Right now I'm putting together a new computer for myself. I was originally planning on buying an X1950pro and wait a year or two for a good DX10 card. That was my plan, until the new 8800GTS 320mb came along. So now I can't decide: should a stick with the X1950, or spend twice as much on a DX10 card now. Would the extra performance really be worth that much more money?
Oh, and here's the list of parts I'm looking at right now.
If you were going to go for the Radeon and wait for more mature DX10 gear, what makes you think again? I would understand your dilemma if the GTS was priced closer to the 1950 but twice as much sounds a bit steep for your purposes. On the other hand, if u can afford it AND you can afford a better card in 1-2 years, then why not? Otherwise wait for the first DX10 titles to come out and decide then which card serves your needs better.
For games, the vga card is all important; get the best you can afford now. There will always be something coming that is faster and cheaper. I would defer the sound card until later, perhaps even 667 memory, and spend the savings on the 8800gts-320.
Do you know what games are arriving this year that you "just have to have"? Which of those are DX10? They will all work with at high power DX9 card, so can you wait? Think through your 2007-2008 gaming.
Geo: Thanks for the advice. I think that holding off on the sound card is a good idea, I'll do that. As for the ram, I plan on OCing, so pc 800 is where I stand.
SciFi: The games that I'm really looking forward to are Spore, Assassins creed, BioShock, and of course Half-Life Episodes. Unfortunately, none of those system requirements have been released as of yet to my knowledge. Do you think I'll need the extra power?
I would not buy a DX10 card until the DX10 games are out, and who knows when that will be. The problem I have with the Nvidia DX10 cards is that they will have been out for almost a year before the first DX10 games. Further, Nvidia has said that we probably won't see widespread DX10 implementation until mid 2008. So a good portion of the card's "life" is going to be spent playing DX9 games. Do you really want to even spend $300 for that?
Also, we don't really know how well those DX10 cards will run games like Crysis or UT3. What kind of options and settings will you be able to use? What about resolution? We don't really have actual benchmarks. It isn't that I don't think the 8800 will run Crysis really well, it is just that without benchmarks there is really no way to guess how much life the card will have.
My monitor runs at 1680x1050, and I like to have at least 2x anti-aliasing and 8x ansiotropic filtering. Preferably 4x antialiasing. So if I'm going to invest big money in a card it better be able to do that with a few frames to spare for future games with even higher requirements. I have no idea if the 8800 or even the R600 is going to be that card or not. Also, the $300 8800 is cheaper but also has less memory. Do you need the extra memory? We don't know yet. I'd hate to get stuck with a $300 card that just doesn't do what you expected it to do. Then again it could be just the opposite, it could perform even better because of DX10 and the shaders, but who knows.
If you have the cash I say X1950 pro now, and then look for a higher end card after the DX10 games are on the market, and you have a better idea of what the DX10 cards can do with DX10 games.