S3 GammaChrome S18 Pro Video Card Review :: Conclusion

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

By Benjamin Sun

If you are looking for a high-performance part in the S3 GammaChrome, you'll be disappointed. Fortunately, the GammaChrome is not targeted to this market. With a MSRP of under $100, the competition to the GammaChrome S18 Pro is the 6200 with Turbo Cache and the X300 video card from ATI.

Feature-wise the S3 GammaChrome S18 Pro is on par with its immediate competition, the X300 from ATI. Performance-wise, the GammaChrome is a little faster than the intended competition. In a head-to-head match up, I would probably give the nod to the NVIDIA card however as it is a bit faster.

S3 needs to work on their drivers and with game manufacturers to ensure that the games play well, look great, and have few problems. The problems I had with a new game like PsychoToxic just left a sour taste in my mouth. That is one of the problems with going with a card manufacturer that isn't a big part of the market place. Game manufacturers might test the game on a NVIDIA and an ATI card or cards and figure that most of the market will be covered. For the most part, that is correct.

Let me close by saying I hope S3 has a lot of success in the market. We need at least 3 or 4 major contenders in the video card arena. Right now, the market is very nearly evenly split between NVIDIA and ATI. This brings problems like $500 video cards SELLING online for 600 or $700 due to the inability of the chip manufacturer to supply video cards to meet demand. The solution is not going all integrated, as Intel's integrated GMA900 has its own problems. The S3 S18 GammaChrome will be available from their partners and from S3 itself through S3 stores.