S3's DeltaChrome S4 Pro

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Test System & Final Fantasy XI


HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the S3 DeltaChrome S4 on an i875P based DFI LANPARTY Pro 875 motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 3.2CGHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults." Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz in dual-channel mode, with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by the SPD, and we set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP1 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers and hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Then, we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating, System Restore, and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was defragmented and a 768MB permanent page file was created. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed the benchmarking software, and ran all of the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
Intel-Powered Screamer
Processor -

Mainboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drive -

Optical Drive -

Other -

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz

i875P "Canterwood" Chipset

S3 DeltaChrome S4

S3 DeltaChrome S8
GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
ATi Radeon 9200 SE

1024MB Kingston HyperX PC3500

Integrated SoundMax Audio

Western Digital "Raptor"
36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM

3.5" Floppy Drive

Windows XP Professional SP1 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v6.0.1.1002
DirectX 9.0b

S3 Drivers v15.10.04c / v15.10.07b

ATI Catalyst v4.7
NVIDIA Forceware v61.45
Performance Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 2 v1.01
A Classic Console Franchise On The PC

Final Fantasy XI
The Final Fantasy franchise is well-known to console gamers, but Squaresoft has since made the jump to the PC with a MMORPG version of this classic. The Final Fantasy XI benchmark runs through multiple scenes from the game and displays a final score every time a full cycle of the demo is completed. Although the demo is meant to check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered scales when different video cards are used. Lower scores indicate some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time. The scores below were taken with the demo set to its "High Resolution" option (1024x768) with anti-aliasing disabled.

Before we elaborate on the benchmark results, let us completely explain what you'll see our graphs throughout this preview.  The DeltaChrome S4 is the main attraction here, but we've included numbers from a DeltaChrome S8 to illustrate the performance difference between S3's four-pipeline and eight-pipeline GPUs.  Don't be misled by the S8's much higher performance, as the GeForce FX 5200 and ATi Radeon 9200 are the S4's main competition.  The S8 is in a different class.  We tested a GeForce FX 5200 Ultra, which is NVIDIA's high-end entry-level part, and an ATi Radeon 9200 SE, which is ATi's low-end entry-level part.  The GeForce FX 5200 Ultra has a similar feature set to the S4 (minus the comprehensive HDTV support), but the 9200 SE is lacking in a few areas.  It only has a 64-bit wide memory bus, while all of the other cards have 128-but buses, and it is only a DX8-class product.  The 9200 SE is also much cheaper than the other cards here; you can find them for about $50 online.

With that said, the S3 DeltaChrome S4 performed very well in the Final Fantasy XI benchmark.  With a score of 3169, it was 28.5% faster than the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra and approximately 70% faster than the Radeon 9200 SE.

Tags:  S3, Chrome, Delta, S4, rom, pro, AC

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