I'm trying to build a new computer, but because I have changed my initial setup to the i5 2500k so I don't have a lot of extra money. I was going to use the Intel HD 3000 that's built in to the CPU until I could buy a good GPU, but this is a very cheap GPU. Is this something that is worth paying for? Is it worth buying two for crossfire?
That is an excellent price on a good card that 2 years ago was considered the card to have for gaming. Now it is getting a little long in the tooth. I generally recommend getting a newer card that has the latest technology and generally runs cooler, but you often get the most performance for the dollar with the older technology.
I don't think I would buy two for Crossfire tho - although it still might give you the best performance for the dollar - but if you are going to spend $120 I thnk I would go for a newer card even if it might be a little slower. Get a single new card now and perhaps CF it later for even more performance.
If you want to spend that much, I recommend the GTX 460 768MB card. It is a solid card that can be found at a discount right now because it is being replaced by the GTX 550 Ti, but the new card is slower. The 768MB version of the GTX 460 is only slightly slower than the 1GB version, but costs substantially less. See the slight performance difference in this article:
Note that on the THG Best Card for the Money article linked below, the GTX 460 1 GB is one of the cards recommended at the $200 price level. This card is almost as fast and as shown in the review above, and costs quite a bit less..
The MSI Twin Frozr GTX 460 was the card I was looking at before I saw the Radeon 4850. That is the card I was actually planning on getting once I had enough to buy it. How long do you think that card will still be on the market? Because it is being replaced, do you expect it to still be here in a month?
Well it is a week later and they are still there and some on sale, including the target card. But I have no idea how long they will stay on sale or be available. Sometimes the cards can be available for months after their replacements come to market, other times they dry up fairly quickly.