Tuesday, May 09, 2006

DirectX 10 is coming, but makes little sense to embrace...

DX10 is coming, and it has a load of new features, the best of which is that our videocards are finally becoming "do anything computational processors," which could kill Ageia's PhysX if a lack of applicable games that use the $250 card don't kill it first.

Of course, DX10 offfers some snazzy new effects and better load management for GPUs to handle bottlenecks, but the real problem is the same as buying a new gaming console as soon as it comes out:

You just spend three times as much as you would in 12 to 18 months; meanwhile there are few games released for this new system. Why? The old systems have a huge installed userbase who want to buy games - the new systems have, if they are lucky, 5 or 10% of that. During those 12 to 18 months you could be perfectly happy playing on your older gaming console (or, in this case, DX9 videocard) until enough games have come out that warrant the upgrade, and the upgrade doesn't cost as much as being an early adopter.

To me, DX10, with its requirement that I run Windows Vista - which hurts your computer speed worse than NT's hardware abstraction layer - is something I'll be interested in after 2 or 3 years. It took 4 years for my GeForce Ti4400 to become completely obsolete - that is to say, games required DX9 capabilities it couldn't render. That means DX10 will probably follow the same curve, as videogames take years to produce.

Ergo - DX10 is stupid to upgrade to right now.

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