This question may be asked a lot but is the 7870 worth the extra ~$70 over the 7850?
- I will be using it to play the latest games (Dead Space 3, AC3, COD, Skyrim, etc.) at high settings with at least a comfortable 50 FPS or so. In other words I want every game to be playable at med-high settings with an FPS of about 50.
- I have a 750w fully modular PS and will be replacing this card with Intel HD 4k on the 3570k.
- My resolution will be at 1920x1080.
I've heard many answers on here saying that you can overclock the 7850 to 7870 performance but would I need to get a different heatsink rather than the stock one for that?
Also I've head the 7870 can be overclocked even farther and could be more future proof. So is the 7850 or 7870 more bang for your buck/better for me?
I picked up a couple of 6950s recently. Are they the best card out there? No. Are they worth $200? Absolutely. They overclock really well too. Chances are (depending on what app you use to overclock) you will find AMD's limit on clock rates to be well below what your 6950 is actually capable of. AMD sets the max OC on CCC at 840/1300. I have mine running 925/1375 with no trouble at all. Is the 7850 worth $50 more? Well that depends on the game, here's a decent collection of benchmarks representing both cards at stock clocks.
edit: The 7850 overclocks well too. Both are good cards. I don't know much about the 7870, I prefer cards in the $150-$275 price range because they're easier to buy/sell and more affordable to get a 2nd one.
a 7850 can easily OC to 7870's stock levels, but the 7870 can OC further than a 7850 can, and you cant replace the missing stream processors. Also the price difference is smaller than it used to be a few months ago.
"Future proof" is a myth. You may attain "future-resistance" if you've got a dual-card capable motherboard and only have one card, or if you have a card that OCs very well, and if you have a good enough (and possibly big enough) PSU, but eventually you WILL need to upgrade in some way.
you can "future proof" for say 1-2 years, during which period most of the technology world's up coming stuff are already on roadmaps... beyond which, no one can tell. who knows, if some company decides to make graphyne CPUs or something, and it vastly out performs current tech, EVERYTHING, including the 690, would be obsolete fast enough