Is it true that SLI and Crossfire will only work in games designed for SLI or Crossfire? I was considering buying a 2nd Video card, but if I am only going to experience a performance increase just in games designed for SLI or Crossfire then I don't want it.
I rather upgrade to a better card so I will get a good performance increase in all games.
SLI and Crossfire can work on maybe 90-95% of the games, however the performance boost you get is not set in stone, it depends on the drivers and game engine. Dual card setups are NOT for anything less than top-of-the-line cards (i.e. 8800GTX, not GTS), they are an incredible waste of money and electricity otherwise. I would only run a dual card setup if you were on a big display (1920x1200 or bigger) that needs a lot of raw power to keep it running smoothly (And no, 20-40 fps with a single GTX is not smooth despite what some may believe).
I need some more horsepower for my system. I was playing C&C3 tonight and I had Lag in heavy battles with my X1950GT while my friend I was playing against had zero lag with his 8800GTS 320MB card.
I think that would indicate a my video card was not keeping up. Because if the problem was with the internet connection it would slow his game down also in order to sync with mine. On my side I noticed the frame rates dropped way down then after an intense battle was over the FRAPS jumped way back up.
I thought about pairing my X1950GT, but then again I may wait for the HD 2950 Pro based on it's great preliminary reviews and energy efficency. It would cost me about an extra $100, but I may have to go that route.
Crossfire is less constant than SLi as far as average performance goes, sometimes it can perform wonderfully well, others... not so good. I would recommend you to either buy the current HD 2900 Pro which are just "failed" R600 running at a lesser clock speed, benching in really close to the XT and sometimes losing and sometimes outperforming the GTS 320 (Depending on the test) or getting a 8800GTS. You could also wait for the 8800GT and HD 2950 Pro, but in my eyes it's not worth it, at all.
Because performance is definitely not going to be huge leap over the current existing hardware if any leap at all, on top of that pricing won't be all that attractive over what we currently have, all in all if you're in the market for a graphics card now, then now it's the time to buy, if you happen to need one after those are released, then you can consider those but waiting for a card that isn't going to revolutionize or be priced aggressively over what we currently have isn't worth it.
DX10.1 is not all that it's cracked up to be, nothing worth losing any sleep over, by the time those features are properly implemented we will be seeing even more powerful hardware that will take advantage of it properly. Ati is trying to support future technology that at some point will be used, but for the foreseeable future I don't see it as a true selling point.
Wait until the 9800 comes out(nvidia finally catching up to ati eh... ). seriously, if it is as soon as they say then you can make it until then, then pick up an hd2950 for peanuts. If you can get a 2900xt for cheap get it cause it is one heck of a card.