I'm not quite sure why you are so obsessed with the 8800GTS vs 8600GTS comparison.LOL thats about the differance in a 8600GTS and a 8800GTS 320mb. Yes the system performance is major for a GPU change in game over a CPU change.
You seem hell bent on comparing a X2 3600+ vs E4300 system at the same pricepoint. Why is that? I think it's clear to everyone that for a comparable config to an X2 platform, the C2D will cost $50 - $100 more. With that comes greater CPU performance. It's really quite simple, I'm quite amazed we are still discussing this topic.
And also, please note that I'm not using any kind of 8xxx series of video card there - I'm using the Galaxy Geforce 7300GT w/ DDR3 (premium). I just want some more boost in FPS, and also shorter loading times. That's all. If WinXP loads 2x faster, or my interneting becomes more responsive, that's it, I'm taking the C2D for sure.
I intend to use X2-3600 initially but you said it'll be a bottleneck if a DDR2-667 is used.
Actually both combo price are ALMOST the same if I want max performance:
C2D E4300 + board = around $170
X2 3600 + board + 1GB DDR800 stick = also around $170
I'm recycling my video card too. This card is okay so far.
And btw, you guys are correct, I'm a college kid somewhere in M'sia. Love those E6300s, but they cost a bomb. Imagine, US$170 for one E6300 isn't a small number in Malaysian ringgit.