Like I told you, switching procs isn't likely to change whether or not you get playable framerates in games, cause you only need about 35-40fps for smooth gaming, and your old processor should've been capable of that in pretty much any game out there. You'll only see a difference in benchmarks that are CPU dependent ... some extreme examples of which are aquamark and 3dmark06.
So, whilst pretty much ANY AMD proc will 'bottleneck' an 8800GT to some degree, what a slower processor affects is the higher FPS ranges. Like I explained earlier, with aquamark example, comparing your card/proc combo vs. mine.
A slower proc will generally NOT bring your game performance down into the 15-25 FPS range ... unless you have a REALLY slow processor, which you didn't, and still don't, have.
Now, I will say, I don't have a lot of experience with online gaming involving a ton of players. It MAY be the case that this requires quite a bit of extra processing power vs. what you see in single player games. However, if you WERE playing in identical conditions before (same game, players, etc), and didn't have the lag you have now, it doesn't seem logical to conclude that the problem is anything BUT some kind of change in how the internet part of the equation is working. There is MORE to online gaming performance than JUST the bandwidth of *your* connection ... OTHER people's connections pretty much HAVE to come into play to some degree as well, if you think about it.
One other tip: when the cause of poor performance is your CPU, what you tend to see is a distinct 'stuttering' phenomenon. You know what it looks like when the CPU tests are running in 3dMark06, the way the picture just kinda 'jumps', like a bunch of frames were just 'lost', even though your VIEWPOINT doesn't change at all? That's the sign of the CPU being bogged down. If your GPU is causing poor performance, you tend to see more of a 'lagging' effect whenever your view changes ... like, if you pan in or out, or spin your screen view around, and you experience LAG where the actual view doesn't keep up with your controls that are directing the view.
If you want to ELIMINATE the possibility that your GPU is 'the problem', its usually pretty simple to just crank down all visual settings to bare minimum, lowest res, no AA/AF, low everything, etc. If things are STILL the same, perf-wise, you pretty much then KNOW that it's NOT the GPU.
Edited by brettjv - 7/10/08 at 4:36pm