S3 GammaChrome S18 Pro Video Card Review :: Features

04-26-2005 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun
  • S3 Graphics 3rd Generation Chrome Graphics Processor
  • Comprehensive PCIe support and flexibility
  • ChroMAT proprietary memory address translation
  • Commerical Grade software drivers
  • Pure HDTV Hi-Def Integrated HDTV Encoder
  • Chromotion2 Programmable Video Engine
  • High Speed VIP Port
  • ChromoVision full screen video for TV/HDTV
  • PureFlow direct transmission of YUV data to TV
  • DirectX 9.0 VS/S Hardware with State-of-the-art 3D feature set
  • 3D resolutions to 2048x1536 32bpp
  • Duo-Rotate: Independent Hardware Rotation on two displays
  • ULP Ultra Low Power configurations available

The first generation Chrome processor was the Unichrome. This was a 2-pixel pipeline card that is marketed by S3 as an integrated IGP (integrated graphics processor) into VIA motherboards. Its feature set was signified by support for DirectX 7.0 and is a decent integrated video product for the segments it targets. Unfortunately, Intel has recently released a DirectX 9.0 integrated desktop IGP that outperforms and out features the Unichrome. DeltaChrome is S3's second-generation Chrome processor. This chip featured DirectX 9.0 support.


S3 GammaChrome S18 Pro Video Card Review

The main feature I want to talk about is the GammaChrome's DirectX 9.0 feature list. After all, virtually every game released today includes support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel and Vertex Shaders. S3 indicates the GammaChrome supports Pixel and Vertex Shader 2.0. There are 8 vertex and 4 pixel shaders on the GammaChrome, making a balanced shader arrangement. Normally, PS 2.0 includes support for up to 96 pixel shader instructions in a single pass. Vertex Shader 2.0 includes support for up to 256 vertex shader instructions in a pass.

The other features on the list aren't very clear, and S3's website doesn't have technical documents for easy perusal to describe them. Of note, is the built-in HDTV Encoder and the fact that there will be Ultra Low Power configurations of this chipset.