Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Graphics Software

S3's DeltaChrome Examined 183

sand writes "Firingsquad takes a look at DeltaChrome, which is a graphics chip from S3. The core runs at 300MHz and offers pixel and vertex shaders that go beyond DirectX 9, just like Nvidia GeForce FX. The really cool feature though is the integrated HDTV encoder, you can output from your PC or laptop directly to an HDTV or 1080p projector!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

S3's DeltaChrome Examined

Comments Filter:
  • Woot! (Score:2, Funny)

    by NfoCipher ( 161094 )
    TuxRacer on hdtv! Now I can die happy.
    • Re:Woot! (Score:2, Informative)

      by kperrier ( 115199 )
      TuxRacer on hdtv! Now I can die happy.

      You could have died happy a long time ago. 1600x1200 monitor resolution is a higher resolution than 720p or 1080i HDTV resolution. If you can afford the High-Def TV monitor then you could have bought a graphics subsystem that would support 1600x1200 a long time ago.

  • What about PCI? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ndnet ( 3243 )
    This really doesn't help me. I have no AGP slots on my cheap motherboard...

    The big question is, are there going to be any PCI releases faster than the GeForce 2 MX400?

    I'd love to get a new system, but I'm tight right now...
    • Re:What about PCI? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by delta407 ( 518868 )
      are there going to be any PCI releases faster than the GeForce 2 MX400?
      Probably not.

      AGP exists for a reason -- PCI isn't fast enough for heavy graphics use. Heck, some SCSI setups can completely saturate the PCI bus, which is why there are other alternatives (like 64-bit PCI or AGP).
      I'd love to get a new system, but I'm tight right now...
      Then why would you be considering hundreds of dollars for a new video card when you can probably get a replacement motherboard for under $50?
      • Re:What about PCI? (Score:2, Informative)

        by rpillala ( 583965 )

        Gainward has a Geforce 4 MX 420, [gainward.com] but I don't know if it's faster than GF2MX400. I always skip at least one upgrade cycle so I've been ignoring the Geforce4 cards.

        I orginally noticed this card at the Mini-ITX store (http://www.mini-itx.com) as a replacement for onboard graphics that accompany ITX form factor motherboards. So one application would be media box PC's. The VIA EPIA series of motherboards don't have AGP slots.


      • "Then why would you be considering hundreds of dollars for a new video card when you can probably get a replacement motherboard for under $50?"

        Maybe he doesn't want to void his warranty? I don't know what he's got going, but my gf has an eMachines with a pretty good warranty. If it dies within 3 years of purchase, they'll just replace the machine. Anything they replace it with today is bound to be faster than she has now.

        Slashdot's all about choices.
    • Get a better motherboard.

      They're significantly cheaper than modern graphics cards.
    • Re:What about PCI? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eetvar ( 610772 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:18PM (#5073050) Homepage
      Actually, that is also a relevant question to those people with agp motherboards, who want to add a second display adapter to their systems.

      The top-of-the-line adapters often have dual-head capability these days, but there are people who are interested in decent secondary display adapters.
      • there are people who are interested in decent secondary display adapters

        Define "decent".

        If you want a second monitor for just doing debugging, coding, text display, etc. then just about any video card will work just fine. And there's plenty of choices in that arena.

        If you want a second monitor for additional display area for 3D projects and similar high-performance needs then you're already better served in getting a modern card -- which, as you say, will have dual head capabilities built in. Even if you found a PCI card with decent 3D it would be crippled by the PCI bandwidth.

