Summary: ATI's multimedia unit is back with an all new ALL-IN-WONDER card, the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO! This card boasts quite a few new features, including dual VGA support, is capable of outputting FM radio broadcasts, and ships with a new remote control unit that's been significantly enhanced. Read all about this upcoming card in today's preview article!
In order to address the needs of the mainstream multimedia market, today ATI is unveiling its ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO. As its name suggests, the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO is powered by ATIís RADEON 9600 PRO VPU, which is currently turning heads in the mainstream segment for its incredible price/performance ratio.
ATI will equip the board with 128MB of memory, although final core and memory clock speeds have not been announced yet. Weíve been told by representatives from ATI that the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO will be the first ALL-IN-WONDER card to ship with clock frequencies higher than its counterpart (which is clocked at 400MHz core/600MHz memory), so the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO should be the fastest RADEON 9600 PRO card ATI offers directly.
UPDATE: 8/6/03 We've just been informed the final clock speeds of the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO: 400MHz core/650MHz memory, an increase of 800MB/sec in peak memory bandwidth.
Besides the improved clock speeds, ATI will also be addressing the chief complaint many consumers have had with ALL-IN-WONDER in the past: the lack of support for dual displays. Up until now, this feature wasnít present in ALL-IN-WONDER, even though many of the graphics cores these cards were based on offered native dual display support. According to ATI, there simply wasnít enough room to implement this feature.
For ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO, a new video connector has been created that features two VGA outputs:
On the multimedia side of things, ATI has also made a few changes. For starters, the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO also supports FM radio. This gives you dual VGA, video-in, video-out, and FM all in one convenient package. ATI has refreshed its Multimedia suite (now up to 8.6) to include an FM radio player, which has some pretty powerful functions. For instance, the FM player can be used as an alarm clock with built-in sleep settings.
ATI has merged its TV-ON-DEMAND functionality with the FM player so you can pause live radio, do some work around the house, and come back to listen to your favorite station as if youíd never left (files are saved as MP3s). This feature is known as FM-ON-DEMAND. The FM player supports up to 10 radio presets, which can be manually set or automatically found with the seek/scan feature. End userís can also customize station names.
Other additions in Multimedia Center 8.6 include the ability to record straight to DVD, while the Multimedia Center 8.6 file library can scan for still pictures and now offers support for custom media types (which can also be scanned). Finally, EAZYLOOK now offers built-in channel surfing support.
ATI has also implemented a new remote control unit for ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO. The REMOTE WONDER II has greater range (over 60 feet according to ATI) and itís still an RF remote, so you can control your AIW 9600 PRO card easily from your couch, line-of-sight isnít required. REMOTE WONDER II features six programmable buttons and four auxiliary buttons, in addition to the standard buttons youíll need for controlling the associated media players that ship with the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO.
You will also see that ATI has redesigned the mouse controller to provide more tactile feedback when youíre controlling it with your thumb.
All this sounds pretty intriguing right? But youíre probably wondering about the price. The ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO will sell for a retail price of $249 with availability set for later this month. If ATI is able to deliver (and we see no reason why they canít) we see a very bright future in store for the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO. Expect a full review as soon as itís available!
SIDEBAR: Is the ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO looking good or are there other areas youíd like ATI to address with its latest multimedia creation? Chat with others in the news comments and make your voice heard!
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