DeltaChrome S8: First look

WE PREVIEWED S3’s new DeltaChrome graphics chip exactly three months ago. At the time, the DeltaChrome looked like it could become a competent alternative to ATI and NVIDIA’s two-fisted stranglehold on the DirectX 9 graphics market. Instead of looking to challenge for the high-end graphics crown, S3 was preparing a line of mid-range and low-end DeltaChrome products that would balance 3D performance and DirectX 9 compatibility with a suite of new video features and high-definition video output.

On paper, DeltaChrome looked pretty good, but we all know that paper specs and features don’t always fly in the real world.

Although cards based on DeltaChrome won’t be available in the real world until next year, S3 has given us a chance to preview of the chip’s 3D graphics capabilities using an early DeltaChrome S8 sample board with the latest beta drivers from S3. How does the S8’s 3D performance look at this early stage? Read on to find out.

The DeltaChrome S8: A quick refresher course
If you haven’t already, take a moment to read through our initial DeltaChrome preview. Since we’ll only be previewing the chip’s 3D capabilities today, I’ll only cover features related to the 3D pipeline. The DeltaChrome has plenty of other goodies that branch from and extend beyond its graphics pipeline, and we’ll cover those with a full review once retail boards become available.

GPU S3 DeltaChrome S8
Core clock 300MHz
Pixel pipelines 8
Peak pixel fill rate 2400 Mpixels/s
Texture units/pixel pipeline 1
Textures per clock 8
Peak texel fill rate 2400 Mtexels/s
Memory clock 300MHz
Memory type BGA DDR SDRAM
Memory bus width 128-bit
Peak memory bandwidth 9.6GB/s
Ports VGA, DVI, composite and S-Video outputs
Auxiliary power connector None

With eight full pixel pipelines running at 300MHz, the S8 boasts plenty of fill rate. The chip’s 128-bit memory interface is reasonably competitive with the Radeon 9600 Pro and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. However, unlike the sophisticated crossbar memory controllers employed by ATI and NVIDIA, the DeltaChrome’s memory controller can only access data in 128-bit blocks.

The chips in the DeltaChrome line are all DirectX 9 compatible and include full support for pixel and vertex shader versions 2.0. Pixel shader precision maxes out at 96 bits per pixel, or 24 bits of precision for each of the red, green, and blue color channels, just like ATI’s R3x0 graphics chips. DeltaChrome’s pixel shaders support 128 color instructions per pass, with up to 32 texture instructions and 16 texture lookups, but they can’t branch and loop like NVIDIA’s flexible GeForce FX pixel shaders. DeltaChrome’s pixel shaders do, however, support per-pixel gamma correction.

Since drawing unseen pixels is a waste of valuable resources, the DeltaChrome employs several methods to reduce overdraw. In addition to occlusion culling algorithms that discard hidden pixels early in the rendering pipeline, the DeltaChrome minimizes Z-buffer reads and writes and has a zero-cycle Z-clear. The chip also has some additional overdraw reduction technologies under the hood, but S3 is keeping the details to itself.

Though we won’t be exploring the S8’s antialiasing or anisotropic performance today, the DeltaChrome supports both in hardware. Anisotropic filtering is supported up to 16X, and 4X multi-sampled antialiasing is available at resolutions up to 1024×768. It doesn’t appear that either aniso or AA is available in the current drivers, though.

Amazingly, S3 has managed to squeeze all those features onto a chip with somewhere between 60 and 80 million transistors (for comparison, ATI’s eight-pipe R300 graphics chip weighs in at roughly 110 million transistors). S3 has chosen TSMC to produce the DeltaChrome S8 chip using its 0.13-micron fabrication process.

S3’s DeltaChrome S8 evaluation sample

Anatomy of a sneak peek
Our early DeltaChrome S8 sample came with beta drivers—not exactly a recipe for smooth sailing, as one might expect, since we’re dealing with a brand-new graphics core from company that’s been out of the game for a few years. We came across a number of apparently driver-related issues with image quality, performance, and compatibility. For instance, the S8 wouldn’t cooperate with our nForce3-based graphics testing platform. We also found problems with Call of Duty and with our real-time high dynamic range lighting demo, so we weren’t able to benchmark the card with those apps. (Of course, such problems are a frustratingly intractable part of the graphics game. ATI just released drivers with a fix for Call of Duty, and NVIDIA’s cards have never supported that real-time lighting demo properly.) S3 is already working on fixes for these issues.

