New Server or Gaming rig Build

I am looking to build a home server on a Quad core chip that will be running VMware ESX with around 3 virtual machines. I will most likely be putting 8 GB of ram into it, unless I go with a Xeon and run the more expensive ECC, which might limit my ram down to 4GB for a while.

I'm hoping to upgrade my Server 2003 skills to 2008 and want a useable machine to run tests on and eventually act as my home file/web/sql/domain/exchange box.

I am looking either purchase a new Quad core chip or use my existing Q6600 that I use in my main workstation/gaming rig. If I do end up using my Q6600, I'd most likely purchase a E8500 for my new gaming rig due to the fact that the new i7 is a bit out of my price comfort zone and since with my new server I don't think I'd be running any applications that would take advantage of the quad core on my workstation. Has anyone gone from a Quad core to a Dual and noticed a performance decrease? I will most likely be able to OC the E8500 to around 3.8~4ghz, which would be an upgrade to the 3.2 clock I currently run my Q6600 at.

If I do end up purchasing a new chip for my server I am willing to put a bit more money into it. Would purchasing a Xeon chip be worthwhile? Or should I perhaps purchase a Skulltrail mobo, a new Q6600 and have an upgrade lined up for when I eventually upgrade my workstation? Just thought I'd throw this situation out there in case there is some alternative I'm not seeing. Thanks in advance for any suggestions
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  1. A cheaper suggestion would be to look for a cheap Opty server and run that, since the 3 VM's won't seriously tax a server (tho it will hurt a Xeon, they stink).
    $460 Supermicro Barebones 1U server socket AM2 Opty server. (Uses standard DDR2 800/667/533)
    needs CPU, RAM, and HDD's

    $146 (When in stock) AM2 Quad (just a suggestion)
  2. The Opteron no doubt being the least expensive option. Though I have heard nothing bad about Xeon's. Xeon's will use LGA 775 if you already have a LGA 775 mobo that you want to use.
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