My home is kept at 65 degrees in the winter and I managed to get a constant idle temp of 22-26c with all voltages turned way down and CPU speed at 1.5 Ghz. I also noticed that I see no difference surfing the net or operating my computer (except for gaming) at these low performance profiles. It says a lot for keeping a computer overclocked all the time. Just will heat up the CPU for no good reason for no improvement in 2D performance. This is with a i7 920 processor and an H50 Corsair water cooler. I am a believer about the new intel enhanced speedstep. It boosts up to 3.6 as soon as I put on a game but otherwise keeps the system at 1.5 Ghz.
More aboutoverclocking waste general
I think it depends on what your general use is, but probably. There have been a few articles on Tom's that go into what speed is the most efficient under load, but really if you're never taxing your processor then these articles don't apply.
No body should be buying a 920 if they are just browsing the web or using office anyways. Thats what the i3 is for.
You are probably correct about the i3. I'm sure I just pissed away $500 on my 295 GTX and all I do is surf the net, play an occasional game, office, and watch a blueray movie.
muratgemici2003: of course! OC'ing definitely counts if you're computing density matrices of molecules though!
Not only $500, but the larger electric bill as well. Depending on your game and resolution, you could probably do quite well with the 5750. Around the speed of the 4850/GTS250, but much more power efficient.