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The Return of S3

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the not-dead-yet dept.

Graphics 335

flynn_nrg writes "Just saw this article on ExtremeTech about S3's new graphics card. S3 is back on the scene with its first new GPU architecture in five years. Rather than take aim at the high-end, S3 has set its sights on the midrange price/performance category, which is currently dominated by ATI's Radeon 9600 XT and nVidia's GeForce FX 5700, both of which are under $200. Today S3 unveils the DeltaChrome S8 GPU, which represents the midrange of its upcoming line of DeltaChrome GPUs."

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back once again with the renegade master (-1)

(TK)Max (668795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783245)

i'll show you you fucking banner

chalk another to TK


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783262)


Re:back once again with the renegade master (-1, Redundant)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783507)

WHy is it that the "first post" is always som ignorent irrelevent tripe? By the way let me tell you about my web sit...

But really, I must say this: The average Slashdotter must have way more cash than me. I've got an old Banshee card, it has served me well. I think when I have $100 - $200 to spend on a new video card, I'll just save a few more months and buy a new box. Or, more likly, dinner on the town for my wife.

Just think: If you took all the $ you spend on technology you don't really need, at the end of the year, what could you then buy with it?


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783246)



Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783258)

Eat your corpse?

Why, you must be Jeebus H Christ!

Wow (2, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783248)

Welcome back S3..

Maybe it'll drive the prices down a bit.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783266)

Well given their rep it'd almost have to, since they're not going to be driving up quality.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783282)

If they are going to be making pricy cards, then they might as well make them superior to the home user (think ATI, NVIDIA) aimed cards. This is just like SGI with their high-priced chips.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

toddestan (632714) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783327)

Prices are already pretty reasonable. Unless you play cutting edge games, a $75 video card will do everything you want.

Heck, even if you play cutting edge games, even that $75 card will serve you well unless you absolutely must have 1600x1200 resolution with 32bit color and 435FPS.

Eh, no (1)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783473)

Umm no as a gamer i can tell you... the thing is that to play at 1024X768 you'd still need at least 2x the amount at $150 for a decent performing DX9 card (with hardware support for the new shaders). By far at this range is ATI with their radeon 9600 pro and even better is their older model the 9500pro if you can find it.

Unless you happen to play Deus Ex 2.... (3, Funny)

Rahga (13479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783517)

Dues Ex 2 players, generally, can expect their speeds to cap out at 15 fps, regardless of the video card in use or screen resolution.

Re:Wow (2)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783601)

Well, let me tell you, I recently replaced my $75 video card with a $400 video card... And it didn't help game performance at all!

I guess the better upgrade for new games is a faster CPU, not a faster GPU... Who would have thunk it... seriously, for the last 3 years, it has always been the GPU that maxxed out performance on my P4 1.4Ghz... damn...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783639)

any upgrade going to a dx9 capable card should pay off soon enough.

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783612)

A $75 card won't last you too much longer now... I find my Radeon 8500 struggling with Halo at 800x600, and DeusEx 2 at 640x480 (with shadows completely off!). All these games now with their realtime physics and shadows...

Back in my day we were happy to have textures...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783630)

Wow, if your 8500 is struggling, I wonder how my Radeon 7200 ever lived. Of course I bought it back when it was just called a Radeon haha and didn't have a number. So I guess it's the Radeon 1 :).

I manage Tribes 2 at 17 fps on medium settings. It works :) haha. Bought it for $215 new around the time that the GeForce 2 Pro was kicking.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783377)

I have a couple of the PCI S3 cards, 2 MB, and these do just fine on a lot of Linux distros, and Windows 98. Also have an AGP S3 card, works well on MB w/AGP slot. Something like Arachne 1.70 runs well on these also. Easy to work with, for a budget PC, using older distros.

But wait! (5, Interesting)

77Punker (673758) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783253)

Without some razzle-dazzle high end cards to "wow" people with, they probably won't get the publicity needed to sell these midrange cards.

