S3 Graphics: Gone But Not Forgotten

Raytrace3D

Posts: 248   +269
Ah good times... my very first 4MB graphics card was an S3 VIRGE. I later owned several of them and purchased several more for other people's computers who had an available PCI slot. It was a decent upgrade at the time if you had integrated graphics on store bought PCs and needed a cheap upgrade. I also had a S3 Savage at one point, but by then 3dfx had started offering more compelling cards and jumped over to owning a Monster 3D, Banshee, and a few Voodoo cards.
 

Aranarth

Posts: 115   +100
I had several of the cards pictured including the diamond multimedia in various 486 and Pentium1 machines.

When I worked at PC Warehouse in Lansing we used to get boxes of the Trident 64's to throw in new pc's. Cards worked really well for 2d graphics, the Solitare test was impressive for the price we were getting the cards at and if you needed 3d we would throw in a voodoo 2.

 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,721   +2,033
TechSpot Elite
I had an ECS PM800-M2 (man, how on EARTH did I remember that model number?) way back in the day that had integrated S3 Chrome graphics. I used it as a file server in my home network because the Pentium-4 CPU it supported wasn't useful for anything else at the time so I streamed movies, music, etc. through my home network with it. The S3 Chrome graphics were more than sufficient for Windows XP Pro and I didn't really use them much as the only time I ever powered up the old CRT monitor attached to it was for diagnostic purposes or to add more content to the library. It only had an AGP slot anyway so it's not like a card would have made it any kind of graphics powerhouse. At the time, S3 was a part of VIA and was included in the VIA PM800 chipset.

It was a pretty-looking motherboard with a striking purple PCB colour:
PM800-M2_10s.jpg

 
Last edited:

Wrinkle

Posts: 69   +50
Nice article, thanks for the links to the old reviews :)


These guys were omnipresent. For a while the first thing you would see on practically every pc was a S3 bios message.
 

elementalSG

Posts: 171   +203
I have fond memories of wanting to play Quake III and Unreal Tournament, but being too poor in college to actually afford a NVidia TNT2 or GeForce256 or 3dfx Voodoo. So S3 Savage 2000 it was and great fun I had with it 20+ years ago now!
 

nnguy2

Posts: 308   +610
I have fond memories of wanting to play Quake III and Unreal Tournament, but being too poor in college to actually afford a NVidia TNT2 or GeForce256 or 3dfx Voodoo. So S3 Savage 2000 it was and great fun I had with it 20+ years ago now!

I was in same boat! Being a high school sophomore at the time, the Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 was first AIB card I bought to play games.