I own a PC with an Intel Pentium D processor. I wish to upgrade my PC to one capable of playing mid-range games like NFS,PoP,LEGO,Harry Potter, Portal 2 and Sonic Generations; and doing some 3D modelling.
a) How good is this CPU?
b) Would you recommend upgrading this setup without starting from scratch? If so, what are my options? If not, what kind of setup is needed to run these games at 1200x1024?
Basically, Pentium D setup is really really old.
I owned P D805 many years ago, I already ditched that rig and went to Q6600 about 5-6 years ago...and I already ditched Q6600 and went for i7 3770k.
New components for Pentium D platform are no longer easy (or perhaps no longer sold anywhere) to find...well perhaps... except used ones on ebay (especially if you need AGP graphic cards) and I do not think it is worth to invest any money to upgrade it without changing the platform.
I'm assuming this is in a brand name computer, what is the make and model of the computer you wish to upgrade? In many cases the addition of a graphics card can get you the gaming performance you desire, you may need to upgrade your PSU to accommodate a graphics card though.
I could tell you what socket you have (Socket 775) and the best CPU available but I'd wager that CPU will not work on that motherboard which is why make and model are needed here.