Re:But wait! (5, Interesting)

Naffer (720686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783353)

You have a point. I was at an electronics store today. I watched in horror as someone picked up an ATI 9600 Pro only to return it to the shelf and grab an Nvidia 5200 because it had 256 Megabytes of RAM. To get the high end market, all you need to do is produce a damn fast card. The midgrade market is tougher to deal with because most people grab the card with the most RAM and the prettiest box.

Re:But wait! (3, Interesting)

77Punker (673758) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783372)

Yeah...I guess it will be really good though if they can challenge ATI and NVidia by writing drivers that don't cheat. It'll be good if they write good Linux and *BSD drivers like NVidia does and not leaving people high and DRI.

Re:But wait! (2, Interesting)

Phexro (9814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783592)

It'd be even better if they just release the specs instead of providing a buggy, incompatible, crash-prone driver like nVidia does.

Re:But wait! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783466)

The truth is that the vast majority of cards are sold to OEMs, such as Dell, HP, and Gateway. What these guys care about above all else is price, so if S3 can make a card that performs as well as the type of midrange Nvidia and ATI cards that the OEMs usually use at a cost that's $10 less, S3 will sell a huge volume.

Re:But wait! (4, Insightful)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783541)

Maybe their not aiming for the high-end market.

Imagine how many video cards are purchased off the shelf at computer stores. Then imagine how many video cards are purchased in new computer sales. I would imagine more video cards are moved by unit in new/refurb(card replaced) sales than individual sales for LOW/MID range cards.

Now I know people purchase high-end cards from stores (I did) but, to sell mid-range cards you usually don't sell to the consumer you sell to the manfacturer.

I would rather spend 'x' amount of money to produce a cheaper and comparable card to the current market norm and get a contract providing Dell w/ cards for their mid-range systems then spending '3x' the amount of money making the "newest and the greatest" card then having to spend another '2x' just marketing the damn thing to a niche market..

I'd rather sell mid-range and more units.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783623)


Good point

frist pist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783254)

frist pist bitCH!!!!

Thats it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783355)

If Michael "malda" Sims posts one more irate and obscure bullshit story I'll fucking kill myself.

Re:Thats it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783369)

So you'll be alive for about another hour, eh? I suggest fuck the nearest whore. If you can't, wank until it bleeds. By then you'll be dead given your own ultimatum. And, just to point out your own redundancy, Michael Sims ONLY posts irate and obscure bullshit. Nothing more. What a worthless boycunthole.


(TK)Dessimat0r (668222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783255)

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783383)

Pretend all you want, dicksuckers. We all know the REAL score. IRC cumspank orgies, trobbing cock webcams, cum-on-postcard seasons greetings... Yeah, TK is just an alternative for DISTANCE-SEMEN-EXCHANGE

Been there done That. (2, Insightful)

rkz (667993) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783265)

Yeah! Just like the S3 ViRGE!
And the ViRGE GX2!
And the Savage!
And the Savage4!
And the Savage2000!

Seriously...they've said the same *damn* thing every time. The only inroads this chipset *might* make would be in low-cost laptops, where S3 already had a sizeable market until the GeForce 2 Go and Radeon Mobility started kicking butt.

Re:Been there done That. (1)

Insurgent2 (615836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783334)

Amen, brother!
I've been stuck with their beta products numerous times always believing they would make the cards work eventually. They always just came out with a new card promising the same crap (but never delivering).

Re:Been there done That. (1)

SirDaShadow (603846) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783448)

And the S3Graphics ProSavage DDR...I'm not a troll...just want to know...WHERE THE HECK CAN I GET A PROPER DRIVER THAT IS NOT BUGGY LIKE MINE IS???? I'm tired of seeing a "windows blinds" effect on some emulators/3d games I have!!!
(I have windows XP and the video is actually integrated)

Re:Been there done That. (1)

SirDaShadow (603846) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783572)

Well, son of a gun. I was like one year behind in my drivers, I went to s3graphics.com and got the latest one. That solved A LOT of problems.

