These games have trouble running smoothly in a Acer extensa 4420 and Sony Pentium 4 system. I tried it on a 20 inch intel Mac and it also aren't perfect.
My main machine is a core 2 quad with a amd 3850 and it runs perfectly. I wonder if its the video card that helped or the more powerful CPU. I used rivatune to check GPU load and it only shows 4 % load at max under these game and cpu will go as high as 50% over the 4 cores. So i am suspecting its the CPU that will effect these games. It is easier fix if it's the GPU needed to be upgrade instead of getting a different CPU for the P4 and laptop.
I think the main bottleneck in your laptop and Pentium 4 is the GPU. Could you post each system's sepecs (CPU speed, GPU, RAM)?
Anyway, a 2.4 GHz or higher AMD dual core or a 2.0GHz or higher Intel dual core with some modern integrated graphics or some modest GPU like the GeForce 8400 or ATI 4350 should run these games flawlessly.
nope, a better video card won't help. I'm just stating that, if you get a new pc (or motherboard+cpu) a modest integrated GPU will do ok (avoid crappy integrated video like intel GMA). A modern dual core (Athlon II is cheap and fast) will do ok with those games. A separate video card will be MUCH better if you play some other games... but not flash games.
Are you saying BOTH cores on that AMD dual core are stressed to 100%? That's strange... might be the low clock speeds...