The long awaited new family member looks to be a bit of a smart arse.
The ever popular All-In-Wonder line receives an overdue update today with digital video broadcasting (DVB) and more oomph (the technical term, I believe) the welcome additions.
The extra horses come from a PCI Express X800 XL core (no longer the fastest kid on the block by any means, but certainly perky enough to cope with the current crop of titles). Its core is clocked at 400MHz, there’s 256MB of GDDR3 memory, 16 pixel pipelines and six vector units.
Video is handled via ATI’s Theatre 200 chip which enables the card to tune into 125 PAL and SECAM channels in Europe and 125 NTSC channels in the world’s most popular country. A SCART attachment helps we of the so-called “history state” plug the card into our European TVs and we get a pleasant (if not wholly unexpected surprise) in the form of terrestrial DVB support.
A RemoteWonder Plus “hoofer doofer” (to use my grandmother’s fondly remembered phrase) is bundled and this version has the benefit of using radio frequencies instead of infra-red meaning you can get away with pointing it at the Hi-Fi and the card will still work (a neat party trick).
A final “bonus”, depending on your opinion of the Microsoft Media Centre remote control, sees users receive a half price coupon for the said hoofer doofer, while ATI’s latest drivers enable full backwards compatibility with Windows XP Media Centre on All-In-Wonder cards from the 9600 onwards.
Typically, there’s no UK pricing yet, but the unhelpful US tag reads $399. Use a stupid conversion rate of about 80p to the dollar if you want to guess how much this (and any other cross Atlantic shipped product) with cost on arrival. The All-In-Wonder X800 XL is out in August.