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In March this year S3 Graphics released its Chrome 430 GT graphics card and it was designed to take on the ATI Radeon HD 4850 and it managed to do rather well in most of the tests we performed, which you can read here.
S3 are back again now with the 65nm and PCI Express 2.0 based Chrome 440 GTX graphics card which has been released today. It will sell for $69 USD and should be available to buy soon through S3 Graphics' retail affiliate.
You can think of it as the bigger brother of the 430 GT and it now comes with HDMI output which was one of the biggest letdowns of the 430 GT that we mentioned in our review. These cards are cheap, offer DX10.1 support, provide HD playback at 1080p with the ChromotionHD 2.0 Video Engine. That enables hardware acceleration for H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD and AVS and for dual-stream (PIP) Blu-ray playback.
It won't knock your socks off when it comes to gaming performance but if it can beat out an HD 4850 when we test it next month, it will begin to get into the territory where it could be used for playing even current games at lower settings.
You can find out more detailed information over at the S3 Graphics product website, which is right here.
S3 Graphics' Chrome 430 GT graphics card is a hard product to actually buy at the moment but that hasn't stopped a couple of Chinese websites finding them from the underground and putting the new $60 DX10.1 card through its paces.
One website tested it against AMD's HD 3450 (which costs roughly the same), previous generation HD 2400 PRO and GeForce 8400GS in a range of games and resolutions. The 430 GT manages to beat them all hands down under 3DMark06 with a fair lead but, under Far Cry, the HD 3450 manages to take back the lead slightly. This may suggest that the driver of the 430 GT is not quite up to scratch and possible future releases could make the card perform better. However, under Serious Sam 2, Company of Heroes, Call of Juarez and World in Conflict it manages to win each time.
It doesn't win by much and the frame rates are less than impressive and what we wouldn't call playable in the latest gaming titles, but it does show S3 Graphics is still in the game. You can check out the translated articles by Google from Chinese to English here and here for more details.
Mozilla has released the latest developer preview of Firefox 3 which is Beta 5 and it comes with a staggering 750 fixes from the previously released beta.
It is said to improve stability and web compatibility, provide platform and user interface enhancements, and results in the fastest Firefox ever. Many of these improvements were based on community feedback from the previous beta.
Firefox 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 32 months. Building on the previous release, Gecko 1.9 has more than 12,000 updates including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, rendering correctness, and code simplification and sustainability. Firefox 3 has been built on top of this new platform resulting in a more secure, easier to use, more personal product with a lot more under the hood to offer website and Firefox add-on developers.
If you like trying out BETA software, head on over and download it (in many different languages) while it's hot!
S3 Graphics today announced its new graphics card into the US market, the 65nm based Chrome 430 GT.
Before you get too excited, it won't contend with the latest bad boys from Nvidia and AMD but it does offer DX10.1 support at only $60 USD. It includes 256MB onboard DDR2 memory and using its ChromotionHD Video Technology it has hardware acceleration for H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD and AVS at 1080p meaning it should playback Blu-ray movies just fine.
It has a core clock speed of 625MHz and its 256MB DDR2 memory works on a 64-bit memory bus at 500MHz. It works using a PCI Express Gen 2 x16 interface and its DVI port is HDCP compliant. It is just a mega shame it does not include a HDMI port as for just $60 USD, it would be a very attractive card for a new HTPC box.
As far as performance goes and as you can see from the image above, S3 claim that it will beat AMD's Radeon HD 3450 and Nvidia GeForce 8400GS under 3DMark06 Vista by quite a margin.
Firefox is seen by many as the Internet browser of choice. The reason for this is because it has worked faster than Microsoft's IE at times, and it also seems to have fewer issues when loading up websites.
With IE7 a few months old, Firefox have been a little slow in keeping pace with the frenetic updates that Microsoft seem to pump out like clockwork. I like to think it is because they (Mozilla) take their time to perfect things first.
This latest version has more than 900 enhancements and has been under development for the past 31 months. Mozilla states that the new coding has been improved to aid in memory performance and usage, as well as reduces stability issues, adding that "Many of these improvements were based on community feedback from the previous beta". The company also cited that Google mail and Zoho Office run twice as fast in Firefox 3 BETA 4 than Firefox 2.
You may download the BETA file here and it is available in 40 different languages. Be aware that the install overwrites your current settings on Mac OS X and Linux, but in Windows, it creates a new folder.
For more information about Firefox BETA 4, please click here
Stew over at TechnoVoyance (VIA Tech website) was over at the Game Developers Conference in San Fran last week promoting their latest Chrome 400 graphics architecture from S3 Graphics.
