So I bought a 5770 back in about May last year, but I'm looking to upgrade to something a little more up to date with increased performance
I'm willing to spend about $200 at the moment, but that's pretty much subject to change depending on the specific card. Right now a 6870 is looking appealing, but I'm not quite sure how it'll stack up to any of the upcoming 7000 series cards around the same price point. I'm also open to any nVidia cards as well, but overall I'm looking for a noticeable increase in performance from the 5770. What I'm mostly concerned about is whether or not I should wait to see what the newer soon to be released cards or go ahead and grab something up sooner rather than later.
Current system specs:
Phenom II 965 BE
4Gb DDR3 RAM
650 watt PSU
Radeon HD 5770
Well, the 7770 is released and is overpriced compared to the 6850 which it competes with. As far as the 7850 and 7870 go, time will tell. I think the 6870 is currently the best at its price point.
Your resolution makes a big difference in the recommendation. If you are @1920x1080 then yeah, upgrading from a 5770 is very much needed. A 6870 would be a great upgrade. But I'd say that anything short of a 6870 isn't enough of an upgrade.
I would wait for the 7850 or 7870. I didn't and ended up wasting money. I went from a 4870 (pretty much on par with a 5770) to a 6870 and although it was a good upgrade, I didn't feel it was worth the price I paid. I sold it and took a big loss, but got a good deal on a gtx580. I would say go for a 6950 (2gb version if you want eyefinity down the road) or a gtx570. I wish I bought the 6950 instead of the 6870 - don't make my mistake!
For your budget of $200 the GTX 560 ti or Radeon HD 6870 are you best bets right now. Also remember the 78xx card will all be over $200 and overpriced anyway most likely until the new Nvidias come out so like I say 6870 or 560 are you only good picks for $200 I suggest stretching you budget just a bit and getting more value like one of these below.
I second the 6870, great card for the money, very efficient, and will not require you to swap video drivers. You could wait a few weeks and see if the 7850 will be $200 or higher, but given that the 7770 is $160, I think the 7850 will be around $250.
So basically it's looking like a 6870 is my best bet right now. I saw what Noodletoe said about the 6950, but from what I've seen it doesn't allow much of a performance gain over the 6870 and it's a good bit more expensive.
I'll be playing games at 1920x1080 so I'm guessing a 6870 will be sufficient considering what it looks like the 7800 series cards are gonna cost.