        Dual head isn't limited to top-of-the-line either... I bought a GF4 Ti4200 card about 2 months ago for a bit over $100 and it has 2 outputs (1 VGA, 1 DVI, and came with a DVI->VGA converter). There were several less expensive/capable cards available as well that had dual head.
    • Not really, no .. PCI has pretty much hit the speed limit .. To get faster, you're going to need a faster processor, and for that, you're going to need a faster bus .. You're stuck with what you have, or you're gunna have to upgrade to a 4Ghz P5 with 2Gb RAM for $100 bux..
    • I don't know how they stand in relation to the GeForce 2 MX400, but I've seen the GeForce Ti4600 [compusa.com], and the Radeon 7500 [compusa.com] at my local CompUSA. If CompUSA has them, there have to be better cards out there. In any case, these would be excellent for adding a monitor to a computer.
    • Re:What about PCI? (Score:3, Informative)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 )
      theres pretty good radeon 9000 pci card out there..
      there was one review with placed it against radeon 9000-agp.. did pretty well against it except when there was some things that just choked up the pci bus (doesn't happen that often on games really..)
    • Ok, if you want to game, you're going to need to get an AGP motherboard eventually. I suggest the ECS K7S5A ($50 or so). I use it and I haven't had any problems except for occasional CMOS checksum errors. All it takes to fix it is to reset the time and bus speed. Minor inconvienience, but otherwise a very nice motherboard. Besides, all my friends with the same board don't get that problem.
  • HDTV resolution? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <harwoodr@@@linux...ca> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:10PM (#5072984) Homepage Journal
    What is the resolution of HDTV?
    • Re:HDTV resolution? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ndnet ( 3243 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:15PM (#5073024)
      Being a cheap bastard, I'm borrowing this from ABC.com's FAQ [go.com].

      Benefit: Picture Resolution
      Resolution is a measure of picture sharpness. Current analog television contains about 480 active scanning lines resulting in a picture resolution of about 330 lines of resolution. By comparison today's VHS VCR's have about 240 lines of resolution which is why VHS recordings don't look as sharp as the original picture. DVD's offer higher resolution typically on the order of 400-480 lines of resolution. (Note the number of scanning lines does not equal resolution. For example, both the VHS and DVD formats have 480 active scanning lines but have different resolutions.) HDTV offers resolution that is at least twice that of analog television. You can expect razor sharp images from HDTV.

      I have heard that there are two HDTV formats -- 720p and 1080i. Is there a difference between these formats and can my television receive both these formats?
      Regardless of the HDTV format being broadcast, all new HDTV receivers can receive both formats. New HDTV televisions will convert any received signal to a format that is compatible with your new display. The 720p format uses progressive scanning, which is just like your computer monitor. Progressive scan offers crystal clear images that virtually eliminates those scanning lines that are visible on most large screen televisions. ABC broadcasts all of its programming using the 720p format except in Dallas, where the ABC station broadcasts in 1080i. Many new flat panel displays use progressive scan. The 1080i format uses interlace scanning just like today's analog televisions. Scanning lines are less visible on big screens due to the number of lines. Most currently available projection HDTV's use 1080i.
    • Re:HDTV resolution? (Score:4, Informative)

      by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:51PM (#5073298)
      To keep it simple.

      480i = 640x480 interlaced at 60 Hz refresh
      480p = if it is in 4:3 mode then it is 640x480 60 Hz refresh
      if it is in 16:9 mode then it is 720x480
      at 60 Hz refresh
      720p = 1280x720 non-interlaced at 60 Hz refresh
      1080i = 1920x1080 interlaced at 60 Hz refresh
      1080p = 1920x1080 non-interlaced at 60 Hz refresh

      Most HDTV's support 480i, 480p, and 1080i, some of the better ones also support 720p, and some top of the line models will support 1080p.
    • Re:HDTV resolution? (Score:3, Informative)

      by cybrthng ( 22291 )

      480i = Interlaced


      480p = Progressive (depends really.. 480p can be 640x480 or 704x480 (dvds))

      720p = 1280x720 - Progressive

      1080i = 1920x1020 - Interlaced

      ** Most TV's are scaling the image either way. 1080i tv's upspace 720p and 720p's downscaler 1080i.

      My eyes prefer 720p, and it looks great on my front projection system (Tony Hawk 4, NBA2k3 on xbox look fantastic).

