View Full Version : All in Wonder

T Bell
08-26-2004, 02:07 AM
I am in love with the idea of watching and recording TV with the ATI AIW. My question is, is it not as good as a regular 9800? Also, what is the real difference between a Raedon 9600 and a 9800? XT & Pro? I also will do some gaming, probably Doom 3.

08-26-2004, 05:19 AM
If you're planning on playing Doom 3, then you'll want to get as much video card as you can afford. The bigger the better. 9800 series boards are better than 9600 boards and XT is better than Pro.

As for AIW boards, they perform on par with their counterparts but also have full VIVO capabilities and a TV tuner built in. While they perform all right, if you already have a solid performing video card you can save some money by simply getting an add-on PCI board with VIVO and TV functions. They are available all over the place. It really just depends on your needs and what components you already have in your possession.

T Bell
08-26-2004, 07:41 AM
Well, I am in the process of my 1st build so I was thinking about the AIW to start out with. That way I'll have all my PCI slots available if I need them. If I am not wrong there is a 9800 Pro AIW board right? Wouldn't this be a good buy to keep me in the gaming world?

08-26-2004, 11:11 AM
While the 9800 Pro is a solid performer, I noticed a little twitch in Doom 3 when I was using that board. And if you use all the PCI slots on a modern board, you're going to need a very strong system to handle the load.

08-26-2004, 11:23 AM
I can play Doom 3 at [email protected] Quality with 2XAA on my Sapphire 9800 Pro (overclocked a bit past XT speeds) and P4 2.0A with 768MB of PC2100 RAM. I can probably play it a 1280x1024 and still get playable framerates. With a much stronger system I might be able to do a bit better. The 9800 Pro is still a pretty good performer and will keep you gaming for a while longer, but you'd want a GeForce 6800 to get really good performance and not need to upgrade soon, especially in Doom 3. But that's another $100, and you want an AIW...

08-26-2004, 01:17 PM
Only problem I have with AIW cards is when you want to upgrade video cards, you lose the VIVO / TV capabilities. They are still a great card though.

08-26-2004, 09:41 PM
I have had a 9800 Pro AIW and I gotta say that it is the best all around card available still after a year and a half. I could play the majority of the latest games at high resolutions and with antialiasing and anisotropic filtering turned on. I was able to play far cry with all detail turned on with AA and AF at 1024 X 768 resolution. But in addition to that, I could record TV shows, I could connect my Digital Video camera to it and convert my videos into MPEG format and burn to DVD. You could also take all of your old VCR tapes and convert them on your computer as well with the AIW. I love the overall functionality of the AIW and I could play doom 3 at 1024 X768 with Medium detail as well, but I suggest a pretty fast processor, since the processor affects the rate that the physics of the game are generated. I found that by adding a faster processor, the game plays significantly smoother. The other added bonus of picking up a 9800 Pro AIW is that as you upgrade your system and maybe purchase new video cards, if you are like me and keep at least 2 systems around the house, you can always keep that functionality in another PC.

T Bell
08-26-2004, 10:13 PM
Thanks just1tree, that's what I needed to hear. Only thing is, like Mutineer said, I'd have to replace the whole unit. But I guess I could ebay the AIW and get another one because the VIVO technology has to become better also, huh? Oh, and I am building an AMD64 based unit. Does ATI sell just a VIVO for the PCI as well?

08-27-2004, 07:39 AM
I don't know if ATI does but several major players make add-on boards for just that purpose. I have had good luck with the Prolink line (available through Newegg last I looked), but their software isn't the best. The price is generally right though, so it works for me.

08-27-2004, 09:02 AM
I found that getting an AIW card costs about the same as getting the same card (minus AIW) and a decent TV tuner card, or even a Pinnacle capture card. The Pinnacles don't come with an actual TV input, but with good video input as well as Firewire on some cards, it's a worthy investment. That way you can safely upgrade your video card and still keep your video in capabilities.

With AIW cards, I've also noticed that you tend to hold on to them as much as you can, instead of upgrading when you want to. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.