My shiny new Samsung 22" monitor is indeed lovely but playing at the native resolution of 1680x1050 exposes the age of my 7600GT graphics card. Time to upgrade I think.
Shiny new DX10 graphics cards are getting cheaper. I could get a 256MB Radeon 3850 for around €150 (buying online and including shipping). I am concerned about the longevity of a card with only 256MB memory. 512MB cards cost at least €30 extra and that is more than I want to spend so soon after the extravagances of Christmas. Also I wouldn't get the benefit of DX10 until I upgrade to Vista and I intend to hold out on that until I do a major system upgrade in 2009.
This thinking leads me to the second hand market where it appears that I can pick up a very fast DX9 card from the 7900 family for around €100. Not future proof certainly but it will see me through until next years upgrade. As an added bonus it appears I can flog my 7600GT for around €50 making the entire upgrade considerably less painful to the wallet.
That was the thought process anyway that led me to buying a second hand 7900GTX on Ebay for £75 (about €100). Less stress on the wallet certainly but far far more stress on the sanity. Time for another post I think.