I agree 100%. (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783669)

Sad to say, S3's new DeltaChrome technology is just a bit too late to the game to compete against ATI and nVidia. The only way S3 can compete is to price their cards at an extremely attractive price; if they don't do it, S3 will not be able to take marketshare from graphics cards that use ATI's and nVidia's lower-end graphics chips.

Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (5, Interesting)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783268)

I have been using out S3 supply (outrageously large) of these cards for servers for a long time. And it doesn't get any better then that.

Basically, we have tons of these things and they were used back in the day when we didn't spend all of our money on expensive computer peripherals.

I would recommend using these for anyone that does not use the computer as a workstation - such as a file server or in my case, a home machine that I ssh into. Heck, I don't ever turn on the monitor quite so often for that thing.

Go S3!

Re:Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783313)

Why do you need a graphics card at all for a server?

Re:Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (1)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783333)

Sometimes when something is out of whack or when I am installing new hardware (which hasn't happened yet.)

It also helped when I was setting up the server from scratch (no sshd.)

Re:Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783407)

Eh, since when does it matter which kind of card you are putting in a server machine?

If I would put one of these cards in a machine I would choose ATI or even better matrox, which have both very stable drivers (and very good 2D quality), something you do want in a server. But a lot of servers have an integrated graphics card, which is fine.

Obviously if you have tons lying around, great, use 'm.

Re:Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (1)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783439)

I just use the gpu thats built into the motherboard. they don't add very much to the price of the board.

My favourite was the Nvidia A7N-266 buts its oop now.

Re:Good for non-graphics use - and cheap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783526)

You know what is even better? The built in graphics chips (from Intel, nvidia, and ati only).

They are cheaper, and most importantly have better drivers.

Intel has a VERY good (compared to other DX7 chips) DX7 level integrated system. ATI and nvidia have good ones too. ATI's is actually a DX8 level chip, but it has no T&L hardware.

Intel will release a new chip soon with Pixel Shader 2.0/OpenGL fragment program support and nvidia is expected to release a new nforce platform with a built in GeForceFX.

Why pay for a card to take up a slot when you can get a great one built on to your motherboard?

Not good for any use except servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783599)

I totally disagree. S3 cards have one feature in great abundance: poor visual quality. Do not buy S3 cards for their 2D performance. The text looks blurry. At least they do colour better than nVidia. If you want good quality 2D that mama can read without needing her glasses, a Matrox or ATI card is your best bet.

S3 who? (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783271)


There 3d cards sucked back in 96 when I bought my S3 virge. I figured it was going to be the defacto standard since Vodoo was new and never heard of. Just upgrading to NT4 and Linux from DOS, I assumed it was up to the game makers to provide the drivers and not up to directx and opengl to provide support.

But I have upgraded to 2 newer pc's since. I forgot all about them and assumed they went under. I doubt they will support FreeBSD/Linux and X as they did in the past with their own Xserver.

hmm (5, Funny)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783278)

DeltaChrome. Sounds like a cheap mod you can buy for your Civic. I wish S3 would die and Diamond would come back.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783380)

You mean like this? [diamondmm.com]

Diamond is back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783556)


S3 hasn't been cool... (5, Insightful)

pw700z (679598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783286)

...since VESA local bus (VLB) video died. Now THOSE were the days. Even AMD was really, really cool in a mainstream sort of way - anyone remember the 486DX2-80MHz? Or the 120MHz which was faster than the Pentiums at the time? A DX4 120 + a fast S3 VLB video kicked serious butt, at least in 2D and text modes.

Re:S3 hasn't been cool... (1)

Crass Spektakel (4597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783315)

Actually I have a old AMD 486dx4-160 with a VLB-S3-864-Board sitting around. You are right, its quite a nice piece of hardware, even my crappy Pentium-100/S3-Trio32-System next to it doesn't keep up with it.

