Okay, i made a mistake. I bought an Nvidia 8600GTS like 10 days ago and i thought, hey this is a quite powerful GPU.
But then, when I tried Crysis (okay, i can hear your sigh ) i can barely satisfy with Medium setting on 800x600 res. I havent tried other games yet, except Zoo Tycoon 2 and ProStreet (btw, prostreet is running fine with max setting 1280x1024 no AA).
The thing is, i have P4 640 (3.2GHz) HT and Zoo Tycoon 2 is still sluggish. Actually, i think Zoo Tycoon 2 needs powerful CPU (because my bro's AMD X2 4200+ and Nvidia 7600 GS runs ZT2 marvelously).
Here's the dilemma, I am willing to spend (again) for just one more time. Should i get C2D 4600? I tried using THG's chart, but it doesnt have C2D 4600, so i was referring to C2D 4300 and i am starting to think it is not worth the investment. Let's just assume (in fact this is true) that i cannot return my 8600GTS.
What say you??
ps: I am just a casual gamer, i spend most of my time coding, web designing while playing videos on the background (just my thing ). So, that being said, i could spend the money to get me a new widescreen 19" TFT, my 5 year old 17" viewsonic tft seems to be "shrinking" day by day, hehe..
This might be the first time advice is being sought so that someone can play ZT....
Unless zoo tycoon is multi threaded, I don't think your 640 would be much slower then his 4200+. He might run it better due to more RAM, or perhaps you have some scumware eating up CPU time. My wife likes the Tycoon games, they seem to like lots of ram.
Before suggesting where to put your money, can you tell us what your system looks like? Can your motherboard even handle a C2D?
I understand your concern. Actually, my mobo is Abit LG-95C and it can handle C2D (1066MHz fsb only). I have 1GB ddr2 (667MHz), and so does my bro.
Fyi, i have set the ZT2 setting similar to his settings. On the other hand, i also compared the game performance (THG's chart) between 4200+ and P4 640 and they are pretty far apart. Though 4200+ and C2D 4600 are not that far apart, where C2D being a lil' bit superior of course.
Grimmy, i am sorry to say, i wont OC my system because I would like this system to last for sometime (well, i know nothing lasts forever) but i would want it to be my home entertainment center one day , of course, i would have had a new machine by then.
Whelp.. I don't think OC a C2D (when you don't change the vcore) will hurt or reduce the life span of the processor. I really haven't seen any CPU die from OC'ing except reading about the northwood cores from over volting for stability.
But you don't have to believe what I have ta say on that...
I see the 4600 is 148 bucks, the 4500 is 125 bucks off newegg. If your trying to save some cash, 200mhz stock won't make that much of a difference between those 2.
I should say my E4400 has been OC to 3ghz, with a minor vcore increase which is nothing. I've had my system since Nov, and started folding. Its been rock stable folding for over 2 months so far. When I started I had 96 WU done from the previous year. Now I have 200 done:
The E4600 will easily eat that P4 alive. If you can, you might want to get the E4500 or E4400 if you're overclocking to save a bit of money. Zoo tycoon should see a moderate leap, along with Crysis (dont expect much. The 8600 will die).
If you only game casually you might be better off getting yourself a new monitor now and holding off on throwing more money at your system until you have enough to completely overhaul it. I say this because a proper upgrade would probably include a new CPU, motherboard, and graphics card. Even in the worst of cases an 8600GTS should be significantly faster than a 7600GS since the GTS is on par with a 7900GS. This means that your CPU is holding you back. However even if you got the CPU up to snuff, the 8600GTS is not a 3D monster and performance would probably still be somewhat lacking, especially in Crysis. If you can live with it for now hold off on upgrading that graphics card again until you can get something from the next generation.
Another piece of advice: make sure your drivers are up to date, especially for the graphics card.
I would like to point out that his current processor is a single core. Not only is the C2D architecture vastly superior and has more IPC, the C2D has TWO cores. He will see significant improvement multitasking.
Look at this chart. I know the 660 is slightly less powerful, but so is the E4300. Currently, you can find the E4500 on newegg for $125. The E4500 is 400MHz faster than the E4300.
You say you design web pages so you must be familiar with Photoshop. The 4300 bests the 660. Hell, even the lowly 2160 beats the 660. it would beat your 670 as well.
If you want to save money you could go with the 2180 which is $85 on newegg.
I have a p4 530 3.0 ghz socket 775 and have an ati x1950 pro, bioshock and call of duty 4 both run at 50 fps on 1280x1024, so judging from that I don't think your processor is the problem, but upgrading it would be a good idea anyway. I would upgrade by my chipset is too old to support it.
No wonder DELL doesn't overclock, my Pentium 4 Northwood overheats regardless.
Errr... Dell wouldn't really allow OC'ing at all on the majority of their products (except perhaps the alienware line). The main reason why in my mind is it sets and maintains price margins on their products. Generally even the old P4 northwoods OC fairly decent. Although my old system couldn't really OC my P4 3ghz anymore without seriously being unstable, since the MB (P4PE) didn't even totally support DDR 400 memory.
If yours over heats, well it's prolly due to poor airflow/HS.