Even with the power of the AMD Athlon X2 and Intel Extreme Edition processors, we still find ourselves hitting a CPU limitation in a lot of our benchmarks. That is, the graphics cards have more performance to give but the processor is letting the team down.
By overclocking the processor we can see what kind of a performance increase we get. When something isn't CPU limited the performance increase isn't all that major but when we do have a CPU bottleneck, every MHz extra we can get can show us an excellent jump in performance.
The Athlon X2 3800+ was increased from 2GHz to 2.35GHz with a slight increase in the front side bus utilizing the stock X2 HSF.
3DMark03 shows very little benefits from the overclock with the X1600XT scoring slightly slower at the higher resolution.
3DMark05 sees a nice performance increase across the whole board with the X1800XT scoring over 9000 3DMark with very little effort.
Far Cry as always sees the biggest benefits with the CPU overclock thanks to it being so CPU limited on higher end cards but we find that at the higher resolution the X1600XT doesn't get any real advantage as the card is doing as much as it can already.