Priced at $59 and now available in the U.S.
Most readers were surprised to learn that S3 Graphics still existed when the manufacturer of graphics technologies announced its Chrome 400 Series last month.
Well, the Chrome 400 Series is now as real as it gets as the first card from the series, the Chrome 430 GT, is now available in the U.S. and is priced at $59.
You might have mistakenly assumed the card would come completely chrome-plated, and as the above image shows, you'd have been way off the mark.
The Chrome 430 GT is a low profile PCI-E 2.0 card that S3 Graphics claims is "ideally suited for small form factor PC designs and energy-conscious PC users who wish to upgrade their PC to provide incredible HD playback and the latest DirectX 10.1 graphics engine."
Furthermore, S3 Graphics even claim the card outperforms the current market leader in its class by over 20% in 3D benchmarks. Sounds a little ambitious to us so we think we'll wait for some actual figures before we make up our minds.
Dr. Ken Weng, GM for S3 Graphics said:
"S3 Graphics has once again delivered an outstanding product, leveraging our graphics, video, and power savings core competencies. The feature-rich Chrome 430 GT challenges the current discrete graphics landscape, bringing new functionalities previously seen only on high end desktops, bringing new meaning to the terms 'affordable gaming' and 'home entertainment'."
Built on Fujitsu's 65nm process, the Chrome 430 GT should prove to be power efficient whilst providing full hardware acceleration for HD playback displayed through dual-link DVI or VGA connections.
No news yet on UK availability or pricing, but we expect those details to land soon. The Chrome 430 GT's product highlights, as described by S3 Graphics, are:
- Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 Support: An S3 proprietary unified shader architecture supports the latest additions to DirectX® 10.1 allowing realistic 3D rendering and increased visual acuity through improved Anti-aliasing, Image/Texture improvements, higher precision formats, and programmable lighting effects. These improvements allow Chrome 430 GT users to experience life-like rendering and image quality in supported DirectX® 10.1 applications.
- ChromotionHD™ Video Technology: Featuring a fully programmable video architecture with true HD quality 1080p playback for Blu-ray™ and HD-DVD™ content, the ChromotionHD™ engine supports the latest HD standards including H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD, and AVS, for a stunning movie experience. The video engine is also highly optimised with the decoding and post processing display pipeline that allows simultaneous acceleration of single and multiple video streams in HD format with vibrant colours and picture clarity.
- ChromotionHD™ Video Technology: Featuring a fully programmable video architecture with true HD quality 1080p playback for Blu-ray™ and HD-DVD™ content, the ChromotionHD™ engine supports the latest HD standards including H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD, and AVS, for a stunning movie experience.
- S3 Graphics PowerWise™ Technology: Sophisticated algorithms and power control mechanisms allow the Chrome 430 GT to deliver the optimal balance between performance and power on-the-fly, to meet performance and application requirements for power efficient graphics computing on desktop and small form factor (SFF) PCs.
- PCI Express®2.0: The Chrome 430 GT supports the latest advances to the PC component interconnect by offering users the ability to boost the graphics performance of their current systems with the high throughput PCI Express® 2.0 bus technology. The faster connection speed also allows users to take advantage of additional S3 Graphics technologies such as AcceleRAM™ which leverages system memory for image data storage.
Official press release: S3 Graphics Launches Chrome 430 GT in the U.S. Market
Official product page: S3Graphics.com