Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4ghz (will be OCing soon)
Asus m4a89gtd 890GX mobo
XFX Black Edition 850w PSU
Patriot G-Series sector 5 1600mhz DDR3 Ram 2x2gb
HAF 922 case
9800GTX+1gb which i wanna replace
current monitor LG 2242TQ-BF 22" LCD 1680x1050 resolution...
some things to note! i am not an enthusiast but i enjoy gaming/watching movies and using my comp..
1) I am debating upgrading to a 1080p monitor sometime in the future (may be a long ways away though) though i heard its not much of a noticeable upgrade which is why im in no rush....but its something to note when helping me choose a GPU
2) I am willing to crossfire at a later date so thats not an issue....now games i play currently SC2, WoW, CSS, however i want to be able to play newer games such as Diablo 3, the new WoW expansion, new CoD, on high settings (i do not need MAX and i dont need high AA/AF some is nice but even that isnt needed)
So do i need the 6850 or 6870 also suggest brands as well with your choice as this has me baffled a bit to cuz some brands are a substantial amount more....like the XFX 6850 is almost as much as a say HIS or Gigabite 6870...
please use newegg.ca for your reference THANKS!!!!!!!!
Between the two it comes down to price. Bang for buck, the 6850 is tough to beat. But if you don't mind spending a bit more money, the 6870 is the better card (obviously). Some reports do show the OC'ed 6850 holding its own against the stock 6870, but only time will tell on the reliability of this setup.
I personally would suggest waiting a week or so to see what else comes out from the 6850 and 6870 models. I would expect to see non-reference cards VERY soon.
Both options will run the listed games at high settings/max settings
The term refers to a manufacture using stock everything as designed by AMD/ATI. The non-reference cards refer to companies like Sapphire, Asus, MSI and who ever else changing them to improve them. They could increase clock speed, improve the cooling, give more power options.
Since this is the day of release, pretty much every card will be the reference card that has been re-branded.
Price is very dependent on the seller. They could have over clocked versions selling for less than the stock GPUs. They could also have rebates attached to them.
As for ease of overclock, it also depends. If you overclock a stock card with a basic cooler, you could gain less than a card with an updated cooler. Again this is all speculation as the card is so new.
Color wise, i wouldn't expect to see much difference between the two. Not sure why that comes up with your research.
Waiting could do a lot of things. You could find more options at lower pricing. You could find out these cards do not do as well as the benchmark sites claim, you could see higher performing cards hit the market place too.
If you NEED a card right now, and money is not a real concern. I would suggest the 6870 (from the two options you listed). Waiting for bigger and better could result in a less expensive GPU and an overall better card. Or it could do nothing and all you wasted was a week.