Because a bit of flack is going to be coming ATI's way lower down, we think it needs to be said at the outset – not just on the final page – that the ATI All-In-Wonder X1800 XL combined graphics and tuner card is a product that looks like it deserves to sell in large numbers.
What's more we think it's likely to do so despite carrying a price tag that, initially at best, is just going to scrape under the £300 (inc VAT) mark. For comparison, in the USA, the suggested retail price is USD$429 (about £250 without VAT)
That's a lot of money - though top-end graphics cards do cost a lot of money - but, still the All-In-Wonder X1800 XL is amazingly good value. Presuming, that is, you want a top-flight PCI Express graphics accelerator and don't mind being given, effectively at no cost, a whole lot of unique features and extras.
We'll list those out shortly but let's first briefly comment on the power and features of the card's 3D engine. From the outset we had no intention in this preview to benchmark the card for gaming performance – that stuff will be included in our full review – but we still think we can safely say that this is a beast of a thing. And we don't just mean it's big - though it is but kind of cute, too. Care will need to be taken to ensure that case and motherboard can accommodate it.