I go even a little older than that: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783371)

I used to use Diamond Stealth VRAM video cards (actually when I got my first "real" job we shared an AT compatible that had an EGA card (ooohh ahhhhhh -at the time)which were my first exposure to accelerated video. They delivered hardware BitBlT's with S3 chips and I loved them.

mine has never been faster (-1)

halik (301618) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783581)

From what i remember my dx4 100mhz was slower than my cousins pentium 100mhz

I'm A Little Disappointed (5, Interesting)

rice_web (604109) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783305)

But for only $150, nothing should hold this card back aside from name recognition. The $150 print point almost seals the deal for me, only that I'm holding out for better offerings from ATi and NVidia before moving up from my GeForce2 MX (I'm not much of a gamer).

Overall, I have to agree with the concensus that S3 is back, and may be primed to stay in the market for some time. The article mentions that they are using a .13 micron manufacturing process, the same as ATi and NVidia, which should allow them to crank out higher-speed cards within the next few months, at least allowing S3 to remain competitive.

Either way, the video card market may just be heating up for 2004.

Re:I'm A Little Disappointed (5, Interesting)

pw700z (679598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783322)

Something just occured to me about what might hold it back... I somehow remember s3's video driver quality going down the tubes in a big way towards the (last) end. If they can make a quality product, with quality drivers, and maybe even focus on really great 2d performance, they could be on to something.

Re:I'm A Little Disappointed (1)

rice_web (604109) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783350)

The article mentions terrible driver support, but I personally think of this as something that can be fixed. Heck, both ATi and NVidia have proven this time and again [and again]

Give us drivers... (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783318)

...and we will buy. I mean that. Provide either Open Source drivers for X, or the full specs required to implement them, and you will sell hundreds of thousands of cards to those of us who are more interested in non-proprietary kernel modules than raw performance.

Right now, I have an NVidia card in my workstation and I hate it. Why? Because I have to choose between using the OpenGL renderer and staying true to my beliefs about software freedom. This basically means that I paid extra for a card that I can only halfway use.

S3, take heed. Give us a product that we can use and we'll support you. Do it. It's the right thing.

Re:Give us drivers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783385)

What is the status on Matrox drivers? I remember hearing back in the QuakeIII era John Carmack made a couple contributions to the G400 OpenGL driver for GNU/Linux. Are the Parhelia drivers Free?

The Parhelia is a pretty decent card. I mean, sure, you can get a GeForce4 or ATI 9000 for a lot less which will have similar performance, but if the Parhelia does have Free or Open Source drivers then it is an option for us to put our money where our mouth is and support them.

Re:Give us drivers... (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783387)

How many folks, would you estimate, would be willing to pay this 'freedom tax' of a lower performance card in exchange for access to driver internals? I'm genuinely curious, because I wouldn't have thought it would be anywhere near high enough for S3 to bother doing the paperwork, let alone even begin to weigh up IP ramifications.

It's the right thing.

Just as an aside, why is this "the right thing"? The right thing, according to the all-software-should-be-free ethos, sure, but S3 is a hardware company, and not only that, a hardware company with a majority user base installed in non-free computing environments.


Re:Give us drivers... (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783440)

No "freedom tax". It is a somewhat lower performance card, with a lower price tag.

This may come as a bit of a chock, I know, but there are some of us out there actually _not_ willing to have the bleeding edge in graphics performance at great cost (in money, noise and power draw). My main machine is currently a laptop with an NVIDIA GF4 420 GO with 32Mb memory. It can handle anything I throw at it with no problems. True, I do not play the latest "QuakerDoom 40,000 - Bloody Dismemberement" - if gaming was the primary focus for me, I'd have a Windows partition (or, preferably, a PS/2).

Oh, and about "the right thing": you are right - they are a hardware company. Their business is selling hardware to people. Drivers are a cost, not a source of revenue. Anything they do is geared towards driving hardware sales and lowering the cost of providing said hardware. If releasing drivers or specs for Linux will increase sales more than it costs them to do the release, it is a net win.

Re:Give us drivers... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783513)

not true.

They could be using a software techniques they don't want there competitors it know about.

They certianly don't want to risk there IP by divulging hardware information.

They have to write drivers anyways, since no one would by a card they couldn't see run.

Drivers do have value to the bottom line.

