I just unexpectedly booked a one day job that's gonna pay me about $400. I'm going to use some of it on upgrading my video card (again).
I don't care so much about DX 10 right now. The 7800 GT I traded for performs well but I'm really getting tired of the occasional graphical weirdness that seems to happen at 1680x1050 no matter what I do. Maybe 256 mb just isn't enough video memory.
So is the $250 1950 XT 512 mb a card that will last me for the next few years of games? I've never owned such a high end ATI card but I've heard nothing but great things. I'm sure I would be ok playing Crysis in DX 9.
Or is the 320 mb 8800 GTS much better (even with less RAM) at 1680x1050? Only 640 mb version is on VGA charts. I think right now they're mostly about $20 more expensive that the 1950 XT..
If the 8800GTS is only $20 more than the XT, get the GTS. Even though it lacks memory, it's still much faster than the XT. (But the XT is by no means slow!) Most games do not benefit from having more than 256MB of Graphics memory anyways. So a 512mb graphics card might preform ~5% better than an identical 256MB one.
If you're looking for a card that can last you for the next couple of years, then you SHOULD BE concerned about DX10 and should only be looking at the next generation cards.
If you can wait a week or so to see how the AMD/ATI HD2900XT prices fluctuate (and how it performs), then I'd recommend waiting. If not, then based on the initial prices of the AMD/ATI HD 2900XT ($400+), I'd recommend getting the 8800GTS-640. Double the memory of the 8800GTS-320 is going to come in handy at your resolutions.