well only for crysis i would say the 9800gtx+ performs a little better due to the game being highly optimized for nvidia. since your budget seems to be 200$ may i recommend this. it will blow away the other cards you posted. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
what resolution are you playing at?? 1600x1200 = 512mb 1900x1200=1gig recommended.
i would go with the 4850 512mb. plays crysis well maybe 5% less then the 9800gtx+ but plays other games usually slightly faster. also it handles aa much better then 9800gtx+.
save some money 512mb version is enough and get more ram if you need any. crysis loves 4gigs of ram.
since 11in wont fit make sure your case isnt to small. 4850 tends to get very hot make sure you have good airflow.
liquid just nailed the cards for under 200$ range.
im assuming there is no screw or anything to remove the holder??
what case do you have?? If you cannot move the holder break it lol.
my hardrive was in the way when i installed my 2 gtx260 so what i did was just leave the hardrive on the floor they barely move so i dont see a risk keeping it on the bottom of my case.
i no what your talking about i think there is some type of tool that can remove it. hmmm do you no anyone that would no how to remove it? you can call raidmaxx and see if you can take it off with some type of tool or if you have a homedepot near by you can ask one of those gentlemen.
sorry im very limited to modding cases and such.
save a little bit, and get an HD 4870 or any nvidia with dual slot,
so you won't be adding heat too much in a case.
the 4870 runs alot hotter than even the 280 GTX LMAO, the only Ati card I've seen that runs at a cool 59 or 64 degree temp is the 4850 ICEQ4 which is 20 degrees cooler thant the reference cards.
ATi cards are one of the hottest cards I've seen running. Honest i'm still shocked to see that some people managed to keep the 4870 X2 soo cool, 45 degrees idle, mine stays at 50-64 idle and I have the AC on max sometimes!!!!!
either way if your going with ATI and you want a cooler card, try to add to ur budget a cooler. Personally I think it's pointless, heat never bothered me as long as it stayed under 95 degrees.
I think the video card heat will only be a problem if you have water cooling in ur system, which means less air circulation because of the cpu fan removal and the exhaust fan (even though you have a radiator exhaust, its just not as useful as a reg exhaust).