No, I’m not calling you stupid I’m just saying the idea of buying a videocard at this point of time as of right now with the limited choices is a stupid move. Maybe 5-6 months ago if you were desparate for something faster it would’ve been a good idea but within the month they will have better offerings of videocards and competitive prices. Within 10 days ATI is launching all their line up of low-end to high-end videocards in Tunisia (for those who don’t know, it’s on the continent of Africa ). Within the launch of all ATI’s line of products also comes the launch of nVidia’s lower budget mid-range cards, the 8600 GTS can be seen here LINK. Of course if nVidia ever finds out that Best Buy employees are putting the 8600 GTS’ out early they will be fined because of NDA’s (Non-disclosure Agreement).
I almost bought an 8800GTX/GTS but decided against it because of many reasons . But for the most part, 8800GTS/GTX is not for the mainstream. The money maker of videocards is going to be the low-end and mid-range videocards. Which in this case, most people don’t have anything larger than 17-19" monitors and not everyone can afford $500 videocards or 20-30" high resolution LCD screens. The extra ram and power of the GPU will be wasted buying something like a 8800GTS/GTX if you’re only running on a 17-19" monitor with resolutions of 1280x1024, running a fast videocard with a slow CPU will make you CPU bound. You have to factor out your CPU speed also before buying a high end video card. These higher end videocards are meant for people who play at 1600x1200 8xAA 16xAF resolution or higher. So you would waste money if you bought these high end videocards and had 17-19" with only 1280x1024 resolution, which you could’ve got a budget card and saved $200-300 which will give you the same or similar performance as the high-end cards because your max resolution is only 1280x1024. These high-end videocards are also CPU hungry, so if you have a lower or mid-end setup your games wouldn’t run and scale very well (namely older AMD 939 & 754 CPU’s don’t scale too well with the Geforce8 cards, AM2 is not much faster either).
Don’t spend more for what you don’t need. Anyone with a 17-19" monitor will run fine with a 7600-7900GT/GS videocard or an X850XT-X1950Pro videocard. But if you’re opting for DX10 to do the method everyone calls “future proof” there’s no reason to be in a rush, wait for the low-end & mid-end DX10. Don’t limit yourself to buy something you don’t need and will never use its full potential.
AMD CPU Scaling
8800GTS 320MB scaling
Just take a look at the GTS 320MB version scaling versus the 8800GTX scaling. They’re very close in performance at 1280x1024, but when we hit the high resolutions that’s where having a GTX counts the most. No one with a 17-19" monitor needs a GTX unless they want to have bragging rights :D.