      I'm also very impressed with Windows Media 9 and 720p based data. Very nice playback on an XP1700 to my projector! Can't wait to build my own PVR on this technology.

      BTW, supporting HDTV is supporting the resolutions. Most HDTV sets support DVI, DB15 (vga) and component, so this S3 stuff isn't "new"

  • I've got a desktop computer hooked into my HDTV media center (a Sony WH11HT HDTV projector with an Onkyo THX receiver). When I hook the output of the computer to the system via S-Video (and keep in mind this is a MASSIVE 120" screen in HDTV) I can only put the resolution as high as 800x600 before the text becomes too blurry to read. This should correct that.. hooray!!
  • HDTV out (Score:5, Informative)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:10PM (#5072988) Journal
    you can output from your PC or laptop directly to an HDTV or 1080p projector!

    Ooohhhh, ahhhh... I'm impressed really... Did I mention that the latest ATI All-In-Wonder has had HDTV out since it was released... some time ago.
    • Yeah S3 is the famous 'too little too late' company. Something has to be keeping them alive besides their chronic late-to-market and worse-than-others video chipsets.

      I bet they're having fab problems, retoolilng for a .13 micron process isn't cheap or fast, and that's if they manufacture chips themselves, which I imagine they do.

      Will anyone ever be able to provide a REAL alternative to Nvidia and ATI? I seriously doubt it. When you get to the level the Big Two have reached, cost of entry is insanely high, kinda like the Big Two of processors (Intel and AMD). There will always be one or two companies with products a few years behind in the technology race that have price on their side, but for performance, unfortunately, we just don't have much choice.

      I'm not complaining though, my Geforce4 ti4200 runs like a champ, but it'd be nice to have more options in the future.
      • Re:HDTV out (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ecc0 ( 548386 )
        Will anyone ever be able to provide a REAL alternative to Nvidia and ATI?

        A few years ago, you would probably have said the same things about 3Dfx and Matrox, or something. And before ATI released their Radeon, which wasn't long ago, most of their cards were rather cruddy. Card manufacturers come and go.
      • Although not exactly average consumer-level products, Matrox is still going very strong.

        S3 seems to be in there with SIS, making extremely low-cost products for built-in video. Unfortunately, there aren't many boards that give you built-in NVida or ATI video-chips, so I think it will be some time before they go away.
        • As long as there are no more crappy Intel i810 chips integrated into motherboards, people should be happy.
          • Actually, I have come across a SiS video chipset which was quite horendous. So, it's not exactly salvation from crap. I would love to see decent chips like ATI/NVida embedded, instead of the current line of (mostly) crap.

            I would also like to see ALL network cards become based on the TULIP (DEC) chipset (as are Linksys and D-Link cards), all low-end sound cards AC'97 compatible, and all modems doing hardware-based processing.
            • Well, we can all dream, can't we?

              I'd actually rather see all motherboards (at least the ones that try to save you cash/remove your options) shipped with nvidia embedded, an emu10k1 chip for audio (screw ac97 and the horrible codec/processor time it uses), and the Tulip chipset for nics.

              Modems doing hardware processing is a pipe dream. No wait, it's nearly ancient history at this point as fewer and fewer manufacturers even build internal ones anymore. You can take solace in the fact that USR will probably always make a nice 56k serial port hardware modem for $200. It's amazing that over the years, external modems just never got cheaper.
              • an emu10k1 chip for audio (screw ac97 and the horrible codec/processor time it uses)

                Well, I'm not a big fan of AC97, but at least it's one single standard. No doubt an SB Live chipset would be nice, but they'd drive up the cost by about $30, so don't expect much.

                The Tulip chipset is very inexpensive (Linksys PCI cards using it are only $15), and ATI/Nvida have some very inexpensive video chips of their own.

                You can take solace in the fact that USR will probably always make a nice 56k serial port hardware modem for $200.