Re:Give us drivers... (1)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783442)

How many folks, would you estimate, would be willing to pay this 'freedom tax' of a lower performance card in exchange for access to driver internals?

Well, when the company doesn't have to pay staff to maintian the drivers, they can lower their prices and offer better performance in an even lower price range while still maintaining profitability. Doesn't seem like a "Tax" to me.

Re:Give us drivers... (2, Interesting)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783509)

Well, when the company doesn't have to pay staff to maintian the drivers, they can lower their prices and offer better performance in an even lower price range while still maintaining profitability.

Sure, that's a good answer, but I doubt they're likely to just fire all their driver staff ( even if they do deserve it ) and turn the whole thing out in the open, right? At the very least, I can't see the windows driver being replaced with an open effort ( call it cultural resistance ), and Windows is where the money is. They also need a good driver at ship time - they can't wait around while some volunteers put one together. And lord help them if there's a bad bunch of open drivers due to inadequate testing / mistakes ( hell, we all make them ), and S3 couldn't help out their customers because they don't support the driver (!!) that would be a PR blow not soon recovered from.

What I'm trying to say is that out here in Linux/BSD land, our market share is so vanishingly small that I'd be surprised if they offer a binary driver + wrapper, ala NVidia. They're going to be busy enough copping a hell of a ride from the established players.


Re:Give us drivers... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783696)

but S3 is a hardware company

Sure, so there's no profit motive, such as selling competing closed drivers, to keep them from opening up. Even if they don't write a single line of code, they can get free community support and goodwill by providing good documentation to the XFree team. As far as losing a proprietary edge, I don't think they're planning to compete with the high-end NVidia or ATI cards; I doubt that they have much to hide from the "big guys".

Re:Give us drivers... (2, Interesting)

Eamon C (575973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783575)

If you want to make it a political issue, that's fine -- more power to you. But recognize that you're among a minority. I'm not sure I believe that there are "hundreds of thousands" of *desktop* Linux users, I refuse to believe that any preponderance of them "are more interested in non-proprietary kernel modules than raw performance."

I'm a Linux user, and I believe in/contribute to "the open source movement". When it comes down to it, however, I care a lot more about things working right than whether or not I have the source code.

NVidia's drivers work (relatively) well, and they've been writing Linux drivers longer than most hardware vendors. For this reason, they'll continue getting my money until somebody beats them in Linux support. Maybe it could be S3.

Re:Give us drivers... (1)

jmac880n (659699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783692)

A major problem (as many have pointed out in similar "Give Us Drivers!!" rants) is the possibility of licensed code in the drivers.

They may not be able to release them, legally, no matter how much they want to.

What savages still execute juvenile offenders? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783319)

Reuters: Since 1990, just seven countries are known to have executed juvenile offenders: Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Those are all Islamic dictatorships ...except for one!

Of course the US has an unelected Christian fundamentalist as leader so I guess America really is at home on that list.

You must be so proud...

Seriously though Americans and Islamic fundamentalists have a lot in common. Instead of fighting you guys should team up to exterminate gays and crack down on women's rights world wide!

Why buy mid-range? (5, Interesting)

mu-sly (632550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783329)

Mid-range graphics cards seem a slightly pointless purchase, given that you can buy top-of-the-range cards from 6 months ago for a fraction of their original prices (not to mention the second hand prices).

Why buy something mediocre but brand new, when you could buy something that absolutely kicked ass six months ago for a similar amount of money?

Re:Why buy mid-range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783427)

Because what kicked ass 6 months ago is barely as good as what is midrange today. Why buy a card that is both mediocre AND outdated, when you can get a brand new one that is just mediocre for the same price? (P.S. midrange cards are absolutely not mediocre)

Re:Why buy mid-range? (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783431)

this, actually, is my plan. Im using a GF3 right now, though its showing its age and UT2k3 is only playable at 800x600 with low-medium details, i cant bare it for now.

But im a hardcore gamer, with a birthday in April. Im hoping by then a doom3 or half life 2 release date will be announced for around that time. Even if one isnt, i'll be getting a card. Whatever last gen card 150 or 200 bucks can buy. Im hoping for a 9700 pro or something.

