S3 Graphic's Chrome S27

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Drivers and Image Quality Comparison

S3 Graphics ComboChrome Drivers
A Fresh Look

Looking at the latest driver set being offered by S3, it's hard not to step back and reflect on how much of an improvement S3 has made on the interface.  Not all that long ago, S3's drivers looked antiquated.  Today though, the interface seems more refined, colorful and offers a lot of options for the end-user to tweak the Chrome S27 to their liking.  The majority of these screenshots apply to the Chromotion 3.0 coverage on the previous two pages, so we're not going to repeat ourselves. 



As we gear up for the gaming performance segment of this review, we'll focus our attention on the DirectX and OpenGL settings tabs.  The Direct X tab offers ample options for fine tuning image quality as well as gaming performance.  The options include Anti-Aliasing of 2x and 4x while Anisotropic Filtering ranges from 1x-16x in one digit increments.  On the OpenGL side of the equation, S3's options are a but light.  One distinguishing feature that is missing from the Chrome S27 is Anti-Aliasing with OpenGL.  This is something that has been the norm with S3, although Anisotropic Filtering options are the same as with DirectX.

Image Quality with F.E.A.R.
For the Fun of It

Before we shift gears to the benchmarking segment, we've pulled together some image quality comparisons.  S3 feels the GeForce 6600 is one of the closest competitors to the Chrome S27, which is primarily based on price point.  In the images below, we took a few shots from F.E.A.R., the latest hot title to hit the market.  The image used was taken from the opening sequence and had a good amount of angles to test Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering.

S3 Chrome S27

No AA/Antialiasing

2X AA/8X Aniso

4X AA/16X Aniso

NVIDIA GeForce 6600

No AA/Aniso

2X AA/8X Aniso

4X AA/16X Aniso

When we compare the first two images, it's difficult to see the difference between each card with no Anti-Aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering enabled.  Next, we set each card for 2X AA and 8X Aniso and the differences were more obvious, with the GeForce 6600 rendering a sharper image overall in our opinion.  When we set the setting to the maximum of the Chrome S27's capabilities, we still have to give the nod to the GeForce card, which still did a better job of cleaning up the lines all around.  The edging was improved with the Chrome S27 with each step up in quality, but the GeForce 6600 was the card that managed sharper lines at the maximum setting while the Chrome S27 was noticeably more jagged in each comparison.

Tags:  S3, Chrome, s2, Graphic, rom, 27, AP

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