What are you gonna be using your PC for? If just for gaming, surfing, IMing and etc, take the dual core, OC the snot outta it and enjoy. If your gonna be doing any heavy video/audio encoding, rendering, etc, then get the Quad Core, get a decent OC and enjoy.
Frankly thats the short, sweet and simple answer. We'd need to know what your gonna use the computer for exactly before a proper CPU recommendation. That being said regardless of what your doing, dual core is *currently* more than enough and the speed hit from going dual core to quad core isn't worth it in MOST cases.
Not so, more of the newer games like Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 are getting a boost from quad cores.
Not enough in my opinion to be offset by the higher speed that can be obtained by a dual core. That being said I do run a quad core on my gaming rig which should be obvious in the many threads where I've posted info from my rig .
If you can afford a quad core than by all means go for it, but when it comes to a Q8xxx series unless you have something that requires the cores, the q8xxx series is too "stunted" to be of much use even in games that take advantage of it. Now q9xxx series is a different story.
No need to apologize its better to ask than not to and in the end be dissappointed and feel like you didn't get what you paid for.
Chilly is on the money here, simply you get what you pay for if you can fit it in your budget the Q9550 with its increased clockrate and much larger cache it will far more beneficial. If you can't fit it into your budget an E8400 will suffice and with a little introduction to overclocking you'll be able unleash even more performance at no extra cost.
I like to do some work with Maya on top of everything so I will go with quad.
And q9550 is nice but it's too expencive the i7 920 is cheaper and if the there is a motherboard for 300-320 i will consider the i7.
For now I have this in mind:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Corsair XMS2 Dominator TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF 4GB Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Cooler Master Haf 932 Corsair TX650W 650W Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB
I think you have a pretty solid system there, except for the CPU personally it wouldn't be my first choice and I recommend Mushkin Ascents over the Corsair ram you might find their a little cheaper but perform just as well. Try to find some cash your in budget for some addtional case fans and seriously consider an alternative to the stock cooling that comes with the Intel CPU. Possible suggestions are the Sunbeam Corecontact or the OCZ vendetta2, both come with fans and they are reasonably priced.
A core i7 cpu, motherboard, and memory alone would probably be your entire budget.
If you intend on purchasing your pc via the internet pay close attention to these sites if you are unfamiliar with them:
www.ncix.com Suprise special sale on, shipping $5.99 on orders over $350, max 200LBS and NCIX.com also offers price matching
Motherboard---- Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P ---------- $192.99 ($188.99)*
CPU ----- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 ----------- $241.99 ($236.99)*
Memory ----OCZ (OCZ2RPR10664GK) DDR2 PC2-8500 1066 MHz 4GB--$129.99 (119.99)* ($89.99)**
HD ------ Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB SATAII ----------- $86.99 ($84.99)*
Power Supplies Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W ---------$101.99 ($99.99)*
Video Card --- BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC MAXCORE----$341.99 ($334.99)* ($304.99)**
Cases ----- Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower -------------$173.99 ($169.99)*
DVD Drive----LG GH22LP20 IDE LightScribe Black 22X DVD-Writer ------$32.99
OS ----- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit ----- $137.99 ($134.99)*