturing, editing and playing video clips.
The third, and the most important property of All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO as it comes from ATI and Sapphire is the easy and comfortable use: starting with the Remote Wonder, which is much handier than an infrared control, and finishing with simple and functional software.
I guess there is a strong trend now towards home computers becoming ordinary household appliances like microwave ovens or TV-sets. An example is right here: the fashionable small form factor PCs. Graphics cards like All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO will fit into such a system quite well making it both: a powerful gaming station and a multimedia center. Talking about my own experience, I had no problems installing this card into my own home SFF PC. I was using the card for a week, although the system (made by Shuttle) had only a 135W PSU (my respects to Shuttle making such reliable systems :)). Still, you would be on the safe side following the manufacturer’s recommendations: All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO will surely feel better in a system with a more powerful power supply unit.
Compared with graphics cards based on NVIDIA’s GPUs (GeForce FX 5900/5900 Ultra/5800/5800 Ultra), RADEON 9700 PRO based ones consume less power, produce less heat and much less noise. The last thing to mention is that the cooling system installed on All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO cards doesn’t take a neighboring slot and thus can be easily accommodated into a majority of today’s PC cases.
Among the disadvantages of All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 Pro from ATI we should mention no SECAM support, while Sapphire’s card had too much noise in the picture from the tuner. This may be caused by flaws in a particular card, or by the absence of Russian TV frequencies support (it turns out Albania doesn’t resemble Russia well enough). Hopefully, this drawback will be eliminated soon.
The last, but surely not the least, is the price. All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO cards are priced from $420 to $500 and more. One might think it’s a way too much, but I would say it’s quite appropriate: All-In-Wonder RADEON 9700 PRO has no real rivals today in its class.
However, as always, it’s you who decides.