I'm hoping for some good advice. I've read reviews of GPU's for the past six hours straight, and I have gotten no smarter. Everyone has differing opinions, and there seems to be pitfalls everywhere, either with people reporting many units being faulty, weird fan noises, vibration issues and what have you.
Rather than following the standard thread convention I will try to keep it simple:
What's the best "bang for your buck" card out there right now, which is also silent(or near to it as makes no difference) and draws very little power under idle operation?
I'm replacing a 5770, which is starting to struggle something fierce in newer titles like Batman Arkham City etc. At least when I want to press the quality settings =)
Oh, monitor resolution is 1980x1080.
I am NOT looking for the end-all of graphics cards, i.e. don't bother recommending a Titan or something. I am not looking for Crossfire, SLI or anything like that. Just a simple 1GPU solution, which I can leave running and still be able to sleep next to, that is a significant upgrade from my current card and which I won't have to replace in a few years.
With the criteria you've laid out ... I'd say the 7950. It's not the be all end all of GPUs, but it's a very strong card that performs well and should have the staying power to last in a rig for 3 years, provided you understand the limitations of quality as games become even more demanding.
I personally went with the Vapor-X 7950. I think it finds a good balance between performance, cooling, noise, and overclockability.
That's available to me at 391$ American. I've looked at that long and hard, too. All the "frequently bought" items appear to be geforce cards though, I don't see any specific reason to buy those however, based on the reviews I've read. Maybe it's because of PhysX which I've never tinkered with.