Im doing an upgrade on my old gaming pc. I need to know if my A64 3700+ has enough power to supply a 8800GTS card. It's pretty shitty and I dont have enough money to upgrade the CPU, RAM, and Mobo. Overclocking is nearly impossible with this CPU- it runs stock with a voltage of 1.58v, is 130nm, clawhammer, socket 754. and cant get above 2.6ghz even with a good aftermarket cooler (100mm coolermaster hyper 6+). I need to run games like oblivion and BF2142. 7600GT just doesnt cut it and I dont want a card that cant run dx10.
Ok this is what I tried to do when I oced my CPU.
first I disabled all of the powersaving features
Then I set the memory to ddr-333
Then I set the hypertransport to 400mhz (800mhz)
So I went along and increased fsb to 205. STABLE
Then I went and set the fsb to 210. STABLE
Then I set the fsb to 215. STABLE
Then I set the fsb to 220. UNSTABLE even when i put the memory to ddr 200
temps at 220fsb where 45C idle and 55C load. what gives?
I'm sure there would be some bottlenecking, but it will still run games very nicely. When a game is being limited by a CPU it usually only shows significantly at the very low resolutions, and you aren't going to be running those with the latest gfx cards.
The problem you are going to face is not that of clock speed, it is the fact that it is a single core chip. Games are going to make more and more use of multiple cores. And also with Vista coming out I think dual-core is going to be very important - I've just installed it and it seems to love running stuff in the background, which is fine if you have dual core, but not if you have single core.
But of course you've got to buy a whole new platform for dual-core. My guess would be that the 3700+ will be fine for 6-12 months, but after that you may want to go dual-core.