Oh, im also hoping ATI and Nvidia can come up with better, more meaningful naming schemes (ati in particular, where the 9500 pro was better than the 9600 pro, meh)

Re:Why buy mid-range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783694)

I'd recommend getting a 9600XT now, it's about $200, and is a good card that'll last you several years. DX9 and everything. Plus, it comes with a coupon for Half-life 2 (full version) - free! That's like $50 off if you were going to buy the game anyways.

Re:Why buy mid-range? (1)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783498)

Because the price of the formerly kick-ass card ends up between the price of the new top-of-the-range and the mid-range cards. Plus, they become harder to find, because the card makers stop making them.

Go check for yourself what the price of a Radeon 9700 is now. It's between the 9600 and the 9800. But they're also much harder to find in a store now.

Re:Why buy mid-range? (2, Insightful)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783500)

Well, the Radeon 9700s have been out for over a year now, and they are still well over $200. I think that a mid-range 9600 Pro for $130 or so is a good investment. You usually get 70-80% the performance of the high end, but at less than 50% the price.

When you talk about "buying a 6 month old top-end card for a fraction of the price" you are talking about buying a Radeon 9800 for $290 that cost $450 six months ago. Yes, it's a lot less than it was, but that's still too much for the above-casual/below-fanical game. That's not exactly a bargain to them. It's like a $9.5M estate selling for $6M. Yes, that's a huge savings, but still out of most buyers' league.

Re:Why buy mid-range? (4, Insightful)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783563)

Why do people buy used cars?
Why do people buy refurb'd computers?
Why do people goto yard sales?
Why do people goto dollar stores?

Maybe the secretary down the hall doesn't need a Radeon 9800?
Maybe I don't want my kid to use 'this' PC for gaming and only for school work?

There is a market for mid-range cards...

Don't just assume everyone wants to buy the best of everything. (Why isn't Mercedes-Benz the largest car manufacturer in the world?)

Future support? Driver updates? (5, Interesting)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783335)

Remember the Kyro II? The chip used a unique tile-based rendering system that produced performance similar to the then-current Geforce 2s (although some synthetic benchmarks indicated otherwise) while being priced more in line with the MX line of cards. After much reading and research, a buddy of mine decided to pick one up for his machine, his reasoning being that he wasn't a super hardcore gamer, but wanted to be able to throw down with us every once in a while.

Flash forward a couple of years, and while NVidia and ATI are still willing to release updated drivers for their cards of that era, the Kyro lingers unsupported, even though NEC (the chip designer) and Guillemot/Hercules (the card manufacturer) are still going strong. My friend wanted to play Halo, and even though the card should've been able to support the game (albeit at a lower resolution/framerate), he can't because his card is basically ignored and unsupported by the game manufacturers and the source comapnies for the card itself.

The moral of the story: S3 is a reasonably well-known name. So is Hercules/Guillemot/NEC. It's gonna take a hell of a price/performance ratio to get me to recommend a video card not based on Ati or NVidia after the Kyro debacle.

Re:Future support? Driver updates? (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783411)

Remember the Kyro II? The chip used a unique tile-based rendering system

Actually, I think previous PowerVR chips before the Kyro II also had tile based rendering, but I could be wrong. This presentation on TBR [pvrdev.com] discusses that it seems to be present in the Naomi arcade board and Sega Dreamcasts rendering pipelines, and I'm pretty sure the DC didn't have a Kyro inside, but some earlier PowerVR.

Bitch about the drivers though, I agree.


Future support? Driver updates?-Uphill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783687)

They did. I use to have a second generation PowerVR. The bundled game package was nice, and the video quality was great (Tseng), and smooth (hard to describe, but the colors appeared cleaner. not a hint of lag). However Guiellmoint didn't keep up with the drivers. I and others complained to no effect on a forum devoted to the PowerVR (now defunt). Fast forward a little and I finally got tired of all the issues and got a Nvidia and have been with them since, although I may go to a Radeon next. Interesting was that RedHat would always hang during installation, and had to be setup manually. Not the Nvidia. Sold the PowerVR (practically had to give it away 32MB). And lets not start on my Guiellmoint sound card and the fight to get the open source drivers made.

