As for my Questions: (I have $20 off at NCIX so I can get a good price on one card. However, their return policy is brutal as you have to pay return shipping + 15% restocking so I have to make sure I buy the right card as returning it is not an option. I'll then buy the other from either Newegg or Amazon, most likely.)
1). Are the Premium Cards, such as the EVGA Superclocked ACX and MSI Lightning, worth the premium over the regular cards? I know that a huge plus is them being factory overclocked doesn't void the warranty. The EVGA is only $420 and comes in with 1111 Core and 1163 Boost. (Kind of low in comparison, actually.) The MSI Lightning is 1150 Core and 1202 Boost, but also adds $30 being $450 each. My other choices would be between the Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI Gaming Edition, all of which are $399.
2.) How exactly does the EVGA step-up program work? I mean, I get the concept of I just pay the difference between the new card and my current card, but if I step up from a 770 to a 780, do I get to select the model I step up to or is there only one option? Is it worth buying an EVGA card just for that feature?
3.) Are the specs I'm seeing on the Gigabyte cards on Newegg legit? 1137 Core and 1189 Boost all for $399? The 4GB model also has the same factory overclock for only $449? Is it me or are these extremely good values? Isn't the Gigabyte cooler also one of the best out there?
4). Is the 4GB 770 just kind of a waste? For example, I am going to slowly upgrade to 5760x1080p Surround over the next few months so would it be best to go two 4GB 770s now and add another or just return/sell the 2GB 770s and upgrade to 780s at that point? I'm thinking the 256-Bit Bus is going to really limit the 770s.
Anyways, sorry for the Novel. I just wanted to be sure I covered everything and explained all of my concerns.
Thanks for the help!