Well, here is my situation. I've been frequenting the boards lately building up to the GT200 series release, hoping to get a GTX280 eventually. Thus far I am not terribly impressed by the number, but do have my reservations, as I believe newer drivers may help the GTX280 pull ahead a bit more. So, below I have several scenarios of what I will buy, and am looking for suggestions:
1/. Get an EVGA GTX280
2/. Get a 9800GX2 with or without a new motherboard
2/. Get a new motherboard and SLI something (presently I have an EVGA 8800GT)
Several notes. First of all, I make use of a dual monitor setup, I have a 19 inch I use as a secondary and a 22 I use as my primary. This is potentially an issue since I have heard that the 9800GX2 has problems with running dual monitors and being in SLI mode. Also, my motherboard only has PCI-E 1.0, not 2.0, is this going to make my performance take a major hit? Below I have included my relevant system information:
Well where to start. If it were me SLI the 8800gt or get the up coming 4870 ( if it's bad a$$). After what I saw today on BEnch marks and tests' on the new GTX 280, not impressed, i'm very disappointed, but then again i could be wrong because it's not based off of SLI?
PCI-E 2.0 is a better way to go especially Bandwith reasons.
I wouldn't even get the 280, not worth the $$$ as of the performance, but who knows maybe it is a driver issue.( you could be right).
Just my opinion, I think that AMD/ATI will take the crown back from NV, due to it's suffering. Eventually, you give someone enough time to think. They have something better. ( I'm equal with all technoligy)
I have the 8800gts 512 and i must say it's a great card. If for one will wait another gen..
Well, what are people's thoughts on a 9800GX2 and a PCIE 2.0 board or the same thing with another 8800GT? Is it going to give me essentially the same performance as the GTX 280? I've heard mixed things about PCIE 2.0, so I'm not too sure. Though, I suppose if I got a new board and went the 8800GT route, I could eventually build up to Tri-SLI
I'm not sure the 260 is nice for the price. $400? You can get a 9800GTX for under $300, and it performs quite well. While its slower then the 260 in most games, it still provides mostly playable frame rates at most resolutions. Not to mention you save $100+. The 2xx series overall is a joke, at least as long as the 9800GX2 is around. Why buy the 260 for $400 when you can get something that beats the 280 for ~$50 more. I checked newegg this morning after reading the article on the 2xx series, and saw several GX2 boards for ~$450. Some even came with free copys of games. The price for the 2xx either need to come down, or the GX2 needs to go away. [/rant]
I'm making a couple of assumptions here. First, most 22" LCDs (which you didn't say you were running, I have a 22" CRT sitting on my desk right now) run nativly at 1680x1050. If so, any of the setups should let you game without worry. The smallest res that Toms tested this morning at was 1900x1200, which is larger then what you have. SLI 8800GT/9800GTX/9800GX2/2xx, I don't think its going to matter much. At 1680x1050, they probably all act the same.
This means you should get whichever one gives you the least headaches, and/or whichever one is cheaper. If you are worried about SLI and dual monitors, scratch them off the list. This leaves you with the 9800GTX, and the 260. (unless you want to go all out and get the 280...) Personally, I'd get the 9800GTX, as the 260 is simply to outclassed if you are spending four big bills.
Another option, and something I would do, is to wait just a bit longer. Driver updates could change the picture, as would giving the 260 time to fill the channel. If the 260 after a couple of weeks can hit the $300-350 price point, then it looks a lot better compared to the 9800GTX. Last, you still have AMD's shoe to drop, so who knows how thats going to turn out. (other then lower prices.) If you can, see if you can wait 2-4weeks, and take another look. Waiting a single month for lower prices or better performing cards is a good idea.
I'd wait if possible, at least until the 4870 comes out. Even if you don't want a 4870, they should help lower prices. And who knows, rumors are flying about its performance. Maybe you will want it in the end.