They wanted to "wow" the crowds and to do so they got three large screens, a car racing game called r-Factor and fired up two Chrome 400 graphics cards using MulitChrome, a technology which is similar to Nvidia SLI or ATI Crossfire. Check out the video they uploaded.
We are still waiting for our review samples to arrive but we are super keen to check out two of these babies in MultiChrome mode - is it possible they could give Nvidia's or AMD's mid-range cards a run for their money?
Use FireFox? Smart cookie you are! ;) - You'll also be glad to know Mozilla's just officially released the final version 2.0 build of their kickarse browser, check out the full release notes here for details on whats new and improved.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. - Oct. 24, 2006 - - Mozilla today released Firefox® 2, a major update to its popular and acclaimed free, open source Web browser. Firefox is developed by an international community of contributors working together under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit, public-benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for people everywhere.
In less than two years, tens of millions of people worldwide have discovered the easier, faster and safer online experience that Firefox provides. Translated into more than 35 languages at its release, Firefox 2 is available in a native language version for more people around the world than any other Web browser.
You might also like to try tweaking it up a bit more with a recently updated and well written guide from Koroush over at TweakGuides.com.
Whether you're a first-time user or a veteran, this Firefox Tweak Guide brings together all the major tips, tricks and tweaks for Firefox. From the basic to the advanced, the following 11 pages of information are sure to enhance your Firefox experience. Most of all you can rest assured that the guide is not written by a raving Firefox fanboy - it's a true objective TweakGuides tweak guide, and not a gushing ad for a free web browser. Go ahead and try it for yourself.
The fourth generation of GPUs have just surfaced from S3. Dubbed the "Chrome S20" Series, the S25 and S27 cards are PCI-Express based and designed for the mainstream desktop market. Both cards sport the inclusion of 1080p HDTV support (or Chromotion 3.0 as S3 call it), and the GPUs themselves are built upon Fujitsu Limited's 90nm process technology.
One major highlight to stand out on the specs sheet is the S27's whopping 700MHz core speed (the fastest stock clocked core on a GPU to date), but as to how these latest cards stack up against the almighty competition is another cup of tea.
S3's official press release with all the details here.
S3 Graphics today launched its 4th generation DirectX® 9.0 graphics processor units (GPUs), the Chrome 20 series, with the introduction of the Chrome S20 range of desktop graphics accelerators that combines the richer integration of Fujitsu Limited's 90nm process technology with S3 Graphics' advanced Power Wise architecture for the most power efficient graphics in the industry.
The Chrome S20 series further enhances S3Graphics' signature Hi-Def visual experience, complementing the native 1080p HDTV support and widescreen display capability with Chromotion 3.0, the next generation programmable video engine boasting hardware accelerated motion compensation and WMV-HD support. Delivering smooth playback of high definition content with ultra low CPU utilization and power draw, the Chrome S20 series is ideal for the home theater PC and media-centric digital living room market segments.
S3 Graphics has just pulled back the curtains on its newest series of graphics chips, the Chrome S20 family. S3 turned to a new foundry partner, Fujitsu, to produce these chips, as we reported yesterday. Fujitsu manufactures the GPUs using a low-K, 90nm fab process, and S3 claims this advanced fabrication process, along with S3's own Power Wise power management techniques brought over from its mobile products, has helped the Chrome S20 series achieve killer performance per watt.
We should be just about 100% Mozilla Firefox friendly now. Over the past couple days I've made some basic adjustments to our website code in order to make TweakTown display the same way it does in IE in Firefox. If you see any errors with our website in Firefox, please let us know and we will fix them.
For those who have never heard of the Mozilla Firefox web browser until now, it is regarded by many as the most secure web browser (far superior to IE) and I can vouch for the speed side of things. When using IE, the front page of TweakTown takes almost 10 seconds load. Although when using Firefox, the front page of TweakTown takes only 4 seconds.
Given these facts, we've added a Firefox button from the Spread Firefox website to the bottom of our pages which basically receives our seal of approval and is recommended for the best and fastest experience here at TweakTown. I use it personally and frankly will not be turning back to IE until they have done a lot of work to bring it up to the strong standard of Firefox.
VIA Technologies owned S3 Graphics has remained rather dormant for some time but today paper announced details of their new DeltaChrome GPU which claims to provide Dazzling Hi-Def Graphics and Video with Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and HLSL support.
S3 Graphics Inc., a leading supplier to the 3D graphics accelerator market, revealed details today of the completely new DeltaChrome display core featuring full hardware support for the newly released Microsoft® DirectX 9.0 application interface using Microsoft's HLSL (high level shader language). Targeted squarely at the top position in mobile and desktop graphics with high resolution connectivity for consumer and professional requirements, DeltaChrome brings exciting new features and unparalleled Hi-Def image quality and performance for 3D and video.More information @ S3 Graphics