APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Probably within a week
BUDGET RANGE: 250-300$CAD
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (General like Fallout, Crysis, GTA IV, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3), Web surfing, development
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: GTX 260 core 216 and Corsair 850TX
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: For a future build using an i5-2500k, a Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3, 2x4GB DDR3-1600 (not sure yet), HAF X case
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any good Canadian site (NCIX, NewEgg.ca, MemoryExpress, DirectCanada, ...)
PARTS PREFERENCES: Not really, I switched back and forth between ATI and nVidia, AMD and Intel quite a bit
OVERCLOCKING: CPU for sure, already have a HDT-S1283 (will get the LGA1155 mounting kit)
CROSSFIRE: Not against the idea, but I tend to prefer single card solutions
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Right now 1680x1050, but want to switch to 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (ideally)
The cards I'm considering are the eVGA GTX 570, the XFX 6950 XXX 2GB (for the cooler, not the 2GB; can it be flashed to 6970?), but I'm open to suggestions. I don't mind not getting the best performance, I want value.
The 6950 I linked to was factory OCed and ~265$ after MIR and PriceMatch, but I checked the 560 Ti more carfuly and found a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC (900Mhz) for 230$ after MIR (possibly even 205$ if I PM NewEgg). Most 6950 reviews I saw had it about 10% faster than the 560 Ti, but given than this is an OCed version AND has a bertter cooler AND is cheaper, this probably a better value.
The 6950 is overclocked to 830mhz from 800mhz. The GTX 560 Ti is overclocked to 900mhz from 822mhz. The 560 still has more headroom as does the 6950 but AMDs just don't overclock as well as nvidias right now.