I recently snagged a HD 4890 for $70 off Newegg. I didn't do my research and realized my PSU could not handle it (on top of multiple other issues)
Now, I am considering either the Sapphire 6850 ($120 after rebate, $7 shipping) or PowerColor 6870 ($130 after rebate, free shipping).
My specs are:
Phenom II X4 2.8 GHz
460w PSU by Delta Electronics
4x2 GB DDR3 RAM (I don't know the brand)
Dell's proprietary motherboard (I bought the Studio XPS 7100)
1000GB+300GB 7200rpm HD
HD 4890 (soon to be replaced)
Do you guys think that I should get the 6870 or 6850? They are pretty much the same price but I don't want to possibly push my PSU with the 6870 plus I've heard that sapphire cards are usually higher quality. I will be playing games like Skyrim, Assassin's Creed series, NFS series, GTA IV, WoW, Rage, etc. at 1080p and I would like smooth gameplay at High/Ultra settings. Will the 6850 provide this for me or should I push it with the 6870? Thanks.
What made you think that your PSU could handle those high-end GPUs but would fail on a 4890? It would be fine for the bad card, I think, but certainly not for the 6850/70.
I wouldn't trust that PSU with any decent card. Just spend $60 on a good Corsair, XFX, Seasonic or Antec 500W box.
WITH A GOOD PSU, the 6850'll give you high settings and the 6870'll get you Very High in the most graphically demanding games (Crysis 2, Metro, JC2). In Skyrim you'll barely be good on Medium with that CPU (it's processor-limited), and most of those others will max (60fps on the highest settings).
Here's an idea get this power supply , which would be a nice upgrade for your system , and it will run the card that you now have and if you don't like the performance of the card then you could get one of the other ones that you listed and you would have the power supply already in your case to run either one and it would also power two of them if you went with crossfire.
Going from a 4890 to a 6870 would actually use less power, so you should be able to use the newer card without any problems.
If you don't mind playing the waiting game the upcoming die shrink and release of the 7850/7870 cards in January would give you even better performance at even lower power levels than the corresponding 6800 cards.