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S3 DeltaChrome S4 Pro Chip Under Investigation

Our today’s article is devoted to one more representative of the S3 DeltaChrome family – S3 DeltaChrome S4 Pro graphics processor. One of the modifications of this processor is most likely to replace the currently used UniChrome core in the upcoming integrated chipsets from VIA Technologies. From the architectural standpoint DeltaChrome S4 Pro is just like any of its elder brothers, DeltaChrome S8 and S8 Nitro, except for working frequencies and the twice as small number of vertex and pixel processors. Of course, we got hold of the VGA card implementation of the DeltaChrome S4 Pro designed for AGP 8x, but this will hardly prevent us from evaluating properly the prospects of this VPU as a stand alone solution as well as an integrated one.


S3 Graphics DeltaChrome S4 graphics processor

It doesn’t make much sense to repeat everything we have already said about DeltaChrome architecture in our previous reviews. Please see our articles about S3 DeltaChrome S8 and S3 DeltaChrome S8 Nitro for more details.

So far let me simply remind you of the major features DeltaChrome architecture boasts, which put it on the same level with the solutions developed by the leading graphics chip designers. The list below is a brief summary of the DeltaChrome graphics core:

  • Memory bus bandwidth saving technologies;
  • 2.0+ pixel shader extensions support;
  • 2.0+ vertex shader extensions support;
  • Multi-monitor configurations support;
  • 400MHz RAMDAC;
  • Built-in TV-Out controller;
  • Built-in TMDS transmitter;
  • Component video-out support (YPbPr, 480p/720p/1080i/1080p modes);
  • Programmable Chromotion engine for video stream processing;
  • AGP 8x support.

Theoretically, DeltaChrome S4 Pro does not yield to any of its potential competitors, namely ATI RADEON 9600 and NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600/5700. However, we still have to double check if this is true or not, before making any definite statements. As most of readers probably remember, during the tests of S3 DeltaChrome S8 it still yielded to RADEON 9600 XT and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra even though it had 8 pipelines against the 4 pipelines of the rivals, which was mostly resulting from the unfinalized drivers.

Just like in case of any other graphics adapter that arrives into our testlab, we are going to find out how fast the new solution performs in games. However, before we set the new S3 Graphics Value product to the test let’s take a closer look at the card based on S3 DeltaChrome S4 Pro.

 
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