We know about as much as you do abut this, but news hit me that S3, a company that many had forgotten, launched a new GPU recently.  It’s a $60 graphics card that is sold through S3 directly that offers DX10.1 support and runs on PCI Express 2.0 with a 256MB frame buffer.

As for performance: S3 compares it to the AMD HD 3450 and the NVIDIA 8400 GPUs:

S3 Launches Chrome 430 GT in the U.S. Market - Graphics Cards  1

Specifications
Model
Brand S3 Graphics
Model Chrome 430 GT 256MB
Chipset
GPU Chrome 430 GT
Core clock 625MHz
Memory
Memory Clock 500MHz
Memory Size 256MB
Memory Interface 64-bit
Memory Type GDDR2
3D API
DirectX DirectX® 10.1, Shader Model 4.1
Interface
Interface PCI Express™ Gen 2 x16
Ports
D-SUB 1
DVI 1 (Dual Link with HDCP™)
TV-Out No
VIVO No
General
RAMDAC High Performance 400MHz 10-bit CRT DAC
Maximum Resolution 2048×1536 QXGA (3.1M)
Features
Features
  • Windows® Vista™ Premium Certified
  • DirectX® 10.1 / Shader Model 4.1 Support
  • OpenGL 2.1 Support
  • Blu-ray™ Playback
  • ChromotionHD™ Programmable Video Engine
  • H.264, VC-1, MPEG2-HD, AVS, and DivX Support
  • DeepColor™ Precision
  • Advanced 65nm Manufacturing Process
  • Duo-Rotate™
  • PowerWise™ Advanced Power Management
Packaging
Package Contents DVI-VGA Adapter
Driver CD
Chrome 430 GT desktop graphics cards now available through GStore, delivering DirectX® 10.1 3D performance and stunning HD multimedia for under $60

Fremont, California, March 20, 2008 – S3 Graphics, a leading provider of graphics and visualization technologies, today announced the S3 Graphics Chrome 430 GT desktop cards, now available at online retail affiliate GStore (https://s3gstore.s3graphics.com/).

The first of the S3 Graphics Chrome 400 Series to market, the Chrome 430 GT combines advanced 3D graphics and incredible HD multimedia performance with extreme power-efficiency and rigidly low thermal specifications, breaking new ground in the highly competitive graphics industry. Based on the low profile PCI Express® Gen 2 graphics card specification, the Chrome 430 GT is ideally suited for small form factor PC designs and energy-conscious PC users who wish to upgrade their PC to provide incredible HD playback and the latest DirectX 10.1 graphics engine.

The S3 Graphics Chrome 430 GT outperforms the current market leader in its class by over 20%(1) in 3D benchmarks and rendered frames-per-second in the most popular DX10 and DX9 games.

Using proven low power 65nm process technology from Fujitsu, the Chrome 430 GT remains power efficient with low thermal emissions when rendering Microsoft DirectX 10.1/OpenGL 2.1 graphics applications or providing users with true Hi-Def 1080p Blu-ray™ entertainment.

“S3 Graphics has once again delivered an outstanding product, leveraging our graphics, video, and power savings core competencies,” said Dr. Ken Weng, GM for S3 Graphics. “The feature-rich Chrome 430 GT challenges the current discrete graphics landscape, bringing new functionalities previously seen only on high end desktops, bringing new meaning to the terms ‘affordable gaming’ and ‘home entertainment’.”