S3 Chrome S27 cards go on sale at Newegg
We've been following with some interest S3's struggle to get its graphics chips on to cards sold in the U.S. and North America more broadly. S3 has been unable to recruit a board maker to package up its products and offer them for sale here, despite the fact that S3's Chrome series of GPUs has been reasonably competitive in the low end of the market since its introduction. To remedy this situation, S3 first started selling cards under its own brand direct to customers via its website. That attempt didn't meet with great amounts of success, from what we could tell, especially since S3 felt compelled to keep prices relatively high in order not to offend its board partners in other markets.
Now, S3 has managed to land its self-branded Chrome S27 cards on Newegg for fairly reasonable prices. Both the Chrome S27 128MB and the Chrome S27 256MB are listed for sale, with the 128MB version at $99 and the 256MB one at $128. Both cards feature 700MHz GPU clocks and matching 700MHz memory clocks. The Chrome S27 GPU only supports DirectX 9's Shader Model 2.0, but I doubt SM3.0 support matters much for cards in this market. More notably, the S27 is capable of running in an SLI-like MultiChrome config for higher performance.
S3 faces some stiff competition still from ATI's Radeon X1300 Pro and NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 DDR2and soon the GeForce 7300 GS. Board partners of both ATI and NVIDIA look to be undercutting S3’s 256MB card by $10 or more. But it looks like a third option has finally established a toehold in the U.S. market, at least.