Wait if you can. In the next month or two the 8600 GT will be out at $200. Additionally, if you want to / can wait till May the ATi DX10 GPUs will be out as well.
It would be ... a mistake ... to upgrade now if you can wait a month or two.
Of course, you would have to have a strong enough PSU to run one of the new GPUs, as well as being on PCI express. (I doubt any DX10 cards will come out for AGP.)
Originally Posted by proudmonkey1980
PS. What's the deal with DX10 anyway? Is every gamer under the sun going to have to upgrade to a card that is DX10 compatible? If so, then why the heck can't they just program DX10 to work with older cards? :/
That's a pretty long answer.
The short version...
DX10 does things better, faster, easier, and with more freedom to do more.
- Think of it like instead of writing out 10 hand done, full color, invitations you have the option to do just 1, scan it in, and have it copied 10 times.
Will every game have to upgrade?
- No, no games have
to upgrade. However, if they do, they will run better, faster, and with less resources. Also new effects can be used. Games can
choose to be DX10 only, in which case you would need a DX10 GPU and Vista in order to play them. This will be easier on the devs and the game would run better, however, I doubt any company would release a DX10 only game for at least 2 or 3 years as that would alienate a lot of the customer base.
Why can't they just program DX10 to work with older cards?
- It isn't a software issue alone - it involves hardware. This would be like saying 'well, I want to turn my car into a monster truck so I'll buy 2 extra tires and just put them on'. It just doesn't work like that. Unless your car is a monster truck with 6 wheels to begin with, buying 2 more tires won't magically turn it into one. Or, using the example above, you can only scan and copy the invite 10 times if you have the scanner and the printer. You can't just will it to happen without the hardware even though you may know how to use the hardware.
Here are some demos on Nvidia's site showing what the new cards can do
. Note that the bottom left one, the "DX10 Geometry Sharders" are one of the advances that DX10 brings. This can't be done on a non-DX10 system.
Here is a huge thread on DX10
that I've had going for a very long time.
If you only want to look at a quick thing, here is an article at GameSpot
where you can mouse over images. The images on that page are DX9 types by default, and when you mouse over you can see what they look like with DX10. Shadow and lighting is far more realistic, and due to the reduction in power to run the scene, a DX10 version can render more stuff that is better looking. Notice in the second shot how much more detailing in the background can be done through DX10.
If you really want to go all out, here is an article at Tom's Hardware
that talks all about DX10 and how it works.