                What is ironic about the whole thing, is that you cane get MUCH better performance with a hardware modem. If people saw the difference in performance, hardware modems would be very popular... At any price

                Years ago I bought my external USR modem for just over $100, and that was when v.90 was brand-new, so I suspect they will be reasonably cheap at this point.

                It looks like the cheapest external modem on pricewatch is $12, so an internal one, especially if integrated, would be much cheaper than even that.
    • Apparently, I underestimated ATI... HDTV adapters are available for their most recent cards (9700), down to their older Radeon 8500s, and it's not just limited to their All-In-Wonders...

      htt p://www.techtv.com/screensavers/products/story/ 0,24330,2174896,00.html
      • Um...it's nice that they have a ready to go adaprter, but two years ago the lowliest of Gforce cards could be set to HDTV standard outputs with third-party software (YXY, IIRC). That's how I put up a 720p image on my 10HT projector, as it would not allow a pixel-for-pixel (768x1365) map of the display LCD via RGBHV input. Had to send it out as a component.

        Not that it helps...HDTV reception (ASTC tuner) is still north of $300, even as a PCI card.
    • Yes, it seems that we may be able to hook our computers up to our TVs again one day.
  • 1080P (Score:1, Funny)

    by draggy ( 30660 )
    where are the 1080 progressive scan TVs/projectors? I want one!
  • Cool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mschoolbus ( 627182 ) <travisriley@ g m ail.com> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:14PM (#5073016)
    I wonder if S3 is on the way back again in the market. I am starting to design a media station like system using a projector for my future house. Are there any decent frameworks out there for designing a network capable media center?

    More power to them for bringing some more competition into the market (again)...
  • Doom 3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AltImage ( 626465 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:15PM (#5073030) Homepage
    It's been stated that Doom 3 won't run at full frame rate on any of today's existing hardware. Does a card like this change that situation? What types of advances in graphics cards are going to be necessary to play Doom 3 at it's fullest potential?
    • I think these will do fine. When was that stated? Probably in the hayday of the GeForce2/3...
    • Re:Doom 3? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:31PM (#5073140) Homepage
      It's been stated that Doom 3 won't run at full frame rate on any of today's existing hardware

      Reference from Carmack please?

      Doom3 is likely to run with full eye candy on an ATI Radeon 9700 (and probably 9500) or a GF Fx (which isn't quite out yet) at 1024x768 with full features enabled and probably anti-aliasing and ansiotropic filtering.

      This is based off Carmack stating that it'll run decently on a GF4 at 1024x768, although without all the eye candy at maximum.

      Frankly, nobody seriously expects that SiS is going to trump ATI and nVidia yet... they've been too far behind for too long. They may very well eventually come out with a chipset that's as good or better than the current leaders, but they haven't even managed to get within spitting distance with previous efforts -- and the hype around those chipsets was that they'd be better than ATI/nVidia too.
      • Frankly, nobody seriously expects that SiS is going to trump ATI and nVidia yet...

        Nope, SiS doesn't stand a chance... but maybe you should be talking about __S3___!!! the company who's hardware this story is about.

        BTW, Ford isn't going to trump Mitsubishi... NEC isn't going to trump IBM, etc. I figure, hey, if we're going off-topic anyhow...

        If you don't get it, just move along
  • by guido1 ( 108876 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:19PM (#5073054)
    Culling a bit out of the article...

    --They won't say exactly how many, but the new card will have approx 1/2 the gates of Nvidia's FX.
    --It will run at 60% clock (300Mhz) of high-end cards (FX again, as well as ATIs Raedon (sp?).)
    --It will use DDR SDRAM.
    --It won't be availible until end of Q2. (5 months or so.)

    To be faster, you either need: (1) more gates, for more work per cycle. (2) More cycles, for more work per time. Looks like they have neither of these, plus they're not getting ultra-high bandwidth out of their memory... And it won't be availible for months...