Also, S3 readily admits that the card’s OpenGL drivers aren’t quite up to speed yet, but OpenGL performance is expected to improve dramatically with the next major driver release.

S3 has time to perfect its DeltaChrome drivers before cards are available to the public next year, so we remain hopeful. However, some of the problems we encountered do need to resolved before the DeltaChrome is ready for commercial sale. S3 has been working closely with us since we started testing the S8, and judging by the response, we’re fairly confident they’ll have the issues sorted out by the time consumers can actually get their hands on cards.

Not exactly a production board, folks

 

Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run three times, and the results were averaged.

Our test system was configured like so:

  System
Processor AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 2.2GHz
Front-side bus HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
Motherboard MSI K8T Master2-FAR
Chipset VIA K8T800
Chipset drivers VIA 5.1.0.3442
Memory size 1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair XMS3500 PC3200 DDR SDRAM (400MHz)
Graphics card DeltaChrome S8 128MB Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB
Graphics driver S3 15.07.04a CATALYST 3.9
Storage Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 7200RPM SATA hard drive
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b

To frame the card against a familiar competitor, I’ve tested it against ATI’s Radeon 9600 Pro. However, until cards and pricing become available next year, it’s hard to know what the S8 will line up against.

It’s important to mention that, at press time, the beta S3 15.07.04a drivers we used for testing weren’t approved by FutureMark for use with 3DMark03. FutureMark has yet to evaluate the drivers in question. Keep in mind that future 3DMark03 patches may combat optimizations in unapproved drivers, which could impact performance in the benchmark.

The test system’s Windows desktop was set at 1024×768 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

 

Fill rate
Theoretical fill rate and memory bandwidth peaks don’t necessarily dictate real-world performance, but they’re a good place to start.

  Core clock (MHz) Pixel pipelines  Peak fill rate (Mpixels/s) Texture units per pixel pipeline Peak fill rate (Mtexels/s) Memory clock (MHz) Memory bus width (bits) Peak memory bandwidth (GB/s)
Radeon 9600 325 4 1300 1 1300 400 128 6.4
GeForce FX 5600 325 4 1300 1 1300 500 128 8.0
Radeon 9000 Pro 275 4 1100 1 1100 550 128 8.8
DeltaChrome S8 300 8 2400 1 2400 600 128 9.6
Radeon 9600 Pro 400 4 1600 1 1600 600 128 9.6
Radeon 9600 XT 500 4 2000 1 2000 600 128 9.6
GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 325 4 1300 1 1300 650 128 10.4
GeForce FX 5600 Ultra 400 4 1600 1 1600 800 128 12.8
GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 475 4 1900 1 1900 906 128 14.4
GeForce FX 5900 XT 400 4 1600 2 3200 700 256 22.4

With eight full pixel pipelines, the DeltaChrome S8 boasts even more theoretical pixel and texel fill rate than ATI’s Radeon 9600 XT. However, the S8’s 128-bit memory path only yields 9.6GB/sec of bandwidth, which is more comparable to a GeForce FX 5600 or Radeon 9000 Pro.

The S8 definitely delivers on its multi-texturing fill rate promise, but its single-texturing fill rate is considerably lower. In fact, this performance looks eerily similar to what one might expect from a 4 x 2-pipe GPU.

Shader performance
3DMark’s synthetic tests will give us our first look at DeltaChrome’s pixel and vertex shader performance in DirectX 9.

The S8 can only manage half the Radeon 9600 Pro’s performance in 3DMark03’s pixel shader 2.0 test. The S8 is more competitive in 3DMark03’s vertex shader test, but it still trails the 9600 Pro slightly. Now, let’s look at how the DeltaChrome S8 performs in real games.

 

Games

Unreal Tournament 2003

The S8 turns in a strong performance in Unreal Tournament 2003, which uses Direct3D rather than OpenGL.

Comanche 4

The S8 turns in a respectable performance in Comanche 4, too.

Quake III Arena

Although it’s playable at lower resolutions, the DeltaChrome can’t turn in big numbers in Quake III Arena. This highlights the fact that the DeltaChrome’s OpenGL drivers still need work, as S3 has acknowledged.

