S3/Via's Columbia: faster than Radeon 9700?

Thanks to bangbang023 for this one.

"Via's graphic arm, S3, launched the Delta Chrome chip, formerly codenamed Columbia, we have tried to dig out some new information about it, and now we have some. According to an S3 senior product marketing manager, this graphics processor could put his firm in the hall of fame, as it might be just the right kind of horse for the type of race it will be running. We'll wait to see how it tests, but this is what S3 is saying right now.

The chip will be clocked at 300MHz+ for the graphics processor and 300MHz+ for memory, and will use plain DDR. The second version of the card will work on 240MHz+ for the graphics engine and 300MHz+ for memory. As we have already revealed, there will be a mobile variation of the chip that should cover all of the market segments and could threaten Nvidia and ATI's mobile offerings. Even more impressive is the pricing. S3 thinks these cards, which it is positioning as a high end mainstream system, at slightly less than $100.

S3 believes that the Columbia "will perform in the 20K+ range for 3DMark2001SE" and outscore even the Radeon 9700 Pro from ATI, and close to the NV30 from Nvidia. Delta Chrome retail boards should be available in Q2 starting from $90. The cards will not use any kind of tile based rendering but will be optimised for "far more than hierarchical z". The firm calls it an Advanced Deferred Rendering feature and claims it will improve efficiency of the card. Advanced Deferred Rendering can do many things as well as front to back and back to front Z-culling. So, we'll wait and see when the boards arrive to see if S3 can regain its good position in the graphics arena once more."

View: Article @ The INQ

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