    With the NVIDIA FX coming out early Feb, it won't capture the high end...

    What is the market for this thing?
    • Or 3).
      Implement better culling &co so that you don't have to draw so much.
    • by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5073120) Journal
      What do you mean, nothing exciting? Just look at that name DeltaChrome. Can you imagine the successors to this? In five years, we should be up to e.DeltaFLEX-ChromeNUMA FX 2008 Titanium .

      I can hardly wait!

    • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5073122) Journal
      What is the market for this thing?

      Cheap lapops.

      Rest assured that it will be better then the current state-of-the-art of low-end S3 laptop chips (talk about oxymoronic...). I have a Via TwisterK with the current S3 chip, and the only regret I have for buying such a low-level laptop is that the 3D performance on this 1 GHz Duron is roughly equivalent to a Voodoo I. (Otherwise I've been happy with it because I didn't buy it for 3D performance, I bought it because even the crappiest laptop on the market today is still a kick-ass portable Linux machine.)
      • The DRI project is working on acceleration for the S3 chipset at the moment, so you OpenGL performance should increase.

        Also, the 2.5 kernel performes soooo much better than the 2.4.19 kernel with performance patches on my crap mobo.
      • Forgot to mention, yes, I did read the article. And frankly, I have no confidence in this chip as a desktop component, and S3 is once again fooling itself. I think the odds are about 1 that this will end up in cheap laptops, just like the Savage chips only significant showing is in laptops.

        (It might end up in cheap crap Via motherboards, but only an idiot buys a desktop motherboard made by Via, no matter how cheap, as I've learned from repeated harsh experience.)
    • Presumably the low to mid end. If it has half the number of gates as the Nvidia FX, and is produced at the same .13 process, you'd expect it take take around half the silicon size. If all goes well that translates into lower costs to produce the chip. Many people simply don't need high-end 3D graphics and aren't willing to pay $200-300 it.
    • What's the market? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dpilot ( 134227 )
      Maybe people like me?

      The current top-end graphics cards are in the $300 range. The second tier is around half that, and the third tier half again. The real sales on the top-end graphics cards are rather small, and grow as you go down. But having that top-end card helps your lower tiers, because of the assumption that good top-end implies good rest-of-line.

      In today's market that's not necessarily true. IMHO both nVidia and ATI short-cut the lower ends with the MX and 9000 lines, respectively. Both of those product lines have cut features from a previous generation, and ramped the clock to regain performance. Also, both product lines will show their age on newer (let's face it, DoomIII) games.

      I recently bought a third-tier card - a Radeon 8500LE. It has all the features, a slightly lower clock, and a much lower price. The reasonable competition would have been a GeForce3 Ti200 for a little more. This is also a stopgap card - in a year or so I want to step up and get DX9/OGL2 features when they're available in the second tier. (I know OGL2 is still an unknown.)

      The reason to pay attention to the top end is because it presumably brings features down to the bottom end. But both dominant suppliers today have broken that feature chain. So if someone else comes in with the features and performance I want, and linux support through drivers or documentation, I'll buy, even if they don't own the top end.
      • Actually, if you want a reasonably priced graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0, get the ATI Radeon 9500 Pro or ATI OEM cards that is the equivalent of Radeon 9500.

        The Radeon 9500 Pro (which sells for around US$190 to US$200) not only performs as fast as graphics cards that use the nVidia GeForce4 Ti4600, but also will support DX9 features in hardware. That means games coming out later this year that support DX9 will run quite well on the Radeon 9500 Pro.
    • What is the market for this thing?

      The same market that puts in GF MX's and ATI 7000's in current systems. There's a lot of people out there that don't need a $200+ video card. Forgoing 3D entirely on a home PC is a bad move though, since you'll certainly end up with displeased users when they can't play some random game they picked up.

