I had made a previous inquiry into getting a good price/performance card to run a 1600x900, and got plenty of awesome advice from some users here (thanks again guys if you read this), and decided I would likely go with a 6850 for 135 before rebate to 120. However, after deliberating and researching for a couple hours with the item in my cart, I decided I wanted something with a bit more kick.
It seemed that even at my resolution the 6850, and even the 6870, didn't do all so hot in bf3, DE:HR, Crysis 1/2, Skyrim, etc at higher/highest settings, even for my low resolution (unless I'm mistaken in which case I'll avoid too much overkill and stick to 6850 or 6870). Well for my hopes at least. For I'm hoping to be able to nearly or fully max out these titles, and have a card that will provide high to ultra on future demanding titles to come for the next couple years at a good price. The hd 6950 and hd 7850 seemed like good means to this end, though I don't know much about gpus so I could be wrong (first time really shopping for one, my last computer was a newegg prebuilt with a 9800gt which has served me pretty well up until recently).
First off, am I correct in assuming this cards would reach my goal of ultra to max in any current game at 1600x900? Secondly, would either of these video cards be bottle necked by a phenom ii x4 955be overclocked to 3.6? Especially with my low res of 1600x900, I could see that might be a problem, but I'm just not sure. And lastly which would be the better choice of the two (or if you know of a better value card that is capable of my expectations let me know):
Alternatively, to wait for prices to drop below these points, which I don't see likely in the near future. Or to get the 6850, because it is such a good value for the price, and prepare to wait it out a fair amount of time for a better value price on faster cards. I'm very indecisive as you can see.
One thing I noticed is that I hear a lot of good things about Sapphire (6950), but haven't really heard of VisionTek (7850) at all. However both get similar ratings, even if there are many more on the 6950. I'm having such a hard decision with this not only because of my lack of familiarity with current gpus, but also because the 7850 is 10% more expensive for performance that ranges well above or below 10% with the befuddling factor that drivers improving the 7850s performance are much more likely to be released than such drivers are to appear for the 6950.
If you read through all of this, you are truly a patient trooper and I thank you. I know I tend to ramble on and put more detail than is needed.
Looks really nice and all, but 50-70 initial dollars is a pretty big jump. I'm already pushing the limits of my budget with 200, and I take rebates with a grain of salt after having been stiffed on quite a few. I'd probably try to get the 480 gtx I always see you praising for 200 before I'd spend that much (no offense to you, I'm complimenting it here, I've seriously considered it, but don't know if I could handle the heat and noise).
Well I have a silver rated 750 watt psu, so power shouldn't be a problem. Noise I have no idea how loud it really is, do you have an estimate for how many dbA? And as far as the heat, an aftermarket cooler would push it out of my budget. But would it stay in the safe temp range in a HAF 912 with 200mm front intake(110 cfm), 120mm side intake(45 cfm), 200mm top exhaust(110 cfm), and 120mm rear exhaust(45 cfm). Although even if I could handle it I might still take the 6950 over it, a loss of performance in exhange for cool and quiet. With my indecisiveness committing to something as expensive as a gpu is hard for me.