Re:Future support? Driver updates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783451)

The Kyro has a couple problems. See, it isn't cheap purely by virtue of better design. You have to figure that nvidia and ATI both have pretty decent engineers...

In order to get the price lower you can do three things:
a) design a easier to manufacture/smaller chip with fewer transitors to cut down on manufacturing costs
b) use the effects of mass production to drive costs down (nvidia and ATI have this, not new comers)
c) cut into your profits

Assuming reasonably qualified engineers at nvidia, S3, ATI, Kyro etc the only way to achive A is to do engineering trade offs. Basically no transistors are free. In order to make it smaller you have to cut something. Matrox for the Parhelia went with a 256bit bus, but didn't have zbuffer compression which defeated most of the benefits of their wide bus.

Kyro cut features. The most obvious one is the lacking T&L hardware which was ok when it launched, but cards that don't have T&L can't play games with high poly counts like Homeworld2 at a reasonable frame rate.

They also cut less obvious features like Cubemap support. It turns out cubemaps are really useful for normal mapping. And they are a requirement for OpenGL 1.3. So while current cards support OpenGL 1.4 or 1.5 the Kyro cards are stuck at with OpenGL 1.2...

It may not be Kyro's software support that prevents it from running modern games, it could simply be that required features like cube map support can not be done on the Kyro. :(

Software support is a good reason to stick to the established companies like nvidia, ati, intel, matrox, and 3dlabs.

Re:Future support? Driver updates? (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783476)

Tell him to check the web site. There are new drivers in the last month or two. Get them from Powervr.com, not Guillemot. I did the same thing and bought one. While it mostly rocks, it does run into the not-supported-game problem, and I'm about to have to get my THIRD fan for it. :(

Also on Tech Report (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783337)

http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2003q4/deltachrome- s8/index.x?pg=1

It looks like they have half a product. Good enough hardware, absolutely horrible drivers.

And I'm not talking about drivers that don't run quickly. I'm talking about drivers that render things incorrectly or even crash! Ugh.

At least with Intel's Integrated Graphics (or Nvidia or even ATI these days) even though they may not be the quickest on the block at least their drivers *work*.

S3 - Slowing down 3D since.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783348)

Heh, the Virge gives me a giggle every time I think about it.

Driver Issues (5, Insightful)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783356)

So they're releasing a card with serious driver issues, where the top of the line model is expected to compete in the mid-price range market.

Wouldn't this be the perfect situation to open the source and getting the community to squeeze every last bit of performance outta their chip? It helps them save money on paying people to code the driver, and it gets the most outta their hardware. IN addition, it would also give them a healthy community that would reccommend this solution to friends/family that aren't into the bleeding-edge gaming machines.

The Matrox Parhelia (2, Informative)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783360)

Perhaps someone with some real knowledge could fill me in here.. but does anyone else remember Matrox 'coming back' less than a year ago with the Matrox Parhelia? This S3 return sounds like it could be the same, unless they make good on their promise of lower prices (and considering the price you can get a GeForce 4 MX for now.. it's a hard fight).

It seems the Parhelia was a card that was priced at more than most nVidia cards, yet provided no-where near the performance.. yet people still bought them. Why? I remember seeing the benchmarks and the Parhelia was absolutely shocking. Supposedly the only great thing was the FSAA quality but... you don't buy a card just for that, shurely?

So, what was so great about Matrox coming back with the Parhelia? I must have missed the point.

Re:The Matrox Parhelia (1)

complex (18458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783447)

the parhelia sells well in one niche area i know of: stock trading displays. dual- or triple-head trading systems are simply a matter of dropping in the card and loading one driver. it has sane multi-monitor defaults and exceptional 2d performance. the stock traders on the forums i frequent love them.


