The Chrome 430 GT isn't too bad of a card, it's able to perform similar to the AMD and NVIDIA based games in some applications, and never really falls behind too much. The card is also cheaper than those two offerings; if that represents better value for money though, it's really up to you. Some people would prefer to pay slightly more and get slightly more performance.
On the downside, there are so many issues with the S3 Chrome 430 GT which don't relate to the card itself. The card on a whole is very good; it never missed a beat in our testing, had no issues with driver installation and just on a whole was a pleasure to deal with.
Where the problems lie is in reference to the driver support. How often are we going to get driver updates from the company? Getting a hold of the card might also be a problem as availability seems low. What is after-sales support going to be like? The guys at S3 have been fantastic about answering any questions we've had and they generally seem pretty enthusiastic about the product, but with the competition that is the VGA market who really knows how well they will go, it's not the first time that the best product hasn't come out on top.
Another cool feature of the card is that we have hardware decoding, which is great for people with low-end HTPCs that want to get their Blu-ray freak on. The thing is, this is where I really do begin to have some issues with the card.
What I would probably do is release a S3 Chrome 430 GT HD. What this card would consist of is passive cooling, low profile bracket, onboard HDMI w/ ability to transfer sound and a HDMI cable. No doubt that this is going to increase the price, we don't expect these extras to happen without a price increase, but S3 really need to stand out from the pack and offer something we don't have from other partners.
Who knows if S3 will ever become as big as they were in the mid 90s or if they will just continue to plod along creating low-end graphics cards that the market will probably never really up take.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package & Card]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and 3DMark06]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - World in Conflict]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Crysis]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3]
- Page 9 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 10 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]
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