 

Serious Sam SE

We tested Serious Sam SE in OpenGL mode, and the results aren’t surprising given what we saw with Quake III Arena. It’s worth noting that the S8’s frame rates are relatively consistent and flow pretty well across the length of our benchmark demo. We aren’t seeing jerky or choppy performance, just relatively low frame rates.

 

Splinter Cell

The DeltaChrome is running a little behind the curve in Splinter Cell. Honestly, I expected better performance given the fact that Splinter Cell uses Direct3D.

 

3DMark03

The S8 trails ATI’s Radeon 9600 Pro throughout 3DMark03’s game tests.

 

AquaMark3

The S8 isn’t all that far behind the 9600 Pro in AquaMark3.

Halo
I used the “-use20” switch with the Halo benchmark to force the game to use version 2.0 pixel shaders.

DeltaChrome finds itself behind the 9600 Pro in Halo, as well.

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness
We’ve used these extreme quality settings from Beyond3D to give the DeltaChrome a thorough workout in this DirectX 9 game.

The S8 wouldn’t run Tomb Raider at 1600×1200, but the card probably wouldn’t have playable frame rates at that resolution, anyway. Given its performance in Halo and AquaMark, I actually expected the S8 to be more competitive in Tomb Raider. However, the card’s performance may be hindered by its problems with rendering the water effects in this demo:

DeltaChrome’s beta drivers need work on this water effect To S3’s credit, the S8 doesn’t have any image quality problems with the rest of our Tomb Raider demo, but the water is hard to miss.

 

ShaderMark 2.0
ShaderMark is a sort of torture test for DirectX 9 pixel shader capabilities. Interestingly enough, the same ShaderMark shaders that won’t run on NVIDIA’s GeForce FX cards also don’t run on the DeltaChrome S8.

The S8’s performance is well behind the Radeon 9600 Pro here.

 

ShaderMark image quality
With its beta drivers, the S8 had problems rendering a number of ShaderMark’s shaders correctly. Of the 14 shader tests it’s able to complete, eight have image quality issues that are easy to spot when compared with the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output.

Below are screenshots of the eight problematic shaders as they’re rendered by the DeltaChrome S8. Move your mouse over the images to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output (depending on your connection speed, the Radeon 9600 Pro image may take a second or two to load.) Though the images are compressed JPEGs, they’re sufficient to highlight differences in rendered output.

Per pixel diffuse lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Point phong lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Spot phong lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Directional anisotropic lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Bump mapping with phong lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Self shadowing bump mapping with phong lighting (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Procedural stone shader (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

Procedural wood shader (move mouse over the image to see the Radeon 9600 Pro’s output)

The DeltaChrome’s ShaderMark problems look to be primarily lighting-related, and S3 is working on a driver fix.

 

Image quality done right
Since I’ve pointed out a number of instances where the DeltaChrome’s image quality isn’t up to par, it’s only fair that I highlight where it’s impeccable. Below are screenshots from ShaderMark, 3DMark03, and AquaMark3 illustrating that, when everything works right, the S8 is just as capable of producing gorgeous visuals as ATI’s Radeon 9600 Pro.

ShaderMark 2.0 environment mapping – DeltaChrome S8

ShaderMark 2.0 environment mapping – Radeon 9600 Pro

ShaderMark 2.0 tile shader – DeltaChrome S8

ShaderMark 2.0 tile shader – Radeon 9600 Pro

3DMark03’s Mother Nature frame 1799 – DeltaChrome S8

3DMark03’s Mother Nature frame 1799 – Radeon 9600 Pro

AquaMark3 frame 3600 – DeltaChrome S8

AquaMark3 frame 3600 – Radeon 9600 Pro

 

Conclusions
Well, there you have it. The DeltaChrome is very real, and while S3 is still working to iron out a number of driver issues, the S8’s performance and image quality in some of the applications we tested show the card has potential. Because we’ve only seen the performance of an early sample card with beta drivers, we don’t want to draw too many conclusions. However, we can engage in a little conjecture based on these early results.

The card’s relatively pedestrian memory controller and limited memory bandwidth probably won’t make for a benchmark burner, even when final drivers are released. Still, the DeltaChrome S8’s performance in AquaMark3, Halo, and Unreal Tournament 2003 is promising. Also, despite obvious issues in parts of ShaderMark, the S8 looks to be a legitimate contender in the DirectX 9-class graphics sweeps. We just hope S3’s driver and compiler development teams can boost pixel shader performance a bit. NVIDIA has managed to improve pixel shader performance in its NV3x chips significantly over time, but we’re unsure whether the DeltaChrome would benefit from similar software tuning.

