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GeXcube ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO: Closer Look, Part 2

With the high-frequency TV and radio receivers sitting onboard, the engineers had to change the PCB design:


You see the card differs greatly from the standard RADEON 9600 PRO because of its multi-functionality. The HF tuner unit from Philips can receive a television signal of any broadcast standard and radio signals in the FM band.

Below the TV/FM-tuner we’ve got an ATI Rage Theater 200 chip that is actually responsible for the multimedia functions of the card, except the VPU-supported TV-out. This chip is both a video-decoder and a stereo audio-processor. The Rage Theater 200 also supports power-saving functions and the S/PDIF interface. To connect your audio card to the ALL-IN-WONDER, you plug it into the connector above the HF unit.

The components of the card are densely crowded on the PCB, but the design of the cooling system remained intact. The graphics core is covered with an unassuming cooler like those that used to be installed on the RADEON 8500. The total of the graphics memory is 128MB (in chips from Samsung with 2.8ns access time). The memory frequency is 325MHz (650MHz DDR), which is higher than in the ordinary RADEON 9600 PRO, while the VPU frequency is standard and equals 400MHz. This card, just like any other RADEON 9600 PRO, doesn’t require any additional power.

When installing the card into the testbed, I had some concerns about its 2D image quality, since extra cables and connectors don’t lead to a better quality of the output image. Fortunately, my doubts never gained ground as the graphics card yielded a sharp picture in 1600x1200. I won’t claim this card is better in 2D than others (for example, than the FIC R96P), but the difference is too negligible to be perceived by the eye.

The noise level was very low. The cooler of the GeXcube ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 Pro was quiet compared with the noise produced by the PSU and the HDD.

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