updated 12:05 pm EST, Fri November 21, 2008
S3 Chrome 500
Best known for its integrated video in recent years, VIA's graphics label S3 late yesterday introduced the Chrome 500 series of graphics chips. The hardware is built to challenge the Radeon HD 4350 and other budget dedicated cards both in the feature set and performance with a newer unified shader (effects) processor design that supports DirectX 10.1+ and OpenGL 3 for graphics as well as general-purpose computing tasks written to support the Chrome hardware.
The 620MHz core, 500MHz memory processor is also seen as ideal for home theaters. A stock card decoding Blu-ray consumes about half as much power as an unspecified GeForce 8600 mid-range card, letting the Chrome 500 run comparatively silently under the same strain.
S3 is already shipping its first related card in the Chrome 530 GT, which carries 512MB of memory and both an HDMI output as well as dual-link DVI to output at resolutions as high as 2048x1536 when used on a 4:3 ratio display. The card sells at a mid-point between AMD's low-end cars with a $45 price.