Occasionally something sparks an interest in my mind, I end up reading a series of tangental articles and get up to my neck in technical details I don’t really care about.
This adventure started with a friend informing me that his Dad had bought a slightly cheaper video card since he was “waiting for the directx 10 cards”.
My first stop was this article which is about Vista and is probably worth reading from the start if you’ve got the time.
Basically what I got from this article is that directx 10, now knows as Direct3D 10 or D3D10, is only going to be available on Vista and is going to take gaming forward hugely (if we’re to believe them).
So, I need to get Vista. It’s apparently coming out in January 2007, and may cost US$99 for an upgrade from XP to the Vista Home Edition.
What was really interesting (though somewhat poorly written) was this forum thread.
Basically, D3D10 cards aren’t out yet. Neither is Vista, neither is the D3D10. However there is a horrible web of interaction that makes buying a gaming computer in the next few months a bit of a gamble.
If you want to play with D3D10, you must have Vista AND a D3D10 card.
If you have Vista but only a DirectX 9 card (even the most expensive cards out today), then it’ll only ever run DirectX 9. You’ll be stuck at this level forever.
If you have XP and a D3D10 card (which you won’t but is a common future-state amongst purchasers) you’re still screwed, since Microsoft won’t be releasing an XP patch to make D3D10 work (hence making you buy Vista).
So the answer most people are coming to is that either you hold off and buy Vista and the first D3D10 card off the rank come January, or you buy something to tide you over until the new cards are all out, and prices have dropped a bit, essentially what my friend’s Dad did.
So what am I going to do? With far more important decisions regarding the next six-twelve months to be made, I doubt upgrading my video card will enter into it, but come Christmas 2007, Vista and an Nvidia 8900 GTX may be on my list.