Windows Vista's DirectX 10 technology promises richer applications and more-lifelike games, but to enjoy them you'll need a DX 10-ready graphics card. The first DX 10 cards, which were based on nVidia's GeForce 8800 chip, cost at least $300, but new boards based on the GeForce 8500 GT and 8600 GT start at $90 and $150, respectively.
In May, ATI announced its first batch of DX 10 cards, including the $400 Radeon HD 2900 XT, plus the sub-$100 Radeon HD 2400 series. Laptop buyers can now choose from ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 2000 Series and nVidia's GeForce 8400M or 8600M mobile chips.
As for games, a DX 10 patch for Company of Heroes should be available by the time you read this, and new games such as Lost Planet and Crysis should be out soon.