Introduction

For the past year and a half or so, ATI and NVIDIA have fought a hard battle over leadership in the desktop graphics market with very little in the way of outside competition. Before that, NVIDIA held a comfortable position in the industry after 3dfx started to struggle. There is the occasional release of a Matrox card, PowerVR poked around for a little while, and the ultra low end "just VGA" market has always been filled with the likes of Trident (bought by XGI last year). The desktop graphics arena is filled with the bones of companies who have tried to gain a foothold in one of the most greusome markets in computing. Six month product cycles and always staying one step ahead of the competition is not something that many companies can survive.

S3 (under the wing of VIA) is a company with a second chance at the graphics market, and today we are previewing their upcoming DeltaChrome S8 Nitro graphics card which will be offering users another choice in DirectX 9.0 hardware. This card is supposed to compete in the midrange segment with the likes of the venerable ATI Radeon 9600 and NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 series cards. Of course, the numbers we will see here aren't final numbers as this is a preview of the hardware running on beta level unfinished drivers. OpenGL numbers will be especially low, but S3 says DirectX numbers will be closer to what we can expect.

We will be able to garner an idea of what we can expect to see from the DeltaChrome S8 Nitro when it is finally finished. We will also be able to explore the features of the card and the drivers and take a look at how much value this card could potentially have.

Does the S3 Graphics DeltaChrome S8 Nitro have the potential to deserve the label of a midrange card? Does S3 have any hope in making a solid reentry into one of the toughest markets on earth? Read on to find out.

The Card
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  • cliffa3 - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    noone read over this one before posting...

    page 1 - companies can surive...survive
    page 3 - addes screen height,...added
    page 10 - This game is definitely one of the hot games to make sure are stable and running smoothly.

    not sure what needs to be done w/the one on page 10...i didn't even read the whole article, i just caught those in skimming.
    Reply
  • shady06 - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    wow, another POS Reply
  • joeld - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    Notice how the card rocked in UT2003 but nothing else - reminds me of the diamond viper 2 (savage2000 core from s3) that I had back in the day - driver optimized for Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 and nothing else... Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    ...err "but that" rather then "back that"... Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    didn't notice the card was from S3 :) back that only reaffirms my original though, they'll stay int he on-board market, where they've done well in the recent past, i'm guessing this solution is an attempt at rising to the mid-upper performance tier in on-board solutions. Reply
  • JAGedlion - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    I hope they put this in their mini-itx mobos, it would increase their funcionality many times fold Reply
  • drteserect - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    Having owned both a Virge and Savage 8 motherboards, I realize that S3 has not always been a startup, but it has been out of the competitive fray for so long it is essentially a startup. My suggestion also applies the company that is behind the Volari. Reply
  • Idoxash - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    "The only hope I see for a new graphics chip company would be to set up an open source environment for their driver software. The development leads of ATI and NVidia are immense, but possibly the collective genuis of people who like to play with such tasks would give a startup some sort of chance."

    You say this like S3 is a new starup company? If that's the case you are very wrong. S3 is very old and has been making gfx chips for many, many years. If I misunderstood wut you sed then I'm sorry.

    In either way they should open up their drivers. That probly help them out a lot because they had plenty of time to tweak and fix their drivers before this release and the drivers are still crap over.

    --Idoxash
    Reply
  • drteserect - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    The only hope I see for a new graphics chip company would be to set up an open source environment for their driver software. The development leads of ATI and NVidia are immense, but possibly the collective genuis of people who like to play with such tasks would give a startup some sort of chance. Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    agreed, too little too late, perhaps the "on-board" market will have more room for these guys... Reply

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