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All-in-Wonder X1900 PCIe
AIW series to be discontinued

It appears that ATI's TV Wonder 650 tuners aren't the only items in the headlines these days. The next products to get the axe are ATI's All-in-Wonder multimedia video cards according to US PC distributors that carry ATI products. DailyTech first heard rumblings of the AIW line being discontinued a few months ago from several video card manufacturers. The latest insider information that we have from ATI distributors reveals that ATI will cease production of the entire All-in-Wonder series by the end of this month. ATI will instead focus on its stand-alone graphics cards and TV tuner solutions.

Whether this latest move represents a shift in market demand for graphics cards with built-in TV tuner functionality or simply a strategic move on the part of ATI in anticipation of the upcoming merger remains to be seen. AMD last month agreed to acquire ATI in a $5.4 billion USD deal. At that time, AMD and ATI announced what the future holds for CPU and GPU development. We would also like to point out that ATI's recent GPU roadmap made no mention of AIW products. 

ATI currently lists the AIW X1900 PCIe, AIW 2006 PCI, AIW 2006 Edition AGP and AIW X800 XT AGP on its website.

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ByeBye AIW
By Grated on 8/29/2006 3:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's to bad to see them go, but I can understand the move actually...

It's getting more and more difficult to add TV and other features on a graphicscard, these cards get pretty complex.

These cards are nice to see, but then again, I more like it that the 2 parts are seperated. If something fails, only on of the 2 parts fail and only that part has to be changed. And 2 parts is a bit more flexible to change parts... And there are enough parts available on a motherboard to put them in both (both PCIe and PCI versions of TV-cards are available).

RE: ByeBye AIW
By R Nilla on 8/29/2006 4:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
Plus, at least with higher-end models, I'd rather have the X1900XT (or maybe even GT) than an X1900 AIW, which granted is more expensive, but will get the job done as far as gaming is concerned, while if I want a TV Tuner I'll add a 650 or even a Hauppage card or whatever best suits my needs.

The AIW is a nice jack-of-all-trades value package, but with the advent of the HTPC (or even media PCs in general) and HDTV, it is probably better to split these into two separate offerings. But I guess you already said that.

RE: ByeBye AIW
By nilepez on 8/30/2006 12:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
In the next few years, we'll MBs will likely offer an onboard TV tuner. This would especially make sense on boards marketed for HTPCs.

RE: ByeBye AIW
By BPB on 8/29/2006 4:26:56 PM , Rating: 3
What you said would make more sense if current motherboards had more slots on them. But with many new boards there's only 1 or 2 PCI slots available. So if you want to add something like an X-Fi card, which I've done, you may be out of luck adding a tuner. Make motherboards with more PCI or PCIe slots and this makes more sense to me. As for me, I've had AIW's since the beginning and love them (recently got the 1900). I will miss them.

RE: ByeBye AIW
By R Nilla on 8/29/2006 5:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
yes, this is a big problem, especially if some companies are hoping for stand-alone physics cards to take off. Crossfire/SLI, stand-alone physics, sound and TV tuner cards - there just isn't room for all of this on new motherboards.

My current motherboard has *4* PCI slots (it's an Abit IS7 for a P4), but most now only have one or two, if even.

RE: ByeBye AIW
By Grated on 8/30/2006 10:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
True, but then there are PCIe slots. And there are Radeon 550 PCIe cards, so there will be 650's and others to...

As for only having 2 expansion slots, yeah, microATX boards don't have a lot of slots, but there are enough full atx boards that have enough slots for graphicscard, soundcard, tv tuner, ...

Can't be
By Phynaz on 8/29/2006 3:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
Whether this latest move represents a shift in market demand for graphics cards with built-in TV tuner functionality or simply a strategic move on the part of AMD remains to be seen.

ATI has not been aquired yet - the deal hasn't closed. These moves cannot be a part of the merger.

RE: Can't be
By Brandon Hill on 8/29/2006 3:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
Edited for clarity

RE: Can't be
By Phynaz on 8/29/2006 5:08:11 PM , Rating: 2

ATI still cannot make any moves to prepare a product line for the aquisition. The execs of both companies would be strung up by the SEC.

