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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  • Cybercat - Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - link

    Time is an issue. Even if they are able to fix all the IQ issues and OGL performance problems, if they release it too late, their performance will be below what ATI and NVIDIA will be offering, and they'll fizzle out. If they can get it out before the big boys bring out their new stuff, and they price it cheap enough, they'll have a product that can potentially take a bit of the FX5200/R9200 portion of the market, which would be good because those cards don't perform well for their price IMO. It will be nice to root for someone other than ATI and NVIDIA for a change. Reply

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