I am really interested in buying the ati radeon HD 7850 1 GB OC edition....Is 7850 a big leap from gtx 460?<snip>
I was trying to decide between the two myself and chose a 7850, even though it cost $30 more than a 460 for several reasons:
The 7850 I bought has 2GB, no 460 that I know of has 2GB.
The 7850 is two-years newer than the 460 and runs updated versions of OGL and DirectX (but not by much).
The 7850 runs faster memory and core clocks.
Using a ratio of a .65 AMD Stream Processor(s) to one nV Cuda core(s), the 7850 has a higher throughput than a 460.
The 7850 o/c's higher than a 460, so even if it were to run hotter and be louder than a 460 (something I couldn't tell you) there are solutions available for that...from installing a better HSF on it to better ventilation in your case to installing a water cooler to just choosing the "right" brand of 7850. But whether other brands do make a difference is something only you can do the research for.
And then I remember what one poster wrote when I was trying to decide between the two: "The best way to future-proof is to buy the most recent tech you can afford now." So I did, and I think I made the right choice. In the end only time can tell. <KOW>
Post back and let us know what you decide, and why.