Ivy Bridge uses less power but doesn't run cooler. An i7 is only necessary if you're going to run a million programs at once or doing video rendering or 3D stuff, but an i5 is more than enough for heavy gaming with other apps running in the background. HT doesn't help with games, and I bet even next gen games won't need more than 4 cores to run optimally.
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However games have started taking advantage of HT, it is not predominant so far as many games still don't use more than 2-4 cores.
If all you will be doing is gaming the i5 will do you fine.
1> you plan on keeping your rig a long time
2> you can get it for a good deal
3> if you do a lot of multitasking
4> use virtual machines
the i7 maybe a better buy
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