If you are looking for a new PC to use with Windows XP or Windows Vista and you want the latest graphics technology you would be advised to get a graphics card that supports DX10. DX10 is a new technology improvement from DX9 that should give better and more realistic graphics.
If you want to play computer games in the future, I would suggest a 8800GTS is probably the minimum graphics card to go for. At around £250 they don't come cheap. However it's a bargain compared to the better GTX models that costs around £100 more. Even more scary is the Ultra model, £400 plus.
I would recommend the GTS, because it's quite a powerfull card, supports DX10 and has a decent 640mb of video memory, which is useful if you use a high resolution screen.
The card has two DVI ports and a television out connector. It is HDCP compatible.
The card uses a lot of power, and a 500 Watt power supply is recommended. If you have a good SLI compatible motherboard, you can link two of these cards togther by SLI to get even better performance.
Apparently, Nvidea who created these cards will probably release a 8900 version before the end of the year. I imagine the 8800 models will then drop in price and may well be a bargain.
A decent card to get, but expensive for most tastes. You can save £50 if you downgrade to the similar performing 320mb models, if you don't play games at a very high resolution then the 320mb will probably do. If you don't play games at all, then get something a lot lot cheaper.
The Geforce 8800GTS is the younger of the new 8-series NVidia family. This certain product comes from EVGA - A company formed in 1999, who have risen in popularity enormously over recent years.
EVGA are renowned for their great products, and great warranties.
The GTS is a lot cheaper for a reason. The differences are completely different to the usual clock speed variations, with only 3/4 of the amount of stream processors, and they are slower clocked too.
In fact, The GTS and the GTX have even more differences - The GTX is huge - requiring 2 PCI-E connectors just to power it! while the GTS still only needs the one. It also only has 640mb onboard memory compared to the 768mb on the GTX. However, the card is still huge - at 230mm long.
The huge heatsink and fan on the card don't make too much noise, although will be very noticable in a silent pc!
This card isn't cheap either. At around £300, you could get a much cheaper DX9 card, or have two in SLI. The GTS gives about the same rate of performance in DX9, but its selling point is the DX10 capabilities, which thus far, remain untested. In DX9 games, it performs to about the same level as any high-end DX9 card would. So if you are looking for a good card to play games such as Half-Life 2, Supreme Commander, Bettlefield 2142 etc, I suggest getting an ATI Radeon X1950XT as they are very cheap at the moment, and perform very well.
If you are adamant on getting one of the new DX10 cards (8800's), I suggest you should go for a 320mb version, which cost around £200. They handle resolutions up to 1680x1050 very well, only struggling at the high resolutions.
The EVGA e-geforce 8800's are competitively priced, and with a 10-year guarantee, I suggest this should be the brand you buy.
If I was you, I'd hold on for DX10, as there are currently no games or apps that can handle it. We have not seen ATIs contribution either, and the 8800's may not be as good as they are hyped up to be at the moment.
My advice: Hold on for a DX10 card, go for something a little cheaper for the time being, or if you are desperate, go for a 320mb version, they are a lot cheaper, and delivery there or thereabouts the same performance.
The only problems I had with this card was installation with Vista. It would not pick the card up to start with, so I had to install the BETA drivers before inserting the card.
With this in my PC, Vista gave me an experience rating of 5.0, (Very High), and I look forward to testing any DX10 games upon release.