The very next sentence you say AMD aquired ATI. AMD has agreed to aquire ATI. There are many, many things that can prevent this from happening. Until the day ATI shares cease trading, there is not a aquisition.

RE: Can't be
By Trisped on 8/29/2006 5:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Often when a company is being bought out it will do things to make its self more attractive, like cut divisions which don't bring high profits. I think this is what Brandon means.

As for ATI being aquired or AMD agreeing to aquire ATI, in the business world it could be either or. It is just a bunch of PR.

RE: Can't be
By Questar on 8/29/2006 7:13:26 PM , Rating: 1
Companies will load up on cash to be attractive to potential suiters, true. But not after an agreement has been made.

RE: Can't be
By gramboh on 8/30/2006 4:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
The OP is right, even though the deal has been agreed to, it is not finalized yet and there are restrictions on certain corporate governance issues (due to securities law). ATI has not yet been acquired by AMD and it is an important difference "in the business world".

RE: Can't be
By Crusader on 8/29/06, Rating: 0
All-in-Wonder Xpress chipset??
By danielc56 on 8/30/2006 2:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is ATI will move All-in-Wonder capabilities to their motherboard chipsets. It benefits them on several fronts:

1)Increases the value of their chipset line to AMD
2)Adds a feature not found in Nvidia or Intel chipsets
3)Most AIW features don't require a heavy-duty GPU
4)Far bigger sales of motherboard chipsets over AIW/TV cards
5)Allows better fit into SFF, set-top-boxes & peoples' living rooms
6)Simplifies their product line at the high-end (e.g. Crossfire)
7)GPUs change much faster than tv chips - RageTheater/Theater200 have handled AIW duties since '99 (Rage 128)

With their desire to get into the game physics arena, I think it makes sense to move all-in-wonder duties to their motherboard division. Otherwise we'll have to deal with cards names like:

" ATI All-in-Wonder Physeon X9950 XTZX Crossfire Edition " or some such nonsense.

I'd been waiting to get an AIW x800 for my PC. I noticed a nearly 50% drop in price in mid-August, from $270 to $150. It could be ATI is trying to clear out their inventory before making the formal switch.


By danielc56 on 8/30/2006 2:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
only to be succeeded by:

ATI All-in-Wonder Physeon X9950 ZTXX Crossfire Platinum Edition



RE: All-in-Wonder Xpress chipset??
By Schro on 8/30/2006 4:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
I purchased the AIW Rage Pro in 1998 ;-)

By 1pwn on 8/29/2006 10:00:04 PM , Rating: 3
this means an integrated 650 tuner on the motherboard is possible, if they combine gpu/cpu like they want too. just my 2 cents

By Grated on 8/30/2006 10:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
it was possible since the 550.

Asus have a motherboard with tv capability (it's not a 550 or 650), but still it is possible for tv capability on motherboard :)

By R Nilla on 8/29/2006 3:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
is it really fair to say that the 650 TV Tuner series is on the "chopping block?" I think that is a little misleading. Sure, an isolated group of Best Buy shipments were pulled from shelves, but this is a brand new product----this sort of stand alone TV Tuner is what is meant to replace the AIW cards.

The 650 TV Tuners aren't on the chopping block really, at least not in the same way as the AIW cards (in terms of being phased out). I understand you are trying to connect the two articles, but ultimately I think this is misleading.

RE: 650
By Brandon Hill on 8/29/2006 3:55:56 PM , Rating: 2

*crosses fingers*
By BioRebel on 8/29/2006 4:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
I certainly hope this means all future cards will be released with TV tuners and HD capabilities. Especially since motherboard makers are dead-set on putting those useless PCI-e 1x slots on our motherboards.

RE: *crosses fingers*
By Grated on 8/30/2006 10:06:29 AM , Rating: 2
there won't be any tv tuners on graphics cards.

There are tv cards with pci-e slots so that takes care of those useless slots.

The future of ATI TV tuners
By Targon on 8/29/2006 6:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
With the rapid changes we are seeing in the tuner market(digital cable, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, new standards for displays), it makes sense that you seperate the GPU from the tuner.

