Print 10 comment(s) - last by Egglick.. on May 5 at 7:04 AM

Image courtesy The Tech Report
S3 has released its S27 Chrome graphics cards with MultiChrome enabled allowing two S27s to act as one

S3 is entering the multi graphics card arena with the introduction of it MultiChrome technology. When two Chrome S27 cards are paired together across dual PCIe 16x channels MultiChrome allows the cards to act as one.

The S27 GPU operates at 700 MHz with either 128MB or 256MB of onboard GDDR 3 also running at 700MHz. The S27 is DirectX 9 capable and features 4 vertex shaders and 8 pixel shaders. The S27 supports shader model 2.0 putting it a little behind the curve in terms of its low cost competitors from nVidia and ATI.

What makes this set up impressive is the price, the S27 will run you $77 for the 128MB version and $99 for the 256MB model, giving you a pretty impressive low cost graphics solution. The Tech Report puts the MultiChrome S27 through its paces in a recent review with mixed results.

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$200 for SLI solution
By Sunday Ironfoot on 5/4/2006 10:06:54 AM , Rating: 3
Seems pointless to me, so an SLI setup is gonna cost $200. I'm sure for around the same price you could buy a single slot solution from ATI or nVidia that performs better and has SM 3.0.

RE: $200 for SLI solution
By The Cheeba on 5/4/06, Rating: 0
RE: $200 for SLI solution
By kkwst2 on 5/4/2006 12:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...that's just what he said...

Price Check
By phatboye on 5/4/2006 10:18:07 AM , Rating: 3
It's good to see another player in the video card field. In the past 3 years ATI and NVIDIA gfx card prices have skyrocketed. You used to be able to get a top of the line gfx card for around $300. More competition is always a good thing because it will either make ATI and NVIDIA drop thier current prices or encourage them to make better products so that their current marketshare isn't lost to s3. Kind of like what AMD did to Intel. Hopefully s3 can work out the kinks in their hardware and make a product that is competitive with that of ATI and NVIDIA.

By Kougar on 5/4/2006 10:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
The $77 card might actually be worth something.

However, ExtremeTech also reviewed the Chrome S27 card. They attempted to review "Multi-Chrome" as well, but end result was it was more buggy than nVidia's Quad-SLI is right now.

Ummm hello?
By Bull Dog on 5/4/2006 10:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is oooooooooooooold news. The Chrome cards have been selling at Newegg for MONTHS now. And the MultiChrome was always an option from the beginning. Multichrome isn't *just* getting intoduced.

By bunnyfubbles on 5/4/2006 10:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
Usually you hear things from either side (nVidia vs. ATI) about driver and software woes; so when the two established big dogs in this fight can't get drivers perfect for single cards, let alone multiple cards, usually the 5th wheel guy is torn to pieces in that area.

While it’s good that they’re offering inexpensive solutions for the features and performance you get, “MultiChrome” is just ridiculous. I’ll even say it’s great they offer such a feature, but it certainly can’t be a selling factor. Maybe it’d be an ok idea if there was a discount on the second card you buy, because the solution just isn’t practical beyond 1 card. As others have already suggested, you can probably get more features and better performance for the price of two S27s as they are.

By RuStYwAvE on 5/4/2006 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
Via S3 is hiding under the standpoint of power consumption vs. performance, boasting low wattage/fps. From a hardware point of view the card is optimalize as far as it can go using the latest fabrication methods complemented with the fastest ball-grid array memory, even that could not save them. Why don’t they just make the chipset more complex increasing the pipeline to 8 rather 4? Wouldn't that be more efficient than buying two cards? They should put more time in R&D rather than implementing new SLI technology and using new methods of fabrication from other companies. The card seems to be "all show no go" and no actual potential to improve upon. I don't think the problem lies not in the driver itself profiling games, but the problem is the poorly designed architecture of the chipset unable to compute raw complex calculations fast enough compared to nvidia/ati. I had a viper s3 2000 video card a few years back that ran unreal tournament pretty well with the s3 metal 3d drivers, but when it came to other games the fps took a nose dive like in Diablo II. All most all reviews said it has potential as long as the driver problem could be fixed, but they never did discontinuing the chipset. Chipset like kyro and intel i745 that fell due to poor drivers all profiled games making them seem as competitors. If driver were the issue, why couldn’t the raw calculating power of the chipset been able to keep the s2000 and kyro afloat in some games with default drivers, some games didn’t even work. The chipset was probably hard to work making the drivers impossible forcing the developers in the end to drop the chipset. I don’t think the problem lies in the driver and via s3 should go back to the drawing boards.

Targeting the Tools....
By granulated on 5/4/2006 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
I guess they're targeting the berks who wander into their local PC World (or what have you) and cluelessly buy any old crap. ??

Give them credit
By Egglick on 5/5/2006 7:04:00 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, at least they're trying. Show me another graphics card company that can hold a candle to what NVidia and ATI are doing these days. For $77 you get a card that has equal or better performance than a X1300 or 7300. That's a huge improvement from S3 cards of the past.

I'd rather see these sell than integrated Intel graphics.

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