I gave that computer to my brother when I switched over to 975X...
Now I have X48 w/ xeon x3210 w/ 8gb ram w/ 2x 3870 crossfired...
Now here's my problem...
I played crysis warhead...
I have no lag or hiccups on my computer.
I run the game @ max setting @ 1680 x 1050.
BUT!!! Even w/ more powerful vga card, my brother's computer LAGS so much...
He's running same game @ 1280 x 1024... Max Setting..
Since it's not lagging in mine... I doubt it's vga card's bottle neck..
But possibly CPU or lack of space in ram???
Which one do you think is a reason for the bottleneck??
2gig of ram... isn't that enough for 32bit system??
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ @2.75GHz in combination of RAM 2GB @ 500MHz is the problem. When run at max settings crysis uses about 2.8-3.0 GB of RAM. You can easy check the amount of RAM used by opening Task Manager while playing. I thinnk that the CPU is bottlenecking as well.
Reduce the settings / res to see if the games then runs OK... If you can get the game running smooth at lower gfx settings then it's the gfx card, if the game still runs poor at low gfx settings then it's the cpu / memory
At lower resolutions games are more CPU bound than in higher resolutions, just plug your brother's PC in your monitor and up the resolution and see if it makes a difference.
I highly doubt its the GPU as the 8800gts is quite capable, if it does lag I would lower the resolutions.
The problem is he can't really reduce settings all that much and he's CPU bound at 1280x1024. Getting a higher res monitor may not improve things all that much with that CPU.
To the OP, I'd consider getting the fastest X2 that your brother's legacy motherboard can support. Or, you could just switch out the CPU and motherboard both and go with a Core 2 once Nehalem arrives (they'll be budget soon).
Deneb might be a reasonable choice too, but Crysis isn't known for supporting more than 2 cores, so you won't see a huge improvement over a mainstream Core 2, though you'd see a huge improvement over the X2 4200+ and a reasonable improvement over the highest clocked X2's.
Memory is a bit slow, and what socket is he on. If it's 939, he doesn't have much choice for a faster CPU, but AM2 has loads. I recommend the 5400+ or 5800+ for that. Another thing, is just lower the Physics setting of Crysis. Physics are done on CPU, so lowering them should relieve significant pressure on the cpu.
CPU is definitely his bottleneck. My wife's system runs my old AMD 4400+ and I wouldn't dare push Crysis onto her system.
That 8800GTS (512MB version) should run Crysis fine. That's what I use. Although don't expect smooth game play at all "Very High" settings. With Very High I'd get 20-29FPS in most areas, which isn't optimal.
Amazingly though, I only saw a 5-7FPS difference between High and Very High settings in some areas.
I douht it is cpu. look he is running it at 2.75 GHz. I ran mine 4200+ at 2.42 and it had only around 60% usage in original crysis. warhead is supposed to be better optimized so should work even better. But I had 8800 GTX and 4GB of ram.
2.75GHz doesn't matter, it would lose to a stock 2GHz core duo. Going from athlonxp to a64 is equal to going from a64 to core duo. I had an athlonxp overclocked to 2.4GHz and my a64 at 1.8GHz stock was loads faster and when I oced the a64, performance almost doubled my athlonxp! It's all about the IPC!