I was just wondering if somebody could give me some advice.
We currently have a second PC that is used for very little other than budget game, mainly running The Sims 3 + Expansions. It has a Radeon 6670 with an Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8Ghz and 4GB RAM and does run pretty well for what we use it for.
A friend has said he has a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.6Ghz that he is not going to be using anymore and asked if I wanted it.
What I want to know if whether this processor would offer any noticeable improvement on the one we have in there at the moment? I know neither of them are top of the range new CPUs but if it will give an improvement I will go for it.
Generally, speaking you will only see an improvement if you play games or use programs that take advantage of at least 3 cores. Otherwise you could get slightly lower performance.
The Sims 3 uses either one or two cores, so having a quad core CPU will not improvement performance. The 200MHz lower clockspeed could potentially decrease performance, but Sims 3 is not a particularly demanding game. Like most games, the Sim 3 is likely to be more dependent on the graphic card than on the CPU as long as the CPU is not so slow that it bottlenecks the game and the graphic card.
On the little info you provided, you should see no change in performance. If you were to encode videos using a video codec capable of using more than 2 cores, then you will see a performance increase.