Single page Print

ATI's All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro

Manufacturer ATI
Model All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro
Price (street) US$398
Availability Now
Unleashing the hydra
It's not a straight Radeon 9700 Pro offering, but what the heck. ATI recently introduced its All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro, which adds all sorts of video recording and processing features to the Radeon 9700 Pro GPU. I'm working on a VIVO/PVR-specific review of the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro, so I won't go into much detail on those fronts. Instead, I'll just give you a quick look at the card and throw it into our testing so you get an idea what's available if you have the AIW itch.

The All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's VIVO and PVR features require additional chips and components, so ATI has revamped the board layout to accommodate all the extras.


The All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's packed PCB

The new analog Philips tuner ATI is using with the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro is a little portly, and takes up a lot of room on the PCB. Still, ATI manages to cram it all in without increasing the physical size of the board.


Mixing up the back of the PCB

To accommodate the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's Rage Theater 200 chip, ATI has moved things around a little on the back of the PCB. There's no heat sink for the voltage regulator chips, but you do get a nice red sticker that lets you know this card was built by ATI. No third-party manufacturers are offering All-in-Wonder Radeon 9700 Pro cards, but foreign markets might see AIW cards from third-party manufacturers eventually.


A beefier heat sink

ATI has gone with a slightly beefier heat sink on the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro. The heat sink's design isn't radically different, but it does have an extra section that could keep the GPU cooler when we get into our overclocking tests.

The same one-way push pins that secure Crucial's heat sink also make an appearance on ATI's All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro, and I didn't want to mangle the card just to verify that ATI is using a TIM pad. Chances are it's a TIM pad.


Samsung chips rated to 2.8ns

The All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro uses the same 2.8ns Samsung DDR SDRAM chips as Crucial's card, which makes me thing that Crucial is likely just re-stickering boards that are, in fact, built by ATI. Despite the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's tweaked board layout, the memory chips haven't moved, and they haven't picked up any heat sinks, either.


Multimonitor users need not apply

ATI continues to kill the multimonitor capabilities of its AIW products by building them with a single monitor output. There's a DVI-to-VGA adapter included in the box, but you'll be limited to running a single digital or analog monitor with the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro. You can hook up a TV as a secondary output, but that's as far as the multimonitor capabilities go, which is disappointing.

I'm a multimonitor junkie, so having to live with a single monitor output is more than just a little annoying, especially when you consider the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's price. As far as I'm concerned, all high-end graphics cards should let you run at least two monitors, and I can't see why ATI couldn't have juggled the various video input and output ports to allow this capability.


Yeah, there's a lot in the box

ATI includes a box full of goodies with the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro, and the extras are what makes the package really tick. In addition to the standard video cables and adapters, there's also an HDTV output cable, RF Remote Wonder, breakout box with video input ports, and a stack of software titles and manuals. The HDTV output cables are particularly unique here, as is ATI's excellent Remote Wonder, which normally retails for $50, and will work as a standalone product.

In addition to a new version of MultiMedia Center, which serves up video and TV playback and recording functionality, ATI has bundled in some addition software titles with the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro. MatchWare's Mediator 7 (Standard Edition) is included in the box, as is a special edition of Pinnacle Studio 8, which features a number of video editing tools that specifically take advantage of the Radeon 9700 Pro's DirectX 9 pixel shaders. Look for a more detailed examination of the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro's video editing capabilities here at TR soon.

If gaming is your thing, ATI includes a copy of Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III with the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro. I'm not a particular fan of game bundles, mostly because companies never seem to bundle the games I actually want to play, but there's nothing stopping you from doing a little re-gifting if Morrowind isn't your style.

Warranty-wise, ATI serves up a standard three years of coverage for the All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro. The card actually has a longer potential future than vanilla Radeon 9700 Pro offerings because its PVR and VIVO capabilities should still be useful long after the GPU starts dishing out sub-par frame rates.