I understand that the topic of 5870 vs 6870 has been discussed at length when comparing the two standard cards, however, upon finding an OC'd 6870 at the same price as a standard 5870 I am not sure now which would be the better choice.
The standard 5870:
The OC'd 6870:
I believe that most people I have read on forums who still support the 5870 over the 6870 do so because it is (on paper) a more powerful Graphics Card, and they have only recommended the 6870 to CF (which i won't be doing). Some review sites state there is little difference between the two standard cards (perhaps 3-5 fps) when playing the latest games. Yet others state that the 5870 will not benefit from continued updates like the 6870.
What with the fact that the 6870 listed above is already overclocked out of the box, and that it comes with three fans, requires less power, is smaller, will be more updateable, and will feature opengl4.1, is it now a worthy competitor to the 5870?
I intend to play the latest games on this rig for the next couple of years hopefully: Deus Ex HR, AC Revelations etc.
I imagine either of these cards will be an improvement over my stock HD4870...
get the 6870 if you plan to add another card later as the 5870 is already out of production.
If you are not worried about crossfire then get whichever is cheaper, imo the performance difference is nothing to worry about.
I'm still using a 5850 with a Q9650 and playing any and all games at maxed out settings at 1080p without issue.
I'll be keeping my 5850 at least untill the 7000 series comes out, no where near enough performance boost to warrant an upgrade.
So yes, whichever is cheaper to be honest.
I would go for the 6870, although i am a 5870 user for 1.5 years now. Its enough to have less power consumption and extras like blue ray 3d etc to give some fps less.
Also Crossfire will be an option in 1 year from now and you won't discard 6870, like you would do with 5870 in 1.5 years from now.
Except these reasons, i want to add that going for OC versions isn't so important. My 5870 is oc'ed from factory, after 1.5 year of use, i have to admit the avg temperature has risen (thermal paste going dry i guess?), so consider buying a normal 6870 (again just few 1-5% less fps)
I think the 5870 is a better option especially if you are going to overclock it or if you want to code any thing with FP64 (64-bit FP precision dropped from the 68xx and below because I mean who was gonna use it ^_^). The 5870 is just faster, but if you're buying one card now and want to buy a second one latter it makes alot more sense to buy a 6870 as 5870s are already in short supply. Also, you need good airflow for a 5870 as it dumps alot of heat -_-
Heat is probably the major issue with the 5870; on that note the 6870 would be the better option it would seem.
I don't intend to CF with any card in the forseeable future, as I see it as a waste of money (plus I would have to discard my 550W psu for a more powerful one, which i don't intend to do)
I don't overclock components myself as I fear the results of corrupted hardware and the possible waste of money. The Cpu i am purchasing comes already OC'd from overclockers.co.uk, which i see as a fair price to do something I don't have the cojones to do. Despite the sheer power of the 5870, I believe I should go for a less powerhungry and hot graphics card with my first LGA1366 setup. Thanks for the advice, its appears congruous with what other forums have said.