Print 19 comment(s) - last by SunAngel.. on Jun 29 at 5:07 PM

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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By OrSin on 6/28/2006 3:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
I perfer to have a DVI port. If i need vga I can use a dongle. I think I have like 4 just sitting my desk. Really vga is not needed.

By jkresh on 6/28/2006 3:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
A hdmi-dvi adapter is about $6 from monoprice or any reasonable online shop, so having dvi and hdmi on the card isn’t really necessary, also only dvi-i (I think) works with the dvi-vga dongles, as its the only dvi format that also carries an analog signal, dvi-d on the other hand (and hdmi) are digital only and a dongle wont work.

By Master Kenobi on 6/28/2006 3:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
they used VGA because it comes with a DVI -> VGA adapter in the box, as most ATI cards do.

By SunAngel on 6/28/2006 4:06:21 PM , Rating: 1
Your mind is not coordinating with your eyes. There is no DVI connection on the card, only HDMI and VGA. Thus, I think an included DVI-VGA adapter will be useless.

By Master Kenobi on 6/28/2006 4:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ah yea your right, the adapter I always get converts a VGA cable to work in a DVI slot, in this case its the other way around. So yea anyone trying to use a DVI cable is gonna get screwed unless they get a DVI to HDMI adapter. Oh well =/

By Goty on 6/28/2006 5:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ironically, it comes with an HDMI to VGA adapter.

By ND40oz on 6/28/2006 9:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
It came with VGA because this is being marketed as a htpc card. A lot of the older HD televisions came with VGA ports, all Samsung DLPs do as well as many of the Plasmas. This allows people with either a newer HDTV with HDMI to connect or an older tv with VGA to connect.

By Trisped on 6/29/2006 12:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think I would prefer a DVI with DVI to VGA adaptor over the VGA port. Still, they could be trying to avoid the complaints they would receive if they had a DVI and HDMI port where only the HDMI had HDCP. They also want to avoid confusing users, as not everyone know that a DVI port could be adapted to a VGA port.

All around, the port issue is messy. Someone is going to be un happy with the way things are.

By SunAngel on 6/29/2006 5:07:17 PM , Rating: 1
Personally, I think it has to do with ICT (Image Constraint Token). Becasue the bandwidth of progressive video converted from interlaced analog is rather great, the card will satisfy two objectives: all video can run over the hdmi port and if necessary you probably could use an adapter to change to dvi (this would all depend if Sapphire would include it in the driver); second, because de-interlacing high definition at the pixel level is different that de-interlacing scanlines, so to speak, those users that have not upgrade to a digital display will be able to still view high definition content but only at a maximum of 50% of the de-interlaced high definition content. With so much talk of the "industry" forcing new devices on consumers, I have to give kudos to MS and the graphics card industry for allowing this technology. They definitely could have force everyone to uprade to a digital otherwise we would get nothing.

Not bad.
By Master Kenobi on 6/28/2006 3:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yea. Not bad. And the price point isn't bad either. Only thing I can knock it for is having only a 128-bit memory interface but meh, everything else looks pretty solid. Good product, and I doubt the memory being 128-bit will prevent it from playing 1080p flawlessly.

RE: Not bad.
By SunAngel on 6/28/2006 3:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
$499US @ Zipzoomfly. Now do you think the price point is okay?

RE: Not bad.
By Trisped on 6/28/2006 3:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, the post says they expect to sell it at about $155.

RE: Not bad.
By Goty on 6/28/2006 3:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Not bad.
By Brad7x7 on 6/28/2006 3:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Not bad.
By Anh Huynh on 6/28/2006 3:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
They don't have it in yet, thats just so they have it in their systems. Pricing will be $155 on Newegg next week.

How does it compair with the regular?
By Trisped on 6/28/2006 3:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
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.
How does it compair with the other X1600?

RE: How does it compair with the regular?
By Anh Huynh on 6/28/2006 3:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
same as any other X1600Pro.

RE: How does it compair with the regular?
By killerroach on 6/28/2006 4:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
How so? Monarch Computer sells an X1600 Pro PCIe for just over $100 with shipping... $95 without. It's about the same price as an AGP version of the card, but when it's about a 50% premium over the going rate for most X1600 Pro cards... it's still basically priced for those who really need it, and not anybody else.

By killerroach on 6/28/2006 4:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry about that... you were just referring to performance, not cost. Yeah, performance will be the same.

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