Okay, I have been looking at a few different cards, mainly the 5550, 5570, and the 5670. I was also looking at the 9800GT (eco version) by Zotac and the ATI 4670, as both of those were a bit older so I wasn't too apt to consider them for gaming. (The ATI ones were all XFX or Sapphire)
Now I am trying to find benchmarks and scores on how all four of these compare for gaming, media, and streaming, as well as cooling, easy of install, power consumption, and size.
Also not sure if it matters on the bottlenecking end, but I have an AMD Athlong 64 X2 4400+ processor, oh and I WILL be upgrading the PSU, so I am not concerned with power usage, but I am concerned with heat and cooling. I will be doing gaming, and I have a budget of about 230 dollars. My only thing is I am buying from retailers, walmart, bestbuy, officedepot, etc. I know, I know, newegg would be cheaper, but due to my trailer park mail boxes leaking water into them, and the UPS trashing two of my previous online amazon orders, I just call it safe and do it this way.
Power supply I was looking at was the Corsair 650HX
I would just look at that chart and try to figure out the best card you can afford. If, say, the 6870 costs too much, then go down the list until you reach your price point. I'm thinking your CPU being a bottleneck should not play too much of a role since at $230 you are looking at mid-range type cards. I would definitely focus on the current generation cards, AMD 6800 series (6850/6870) and Nvidia 400 series (GTX460/470).
Corsair is a great power supply, but the HX is their high-end professional series. If you are on a budget, look for the TX series. The only difference is the HX has modular (removable) cables. You should have no problem getting a PSU and video card for $230 with some searching. All the Asus cards are on sale at Best Buy right now.
Okay, the main cards I were looking at were the 5570, 5670 and 5750, I am just worried on the last two because all I have seen on those, look to have large expansion bay brackets, which would use TWO slots when I only have one to give. Thus I was looking more into the 5570, for casual gaming. I do not care if I can max out crysis with 4xaa at 1920x, lol. I just want to play all my games at around 1440x or 1650x with medium settings and smooth frames. I will be keeping the card as a beginner card and the PSU for my build next year in the fall, which is why DX11 and future proofing was my first pick. Also the modular PSU was my choice because of my HP case, and cooling concerns. I do not know which cards are better at cooling though. Lastly, I have an area on the back of my PC tower at the bottom, with a big O shape with a mesh covering. for a fan to be placed in it.
So..... cooling, future proofing, money saving, etc.
If it would help, I might have some spare cash in the end to take the stock heatsink off my processor and put an after market cooler on it if applicable. Also if you want link to my current Manufac PC specs here they are.