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Sapphire The Beast All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro

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      21.07.2008 12:14
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      A good all round card that will do analogue TV and Cable, plus good for gaming.

      I purchased this card to give my PC at the time a few luxury features and also replace my aging geforce 4 ti card.

      Once you open the box you are presented with your card, combined input / output cables, DVI adapter, remote control and USB remote sensor.

      Now this card is based around the powerful ATI Radion 9800 pro chipset, which features shader model 2.0 and Direct X 9 compatibility. A big step up for me from the older Direct X 8 Technology.

      I will move along to installation, went choosing to fit an upgrade card yourself please be sure to follow the inscructions provided in the manual and ensure you have discharged your body of all static. The card was very easy to install into the AGP slot, just remember to connect your power cable to the front as it requires more voltage than your AGP slot can provide. If you you forget to do this don't worry you are not likely to break anything but the system will not start up properly and the card will put a message on the screen to remedy the problem.

      The genius on the All in Wonder is that you can have the functionality of a TV card and can still play some very graphically demanding games.

      Once you install the supplied software and Windows has fully detected your new card, you can start to get down to the fun stuff. The software that you install will allow you to scan for TV channels (make sure you plug in your Arial!) in addition to normal terrestrial broadcasts this card is also capable of receiving cable channels which is a bonus if you have access to it. (only analog cable supported)

      The software allows for PVR functionality similar to TEVO etc allowing you to use the remote control to playback and record TV programs which is a great feature. Recordings are captured into MPEG 2 format I think.

      As a gaming card, I would suggest you check out www.tomshardware.com and see how it ranks in the VGA chart, compared to your current model, it might not be a heavy weight now but it can still fight off a lot of more modern low end competition, I had no issues running The Matrix Online, Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Unreal Tournament 2004. I'm sure I will still run well on more modern titles.

      The only problem I had was not being able perform a bios over clock and push the performance up to that of a 9800XT, but that's just me being pedantic, hope you make an informed choice based on my review.

      I would say it is a very good all round card.

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  • Product Details

    Banding digital mediums of Gaming, TV and Video together in a virtual world of multimedia wonderment, THE BEAST RADEON 9800 PRO, with features such as: TV-ON-DEMAND, THRUVIEW, VIDEOSOAP, support for DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL, will liberate your creative BEAST within!