Let me say this loud and clear for all of you that really want to spend the money that is burning a hole in your pockets....
It doesn't matter if you get 105 FPS or 31 FPS. As long as you don't go below 30 FPS you are at your eye's maximum FPS. My system gets no less than 35 FPS in any game that I play at the highest resolution that my 19inch widescreen monitor can handle which is 1440x900 @ the highest AA and AF for my X1900 card without missing a beat.
I know what your going to say...35 FPS is low..(Yes, but when you consider that my graphic's card AI is working the overall load of the card so that it doesn't over power it's self by running at 49 FPS all the time for no apparent reason causing overheating and then crashes, I would take the 35 FPS anyday.) Sit back and think about how many games you have totally maxed your CPU out on vs. how much money you spent on WATER COOLING for your special E6600 and then ask yourself...was it worth the extra $350 just to get the extra 1.5GHz out of a CPU?
I don't care what people say, but when I can run every game I own at max resolution and graphics at my eyes maximum FPS recognition, there is no point in owning a CPU that can overclock to 3.6GHz except for show and tell.
Sorry but I'm not looking for any fights, this is just what I think.
35 seconds is nothing special.....my X2 4200 can load maps just as fast and it's not a Core2Duo. Also, for overall performance you probably wont see much difference in gameplay going from the Core2Duo to the X2 series AMD processors but if you get a good graphics card, it doesn't matter what brand of processor you have...
For real world performance go with AMD but if all you want to do is overclock like mad and get 14 second super PI times, go with Intel. My 2 cents for the night.
The only thing that was close in real world performance that you may notice is running something like a opti170 at 3.0ghz to a stock 4300 at 1.8 ghz, sure that may not be that big of a difference.