Just over two months after introducing the first Chrome 400-series graphics card, S3 has added a new, faster variant to its lineup. From the outside, the new Chrome 440 GTX doesn't look very different from the Chrome 430 GT, with the same low-profile design and cooler. The two cards' GPUs are both 65nm, DirectX 10.1-capable parts with the ability to decode 1080p Blu-ray video.
However, S3 has outfitted the Chrome 440 GTX with GDDR3 RAM, and it claims the new card offers higher overall performance than the DDR2-powered 430 GT. A chart on its website shows the newcomer yielding a 15% greater score than AMD's Radeon HD 3470 in 3DMark06 on Windows Vista. For reference, S3 claims its Chrome 430 GT outperforms the slower Radeon HD 3450 by 20% or so in the same benchmark.
S3 has opted to price the Chrome 440 GTX at only $69, making it just $10 pricier than the 430 GT. That's also about $10 more expensive than the Radeon HD 3470, a Sapphire-built version of which can be had for $59.99 on Newegg. The 3470 has passive cooling, although it doesn't have a low-profile circuit board design.