Hi I'm getting a gaming computer built and have almost everything worked out. I can't decide on the processor though. At first I thought a Intel Duo E8400 would be fine but after looking at the latest req. ie gta4 and reading forums it seems that quad would be the best bet. But now I'm also thinking if I should get the Q9400 or the Q9550. Besides the roughly 200 mhz difference there is also 2x the cache? does this make a huge difference when it comes to gaming?
Get a Q9550, I have one you can't go wrong. Moved from a E6320 @3.3Ghz because I bought GTA IV! Now you should get a E0 stepping chip wherever you buy and they run nice and cool and o/c well. I run mine at a modest 3.4Ghz and it does the job in everything!
Crysis, Far Cry 2, Hells Highway, all saw a noteable improvement, and of course GTA IV is now playable!
I'm not sure why this dragon-dude keeps banging on about Q6600 at 3.6!? 8Mb cache vs 12Mb, hot 65nm vs cool 45nm, o/c to 3.6 if you're lucky vs possible 4Ghz on just good air!
It's a no brainer imo. If you have the cash get the Q9550 (and 4Gb RAM for GTA IV)