All that stands now is for Nvidia to respond in kind with another hotrod of a card, which they undoubtedly will do soon enough. And then we can begin the cycle all over again...
The question I'm left asking myself after reading all of these X1900 reviews and as I ponder the aging X800 XT that currently resides in my machine is "Would I actually buy one?" That's a question that I think most reviewers fail to ask, let alone answer. We're so used to having cool parts cross our desk to be tested and sent back again that their prices are more a distant and vague concept. They're the numbers we write into articles rather than the cold cash we have to turn over in order to purchase the card.
I find it good therapy as a reviewer to walk down to a shop and confront yourself with a real price tag and see if you'd be willing to part with your cash. To be honest, I wouldn't buy an X1900. Three months after I was told the same stuff about the X1800, and looking at the benchmark results generally, I think I'll grab myself one of those now "older" cards for a knockdown price.
F.E.A.R. 2 or Black & White 3 have yet to surface, and so the X1800 can still knock impressive stuffing out of most games. I don't have much time for people who must constantly chase the graphical carrot, as it's a waste of money and a futile effort - it has only been three months since we got the X1800 in the first place.
I'm not sold on the X1900. Rather, ATI (and what will follow from Nvidia) has sold me on their X1800 range. The price will drop in the coming weeks and I will have a lightning fast card, which will still be able to do all the things it could do to games like my beloved Battlefield 2 mere months ago.
The fact that it won't be quite as lightning fast as the X1900 is not quite the same disappointment as I'd feel upon opening my bank statement and being a few hundred quid, or several of those wonderful new games that these cards run so well, short.
If on the other hand you're looking to build a killer rig from scratch, money-no-object, and you aren't partisan or simply prefer ATI cards anyways, the X1900 might be the card for you. If you're an Nvidia fan boy, then you can just hang around until their answer hits and the 7800 GTX suffers the same drop in price.
For the rest of us looking for that twinge to our performance but not a bollocking on our bank balances, going for an X1800 when the price depresses is a good option.