Hmmm, more cores or speed? Any chance you can get the 9950 from newegg? Four cores, 2.6GHz, and its around $180. If you can't, I'd probably get the X3. The 9650 might have four cores, but they aren't that fast. The PhII is faster C4C then the older PhI, I'm guessing that lack of the fourth core isn't going to hinder it that much.