I would go one of two ways. I would either purchase one of the 220-250 dollar 480GTX's or I would go ahead and try to get a 7850. There are issues with both, but either one will serve you incredibly well.
480GTX: Hot, old tech, and can be noisy. However, it is a very fast card. Right in line with a 580GTX and can be OCed for even more oomph. It will destroy the 7850, but you will need the power and cooling to properly enjoy it.
7850: Brand new technology brings low power usage and a cool running design. The 2GB of vRam will be plenty to drive 1080p and higher. The 7850 is fair amount slower than the 480.
If you want the absolute best performance you can get for the price, then the 480 is a fantastic bargain. If you need a cooler design, but less performance then the 7850 is decent. The only 7850 I see is 269 dollars on newegg, which is a horrible deal. The MSRP of 250 is on the high side for the performance it offers.
If it was me, I would go with the 480 all day long.
I compared these three and now am confused. I don't care about noise. I care that it runs fast, is somewhat energy efficient and doesn't overheat or run too hot. Saying that, these are the three I did a spec comparison on:
Again, it's not the noise that bothers me.. I want to be able to play on nice resolution. I want it to be (somewhat) cool, and not be an energy whore. But I'd be willing to sacrifice the energy for better power at cooler levels. I don't want the vid card to cause my computer to catch fire. That's the one thing that bothered me that the Radeon and the 480 only have ONE fan each.
Last edited by kujoe2002; 03-20-2012 at 03:31 PM.
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680 shook up the market a bit. AMD may drop prices very soon, they pretty much have to at the upper end to compete. Your best bet is still the 480, unless nvidia drops the price of last gen cards. A 570 at around 250 would be a great deal if you can find it.
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