      Laptops, OEM systems, business class systems, etc. all sell millions of low end video cards yearly. This market is much larger, and potentially much more profitable, than the small high-end gamer/enthusiast market.
    • I'm with the others, you don't need to be the best/fastest/most powerful to get sales. Being the best/fastest/most powerful does get more attention and press.

      There is still a big market in $100 video cards, which is where most of the lesser brands occupy, and that price point makes it easier to convince computer makers to put their card into a computer.
    • All of us here already understand the myths about processors and megahertz, what makes us think that this myth won't hold up with the DeltaChrome? Let's not forget that the clock frequency isn't set in stone, and I've learned that when something like that is so undetermined, original estimates are lower. I don't think it's fair to dissmiss them until they've released their card.
  • Now if only I could afford an HDTV!

    My apartment now is so small that I think if I got a nice plasma screen tv that was 40" or so, it would pretty much take up one whole wall of my place. And considering my futon is only about 5' from the opposing wall - that would make for a real theater like experience.

    Now just to wait about a year or two for all the prices to become reasonable and things are going to kick ass.
  • by LordYUK ( 552359 ) <jeffwright821 @ g m a i l . c om> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:23PM (#5073073)
    It doesnt do really do anything more than the current run of cards does (ATI AIW 9700 pro), it does LESS than the upcoming run of cards (GeforceFX), AND its scheduled to come out like, 3-5 months from now, long after the ATI has dropped in price and the GFX has pushed down prices of the Ti4600?? ::yawn:: wake me when there is real news.
  • Faucet? (Score:2, Funny)

    by lizrd ( 69275 )
    Is it just me or is Delta Chrome a better name for a faucet [deltafaucet.com] than for a video card?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:34PM (#5073170)
    That's great news.

    As long as there is a follow-up post about new HDTV projectors that run for about $200. Otherwise, it doesn't affect me too much... :(
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who cares, deltachrome may be interesting, but it can't top this!


    Step 1: Go buy yourself a Radeon 9500 128MB (non-pro only) $150US

    Step 2: Apply this patch

    Step 3: Watch your benchmarks, you just got a Radeon 9700 pro for $150!!!
    • You forgot the step where you solder SMD resistors to the card to unlock the rest of the memory bus, and keep your fingers crossed that the extra logic you just enabled wasn't faulty in the first place (which is why it was placed on the 9500 and not the 9700).

      Clocking it higher isn't the whole story, it's not a 9700 Pro until you unlock the other half of the memory bus.

      It works, but I've heard as many failure stories as I have successes.
  • PowerVR (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 13Echo ( 209846 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:52PM (#5073303) Homepage Journal
    We've all had ViRGE chips in our machines at some time or another. I can't say that I've every really cared for the S3 products. Drivers and tech support have always been poor. The chips have always fought over the bus and lagged down PCI devices such as soundcards. Savage 2000 was disappointing. The drivers and slow 32 bit rendering made it a horrible card to have, even for games based on the aging Quake 3 engine. I sure hope that they can change things in the future. They've always been able to put themselves into the value and OEM markets, especially since they were purchased by VIA. It's an easy way to slap these chips into integrated mobos, as long as they can put out performance that is better than the low-end nForce products.

    It's nice to hear about new products from alternative companies. What I am really looking for is a new product based on PowerVR's technology. I've really gotten a lot out of my Kyro II over the last two years, and the drivers have been quite solid under Windows and (now I use) Linux. I think that their series 4 products were canned, after STM anounced that it was selling its graphics business (which licensed PowerVR's series 4 technology). Series 5 was in development, but has had no real press.

    My Kyro II experiences have been very good. The card puts out crisp and beautiful graphics, and rendering is fast. Unfortunately, it's time to upgrade for the up and coming games. Products from ATi and nVidia seem to be on my list, but I will probably end up waiting until the next nVidia chip gets released. Competition will drive down the R300 price.

    Competition is a good thing, especially if the manufacturers provide Linux drivers. ;)
    • I can't say that I've every really cared for the S3 products. Drivers and tech support have always been poor.

