I've been running two 1Gb ATI 6780s in Crossfire for a while now. They've held out pretty well, but they're starting to show their age. I've been reading up on current-gen tech and I'm having trouble deciding what direction to take.
Monitor Resolution: I typically use 1920x1080 for gaming, but I'd like to be able to effectively use my monitor's native resolution of 2560x1440.
I've tried OCing my GPUs, but since they're reference boards they don't cool very well. I can't OC them much at all before they start overheating and artifacting even with the fans on full blast (950/1100, up from 900/1000 is semi-stable).
I was originally leaning toward the GTX 660ti. However, research showed that its decreased memory bus would be an issue at the resolutions I'm trying to achieve.
Next, I looked into a mid-range GTX 670 like the MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC or GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD, mostly because I've been somewhat disappointed by the driver issues I've had with my Radeons, but also because I wanted to get hardware PhysX support. having recently acquired my Hybrid PhysX setup, this is less of an issue now...
Anyway, during my research, I kept reading a lot of people, even NVidia people, saying that one would be better served by getting a Radeon 7970.
So my question is twofold:
1. What's the current consensus on the best single-card setup for < $350-$400?
2. Since I'm upgrading from a Crossfire setup, is one newer card going to be able to outperform my current setup? (probably, yes, but I'm curious if it's going to be worth it for just one card).
3. Bonus question: I know that one of my biggest bottlenecks is going to be memory at the resolutions I'm trying to get to (1440p with AA...) so I know I need at least 2GB of vRam. Would it be worth my while to save a bit extra for a 4GB card instead of 2GB?
Sorry for the length, and thanks for any input.
As it happens I've been looking around some more and have seen a lot of people advocating getting a 7950 and OCing it to a 7970 or beyond. This article goes over that quite well. Looks like getting a 7950 and ocing it may be my best bet, especially if I want to reasonably afford a possible Crossfire later on.