For white-box builders that don't have the time or money to research multimedia system components for customers, ATI Technologies has unveiled two graphics cards worth investigating.
ATI has already done all the research and development, and systems builders can use the vendor's latest products to turn a computer into a high-end multi-
"ATI quality can't be beat. Setup is consistently quick and easy, and the bundled software extras make for a complete multimedia solution," said Dan Hayes, head technician at Micro-Tech Computers, a white-box builder in Port Huron, Mich. "I never get any complaints from my customers."
The latest All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 and 8500DV cards are no exceptions, delivering cutting-edge multimedia functionality to any new PC. Both work with the latest operating systems, including Windows XP.
|All-In-Wonder Radeon cards deliver cutting-edge multimedia functionality to any new PC.|
Powered by a Radeon 7500 graphics accelerator chip equipped with 64 Mbytes of memory, the 7500 offers 2-D and 3-D graphics acceleration and a cable-ready 125-channel stereo TV tuner on a single card. The card captures TV video as well as a composite or S-Video signal.
The 7500 can be used like a programmable VCR that permits instant replays and has the ability to pause live TV. Video can be captured and edited in MPEG-2 format at a resolution of up to 720 x 480 at 30 frames per second. The card also accelerates DVD playback. An included RF remote control works through walls and floors to control the system from another room.
The All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV offers even more features. In addition to having a more powerful Radeon 8500 graphics accelerator, this card offers the same feature set as the 7500, plus an IEEE 1394 FireWire port. FireWire is the fastest and easiest way to capture digital video from a digital-video camcorder.
Either card is easy to set up. ATI's automatic software installation process is generally flawless.
Both products consist of a single AGP expansion card. But because all of the required connectors would never fit on a single card edge, dongles are used to provide them.
On the Radeon 7500, one dongle provides all the video inputs, while another provides audio connections. A separate jack is provided for a cable TV connection. On the Radeon 8500DV, a more intricate dongle houses all of the connectors.