Later on this year I'm going to pick up one of the Catleap 2560x1440 monitors, and my HD 6870 is going to have to retire when that happens.
Currently it's running a single 1920x1080 monitor and handles most stuff fine at or close to Ultra.
I'm stuck deciding between either a gtx 670, or HD 7970, with plans to overclock and eventually add in a second card.
I've looked at the benchmarks and they seem close enough to each other. I won't be purchasing both cards at the same time, but more than likely the monitor first, followed by the GPU, and then 1-2 years later or whenever I start to fall drastically behind in performance, I'd add the second card.
Is it better for me to get the reference turbine style fanned cards that exhaust out of the case? A mix of a dual fan at the bottom and turbine at the top or what?
Water blocks were a thought, but I began to lose interest once I saw how much of a hassle that is and how it can devalue the cards.
I'm just looking for personal experiences and opinions. You can read ten benchmarks in a day and still not know until you ask around.
Let me start off by saying I have a Gtx 670, but I live in Austin so I also support Amd as much as possible.
The HD 7970 can compute more than the Gtx 670 by shear numbers and as a list of different AA solutions, but the 670 is better driver supported and with Cuda cores and PhysX. In short they are about equal in power, (I know in some cases one is way better than the other,but its about money in the end)
Gtx 670 is cheaper, uses less power and runs quiet.
HD 7970 is an overclock champ, but at the cost of more power and noise.
If your motherboard supports both cf and sli. I would say go for the gtx 670 the turbine fan rear exhaust is less demanding on your case cooling abilities and they run very well sli. PhysX is and Cuda is now becoming widely used and furthermore the TXAA solution to AA that is supported on the GTX 670 is amazing.
So in short GTX 670 (unreal engine 4 is built on a gtx 680)
Overall, the 7970 is faster than the GTX 670 at that resolution, and the 7970 GHz edition is significantly faster. The best deal (not counting overclocking possibilities) for that resolution would be a 7970 GHZ edition card - Sapphire's offering is very nice at $470 (I'd wait to grab it at $450 where it's a more compelling deal, though - it launched at $450 and should go back to there eventually).
I've been trying to find solid answers about AA at that high of a resolution as well. As I understand it, it almost makes no difference at that point. And since AA is what kills the FPS in most games, I would begin to think that running a single card with low to no AA would work. All of the benchmarks I've seen are completely maxed out, and both cards seem to sit around 40-45 average fps in games like Battlefield 3, with the AA maxed. I'd imagine that running 2xAA or none would net a 60 fps or higher average, though I could be wrong.