There’s an interesting article over at Tom’s Hardware. It demonstrates that nVidia’s 8-series cards deliver rather more increased firepower with a revved-up CPU system than other DX9 systems.
I’ll also note that this site just put up an article which backs that up.
1) The numbers aren’t that much better; they tend to be about 10-20% more at relatively low resolutions, and the differences plummet as the resolutions go up, especially beyond 1600X1200.
2) The current price for upgrading, is, well, not all too cost-effective at the moment. The price of an overclocked Conroe platform isn’t too bad, but the price of DX10 cards is.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it: the question become when you do it.
Right now, all the stars point to February. Why?
1) E4300 Comes Out In January: We’ve talked about this before. 1.8GHz, 9X multiplier running at 200MHz FSB. Reasonable to expect close to 100% overclocks with relatively cheap mobos and RAM.
2) Cheaper series 8 nVidia cards come out in February: Rather than spend $500-600 for a single video card, spend $200-300. Granted, won’t be quite as good, but 80-90% of the performance for half the price won’t be bad.
3) ATI Comes Out With Its DX10 Cards in February Choice is good. More choice is better.
4) Next Train In 2008: I know, a lot of people are waiting for K8L, but there’s been absolutely no indications from AMD that what they’ll come up with will even match what’s available today, and more than a few that indicate otherwise. Given that, the next (probably not too big) jump will be Penryn (affordable ones in early 2008) and Nehamem chips in late 2008/early 2009.
February (or a bit later if you want to pay a bit less for the video) seems to be the optimal time to get bang for the buck, plus a year or two before something rather better comes along.
So don’t think Christmas this year, think of giving a Valentine’s Day present to the one you love most: you. 🙂