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The X1600Pro HDMI with the full height expansion bracket

Sapphire includes a low profile bracket too.
Now you can build your own HDMI equipped home theater PC

Sapphire has announced its Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI is ready to ship. The X1600 Pro HDMI was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show 2006 and subsequently at other trade shows. While Sony has the honor of shipping the first HDMI capable graphics card in its VAIO XL1 system, the HDMI equipped GeForce 6200 was never available to the public leaving home theater PC do-it-yourselfers with DVI, VGA, S-VIDEO and composite capable graphics cards. Sapphire’s Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI is the first retail graphics card with HDMI video output. Based on ATI’s Radeon X1600 Pro GPU, the Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI has a 500 MHz core and 800 MHz memory clock. It’s equipped with 256 MB of memory using a 128-bit memory interface.

HDMI and VGA outputs are available with a maximum supported resolution of 1080p via HDMI and 2048x1536 over VGA. HDCP is supported with the HDMI output too. ATI’s AVIVO video enhancing engine is supported for high quality video playback. With ATI’s latest Catalyst 6.6 drivers users can transcode video with the AVIVO converter directly from Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 for hardware accelerated video encoding. CrossFire support is retained with the Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI. Users seeking a little more 3D power than a single X1600Pro GPU delivers can pick up any Radeon X1600Pro and experience dual-GPU goodness.

The Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI does not have built in audio capabilities and requires a separate soundcard. However, it has an internal and external S/PDIF audio pass-through connector for sound cards. Audio sources connected to the S/PDIF pass-through will be outputted simultaneously with video for single cable connectivity. Although HDMI 1.3 was finalized a couple days ago, Sapphire has opted to support the HDMI 1.1 specification which is perfectly fine for home theater PC and media center systems. HDMI 1.1 allows up to eight-channels of audio output and perfect for that Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect capable sound card. While there is an HDMI 1.2 specification, home theater PC and media center users won’t benefit much from it as it essentially adds SACD support a format PC’s won’t playback.

Low-profile and full height expansion brackets will be included with the Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro HDMI too. Availability is expected next week for around $155, and the card includes an HDMI to DVI adaptor.




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