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All-In-Wonder X1800 XL: PCB Design

The graphics card looks rather peculiarly due to the deep violet color of the lacquer that covers the PCB:

ATI’s traditional color is red, but the company’s All-In-Wonder products now all use that violet color and thus differ externally from the rest of ATI’s graphics cards. Ruby, ATI’s symbol, is pictured on the cap of the cooling system – you should know this girl from our earlier reviews. The picture is made in dark colors to match the main color of the device.

Even without removing the cooler you can tell that the PCB of the AIW X1800 XL is designed in a unique way. This is expectable because besides an R520 GPU, this PCB should also carry components such as an FM tuner or a video decoder that transform an ordinary graphics card into a multipurpose multimedia center. Yet we should acknowledge that the right part of the PCBs from the AIW X1800 XL and the RADEON X1800 XT/XL is nearly identical. We mean the power circuit ATI had no need to redesign. All the components of the multimedia card are powered through a multi-phase controller Volterra VT1103. The load-bearing elements of the power circuit are cooled with a narrow aluminum heatsink which receives some airflow from the cooler. There are two red LEDs near the power connector, one of which goes alight when the cable is not attached. Like all new multimedia card models from ATI, the AIW X1800 XL uses a semiconductor RF tuner, so the size of the card could be kept as small as that of the RADEON X1800 XL – the device would be longer otherwise.

We took the cooler off to see the following:

You can see that the placement and type of the memory chips is different from the RADEON X1800 XL. Instead of the more advanced K4J55323QG series in 136-pin packaging, the card carries 144-pin K4J55323QF chips. The VC16 index in the marking indicates that they work at 2.0V voltage, have 1.6ns access time, and belong to a new lead-free series. The access time of 1.6 nanoseconds corresponds to 600 (1200) MHz frequency, but this card clocks its memory at a lower frequency of 500 (1000) MHz. The frequency reserve isn’t as big here as with the ordinary RADEON X1800 XL which has 1.4ns memory capable of working at 700 (1400) MHz. On the other hand, we don’t think there will be too many people who will try to overclock their AIW X1800 XT. It is not just a graphics card after all, but a multipurpose multimedia center and should be employed accordingly.

The graphics processor here is an ordinary sample of the R520 chip. The marking on the chip says it was made on the 37-th week, i.e. in early September, of the current year. Like on the RADEON X1800 XL, the GPU is clocked at 500MHz.

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