Published in Graphics
S3 Chrome 400 takes on HD 3450
Pre-order for US$59.99
During our chat with VIA, we also managed to talk to a representative for S3 graphics for a few minutes about the upcoming Chrome 400-series and what to expect from it. Although there will only be a few limited manufacturers of Chrome 400 graphcis cards, they will be available to purchase online from the GStore initially, with more retail outlets expected to stock them at a later stage.
S3 is looking at competing agains the Radeon HD 3450 and they're claiming better performance at the entry level. The GStore is already listing a Chrome 430 GT card with 256MB of GDDR2 memory on pre-order for US$59.99, which is about $5-10 more than you'd expect to pay for a 256MB Raden HD 3450.
The specifications for this specific card are a core clock of 625MHz and a memory clock of 500MHz. It also features PCIe 2.0 and DX 10.1, as well as Shader Model 4.1 support. The only concern here is how good the driver support will be, as the past Chrome S27 cards didn't have the best of driver support from S3.
Until we've seen some real world testing, we'll reserve our judgement, but it's good to see that S3 hasn't disappeared into the void. We'd also expect to see some of the technology used in the Chrome 400-series to appear in upcoming IGPs from VIA, as that is one of the reasons why S3 is still going; as without an integrated graphics solution, VIA would have some difficulty competing in its market space.