R400. The R400 will be supported for I would think at least another 18 months. Though, the R300 and R400 architecture is relatively similar, they could both be dropped at the same time. It also depends how the specifications go that AMD releases and how improved the Radeon driver will become.
"Upgraded" to the Gutsy RC1 last night in the hope of a graphics miracle, compiz runs, but only under Xgl. It's glitchy and less than ideal, with quite a lot of slowdown. Window decorations only work after typing "compiz --replace" which needs to be done every time. Also it destroys the framerate on my fave lil linux game, Xmoto.
Have switched back to standard non-Xgl GNOME desktop session now until the driver is out.
My understanding is that once the new driver is out I will be able to run it with AIGLX for a better 3D desktop experience. Xpress 1150 on an Inspiron 1501 btw. That sound right?
Yes, the 9600XT is part of the R300 series and thus technically supported. Though I doubt it will run Compiz.
If I had to guess, I would say the R300 series is supported for maybe 10 or 12 more months.
My 9600XT runs Compiz Fusion without any problems or low FPS with the open radeon driver. And with the fglrx driver I haven't had performance problems with any game available in GNU/Linux, including through Wine or Cedega. I'm hoping that 8.42 will combine the best of the two worlds.
I hope that R300 doesn't get abandoned that soon, at least not before the new codebase is stable and bug free. :-/
AMD Athlon 2500+
ATI 9600 XT
They don't have to wait. Gutsy can be tested by everyone already. But there will not delay a driver because of a distribution release. They pull it out as soon as it's ready, so please stop speculating why it isn't avaible yet. It isn't, because it isn't finished yet. If you don't want broken AIGLX or other bugs, sit down and enjoy the wait.