We'll heres the problem, in easy terms, You have BMW, a Porche and a Ferrari, all that can do 120 mph(190 something in kph), but you still have a speed limit of 60mph(90kph). I would buy which ever is cheapest, because in terms of gaming..it doesn't matter. Especially if all the games you run can be handled by a 9600GT..it doesn't matter, because your games aren't limited by the i7 or the 955 PII, there limited by the 9600GT.... Supporting the underdog isn't a reason to buy, but frankly it doesn't matter, if moneys no object get the i7, but you rarely would see and performance gain over the AMD equivalant in terms of gaming. You actually wouldn't see any improvement over the Q9650...really between either chip anyway. What I'd do, is buy the AMD because more than likely its cheaper. And I'd spend the rest on a new GPU for the Q9650 rig. Possible a Nvidia 260 216 or a HD 4870.