For those who are worried about a lack of PCI slots in systems, we SHOULD be seeing a transition from PCI to PCI-Express 1x going forward in cards, so that will solve that particular problem.

RE: The future of ATI TV tuners
By SuperSix on 8/29/2006 8:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
We're already seeing them. Powercolor has a Theater 550Pro PCIe x1 card available now. PCIex1 will be much more prevalent in the very near future.

By AKhandyman on 8/29/2006 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking at the AIW X800XT on NewEgg just yesterday and it was going for $169.99 and when I put it in my shopping cart for grins and giggles ... the price was then $155.99 ... just like that! WOW!!!

Is this a sign of things to come
By hstewarth on 8/29/2006 4:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
I am thinking this could be a sign of things to come.

Maybe its not needed because of HDCP support.


That is not necessary in AMD combine GPU planned and that a seperate tuner is required since the GPU will be integrated with CPU.

I see why though
By Egglick on 8/29/2006 4:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
For the high-end cards at least, AIW doesn't make sense anyway. It makes an already expensive card more expensive, not to mention that gaming cards are typically upgraded a bit more often.

Upgrading from an AIW card means that you lose more money (because it was more expensive to begin with), and it also means that you lose all your nice features, unless you shell out the extra money to get another AIW card (which severely limits your options and puts you in the same predicament again).

So yeah, a standalone TV card is a much better choice in most situations. The exception would be if you're building a HTPC and have a limited amount of space. In this case, a low-end AIW card could work nicely. It's too bad that all AIW cards still use the lousy Theatre 200 chipset though.

Growing complexity?
By MonkeyPaw on 8/29/2006 4:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps ATI is finding it harder to add the tuner to a high-powered GFX card? If DX10 cards are going to be as hot and hungry as they are predicting, then perhaps ATI is wanting to avoid the tuner for complexities sake. Considering the extra development costs and all the additional components included in the packaging, the AIW line may not be that profitable. By selling the tuner seperately, ATI can make more money by selling both individually.

By Trisped on 8/29/2006 5:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
I was so hoping that they would build the Theater 650 stuff into the next AIW cards (not that it is likely).

AIW cards were the best solution. Where other cards had a 2-5 second delay between what was received and what was displayed, my AIW9800 had less then a second. All these other tuners have to compress the feed which then must be pushed through the PCI bus through to the CPU (possibly including the SB as well as the NB in the process) then pushed back into the bus so the GPU can work on it and display it.

I can see there were limitations with the cards, the AIW x1900 was very under clocked compared to its bigger brethren, but it was also a single slot solution.

I for one will lament the last day of AIW for a long, long time.

By rockyct on 8/29/2006 8:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
I will mourn the loss of the AIW line. I only upgraded my video card every 2-3 years, so it wasn't a big deal to have the TV turner combined with the graphics card. Of course, I do hate the new AIW drivers, so maybe this is for the best.

its a sad day for me
By viking66 on 8/30/2006 5:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
I have a aiw 8m pro and a aiw 9800 pro, both work great and are very useful in more ways than one.. I will be leaving ati as a customer.. Reason #1 = every amd product i have owned has failed, vs. all my pentiums, that are still running and now that they are taking over ati i can only expect the same terrible results in the future from ati.. Reason #2 = now that the aiw is leaving so am i. Ati was the only company that had a good all in one product for multiple tasks. Now there is no reason to stay with them.

By bunnyfubbles on 8/29/2006 4:46:32 PM , Rating: 1
I was almost hoping they'd expand the AIW's capabilities. How cool would it be to have two AIW's in CF? It would be one way for ATI to help push multicard use; not only do you get the added performance, you could get something like dual TV tuners for picture-in-picture (or dual program recording, or watch one/record another...)

Of course if the cards are to go away all together perhaps it isn't so bad. AIW cards have almost always been half assed for both purposes in order to be an effective jack-of-all-trades (without breaking the bank). The X1900 AIW is clearly the slowest of all X1900's (and is more in line with X1800 speeds) and its TV tuner function certainly doesn't even cut it against the likes of the 650 (or possibly even the 550, I'm not sure how good it is)

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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