In short, we won’t know whether S3 has a real contender on its hands until we get ours on a retail DeltaChrome S8 board with a final copy of S3’s drivers. We’ll also want to know more about how S3 and its partners will be pricing the various DeltaChrome flavors. S3 still has some work to do to get the DeltaChrome S8 ready for prime time, but we’ll certainly be tuning in when they do. 

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Where can we download copies of these demo programs to try them ourselves?

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    That’s why companies like S3 can make a come back. People buy their products, they “don’t deliver” and there are still hopes /[

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 16 years ago

    #48,

    Lets see here May 2002 Nvidia announced Nv30 Spetpember 2002 Ati blew them out of the water with R300. So, lets count months here….May 2002 to April 2003 =12 months May 2003 to December 2003 = 8 months so your right it is not 1.5 year as that is only 18 months it is 1.666…….. years or 20 months…..sorry for the confusion.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      They didn’t get into reviewers hands till november, right? Thats my point. 1 year.

        • YeuEmMaiMai
        • 16 years ago

        sorry but once again they ANNOUNCED their product in May so that is when you start the clock. same rule applies to ATi, S3, SiS, etc…….

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    heres hopeing for a s3 comeback i remember my old s3 virge R.I.P. that little card went through helland back i had a very hard time killing it it still sort of lives just barly.
    If the new s3s are made as well (not performance wise)as the old then there will def be a market for them for computers that have to last a long time with no work being done on them.
    And if it can give even decent performance i would consider buying one.
    But hopefully it gives ati and nvidia both some compatition that they need.

    Like it or not companies need competitors to remain strong or they start putting out lower quality hard ware as we all seen with the fx line of cards that have flaws in the hardware it self because nvidia didnt see ati as a threat they just started poping them out like rabbits pop out baby rabits.
    And now thats starting to hurt them bad ati now has more manufactures than nvidia does of wich more of them are ati only manus.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 16 years ago

    Diss/Damage you still have a 275MHz reference on the first page, right below the table that says 300.

    • DukenukemX
    • 16 years ago

    I think S3 better find a way to enable those other 4 pipelines because it don’t seem like a 8 pipeline card. In every test it gets it’s asked kicked around.

    They should find a Radeon 9500 Pro and bechmark it against S3 Delta Chrome Almost the same setup except 25Mhz slower.

    S3 better pull one hell of a magic trick out of their hat because I can’t see anyone wanting to buy a S3 Delta Chrome over a Geforce FX 5900 XT or Radeon 9600 Pro.

      • Chryx
      • 16 years ago

      I think it’s the single channel memory controller that’s causing it hurt TBH

        • DukenukemX
        • 16 years ago

        The S3 Delta Chrome will be great for Via’s motherboards. I’m sure VIA will offer it as a built in video option that I’m sure OEM will eat up.

        After all it’s only 60 million transisters.

          • readysetgo
          • 16 years ago

          As an integrated video solution, I think S3’s Delta Chrome would be a vast improvement over intel’s current integrated video solution. I’m not so sure how an integrated S3 Delta Chrome will fair against the nforce2 integrated graphics though? What do you think?

            • DukenukemX
            • 16 years ago

            Well considering that the product isn’t finished and its support for DX9 seems better then a FX 5200, the Delta might give Nvidia a run for thier money when it comes to intergrated on board video.

            If S3 can improve their single channel memory it might give people a reason to buy into their product. Considering it’s using 60 transisters and is built on .13 it might eat up less power then ATI’s or Nvidia’s Mobile graphics solution. Also since VIA is so popular with OEM a intergrated S3 Delta in the North Bridge chip might really boost their sales and give laptop owners a cheap DX9 solution.

            As a retail product I can’t see it selling well. It has DX9 but by the time it’s released ATI and Nvidia will have PS 3.0 cards and their PS 2.0 cards will be availible for dirt cheap. Right now it’s almost as fast as a 9600 Pro but it may have to compete with a Radeon 9900 made from a R370 chip.

