I'm thinking about getting this 6870 but I'm not sure if my computer can handle it.
I have this 550W Antec PSU and the 6870 requires 500W+, but does that mean I need 500W dedicated to the GPU or no? I'm planning on bitcoin mining with this card so I'll be putting a full load on it almost 24/7, so I feel a little wary about my PSU being so low compared to the required amount.
Also will it fit in my case? I have this case and a lot of reviews for the card have said it is huge and barely fits, so that scares me a little.
Lastly, whats a good brand to get? I currently have a Sapphire 4850, and it is only single slotted with one fan and it has given me a lot of overheating problems over the years, and it is really loud when the fan is maxed out(which I need to do when I game else it'll overheat). The 6870 I linked to at the top is by XFX and has 2 fans and all of the reviews say it is cooler than the underside of a pillow and completely silent, which I like a lot, but they also say that XFX has bad customer service and they don't honor their warranty, which scares me.
An Antec 550 Watt PSU will be just fine for a 6870. The 6870 will only use a maximum of 168 watts on its own, the PSU recommendation covers power for the entire system, and graphics card manufacturers tend to overstate their power requirements, to take into account low quality PSUs that can't produce their advertised wattage. The Antec is a good quality unit and will do just fine.
The 6870 is one of the longer cards, about 10 inches long. I have a case with similar internal dimensions to the one you linked to and my 6870 fits into mine fine, though with not a lot of clearance, maybe half an inch or so, fortunately the power connectors should be on the side and not on the front of the card so that shouldn't be an issue.
As far as brands go, if you want a cool and quiet card you may want to find one with the double fan. I have a single fan 6870 from Sapphire and the fan can get a bit noisy, though I have it cranked up fairly high to keep the temps nice and cool. If you are afraid that XFX isn't going to honor the warranty you can look for another double fan design, though I haven't heard anything bad about them. You may want to avoid Sapphire if you live outside the US, as the company that handles theie warranty and RMA requests outside the US, Althon, Inc. is not known for good service, and charge you to shipped damaged components to Hong Kong for repairs.
I have never heard of XFX failing to honor its customer service agreement. For that matter, I've heard only good things about them -- that on top of their fantastic double lifetime transferable warranty (you can RMA it for life, or sell it to someone and they still get the lifetime warranty)
^ +1 but the XFX 6870 (reference model) is a bit loud when the fan is ramped up but other than that XFX is a solid company in my experiences at least. Ive Rma'ed a card through them before and it took a total of about 10 days to make the transaction which is excellent imo.
Alright, thanks everyone. I remember hearing that XFX had amazing customer service about 3 years ago when I got my current graphics card, but they didn't sell ATI cards then so I wasn't able to get one. The only thing I heard about them that is current is what I've read in these newegg reviews, but you guys make it sound like they are still great!
Also thanks for the other info about whether or not it'll work with my current setup, Supernova!