Do you think it makes sense to buy a new model of a graphics card right after the launch of the chipset, unless you are a cutting-edge 3d enthusiast? Is it better to wait until the products from various vendors are mature? How long is long enough?
For example, the Ati/AMD 6850 seems like it would be just what I need for my system - the right price, performance and TDP (power usage/heat dissipation), but I am a bit wary of buying it in the first few weeks after launch. Some reasons:
1) Very few models with advanced cooling included (=more noise; I suppose overclockers aren't too happy either yet)
2) Less community feedback on whether the 6850 actually is a great, just good or maybe problematic card (I suppose this is getting fixed as we speak ), and which brand of the product is best
3) Little experience on the compatibility of each card. Does it work together with every possible mobo, and so on. Compatibility problems occur now and then for home builders, so this could be a major risk. (Unless testing standards have improved in recent years and PCs no suffer from this old plague... but I'd really doubt it )
4) Drivers are not mature. Lots of problems experienced by the user, and frequent patches to fix the issues.
The industry does seem to recycle technology a little bit, which can help in these respects. If the chipset itself is not groundbreaking new tech in every respect, it's probably much easier to make well-behaving consumer products out of them. Similar solutions to previous chipsets can be used, eg. the Cyclone and Hawk cooling solutions MSI employs on different lines of cards. Should one expect such solutions to work just as fine on a new chipset, eg. if Cyclone is nice on a GTX460, does it mean it'll rock on 6850 as well?
How long does it take for the vendors to get out upgraded models for a given chipset? Or before the drivers start to stabilize?
So, do we yet know if 6850/6870 cards could have compatibility issues? Eg. graphics glitches, lockups or some such when installed into systems with certain brand/model of motherboard or another component - you must have seen some of these issues with previous generations of hardware...