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S3 Dual-GPU Card Competes with ATI Eyefinity

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments

VIA Technologies plans to offer an alternative to AMD's ATI Eyefinity technology.

VIA Technologies said that it's sporting a few products at the Digital Signage Expo 2010 trade show held next week at the Las Vegas Convention Center. One of the products mentioned is the company's upcoming S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2, a dual-GPU graphics card aimed to take on AMD's ATI Eyefinity technology.

"The S3 Graphics 5400E x2 is a highly integrated and flexible video card that features dual graphics and multimedia processors," the company said. "Boasting extreme hardware acceleration of the latest HD video codecs, the S3 Graphics 5400E x2 uses S3 Graphics' PanoChrome technology to provide up to four independent HD video streams at resolutions of 1080p on up to eight displays, employing a variety of display modes and configurations."

The company's press release provided a few more details, indicating that the card provides built-in Genlock support for synchronized source timing, and support for Span, Extended, and Clone view configurations. The hardware-accelerated HD video codecs include H.264, VC-1 and WMV-HD. Unfortunately, there's no real hardware-based info such as its core clock speed and on-board memory amount.

VIA said that it will offer a taste of the dual-GPU graphics card during the show, and will eventually provide samples to ODM customers in the USA sometime Q2 2010 or later. More information about what VIA is bringing to the trade show next week can be seen here.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    hotsacoman , February 18, 2010 8:10 PM
    This is good for the consumer. We need more players in the GPU market.
  • 20 Hide
    dman3k , February 18, 2010 8:09 PM
    Somehow, I don't think this will run games quite as well as AMD's eyefinity.
  • 20 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , February 18, 2010 8:33 PM
    I kind of wish VIA were more important in the CPU and the GPU business.
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    simplyderp , February 18, 2010 8:06 PM
    But can it run ------?
  • 20 Hide
    dman3k , February 18, 2010 8:09 PM
    Somehow, I don't think this will run games quite as well as AMD's eyefinity.
  • 24 Hide
    hotsacoman , February 18, 2010 8:10 PM
    This is good for the consumer. We need more players in the GPU market.
  • 17 Hide
    buzznut , February 18, 2010 8:17 PM
    yeah, if its anything like S3's old products, WoW will prolly bring the card to its knees begging for mercy.

    Now I can play dungeon hack on 4 displays! YAY
  • 11 Hide
    cscott_it , February 18, 2010 8:21 PM
    This will be interesting.
    It's certainly not a Larabee statement and it probably means nothing to enthusiasts or gamers, however it may offer an alternative to the super-multitasker and office jocks.
  • 6 Hide
    NapoleonDK , February 18, 2010 8:33 PM
    Suspected performance aside, this is the first inkling we've heard of another graphics contender since the demise of Larrabee. (Not forgetting that Intel said they were discontinuing development of the "graphics card", they left the table open for speculation on the Larrabee technology outside of the "card" we were waiting for.) I would imagine we could see a return of Larrabee as well as a resurgence of VIA and possibly others. Lets not forget how very little the high-end graphics market actually accounts for ATI/Nvidia market penetration. Imagine having 4 teams on the field instead of just 2...

    Lets get this competition going, bring it on!
  • 20 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , February 18, 2010 8:33 PM
    I kind of wish VIA were more important in the CPU and the GPU business.
  • 12 Hide
    grieve , February 18, 2010 8:46 PM
    False_Dmitry_III kind of wish VIA were more important in the CPU and the GPU business.

    the more the merrier
  • 9 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 18, 2010 9:09 PM
    dman3kSomehow, I don't think this will run games quite as well as AMD's eyefinity.

    Agreed, but it would be cool to have another player in the market.
  • 10 Hide
    the_krasno , February 18, 2010 9:16 PM
    dman3kSomehow, I don't think this will run games quite as well as AMD's eyefinity.


    They probably are aiming at the productivity sector. You know, everything BUT gaming.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 18, 2010 9:36 PM
    S3 and Via were good in the PII/K6-2 days but that was a long time ago. They're bottom feeders in the general MB market and I only use boards with their chips to replace one in an old system when I can't get anything else.
  • -3 Hide
    ravewulf , February 18, 2010 9:59 PM
    Quote:
    VC-1 and WMV-HD

    VC-1 and WMV-HD are the exact same thing.

    VC-1 is the underlying codec. WMV-HD is a branding name used by Microsoft on HD resolution .wmv files that use the VC-1 codec.
  • -7 Hide
    wintermint , February 18, 2010 10:47 PM
    darkgusetand the classic... "But can it run Crysis?"LOLLLLLL... sorry couldn't help it...


    No more Crysis please
  • 1 Hide
    jfem , February 18, 2010 11:24 PM
    Competition is good news. How powerful is the gpu? Show us some benchmarks.
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , February 19, 2010 12:25 AM
    I didn't even know S3 was still alive, let alone making GPUs
  • 4 Hide
    acecombat , February 19, 2010 12:27 AM
    It may not be a fantastic option for gamers, but if they're quiet and not overpriced I'll consider buying one for my HTPC!
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , February 19, 2010 4:51 AM
    Before I consider it a worthwhile card, I'd have to know what sort of power it has on it. I know, it's not made for gaming... But will it be able to cut it for decoding H.264 and handling HDCP? THAT, I think, will be the main question that many of their prospective customers will be thinking. Obviously, gamers aren't their market; AMD's pretty much got that market locked up tight, with even Nvidia barely competing.

    However, if they can make a card that is inexpensive, handles tons of displays, AND can handle full high-def decoding, they'll have themselves a market. Even better if it makes do with passive cooling. If it did all that, anything under, say, $150US would make it drool-inducing.

    'course, I'll grant that S3 will likely fail to deliver on those daydreams; making good non-gamer cards seems to be almost exclusively Matrox's forté, with S3 mostly producing half-arsed stuff. But I guess we'll see.
  • -3 Hide
    anamaniac , February 19, 2010 5:03 AM
    I bet they'll game just as well as Matrox cards. =)

    Sad to see that though they try, there's not a damned thing Via makes worth buying...
  • 3 Hide
    thomaseron , February 19, 2010 5:07 AM
    benchmark when possible? :) 
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