Research what athlete actually means is my point. Not saying that the average competitive gamer lives a more active lifestyle than a marathon runner, just that the term athlete itself could arguably apply more to gamers than say, weight lifters.
I upgraded from an E6600 to a Q6600 back in the days when Bad Company 2 was still a newish game (same 3.2Ghz overclock). My average FPS in multiplayer jumped from the low 30s to high 40s instantly on my 9800GT. Dual core without at least some form of HT is not viable these days, rest assured, and even that is likely pushing it.