AIW X1800XL is by no means a small card, in fact it
is actually longer than the X1800XT or the Geforce
7800GTX 512mb which came as a surprise to us. While
it is understandable that the card is larger than
the standard XL, ATI haven’t really had to increase
the size of AIW models in the past.
above shows the X1800 AIW side by side with the X1800XT,
as you can see there is around 1.5cm in difference
between the two cards. For those of you who haven’t
seen a XT in the flesh, this makes the AIW XL about
0.5cm wider than the average motherboard.
As you can
see from the above picture the X1800XL AIW comes with
a single slot cooler as standard. The cooler on our
model will be used on review samples and is rather
loud when running at full speed however ATI made it
very clear that this is just a basic cooling unit
and retail cards will have better (quieter) solutions.
the heatsink we can see that the R520 chip is present
also underneath on the front of the card we find 256mb
of Samsung DDR3 memory in the form of eight 32mb chips.
As far as memory speeds and core configuration are
concerned the X1800XL AIW is exactly the same as the
standard X1800XL part so core and memory speeds of
500mhz and a “pipeline” count of 16. Mixed
in there you also have the eight vertex units of the
Also hidden away under the heatsink is the VIA VT1623M
Scart out chip. You can see it pictured below. This
chip was also used on the X800GT AIW so we will be
expecting similar excellent output quality from the
Before we look
at the rear of the card here is the final component
which is located on the front of the card… the
to say the tuner is located on the front of the card
isn’t entirely correct, in a first for the AIW
brand the tuner is split between the front and back
of the card. You can see below the PCB sandwiched
between the two sides of the gold tuner cover.
For those of
you who like makes and model numbers, the tuner you’ll
find underneath the cover is the Microtune MT2121.
This tuner converts RF signals received through your
source ariel into IF so that a demodulator can process
them. When receiving Analog TV and FM radio the tuner
communicates with the Philips TDA9887 demodulator.
When in digital mode it passes the signal to the ATI
NXT6000 DVB-T demodulator.