There's really no reason at all to switch to core i5 if he can get similar performance for cheaper. He's running a 24" (and most likely 1080P monitor) so for games a new processor wouldn't make much of a difference between the two quads. If he wants to go SLI/Crossfire, he's limited to 8x/8x, a problem that doesn't necessarily plague all LGA775 boards. You'll see equal issue with both systems (graphics-wise) being bottlenecked in the next few generations, but the 775 platform may end up being faster (perhaps not noticeably) than the i5 system due the LGA 1156's bandwidth limitations being about half the full potential of what the 775 sets have to offer. Considering this, is there any reason to may more? I can see i7 being justified a little better. Not sure if these assumptions are correct, but I thought they should be considered as possibilities.