...but even then the CPU is usually not the limiting factor....
Unfortunately, not the case with GPUs like 6800GT/Ultra and VPUs like X800XT/XT PE.
The situation has simply changed once again. Pairing, for example, a K7 at 1800Mhz to a GeForce 6800 Ultra is a waste of money on the GPU; a 6800GT would literally perform exactly the same on this CPU in 95% of cases (not counting ridiculous insanity like 1600x1200 16X aniso and 8X FSAA in Doom3 and similar lunatic settings).
This was not the case with Radeon 9X00/GeForceFX and older VPUs & GPUs. The highest end of the latest generation is such a massive performance leap that the CPU and its platform are very much
a limiting factor.
Sorry to disagree with you on that one Russ, but it's simply a fact with the latest graphics accelerators; n
VIDIA and ATi
have completely changed the system around again.
Oh well, you did say, "usually."
Of course, as you and I both know, it only matters if you're going for the last ounce of eye candy. A standard $200 GPU like a 9700 and a well matched CPU like a K7 at 2GHz would be, "perfectly fine," to run any game, even Doom 3, comfortably at low-mid level quality settings, anyway. It's a matter of wanting the higher resolution, sharper textures, softer jaggies etc.
That's why this overclocking thing is only done by <1% of the people that actually have computers (including the millions who bought a Dell, use AOL and are happy happy with it). Looking specifically at people who built their own systems, I'm sure it's still easily <10%. And even in the case of those <10%, only maybe ~10% of those
have the necessary 6800/X800 card as well as a valid
reason for doing it (People who do it to get 120fps rather than, "just," 100fps are just plain wasting their time, energy and money)--this is why the same people don't just overclock their CPUs, but look for the highest possible FSB/HTT speed at that maximum clock rate on the CPU, as well as overclocking the GPU/VPU and the graphics memory--any place where noticeable gains can be made, will be made, since it's just so difficult to get playable framerates with absolutely maxed out eye candy on the latest, heaviest games.
I'm just making the case for the ~10% of the <10% of the <1% of the people who actually have computers. Statistically insignificant? Maybe (but not according to companies catering to overclockers, huh?
), but I'm still one of them.
These are subjective
things. There will always
be a split between group A and group B on subjective matters. Nobody needs a car that can do the quarter mile in under 12 seconds, and not many people even want one, but there are people who want this and more (the, "10 second," car, for example). Asking, "what's the good in having a car that can make 1/4 mile in under 12 seconds?" Is like asking, "What's the good in having super high resolution, super sharp textures and super jaggy-less imaging?" No need at all, just pure want--and that
is a subjective matter. I don't think there's any good grounds to argue on things in regards to taste.