Well to be honest... this time I am going a different route to build. I have nothing. Not even a mouse pad. So am getting a GPU first and will build a system around it.
My last build was an ATI way back when 4xxx were rocking. So just marginally leaning towards nVidia this time. But its nothing fixed.
Just looking for a value for money high end card.
Rather than building around a video card, I'd recommend building around a monitor setup. The resolution, how many monitors, refresh rate and whether you want 3D will make heavily influence what card to get.
The driver issue has been discussed argued over for many years. Other than one version of Catalyst 8 or 9, I have never had my drivers cause any problems. Or maybe my GPU was not that powerful enough to cause the driver any problems.
The 7970 is a very good choice. I have the 7950, which is basiclly the 7970, and it work wonderfully. It overclocks very well. I have mine clocked form 800MHz to 1235MHz. It rips apart games especially, even more so when I got another and crossfired them.
Since you are happy with AMD and looking at a high resolution monitor and not looking at PhysX or 3D Vision, you may very well be most happy with the 7970. It's less expensive as well as fast.
The 2412M isn't a high res monitor. Unless you meant multiple monitors, in which case yeah the 7970 would be a better fit.
The 7970 is the better value at the moment with the free games that are included and all. But I am a nvidia fan so I chose the 680. PLus with nvidia you get Phys X and adaptive v-sync
For monitors I was primarily looking at the IPS panel monitors. I have to do some research on that. Not yet finalized though.
So the bottom line i get here, both are equally good and I wont go wrong with either. If i do go for the 7970, i would definitely go for the GHz edition. I just that I haven't used the nVidia cards since the AGP days! So would love to try out the PhysX part and all. So I am leaning towards the GTX 680 for now.
Which the 680 you are basically paying 25 percent more for a 10 percent performance increase so yeah the 670 is a better bang for the buck. Diminishing returns definitly comes into play here.
As far as monitors go I have both the 24 inch and 27 inch dell ultrasharp IPS monitors. They are great but now that I've gamed at 1440p there is no way I will ever go back to the 24 incher. If you've got any questions about those feel free to ask.