A Visit to S3
S3 is easing its way back into the graphics race. The Savage3D
chipset proved that S3 could make a real 3D accelerator, but it came out too late to make a dent in the market.
What has S3 been doing lately? We haven't heard anything from them since they announced that they were buying out Diamond Multimedia.
Yes, they released the Savage4, but it was lost in the sea of Voodoo3 and TNT2 cards. In our interview with Diamond back in May, we gave the original Stealth III a brief mention. The Stealth III is targeted towards the budget minded customer who wants next generation technology, but doesn't need the $200 speed premium.
Where's the FS Savage4 review anyway?
You can find dozens of Voodoo3 and TNT2 reviews on various hardware sites, but you'll be hard pressed to find more than a couple Savage4 reviews. We couldn't even get our hands on a Savage4 card to review. Creative Labs didn't help when they discontinued their Savage4 card after the Diamond buyout announcement, but you can't really blame Creative for refusing to help a competitor.
Today, S3 and Diamond are announcing the Stealth III S540 Xtreme, based on the S3 Savage4 Pro Xtreme chip. Diamond is once again targeting the budget minded consumer, but don't let that "budget" label fool you. The Stealth III Xtreme has the goods to compete with the TNT2 and Voodoo3.
We had the opportunity to talk with S3's PR Manager Paul Crossley and 3D Marketing Manager Mark Hirsch about the Stealth III Xtreme. We even managed to get the marketing boys to give us a little info about S3's super-secret next generation "GX4" chipset.