Stream Processors

Well I'm looking over the 6870 and 5870 where I've found positive remarks for both. From what I see, the 6870 has 1120 Stream Processors whereas the 5870 is at 1600. Is this a big difference or a sales gimmick (bigger is better...)? Is the difference worth a little extra, or investment in a card slightly older?

Second, I've been a fan of Sapphire (also VisionTek) but I have also heard that XFX is a reliable manufacturer as well. Your thoughts? Or, is there some other brand that is marked as the best? From what I see on Newegg:

ASUS, Biostar, Diamond, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, VisionTek, XFX

Thank you for your responses.
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  1. 5870 is faster than 6870 but the later runs cooler,quieter and has less power consumption.
    And most of those brands are good, I personally like ASUS,HIS,XFX and Sapphire
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