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We have just tested the first graphics adapter based on the newest graphics processor from S3 Graphics – DeltaChrome. Having taken a closer look at the product, we arrived at the following conclusion: this is a very interesting graphics processor featuring a bunch of interesting technologies. I would like to specifically stress highly efficient real-time video editing and very interesting anisotropic filtering algorithm ensuring high image quality without any noticeable performance losses.

So, what does the new S3 Graphics DeltaChrome S8 offer us today?

  • Performance equal to that of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 Ultra;
  • High image quality;
  • The functionality not any worse than that of high-end ATI and NVIDIA chips, and sometimes even better.
  • No cheats in the drivers;
  • Relatively low-cost graphics processor with low power consumption.

All in all this is very nice. Low results in some benchmarks show not the weak spots of the DeltaChrome architecture that much, but the low-quality drivers, which we had at our disposal. Today these drivers are still very raw: take the absence of the OpenGL settings, for instance. If the S3 Graphics software developers manage to eliminate these drawbacks in the nearest future, then DeltaChrome has every chance to become a very attractive solution and win a stable position in the desktop VPU market.

However, the developer will have to work really hard to achieve this goal. Here I imply not only developing good, properly working drivers, but also establishing cooperation with the graphics card manufacturers, which are known for their lack of trust in the new solutions appearing in the market.

If S3 Graphics manages to cope with this task, if the graphics cards based on DeltaChrome chip cost reasonable money for the performance level they provide, and if the drivers are not any worse than those from ATI Technologies or NVIDIA Corp., then S3 graphics solutions will definitely win their market and become popular in certain user groups, which value multi-display configurations, advanced video processing options and DirectX 9+ features support. Due to low power consumption the new chip will also find its niche in the systems where the economical factor is vital, such as SFF-systems and notebooks.

So, what are those features, S3 Graphics DeltaChrome solution cannot offer you so far?

  • It will never become a competitor to RADEON 9800 XT and GeForce FX 5950 Ultra;
  • It is not a mass well promoted product, it hasn’t been yet included into the product range of many graphics card makers. Club 3D is the first and yet the only AIB partner of S3 Graphics;
  • The drivers leave much to be desired;
  • The customers do not know this product yet and hence do not have much trust in its benefits.

It will be tough for S3 to win the users’ hearts, because the company has been absent in the market for a significant period of time, so that many users have already forgotten the name of S3 Graphics Company. The way back to public acknowledgement will be a hard one but S3 is very determined to succeed. The major thing for the company now is to avoid the mistakes, which have already caused a failure once.

We believe that S3 Graphics Company should now focus on developing quality drivers for their new solution, because the chip already looks very mature and has every chance to become a success.

We would like to welcome S3 Graphics back in the desktop graphics market! :)

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