The DeltaChrome S8 Nitro is a DX9 class card supporiting 2.0 vertex and pixel shaders sporting 128MB of ram. We have a few details of the S3 Graphics implimentations, but we have meetings scheduled with them over the Game Developers Conference (GDC) to learn the full details of their architecture which we will bring you in our final review of the card. For now we will tackle the basics.
The S8 Nitro has 4 vertex and 8 pixel shaders. The pixel shaders support both full and partial precision floating point (with full precision being 24bit per channel and partial precision being 16bit per channel). They are able to do up to 8 Z test operations per clock under the right conditions, they support what ATI and NVIDIA are calling 4x rotated grid antialiasing, and upto 16x anisotropic filtering.
Currently, S3 calls thier antialiasing algorithm 2xAA, but under 2x mode, the pixel is sampled twice both horizontally and vertically (which is technically correct, but doesn't fit the established standard). It is likely that the nominclature will end up changing at some point. The maximum resolution at which they support AA is 1024x768, and, eventhough the functionality isn't exposed, it would be possible to do 16 sample AA (what S3 would call 4xAA) at lower resolutions. Obviously this is not going to be fast, and it is unlikely that this functionality will be exposed in the shipping version of the product.
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