            Nforce 2 intergrated video isn’t all that impressive. As far as I know it’s just a Geforce 2 core. I don’t know if a 5200 core has been introduced yet but a 5200 isn’t really a good Pixel shader cabable video chip. ATI is what they should be worried about since the ATI chips have intergrated DX8.1 graphics with PS 1.4 support.

            For S3 to be successful they must do something about the single channel memory controller and maybe introduce PS 3.0. Not a big importance but would put then near the area of ATI or Nvidia.
            Remember ATI and Nvidia don’t just own the high speed video card market but the mid rang, low range, and have even started to get into intergrated market.

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    wow, the graphics market is finally getting some new blood. S3 will be the Nvidia killer for sure at this rate.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      Anything can be a Nvidia killer these days. That’s not saying much.

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        Agreed, however it’s not like ati is Leaps and Bounds ahead. The image quality is extremely close to each other so all thatโ€™s left is FPS. The FPS are pretty close as well depending on the money bracket your looking at.

        I would think Nvidia would need to fail again with their next release of cards before people should seriously start to think it is the beginning of the end. Even then Nvidia could easily eek it out, look at ATI they had been playing second fiddle for a long time.

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Diss,

    Very nice work with the images, especially the “move mouse over image to see 9600 Pro image” to compare against.

      • Rakhmaninov3
      • 16 years ago

      Definitely–I think it would be useful to have all IQ comparisons done like that, as the differences jump out immediately. Good article!

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      They took the idea from anandtech

        • wesley96
        • 16 years ago

        They haven’t patented it, have they? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • readysetgo
          • 16 years ago

          *following from above*
          And should T-R be belittled for using a good idea in second place?

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        Really, AnandTech invented mouseovers? They’re hardly the first to use them, even for IQ comparisons.

          • Anonymous
          • 16 years ago

          Never said they “invented” it. But when a group doing something identical to another and the one group takes the same ideas the other uses it doesn’t look too good.

          And no I donโ€™t like anandtech over techreport, anandtech are morons when it comes to writing up the review.

            • readysetgo
            • 16 years ago

            I’m sorry I disagree. A good idea should be acknowledged and used. Naturally if the use of the idea requires acknowledgement of the author of the idea then it should be done. In this case, the technique was not developed by Anandtech nor was their a patent on it.

            The concept that it makes someone look bad to use good ideas from other parties is untenable. The only thing that should be said is that the “copier” was not the first to develop an idea or technique. Drawing conclusions on character, ability, or experience /[

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            Once Apple hits 3ghz they will have THE fastest consumer computer on the planet (and for a while). Or heck once they hit 2.2. I realize the dual g5’s now arenโ€™t really the fastest computers but they will be very shortly.

            Good so what else is new readysetgo disagrees with something. People copy all the time, its unimaginative and no one grows that way. What you do is acknowledge someone else is doing something good and improve upon the idea and incorporate it in your own way. Thatโ€™s when people give you respect.

            Who do you want to be behind? The guy that just copies everything? Or the guy thatโ€™s doing it his own way, the guy everyone else copies. Those were simple questions, the first thing you would come back with is โ€œI would be behind the non-selloutโ€. Regardless of your dislikes of anandtech (I have some of my own) see the point I am trying to make.

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            Lol ooops! I had the mac thing in my clipboard from showing it to a friend…. Ag’s don’t have the edit feature so ohwell.

    • madgun
    • 16 years ago

    The drivers have to be pretty sound for this card otherwise it wouldnt succeed in the long run.

    • AmishRakeFight
    • 16 years ago

    looks like the perfect card for Joe Sixpack who can’t justify spending more for a video card than an E-machine ๐Ÿ™‚

    (or myself, as battlefield 1942 runs just fine on my 60.00 Radeon 9200!)

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Great, finally a competititor for the MX 420!

    Honestly this really won’t have a place in a year from now. Radeon 9600 will be all over it then, with extremely low prices. The price is already quite low now, and I can only imagine how low it’ll be after the next major chip release from ATI.

    Then:
    9600 = low-end
    9800 = mid-end
    10000? = high-end

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Give DeltaChrome graphics chips about a year or so perfecting their drivers and these cards should provide better dx9 support in games without all the smoke and mirrors Nvidia has been cooking up. Then again a piece of tin foil in your PC tower can give you better DX9 shader performance and IQ then FX cards so that task should be easy for S3.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      Except that they have been about a year fooling around with this thing and you see the results……….another year and the ship will have sailed and you are looking at the next gen for the mini itx BS that VIA will be churning out.

