MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 (with 8x MSAA or more)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need to have better than stock cooling (very limited airflow in my case), and need to run Crysis 2 at Ultra DX9 settings @40fps. Just want some advice whether it's worth spending an extra $30 or so to get 5 more frames in Crysis 2. I will be overclocking either card about 15%.
I would, but I doubt one that has good cooling will drop to my $175 budget by next month...
I'm hoping to clock the HD 6850 to equal performance with a 6870, or the 560 to equal a 560ti - hence why I need the good cooling (plus my case doesn't have any extra fans for airflow). Looks like in most other games the HD 6870 and 560ti GTX are about even. This is why I'm wondering if it's worth the extra 5fps in Crysis 2 (DX9 Ultra) for $30. Any thoughts?
Just get the HD6850. It's already excellent for your resolution and it will work on your current PSU while anything better would need a new one. You wouldn't see much benefit from a better card unless you are going to upgrade your monitor as well anyway.