Okay after doing a bit more research on the issue. "Sever performance hit" is not accurate as well as anything over 1080p for that matter. In fact you won't see any hits at 1440p and below and if you do we are talking one to 2 frames. Not significant by any means.
Yes. The specs aren't quite what was advertised in the beginning HOWEVER the reviews and all of the benchmarks that did come out with it still stand and they are nothing short of outstanding and the best "bang" for the buck. Also to note and I am curious as to what will happen because at this point it will be all speculation until released but Nvidia is hot and heavy working on a driver update specifically on this to boost performance and to make the card properly use the other .5 gig of data on the card. Which could end up being really good... OR it could end up just being a mere update to get programs to register the extra ram. We shall see.
With saying all of that. It is still any outstanding card especially in the price range of being $200 less then the gtx 980 while performing at 80% of what the 980 can do.. Also its great for overclocking which gets you closer to the same performance for large amount less out of your wallet.
Am I happy with my 970's? Absolutely as I own a total of 3. 2 in my desktop and one in my laptop. Would I take advantage of a free upgrade if it ends up being offered at the end of this? Well no poo why not? Am I heart broken and is it absolutely needed. Not even in the slightest.