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        So what’s Nvidia’s excuse? They been fudging around with the FX core for more then a year before they released it and it’s still crap……..

          • Anonymous
          • 16 years ago

          Crap, or not, they have the name…….and the crap just keeps flying off the shelves.
          S3 has ALWAYS made crap and I don’t expect the line up to buy this turkey to be too long.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 16 years ago

    i like so many others got burned by S3….no reason to give up on ATi’s superior IQ and performance in the same price range…..with 9800NP in the $200 range S3 gets totally wasted…………

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      Except the S8 might cost $100. If S3 wants to build their credibility back to where it was when they only made 2D chips, they need to make the DeltaChrome cheap and competitively fast with frequent, quality driver updates. Then they can go for the mid- to high-end after they have some consumer confidence.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 16 years ago

        If that’s the case, it should mop up the floor with both the Radeon 9200 and GFFX 5200.

          • YeuEmMaiMai
          • 16 years ago

          I’ll believe it when I see it…….I used to love S3 cards for their price to performance ratio but S2000 killed that right quick.

      • absurdity
      • 16 years ago

      Don’t forget about how many of us were burned by ATI’s drivers ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        And how many were burned by Nvidia’s FX cards over the past year and a half and their “IQ enhancing drivers” ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        While I agree with absurdity, I ask not to be included in the enormous amount of flames that are about to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

        ATI screwed up with drivers, Via screwed up with the 686b, Nvidia is currently screwing up. I have burned by both Via and ATI by their problems but any company deserves another chance.

        What was the problems with S3 btw? Just a really crappy card? I had a Savage card from them, I thought it did preformed *pretty* good but I wasn’t playing the highest end games at that time.

          • YeuEmMaiMai
          • 16 years ago

          Savage 2000 had borked T&L and the problem was S3 dropped it like a cold turkey… they never made good on their promise to fix the card. No other company has even come close to this until now the NV30 is a borked design and nowhere to be found……….now we have nv31,34,35 not nearly as messed up as nv30.

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            But real real close.

        • YeuEmMaiMai
        • 16 years ago

        Ati’s drivers were never ever near the crap that S3 had. ATi did what they said they would completely changed their image. Ati has surpassed all of my expectations for a graphics company in the last 3 years

          • Anonymous
          • 16 years ago

          So I guess you will be reserving judgment on Nvidia till 3 years are over.

            • YeuEmMaiMai
            • 16 years ago

            well 1.5 years have gone by and things are not looking very bright

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            you mean 1 year

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            Actually it’s 1.5 years…………….

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            You mean 1 year………………… The 5800 preview samples hit around november 2002 right?

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            and what samples they were…lmao

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            Didn’t we already discuss that Mr. Obvious?

            • Anonymous
            • 16 years ago

            Nvidia releases a card every year right? That means they still have 2 card releases to get their act together, thats a long time to get things on track.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      “many others”? I don’t think many people were purchasing s3 cards when they had better choices at the time.

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Looks like it has promise…but…

    S3, and other manufacturers’ biggest flaw is that when they’ve had products with promise, they were never able to get them out the door in time to compete. Driver bugs, silicon bugs, production problems meant that all sorts of chips (Savage 2000 if I recall, for example) didn’t come off the production line, or didn’t compete in performance until the competition already had a next-gen product released or at near-release. In the graphics card world, time and tide waits for no-one, and unless S3 can get this out before Q2 of 2004, I don’t see it becoming a player.

    That said, I hope they do get it out the door, with good drivers, and at a price that makes it very attractive for vendors to build cards around. A third vendor in the game would do us all some good.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      ” I hope they do get it out the door, with good drivers”

      Yes…….they have the VIA driver team working on it….HA! HA! HA!

    • just brew it!
    • 16 years ago

    Whoa, that procedural wood shader bug is funky! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Looks like if/when they get the driver issues ironed out, it could be a reasonable alternative in the low/mid range market. I generally buy video cards in the $100-$200 range, so I’ll be keeping an eye on the S8.

    I’ll be waiting until the majority of reviews (and the general consensus in the forums) says they’ve got their driver issues sorted though. I got burned by crappy drivers on the Savage4, and have been gun-shy of anything S3-based ever since.