Re:The Matrox Parhelia (1)

Amadan-Na-Briona (734678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783485)

The parhelia was primarily a 2d card, and wasn't aimed at gamers all that much. I used one at work for a while (I work at a graphic design comapny) and the natively supported 1280*24@32bit on 3 monitors was beautiful, but the 3d performance wasn't much more impressive than my gf2mx at home.

Incidentally, the card didn't benchmark all that badly, given that it was released at about the same time as the first GeForce 3's

Re:The Matrox Parhelia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783490)

The image quality is great. Their 10bit frame buffer is awesome. Ask any Homeworld2 players-all ATI and nvidia owners are jealous! The Parhelia does look noticably better.

Unfortunately their price/performance ratio in general is horrible for games.

No S3 texture compression? (0, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783397)

From the article [extremetech.com]: "One feature not on this list is compression of texture, color and Z data." I thought S3 invented S3 texture compression.

That's because SCO claims the IP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783624)

They had to buckle under.

Unfortunately... (3, Funny)

SlyDe (247694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783458)

... the new architecture is based on 31-bit integer datestamps and is expected to roll over to zero before it is released.

OpenGL support? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783471)


Could one of the reviewers give us a report of what version of OpenGL the deltachrome supports? What extensions does it support? How many instructions long can the fragment and vertex programs be?

GLInfo (w32 application) gives a complete list of all this.

I sure hope (0, Redundant)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783477)

They're better than their older cards. If I do remember correctly I had issues primarily with S3 cards when they were at the height of their popularity. I avoided them as much as I could, if only because in the early 90's the 200 dollar card capped out at 1meg of dram, which wasn't that bad but it was a hassle for some things.

Where is my card? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783497)

I want a new video card, but no one makes the card I want. I do not give a crap about playing games, I want the modern equivalent of a Matrox card, one that is cheap yet renders beautiful color for 2D apps. Hell I still prefer the ATI Rage card with all 8mb of ram to the crappy Geforce with 64mb. I want clean bright color, I do not care how fast the card is. I am willing to pay about 50 bucks for it. So where is it? Maybe I need to find some new old stock matrox cards? Any pointers towards those?

Stick to a solid business plan... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783534)

S3 should implement a more modern business plan. Innovation is *soooo* 1990's. They must hold some patents on their video card technology, and I'm sure they have former employees that went on to work for other companies (pull an NDA out of your ass or something). Sue one of their competitors for a billion dollars. It beats working for a living.

They are a U.S.-based company after all.

5 Years!? (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783540)

Someone's math is a little off here on how long it's been since the last S3 video card. The last card they produced(not counting numerous mobile parts) was the Savage2000, a DX7 class card designed to compete with the GeForce256 in late 1999/2000. The S2K of course had its infamous issues(defective T&L unit, S3/Diamond was accepting S2K's in trade for TNT2U's), but the point is that it has barely been 4 years, not 5.

Re:5 Years!? (1)

Phexro (9814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783658)

"Someone's math is a little off here on how long it's been since the last S3 video card."

The article says it's the "first new GPU architecture in five years." Not the first new GPU.

Dupe (-1, Offtopic)

Universal Indicator (626874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783627)

As many duplicate news stories as slashdot rips from osnews.com, I'm wondering why we don't just make an "osnews.slashdot.org" section?

fuck S3! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7783655)


What a bunch of fags! FAGS!

I lost track (2, Funny)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783678)

of Diamond/Supra/Micronics/S3/Sonic Blue/Rio/Via/Cyrix

I don't know who's who anymore!

$200? (2, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7783695)

S3 has set its sights on the midrange price/performance category, which is currently dominated by ATI's Radeon 9600 XT and nVidia's GeForce FX 5700, both of which are under $200.

Since when is $200 and under the midrange? Isn't that where video cards top out for most of the market?

I only purchased one video card in my life that was over $100 and it was noting spectacular compared to video cards in older systems I had around the house with half the video memeory. What are you people doing with video? Heck, I had a system with a 16 meg voodoo card that can play DVD's. And they are selling on ebay for 10 bucks.

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