Ready to nuke the 4850 I've had for a while, which from day one could cook breakfast (70-80C) doing absolutely nothing.
I've looked at the 7770, 6850/70, and the 7850. I'd like to get a decent bounce upward, so I discarded the 7770 because I don't think the performance increase is large enough, although the power curve is nice. Would I run into a processor limited issue because my 8400 chip is not the newest thing out there? I've done zero gaming since my kid retired from CS Source, but I'm planning on some racing and Sci-Fi sims next month. I have a large, well ventilated case that can take a taller card, but I'd say maybe another inch in length is available as it encroaches on the HD cage (fixed). I'd like to be in the $150-175 range.
Any thoughts appreciated.
Intel 8400 Core2 Duo @3.0
Vid- ATI ref 4850
In terms of performance rolli59 is correct, the 7770 = 6850. The 6870 is a step up from both but bows down to the 7850 which is currently only $10 more.
Here's a list of 4 cards that are in your budget in order of price and performance.
Radeon 7770 $135 shipped $120 after MIR
Radeon 6870 $170 shipped $160 after MIR
Radeon 7850 1gb $177 shipped
Radeon 7850 2gb $185 shipped
Bottleneck is a term that is grossly overused. It's not something you'll actually see. The 7770 is a good match up with your CPU but if you can afford more I would get the 7850 2gb. $10 over your budget but you'll have a card that will last you just as long as your 4850 did.
If you're strict on your budget then the 6870 is the best performance for the price. The other option is to get a Sapphire Vapor-X 7770, overclock it (it's a sweet OC'er) and save the money for Mobo, CPU & RAM upgrades later.