Gaming with a 7870

After much thought on a GPU I'm still totally undecided. I had thought a 7980 would be the best choice but the price is pretty high. Now I'm considering getting something with less power but I still want to have high settings in games, not necessarly the best but above average I guess. I'm not a hradcore gamer or nothing, but for once I'd like something that kicks ass.

Anyway is the 7870 a good bang for your buck kind of card or are there even cheaper ones with great performance you guys can suggest?

I would have said that when the 7950's were on sale they were a great deal at sub 300 prices.  The 7870XT has proven to be the top of the class for 7800 series cards because its a Tahiti chip with 200 less stream processors.  I was seeing benchmarks for the 7870XT overclocked to the max keeping pace with a max oc 660ti and thats about 50 bucks more expensive.  With that said I could not at all get my 7870XT stable at the max OC but I am not running the same equipemnt as the benchmarks were and my 3470 is for sure bottlenecking on some things.  My friend has a 7950 and with essentially the same CPU, ram, mobo, he can OC and pick up 10ish fps over me.  Is that worth 60 bucks for a 7950, thats up to you.

To add it also depends on what you want to do of course.  If you are running Adobe products you benefit from the Nvidia support.  Of course you can look at alot of game benchmarks and see if you play more games that favor Nvidia over AMD.

So what would you say the settings on most modern games would be to still get 30-40ish FPS on a non OC 7870? I'm going to get a 3770K so no bottlenecks there. I'm still on the fence about overclocking in general. As far as adobr products I don't have any so the GPU is stricyly gaming.

I will be doing music production which is CPU and RAM intensive but also want something I can play games on high and expect decent FPS, and on med with stuff like Crysis3. I don't know if it's worth $200 to play Crysys on high.

on the topic of the 7870xt. It uses the tahiti LE chip and not a pitcairn chip (78xx) so it should really be called a 7930.

Genraly, I find a nvidia GTX 560 to be quite capable. Your going to struggle with new games on max, I could run my 560 on max in BF3 with an overclock stable. The only issue was my Q9550 Quad core was bottlenecking and my ram wasnt stable in overclockes. Dont forget there is a lot more support in games with nvidia. I stick with nvidia because cuda cores help with my work and I dont have issues with incompatablility because games arnt optimised for AMD.