I don’t mean “ignore it” in the sense of not downloading it. A wise general never gives an order he knows his troops won’t obey. 🙂
I mean “ignore it” in the sense that from a hardware perspective, you shouldn’t use this, then run out with your plastic to upgrade.
From what I’m reading, the alpha staggers the Radeon 9700 Pro, and flattens everything else.
If you’re a game designer, and you want (and have excellent reason to expect) selling millions of copies of Doom III, are you going to put out a game that is unplayable with the Ti4600, not to mention anything less than that? Hell, no.
What we probably have here is a game with just about completely untweaked code. This is probably “do your damndest, and let’s see if we get it to work at all.”
Now comes the tweakings and code rewrites to make the code more efficient. After that will come the compromises so that the game will run decently on a box more than five minutes old.
The final version of Doom III will probably require much less firepower than the alpha, and perhaps the most visually spectacular scenes in the alpha won’t be as spectacular in the final.
Consider leaving the alpha alone so you won’t set yourself up for a disappointing fall next spring. Definitely keep the plastic in your (or your parents’) wallet in the meantime. Whatever ends up happening, you’ll be able to buy better and cheaper by the time the game comes out.