Originally Posted by ThePikeman
Seems like you have done your homework. It doesn't really matter what card you choose.
Don't bank on the unlocking option though. You might get lucky, but there is no guarantee. It depends on the yield rate for the 6970. Slightly faulty or slower ones are sold as 6950 (defect parts get disabled), if they can sell more 6950 cards, they just relabel 6970 cards and equip them with a different bios. The last ones might be unlocked.
If you don't really need a card now, maybe wait half a year or so for the 32nm or 28nm cards to come out. This generation was just a necessary bridge because TSMC is way behind their schedule on the new manufacturing process.
I'm sorta looking into SLI'ing now. For last year the cards to have were the 460, this year it's the 560's. I can get two 460's for under $400 or two 560's for just over $500. From what I've been reading the 560's are the ones to get if I want to be well ahead of the 580. But then there's cost. Do I want to spend $500 on video cards. I was originally looking to spend around $350 but since I don't flip cards like some gamers, so a faster card would pay for itself over the long run.
I did read that all of the GFX companies were behind on their schedules on Maximum PC's site. The other problem I see is that some of the cars are so new, more specifically the 570 and 560 that they haven't made it down the pipeline in large numbers yet.
I think I'm going to stick with Nvidia especially if I go SLI vs. Crossfire as their drivers are always a PITA and it seems it's more so with Crossfire.
I guess I'll wait till PAX East starts and see what is announced. Maybe by then the 560 will be available. Or else I'll just get some 460's and call it good.