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DX10.1 Certification for Chrome 400 series
S3 have risen from the dead
To be honest, S3 never did really die; they just have not been very popular to talk about as of late. It would appear that is about to change, as they have received WHQL Vista DirectX 10.1 certification for their Chrome 400 Series hardware with the latest DirectX SDK that was released in March of 2008.
S3 says that they have worked very closely with Microsoft to make sure that the Chrome 400 Series GPUs would be fully DX 10.1 compliant and be able to achieve WHQL certification from Microsoft.
For those that are unaware, S3 released the Chrome 400 Series GPUs some time ago. The Chrome 400 Series features a unified Shader architecture with the 4.1 model Shader instruction set. The Chrome 400 Series is available in both desktop and laptop configurations. All of the Chrome 400 Series GPUs are manufactured using the low heat 65nm process developed by Fujitsu.
The availability of the Chrome 400 Series-based cards is a bit more problematic, as in some areas they have completely fallen off the radar. This has not been lost on S3, and they say that they have been working on competing in non-traditional markets and in areas that are hungry for the latest technology.
So, this means you may or many not be able to find the Chrome 400 Series GPUs locally. S3 is in more of an expansion mode these days trying to get the Chrome 400 Series GPUs into new markets and looking for new partners.
Right now they are selling the Chrome GT430 PCI Express 2nd Generation card in the S3 online store for US$59.95. The card is being positioned to compete with the Nvidia 8400 GS and the ATI Radeon HD3450 in the sub-$100 market space.
While performance benchmarks have not been kind to S3 in the past, this might be able to stand on some of the features it offers alone, but depending on what you use it for, performance still might be an issue depending on the application. Let’s face it: if you are looking for gaming performance you are not looking at sub-$100 video cards.