ok, either way i was going to say a hd7950, they overclock on stock voltage to beat a stock hd7970. the only hd7950 i can recomend though is the gigabyte windforce 3x i have one in crossfire and when i just run on that card alone i still get minimum 55fps on bf3 ultra on the most laggy maps (oman).
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 and the AMD Radeon HD 7950. They offer performance that is nearly as good as that of the high-end models, but at a more modest price. If you stick with a 1080p or 1920 by 1200 display with one of these cards, you should be in good shape.Of course the 7970 is faster it's up to you pick whichever you prefer.
Sapphire's HD 7950 Vapor-X comes with a large dual-fan cooler that uses the company's famous vapor-chamber technology. On the Vapor-X you will also find a "Lethal Boost" button which switches to a second BIOS with higher clock speeds. With this BIOS, clocks are increased to 950 MHz GPU and 1250 MHz memory.The MSI lightning is great as well MSI's Radeon HD 7970 Lightning is a heavily customized implementation of the HD 7970 with focus on performance and overclocking. The card uses a beefed up voltage regulation circuitry and massive dual-fan heatsink to ensure stable operation at MSI's increased clock speeds of 1070 MHz. Memory clock has gone up too, up to 1400 MHz. I don't think there is a such thing as future proof but either card will serve you well bud.