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ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 128MB 8500 Review : page 2
ATI packaged the 128MB version of their 8500 with an impressive array of wires and software. The package contains: one breakout box, a DVI-I-VGA adapter (as there is no VGA connector on the card itself), a remote control, the 128MB AIW RADEON 8500, and all the connectors needed for S-Video, connecting a VCR and more.
The software bundle is the same as the AIW RADEON 8500DV. Half Life Uplink, Team Fortress Classic, and Counterstrike TRUFORM are included in the package. Also included are Matchware's Mediator 6.0 and Ulead's Video Studio 5.0. This is the standard package for retail RADEON AIW RADEON 8500DVs, but as there's no Firewire, there's no DV package.
Installation was a breeze, as with most cards I own. I uninstalled the AIW RADEON 8500DV which was previously in my computer and the applicable applications (Hydravision, Guide Plus+) and shut off the computer. After installing the new card, I rebooted the computer and was prompted for the drivers disk. At this point, I clicked no, what seems like a million times and autoran the drivers CD included in the package. After the drivers were installed I was good to go.
Normally, when writing a videocard review, I format/Ghost a new install of Windows. But I also like to give an impression of installation for those that don't format or use the registry to remove the entries for the videocard. Needless to say, installation went well. After playing a few games, I formatted/Ghosted a new Windows installation. The benchmarks in this review were all taken on a fresh install.
After the drivers were installed, I inserted the Remote Wonder remote control and it was correctly identified. At this point the card and drivers were installed. For purposes of this review I used the latest 9031 official drivers for benchmarking/playing games. As you'll find later, the newer drivers fixed a major issue with Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
Differences between the 8500DV and AIW 128MB RADEON 8500
The main differences between the AIW 8500DV and the AIW 128MB RADEON 8500 are: 128MB versus 64MB of memory. Clockspeeds of 275/275 versus 230/190 on the AIW RADEON 8500DV. The lack of digital tuner on the 128MB 8500, memory packaging (TSOP versus TBGA), the newer drivers on the included CD, and Multimedia Center 7.6 versus 7.5 on the AIW RADEON 8500DV.