Originally I was going to build a 6 core machine, but 6 cores weren't released yet.
I went with a AMD quad core.
Most games are only coded for a single core.
Some are being coded for dual cores now, but it is overkill.
The CPU is like a traffic cop, directing traffic.
What effects the graphics performance most, will be the graphics card.
Make sure to get a good graphics card. The ATI 5850, 5870 and 5770 are all popular choices right now.
Sad thing is you would naturally think 6 cores and an extra meg on L2 cache would be better over a quad but it's not the case. Go figure....
Either way when the price drops low enough I'll probably buy one as well for my AM3 machine. But it's true most games don't touch more then 2 cores (sometimes the 4th core) so not worth spending the extra money now. Perhaps in a year or two it will be different.
BTW It's not like you won't see good performance with the Phenom X6 but it's probably not worth the extra cost to you.
I would personally go with the PII 955, it's about equal to the I 5 750 in gaming, it may be somewhat behind in encoding, or encrypting. But for your normal stuff like internet word docs, music videos, neither of this chips are going to begin to sweat. So save money on the CPU and beef up that GPU
the 955 is the lowest with an unlocked multiplier, you can tell if it's called a black edition indicated the unlocked multiplier
Yes you could potentially overclock a 925 to potentially the same speeds as a 955. But the 955 is only $15 more has and unlocked multiplier and typically will be a higher binned product, so your more likely have to have more overclocking headroom
Maybe when ATI integrates GPUs and CPUs it matter to have more cores than 4, but right now all that matters is a higher clocked CPU. If you want a well rounded CPU for multi-tasking gaming and video encoding go with a AMD 955 BE. If all you need is a gaming CPU go with either a AMD Athlon II X4 635, or a Athlon II X3 Rana 3.0 ghz.