Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Performance Analysis: In general, the Chrome S27 outperformed the similarly priced lower end GeForce 6600 in virtually every non AA or Aniso enabled benchmark, except our Doom3 test. However, when Anistropic Filtering was enabled, and Anti-Aliasing with Direct X tests, the Chrome S27 took the larger performance hit, allowing the GeForce 6600 to have the best result in most runs. Overall, the Chrome S27 performed quite well with the latest games, such as Quake 4 and F.E.A.R., which were definitely a strong point for the new GPU. However, in the majority of tests, the GeForce 6600 was typically faster when AA and Anisotropic Filtering was enabled and the GeForce 6600GT was the strongest all-around performer.
With S3's latest release, the company looks to gain some ground in the $100 graphics card market with the Chrome S27. With a focus on low power consumption and competitive performance, the Chrome S27 has its pluses, especially for those interested in outputting video to an HDTV display. Additionally, the Chrome S27 offers multi-GPU support with MultiChrome, for enhanced performance.
Overall, the Chrome S27 performed well, besting the GeForce 6600 in many gaming scenarios. Granted, the cards are not apple-to-apples in clock speed, but when you compare the pricing, they are very close. However, for those looking for a budget card that can handle a fair amount of gaming with increased image quality, the Chrome S27 lacks a bit in our opinion. When enabling Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering, the Chrome S27 lost the most ground compared to the GeForce 6600. Furthermore, without support for Pixel Shader 3.0 and no Anti-Aliasing options in OpenGL, the GeForce 6600 looks more attractive. Lastly, when we threw a GeForce 6600GT into the mix, the performance increase in most cases was significant, for what equates to an average of $20 more in cost.
S3 has a market with the Chrome S27, which can satisfy the user less interested in gaming and more interested in quality video output. The driver set is relatively mature and full of features while the low power consumption results in a quiet card that could be well suited for a home theater PC or video editing workstation. However, for those interested in pure gaming performance and improved image quality in games, the Chrome S27 may not be the best choice. While it is the fastest clocked card currently in its price range, the game is not all about MHz. As we saw in our testing, performance gains that can be achieved with a slight cost increase and a GeForce 6600GT, are significant, yet the Chrome S27 is clocked much faster.
Look for the Chrome S27 to hit store shelves starting next week, just in time for the holidays, with retail pricing in the area of $100.
•_Overall Features are solid
•_MultiChrome Multi GPU
|•_Performance with AA/Aniso
•_No AA in OpenGL
• No Support for Pixel Shader 3.0