It's been a very interesting year for 3D Graphics, and in retrospect we've seen what can only be described as landmark events occur within the industry. Earlier in the year, ATI released graphics cards based on their R300 core which as we previously covered, and managed to reclaim the performance crown from NVIDIA and their Geforce4 Ti Based products by a substantial margin. While the industry stood still in awe of the Radeon 9700 pro and its substantial performance increase and technical achievements, ATI's second update to the Radeon series went somewhat unnoticed.
Around the same time as releasing cards based on the R300 Core, ATI also quietly began shipping cards based on their new and revised RV250 Core, integrated into cards aimed to take back the budget market segment, that is, compete with NVIDIA's Geforce4 MX Series of budget cards.
Cards based on the RV250 core were released bearing the Radeon 9000 tag, and quickly made their way into the budget market only weeks after announcement boasting sub £100 Price tags and performance that looks to rival the closest competitors. After proving competent in both the budget and high-end performance division with their current 9000/9700 based products, ATI had yet to announce cards which would accommodate the multimedia division. That is, until the announcements of the All-In-Wonder 9700, All-In-Wonder VE and All-In-Wonder 9000.
ATI's All-In-Wonder (AIW) series has been through several generations of hardware and design revisions throughout the years, ranging from early AIW Rage Pro cards to those based on the latest technology. The combination of the AIW Multimedia functionality with Radeon technology, initially with the original AIW Radeon based on the R100, was when the AIW line of products seriously began to turn heads in the industry.
At the cost of slightly reduced 3D Performance, the AIW Radeon took the industry by storm, providing users with performance only marginally behind the industries fastest, and a plethora of stunning multimedia features such as TV-ON-DEMAND, Industry Leading DVD performance and extremely user friendly software.
Later revisions of the hardware based on the R200 Core improved upon the previous iterations yet again, and with the exception of the AIW Radeon 8500 DV, the cards were no longer under clocked, and provided identical performance in games and 3D applications to their siblings, giving the user access to all the multimedia hardware features, yet not forcing the compromise of performance.
With the recent release/announcements of the next AIW line of products, the All-In-Wonder 9700, All-In-Wonder VE and All-In-Wonder 9000, ATI not only boast a firm grasp on the 3D Performance market, but may very well maintain the multimedia graphics solution crown they have held onto over the years, for the foreseeable future, with the only competition looking to be the Personal Cinema 2, NVIDIA's revised solution to the AIW, slated for release in the first half of next year.
This article is based on none other than ATI's most recently announced addition to the All-In-Wonder series, utilising the RV250 Core. Cue the ATI All-In-Wonder 9000 Pro GPU.
This is our first review of an ATI All-In-Wonder Product, and also our first review of a card based upon the Radeon 9000 Pro Technology, so with this article, we'll not only focus on the multimedia aspects of the card, but also the technical aspects, to provide a thorough explanation of the card itself, and the platform for which it plays host.