Sapphire All-in-Wonder X800 XT (AGP) Review - Sapphire All-in-Wonder X800 XT (AGP) Review

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One extra not included, at least in our box, was a remote control. The Remote Wonder II is meant to a considerable improvement over the first model so its absence is missed. As such it would seem to be an essential extra to be budgeted for as an accessory.


Despite ATI announcing its Rage Theater 550 chip back in mid-September, the AIW only features the previous generation Rage Theater 200 chip. Nevertheless, in terms of quality the AIW X800 XT delivered to a high level, much as one would expect. ATI seems to be taking an age to give its MultiMedia Center software a major overall, which is a shame as it badly needs one. That said the software is functional even if it is somewhat clunky and dated looking.


As for 3D performance, with our testbed now exclusively PCI Express we were unable to benchmark due to the cards AGP connection, but with the fully fledged power of the X800 XT, the card will still be towards the top of the pile when it comes to games. The scores from this Connect3D X800 XT Platinum Edition card should provide a guide, though being a PE card its clocks are slightly higher so you should knock off a few frames to get a clearer picture.


As far as value is concerned, £345 including VAT isn’t bad considering that the standard Sapphire X800 XT VIVO card is going for just over £300. For me though, the question is who the card is aimed at? As media center systems become popular most people are looking for silent solutions and this card certainly isn’t that. If that isn’t a priority but space saving is, the AIW X800 XT keeps ATI at the top of the multimedia pile, if only because it’s a market that nVidia seems unable or unwilling to compete in.


While the presence of a Europe friendly SCART socket is a plus the lack of a tuner capable of picking up DVB broadcasts is now becoming a major flaw in the range and if ATI wants to keep the AIW line relevant it needs to address that with its next product. If it can do that, move to the Rage Theater 550, update the software, and throw in the remote without pushing the price sky high, then it would have something really worth shouting about.


”’Verdict”’


Sapphire’s All-in-Wonder X800 XT for AGP does enough to keep its jack-of-all-trades flame burning. The presence of an RBG capable SCART and dual outputs is welcome, but the lack of a DVB Tuner and the clunky software are downers. Still, the performance, versatility and value for money can’t be argued with.

Score


Score in detail

  • Value 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8