I am building my own computer, nForce 650 motherboard, E6600 (when the price cuts come), 650W psu, Mid to Full Tower case, 2gb (1gbx2) ddr 2 800 (not sure what brand yet), and 2 320gb perpendicular recording hdds, but I am not sure of what motherboard to choose for the computer. I am thinking of doing some overclocking to the memory and cpu, maybe to the graphics card if possible, and I would like to have a graphics card(s) that will last me for a while, about a year at least. I am not in a rush to purchase WinVista, and I will be using XP Home, Linux 2.6.x, and FreeBSD 6/7 for operating systems. I was thinking about buying two graphics cards and using them for better performance, but I am really not an expert in this area. I did not know if the R600's will be worth it at all, projected to come out in may, but I think that the G80's are a waste of money and power. How long will dx 9 be in style, since I would like to stick to XP gaming until it comes time to dump it. However, at this moment I will not be needing dx10, yet, so, what card(s) would best suit me. My budget is less than 300, maybe closer to mid 200's for the card(s), making that either one high end card or two midrange cards. Also, I am looking for graphics compatibility with Linux at least, and, if possible, FBSD.
Give it till then end of april at least. amd/ati next gen graphics cards will be out then. This should force NVIDIA to offer competative pricing options for the 8800. or if you prefer amd/ati the x2800. aswell by this time i am sure tomshardware will have some solid numbers on the performance of both cards so you will be able to determine which is the best bang for the buck.
Honestly speaking from somebody that purchased an SLI board and never used it
i have 1 7800gt that i planned to SLI once it was needed although so far this 1 card that is not even the GTX model was able to pump out decent frames at high settings up to the release of the 8800 without need to upgrade. Basically what i am trying to say here is that me playing counterstrike with 1 7800gt was giving me good enough frames to pwn it up hardcore syle YEH! haha!. anyways if your budget is 300$ for two cards i would rather get 1 600$ card if i was in your possition be it ATI/amd or Nvidia.
You want linux, you want best XP/DX9 gaming, for under $300, then the GF8800GTS-320 for $280 is the answer. It will fit all those needs, and will be worth keeping for a while.
Otherwise go even lower into the X1900GT and save some bucks at $120.
Those are the two options, and your analysis of the G80 and R600, like Rob mentions are either flamebait or the myopic rambling of someone who doesn't know better, which is obvious since you need to ask for advice in the first place.
Those are your best options, to consider other items would require far more compelling reasons, because anything close to the GTS-320 in price isn't worth it and anything close to the X1900GT better be very close or have much better performance.