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S3 Graphics, a division of Via Technologies who attempts to re-enter the market of standalone graphics cards, recently began to sell its latest Chrome S27 graphics card in the U.S. via a popular online store. This is the first time when standalone products from S3 could be bought in the country in several years.

Newegg.com, a well-known web-store in the U.S., began selling S3 Graphics Chrome S27 graphics cards with 128MB and 256MB of GDDR3 memory onboard. The graphics cards cost $98 and $128 respectively and are positioned as high-performance low-power solutions for entry-level and multimedia-oriented personal computers.

The Chrome S27 model features S3’s revamped fourth generation DirectX 9.0-supporting micro-architecture, a bit evolved from the GammaChrome introduced in 2005. The S27 features 8 pixel processors and 4 vertex processors as well as flexible PCI Express support, which means that the chips can function in any type of electrical PCI Express slots – x1, x4, x8 and x16. The model S27 graphics card sports graphics chip clocked at 700MHz with up to 1400MHz GDDR3 memory (128-bit bus).

S3 Graphics was once the world’s top supplier of graphics chips, but it lost the ground after major graphics chip designers 3dfx, ATI Technologies and Nvidia Corp. launched their graphics products which accelerated 3D rendering in the late nineties. While the company managed to release its Savage 2000 chip a day before Nvidia launched its GeForce 256, the product that S3 called as the world’s first with hardware T&L (transform and lighting) engine never became successful. S3 was then acquired by Taiwan-based chipset designer Via Technologies and standalone graphics cards based on S3’s chips could not be found for sale in the U.S.

S3 launched its own online store in mid-2005, but the move did not seem to be a success.

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