      Your history is too short. S3 used to make some truely excellent low cost high quality 2d video cards. There were good drivers for both Windows and XFree86. Unfortunately S3 came late to the 3D game. (Everyone other then 3Dfx came late to the 3D game.) To furthure criple S3 the company was bought out and handed around several times by companies more interested in the old S3 technology then createing new and better chipsets. I do agree that just about everything from the Virge on has suffured from poor performance and drivers.

      • Well, yes. There was a time when there were some products from companies such as Number 9, that had S3 chips onboard. Even then, competitive products from Matrox made those things quite less of a value. The S3 products were still impractical for the average home user, and were aimed at being used for graphics work. S3's been around for years, but even at the beginnings of their graphics operations, they've had sub-par products and drivers, aside from some of their early 2D chips.
    • Yup - gotta love those Kyro II's. Mine is still going strong, and handles everything I throw at it. Not that I am a major game player, but it was fine with GTA3, Q3 etc.
  • Someone Tell Me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LordYUK ( 552359 ) <jeffwright821 @ g m a i l . c om> on Monday January 13, 2003 @01:17PM (#5073496)
    Okay, as far as I see it the video card race works like this: nvidia or ATI releases high end card at 400 bucks or so, and 1-3 mid-low range cards. The competitor follows suit, prices fall about 15-20 bucks every month or so, until the "next card" comes out, then prices plummet, and it all starts over. Sometimes a 3rd party enters (like S3 right now) and offers what is basically crap comparted to whats out, doesnt offer THAT big a price difference, and goes away, If a company REALLY wanted to take the "crown", wouldnt it make sense to release a card as good or better, at a rediculous price point, but still make money? like a 9700 Pro equivalent at 2/3's the price or something? Give me the SAME specs and good driver support, and I dont CARE who makes my card. Note, I have no idea the production costs involved with these cards, this is just an observation... feel free to correct me...
    • That's the fun part. For the low end 3D market, around $100 is the sweet spot. For that, you can get a GeForce4 Ti 4200, which is superior to most of the cheapo 3D cards you get. It's fast and has great driver (for Windows and Linux!) to boot. Compare this to a Xabre 400 card, which runs only $30 cheaper, but in many games offers half the performance. Those who are really going to feel that $30 hit can easily save another $10 and buy a GeForce4 MX 440 for $60. It's still faster than the Xabre 400, and even though it lacks pixel shaders, (1) at that price, you're not playing Doom III, (2) The Xabre's pixel shaders are so bad, for all intents and purposes, it doesn't have them.
    • they are obviously not going for the crown, but rather the oem market. theyll clean up house there if they can get it out of the door cheap. plus itll be better than the gf4mx's everyones using.
  • by nenolod ( 546272 )
    They were making a big deal out of Alpha Chrome... it turned out to be vapourware. I have a feeling Delta Chrome will turn out to be the same.
  • Linux Support? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @01:38PM (#5073659)
    I'd like to hear if the thing will have decent Linux support. 200 FPS at 1600x1200x32 in Quake3 in Windows means absolutely nothing to me if it can't do 3D acceleration in Linux.

    So, two questions:
    1. Will we see good 3D-accelerated drivers from S3 or funded by them? Open-source or not is irrelevant to me as long as they work well (ie, on par with nVidia or PowerVR).
    2. Will S3 let S3TC be used in DRI drivers?

    If the answer to either is no, they can take their chipset and shove it where the sun don't shine.

  • how things have changed in a few years. S3 is now considered a low-end manufacturer; some years back, they were top-of-the-line, I remember spending over 200 bucks on a S3 Vision968-based card which was the best there was back then. This of course was in the days before 3D acceleration, and this card touted features meant to accelerate video playback.

    To S3's credit, my 968-based card with 2 MB VRAM still holds its own against more recent offerings, at least as far as 2D work goes.

The earth is like a tiny grain of sand, only much, much heavier.