So i am looking at either a i7 -960 or an i7 2600k. I am ignorant as to witch cocket performs better. And if either are a significant upgrade to my Q9650.
I am primarlily looking for performance in gaming. And also trying to decide if i shouls shell out cash for a new video card instead of new cpu,mobo and compatible mem. (my vid card is currently a gtx 470)
Well, from what I've read I would go with the 1155 socket because it's supposedly better for overclocking and has a much wider array of compatibility with other Motherboard (because more motherboard use 1155).
With that said I would go with the i7 2600k mostly because it's the 1155 socket and contains the Sandy Bridge. Considering that their both a Quad-Core, the 2600k is clocked @3.4GHz (3.8GHz w/ Turbo). The "K" in the 2600k also means that it has an Unlocked Multiplier, so Overclocking will be a breeze for you!
The i7 2600k would be (in my eyes) a fairly large improvement. 3.0GHz up to 3.4GHz is great! +Hyperthreading for the 2600k and 8MB L3 Cache.
Overall: 1155 > 1366| 2600k > 960| And a great improvement.
Personally seeing as you already have a fast chip I would skip this gen and upgrade to Ivy Bridge late this year early next year. Out of the two your asking about the 2600k with the unlocked multiplier is the best choice and It's the current generation, the 960 isn't.
The 2500K is actually the best choice. It's almost exactly equal to the 2600K in gaming and significantly better than the 960, as well as being less expensive.
However, as sports says above, you don't currently need to upgrade. In games, I think your GPU is still the bottleneck. The next step in GPUs would probably be SLI/Xfire. However, do you need to upgrade? You should be able to nearly max most games, no?
An overclocked 2500k or 2600k will just about double the speed of an overclocked Q9650. As to whether that makes much difference in games depends on how good your GPU setup is. A 2500k + motherboard + cpu cooler + ram is a significant expense. If you aren't running your Q9650 at its fastest speed then you should try that first.