If this is a secondary gaming rig
, I see no reason to avoid the 7790 just because it only has 1GB VRAM, especially if you're gaming at 1080p or lower. After all, this MSI model only costs $125 after MIR.
The 7850 would give you an average of 8-10 more fps
though. While the 7790 delivers playable framerates in that article with those settings (you can always lower settings to boost framerates) the 7850 would be considered silky smooth.
2GB memory may offer a bit more longevity. Especially considering the PS4 and Xbox720/Next (launching this winter) will have 8GB shared memory. We might
see future games asking for more VRAM....hard to predict the future.
If you're not ultra-sensitive to noise, and money is still a concern, go with this Powercolor 7850 for $170 after MIR.
Newegg reviews seem largely positive. Powercolor isn't typically known for quietness IMO, but the reviews seem to suggest this card is pretty good. Maybe they've made some improvements since the 6850 that I own. (I dont consider my 6850 "loud" but it probably could be quieter) It's hard to argue with the value Powercolor offers.
Otherwise I would second the notion for the Sapphire 7850 for $185.
I've owned a couple Sapphire cards and have been very satisfied with their quality.
Keep in mind that with Catalyst Control Center (AMD driver software) you will be able to overclock a "factory clocked" card to the same frequency as any of the OC cards.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case