So I'm looking at getting the HD 7870 and i was looking on newegg and there are multiple brands of the Radeon hd 7870 (MSI, Gigabyte, etc) whats the difference between all these? Just the Core clocks? is it worth the extra $$ to get the more expensive one?
I've found that it's either clock speeds or cooler design differences. On new egg I just set the sort to Lowest price then search for say ...7870 and mark the lowest price, then search for 7950....then 7970. Look at the price gap and decide which I can afford. From there it's a matter of brand preference really. If you are willing to overclock on your own then the factory clock doesn't matter much. Not that it matters a whole lot anyway.
Edit: I've got an i3-3220 and I was about to buy a 7970 right up until someone offered me a GTX 560 Ti for $120. Figured I'd overclock the hell out of it for a while then upgrade when prices drop a bit more. I'm not sure how much processor you would need to keep up with a faster card but my guess is that a 7970 with an i3 3220 is still gonna be hella fast. If at some point down the road you feel that the processor is too much of a bottleneck, upgrade to an i5 as it comes down in price.