Yet another video card question

Hi, I've been saving up for a while to buy a GeForce 8800GTS 320MB card (the cheapest I can find in my state is $383 AUD), and now have enough to get it. However, in the time it took me to save up for it, we have arrived at July, and I can't help but think to myself, in a few months, the GeForce 9's may be released, and I will have blown almost $400 on a card which may or may not be brought to its knees by DirectX10 games. So, what I'm now considering is getting a Radeon 2600Pro (I should probably have mentioned that my current card is a Radeon 9700, ancient I know, but it has served me VERY well, although it is now senile) to tide me over until the second generation of cards come out.

Two factors support that choice: a) I will be gaming very little until after my thesis is due (October 27), and b) after I purchase another card, the new 2600 will move to the PC which records my TV shows (both digital, and analog (S-Video from the cable box), I assume this card will make a difference to the analog recordings).

Now, here's my question: is it worth waiting, or is the GTS that fantastic that I may as well get it straight up?
And secondly, given that my option are (in Australian Dollars = 87 US cents) 2600Pro $119, 2400XT $95, 8600GT $144?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. OK, let me throw in another wrinkle. If you wait a lil longer, you could go with evga and their stepup program, where you return your card to them for a higher rated card, they give you 90 days from date of purchase, for a G90. Dont think helps you, but it is something to consider
  2. Well i would say that if you are going to want to game at all then you should get the 2600xt as a minimum ,it performs about the same as a 1650xt which would be a nice upgrade short term from your card then as you say stick it in a htpc and get a better card to game with.
  3. I'd like an evga card, especially for the step-up program, however they come at such a premium (at least here in Australia - btw do those american etailers, newegg/zipzoomfly and the like, deliver to Australia?), that I could buy my card, then buy my super-duper card next year without losing money, meanwhile keeping my crap card. So I can see why evga can afford the step-up program, they charge so much for their cards in the first place!

    @mactronix, do you think it's worth it to get the XT rather than the pro, given the cards fate? I was looking at this one!ati_index_pcie.html
    it's the "2600 Pro Sonic" they mention, which has the core at stock speed for a Pro, however the core is '1400MHz GDDR3' (by which I assume they mean 700MHz DDR), so the memory is at XT levels, while the core should (correct me if I'm wrong) be overclockable to almost XT levels (I think it's the same one, right?).
    Please correct me on any errors that I have no doubt made in my reasoning.
  4. This is quite a new card and ther is little info on it what makes things more uncertain is that its new technology so im not really sure how the performance will scale up for the extra mhz.
    Based on what i can see and making a coulpe of assumptions then i would say that the sonic pro will probably be about the same or if you are lucky a little better than a standard xt.
  5. This one looks interesting, no idea when it will be available though:
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