I could make a page long post on to go i7 or not(which i have in the past.), but since im lazy. All i am going to say since i am lazy right now is that if you mainly going for gaming you really don't need i7 as of now, if your really trying to future proof for those quad optimized games and your doing photoshop and video editing then you will benefit from going i7, Phenom II is a great pick also it really gives the Core 2's a run for there money when it comes to gaming and what not, Core 2's have proven them self to be very overclockable and the Phenom II's and pushed some nice clocks to. Price wise the Phenom II's can be generally cheaper, the Core i7's are expensive, they push alot of power out but hurt you wallet wise, no point in getting the Ferrari if your just going to be driving it around a parking lot(unless your buying it for looking cool). You stated it's going to be used for gaming, ao i would recommend not going i7 unless you do alot of extra CPU heavy tasks and you want to get ready for ''next gen'' gaming. If not, Phenom II is always a great pick if your dont mind going AMD. The Core 2's are kind of fading out but still pack alot of power and if want to do alot of OCing the Core 2's are perfect if you can get ahold of one.