It seems that the days of high frame rates on relatively cheap video cards are over, at least for the time being. Microsoft is radically changing it’s video standard with Vista. In order to take full advantage of new features you’ll have to have hardware that will support DirectX 10. Since I’m getting ready to purchase a new computer for gaming, this is of vital interest to me.
I’ve been to both Nvidia and ATI’s web sites to see if they have cards that will support the new standard. To date, I’ve found several mentions of “Vista-ready” cards, but when I look at the cards in question is says that they only support DirectX 9. Since the DirectX 9 and 10 hardware standards are not compatible, this leaves me a little hesitant to purchase anything.
I’ve opened a support request with Nvidia to see if they have anything and I’m on hold now with ATI to see if they have anything as well. When I find out, I’ll update this post to let anyone who’s interested know.
After a brief phone to ATI, I was informed that both the X1800 and X1900 series cards will support the new Dx10 standard. A quick pop over to PriceWatch shows that the cheapest X1800 card is $176 and the cheapest X1900 card is $203. Now, since I’m getting the whole rest of the box for $667, I find this to be a bit steep. Hopefully, Nvidia will have something under $150.
I finally heard back from Nvidia today saying that NONE of their current cards will support Dx10. They are announcing a new card but can’t tell me anything about it since it’s “not yet released”, although if you check the comments on this post, it’s already all over Slashdot. The upside is that it’s an awesome new card but the downside is that it’s super-expensive. I’ve seen prices from $700-$1000 each. Am I the only one that sees the irony in putting a video card in my computer that costs more than all of the other components combined?