S3 Chrome

Chrome is used by the company S3 Graphics as a name for several 3D graphics chips and techniques. The Chrome - family is an attempt at a comeback in the S3 Graphics dominated by Intel, ATI and Nvidia graphics market.

  • 2.1 UniChrome and UniChrome Pro
  • 2.2 Chrome9 HC
  • 3.1 Performance

Desktop chips


In early 2003, it was announced by Delta Chrome S8 and S4 (both AGP 8x interface) the first attempt at a comeback. The chips based on the Columbia project under development are long and full DirectX 9 chips with pixel and vertex shader version 2.0.

However, it was not until the middle of 2004 until the first graphics cards were available. Because of this long delay DeltaChrome had little success, but achieved because of its good image quality ( esp. the anisotropic filter ) to achieve esteem.


By the end of 2004, there were rumors about the successor to the Delta Chrome, which was then presented as GammaChrome early 2005. Originally there were three variants - S14, S18 and S19 - planned with each still different models, but which came only GammaChrome S18 in different versions on the market. It did, however, also here until mid or late 2005 until graphics cards came on the market.

Technically, the GammaChrome is closely related to the Delta Chrome, but some bugs have been removed and changed the interface to PCI Express.

Chrome S20

In the fall of 2005 gave S3 Graphics announced that Gamma Chrome S19 and S14 were discontinued in favor of the new Chrome S20 family. On 3 November 2005 came with the Chrome S27 and S25, the first two representatives to the market.

These two chips are based on gamma or delta Chrome Chrome, Chrome S27, but is clocked at 700 MHz remarkable that. Hitherto highest clock speed of graphics chips

With Multi Chrome allows two or more Chrome S27 graphics cards to increase performance operate simultaneously.

Chrome 400

In early 2008 announced the S3 Graphics to a new series of graphics chips for laptops and desktop solutions. This generation should be included to be able to display high- definition content with good quality and low power consumption and will be technically efficient, according to S3 at the same height with a Nvidia Geforce 8400.

Among the features of the chip are in addition to the 65 nm manufacturing process, DirectX 10.1 and a connection via PCI - Express 2.0.

The first market-ready model of this series is the Chrome 430 GT, while a faster version, the Chrome 440 GTX, was introduced a little later. After a test of the performance of the computer base GT 430 is actually in the field of low-end chips from AMD (ATI Radeon HD 3450 ) and Nvidia ( GeForce 8400 GS). Also the power consumption is almost identical. Two of the graphics cards can communicate directly via the PCI Express bus together and thus increase performance.

Chrome 500

In the winter of 2008, S3 Graphics introduced the Chrome 500 series before another series of graphics chips for the desktop. The successor to the Chrome 400 series includes a first model named Chrome 530 GT, the changes to its predecessor but are currently not known. The first pictures have a similarity to the Chrome 440 GTX recognize; According to the S3 power 4350 to be comparable with that of a Radeon HD.

It interfaces DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 support, the connection is made via PCI - Express 2.0.



UniChrome and UniChrome Pro

Under the name UniChrome as the Zoetrope ( Alpha Chrome / Savage XP) developed graphics core has been integrated into a variety of chipsets from VIA Technologies. These IGPs are primarily intended for office PCs and essentially suitable not for 3D games.

Technically UniChrome a DirectX 7- chip, but without hardware T & L unit. The difference between UniChrome and UniChrome Pro is an improved video engine ( Chromotion engine).

Chrome9 HC

In the fall of 2005 with the VIA K8M890 the first IGP with the Chrome9 HC graphics core (also known as Delta Chrome IGP ) is presented. This IGP solution is based on the Delta Chrome and therefore offers full DirectX 9 support. It is expected that the Chrome9 HC graphics core is integrated into many future VIA IGPs, as the Aero interface of Windows Vista requires a DirectX 9- capable graphics card.

Model data


  • The specified clock rates are recommended by S3 Graphics or specified. However, is the final determination of the clock rates in the hands of the respective graphics cards manufacturers. Therefore, it is quite possible that there are graphics cards models or will be having different clock speeds.
  • With the stated date of the appointment of the public presentation is given, not the date of availability of the models.


For each model, the following theoretical power data:


  • The above performance data for the computing power of the stream processors, the pixel fill rate, the Texelfüllrate and memory bandwidth are the theoretical maximum values. The overall performance of a graphics card depends, among other things, on how well the available resources can be exploited or utilized. In addition, there are other not listed here, factors that affect the performance.
  • The specified processing power on the stream processors refers to the use of both MUL operations, which is not reached in graphics shader calculations, as further calculations must be performed. In these calculations, therefore the performance of the computing power is lower on the stream processors.