I was thinking of upgrading my pc to Corei7 950 but considering that I'm gonna need a new motherboard and ram, thus having this move would be a bit expensive for me. On the other option, I'm considering this Q9650 as an alternative. Since I will be only spending for the cpu, I was wondering if it's worth the upgrade? Since I'm into gaming and optimal performance is a big issue for me. I hope anyone can help me decide if it's worth purchasing the Q9650. As of now my Pc is a E4600 2.4ghz core2duo, Asus P5Q SE Plus motherboard, 4gb 800mhz ram, GTS 250 1gb and Gigabyte 550W PSU
It depends on how long you plan to hold on to your current system. I upgraded to a Q9650 from an E6300 C2D last year and it was worth it for me for three reasons:
#1 I really needed a quad to speed up video encoding
#2 it was a good deal at the time ~$250
#3 I plan to get another 2-3 years from this computer.
If you don't make use of multi-threaded apps, can't find a cheap Q9650, or plan to get a new system in less than two years, I would say it isn't worth it. I suggest you purchase a nice aftermarket heatsink that has a good chance of carrying over into a future build, and overclock your E4600 to improve it's performance. Then you can hold out until Sandy Bridge or some other next-best-thing comes out.
Your E4600 has a 12x multiplier... that should make overclocking really easy.
Best best is the best deal you can get on a quad core 775 cpu. I would lean towards the q9550 myself. But I also live near a microcenter.
Bluescreen. Remeber that the i5 that cost 200 will require a new board and ram. There for the 200 dollar price tag is irrelevant. By that logic he could also get a Phenom II 955 as well for 150 dollars.....
I upgraded from a core2duo 2.2ghz to a q9550 which i overclocked to 3.5ghz. The upgrade was amazing so I say go for it if you can get it for no more than 200 dollars. Otherwise you'll have to spend far more but then you'd have an even better system. I had basically that same system that you are contemplating before I upgraded my card to a 460. I had the 9800gtx+ 1gb and it was good, but if you go with a newer mobo/processor setup you're going to want to upgrade that card to because it is starting to show its age.