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    I’m willing to give S3 the benefit of the doubt right now… remember the last time S3 did a new product launch?… didn’t think so.

    I’ll give them the chance to fix their bugs in this card before the public can buy it before I judge this card.

    • wesley96
    • 16 years ago

    Heh, I wonder if this card is destined to be recommended over the low-end NVIDIA product line. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’ll make my day.

    Meanwhile, I’m getting more curious about the XGI Volari Duo. That one seems to be going retail now.

    • vortigern_red
    • 16 years ago

    /[http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2003q3/deltachrome/index.x?pg=3<]ยง Yep. Got it from this very site! So does it support supersampling or multisampling?

      • Dissonance
      • 16 years ago

      Their current product literature says 4X multi, but it doesn’t seem to be in the drivers. When we review the final product, we’ll explore whatever AA/AF capabilities it has.

    • vortigern_red
    • 16 years ago

    I though the deltachrome was only going to offer 2x supersampling? but I could be confused with XGI.

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    looks like garbage……

    • adisor19
    • 16 years ago

    I like competition ๐Ÿ™‚

    So we got S3 aiming for the Low to Mid end of the market and XGI aiming for everythin, including High End ๐Ÿ˜€

    Now, if only PowerVR would be cooking something.. i have a feeling next year will be very interesting, graphics wise.

    Adi

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      I got burn when my mother brought the savage4 graphic card from them a few years ago.
      I am now forced to find modifiy drivers program to run the darn card from other sources since S3 hasn’t bother to update their drivers for their graphic cards for many years.
      I would avoid these “newer” cards and go instead of radeon 9600 card. At least their driver have constant and updated reguarly.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 16 years ago

    Well, if they can get the drivers fixed, and if this card is priced cheaper than a Radeon 9600 Pro, then it might not be a bad deal. More competition is good.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      Kinda looks to me that it HAS to be cheaper than a Radeon 7500, rather than anything faster. I think a comparison with a 9200 would be ‘more in keeping’ with what I see here.
      Of course with some driver ‘adjusting’ (Nvidia style…….by turning off all the eye candy) and it should be a real ‘quick’ card.
      The ‘thing’ I don’t get is, S3/VIA have been playing at this for at least a year now………and they STILL don’t have drivers?

        • axeman
        • 16 years ago

        I thought in the ongoing saga of S3, S3 was spun off by Via into “S3 Graphics” which is once again after so many years of being kicked around, a seperate company once again.

        EDIT:

        Quote from s3graphics.com:

        “S3 Graphics, Inc., a VIA Technologies joint venture company, is a leading supplier in the 3D enabled PC graphics market.”

        I stand corrected.

          • Anonymous
          • 16 years ago

          “S3 was spun off by Via into “S3 Graphics”

          Yep, you buy them, keep them just long enough to move them to ‘arm’s length’, then you re-capatalize with money from working folks, then, depending on how ‘the cards fall’, either claim a BIG win, or let others take the fall.
          This is the modern business model.

          • YeuEmMaiMai
          • 16 years ago

          S3 graphics main company Sonic Blue bit the bullet and declared bankruptsy as a result of that Diamond Multimedia was reborn again (thank you Jesus)

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    Delta chrome = dog

      • muyuubyou
      • 16 years ago

      My dog is fast ๐Ÿ˜€

        • highlandr
        • 16 years ago

        My dog used to be fast, but now he’s old and slow.

          • Anonymous
          • 16 years ago

          My dog is old, but still fast. I had another old dog, but it was too fast… in free fall

    • Anonymous
    • 16 years ago

    q[

      • Dissonance
      • 16 years ago

      0.15-micron refers to the width of the transistors, not how many there are in a given chip.

      • Chryx
      • 16 years ago

      Yes, R300 is build on TSMC’s .15 fab process

      Basically, that means that the Deltachrome has a tiny die area, whilst the R300 has a die area you could land an XBox on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 16 years ago

    Competition is good.

    It’s still hard to recommend anything other than an ATI card at this time, but that won’t last forever.

      • Anonymous
      • 16 years ago

      q[

        • Anonymous
        • 16 years ago

        Opps did not mean to hit reply

        • Logan[TeamX]
        • 16 years ago

        Yes, the R300/350 are on the .15 micron process.

        • YeuEmMaiMai
        • 16 years ago

        all of ATi’s current cards are built on .15u except for the 9600 series.

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