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Hello Counterpoint, thanks a lot for posting your question at Intel communities and also for all the complete information provided.
The following link will show you a list of Intel processors so you can compare them. http://ark.intel.com/compare/35428,42920,35365,39107,36547
The current processor, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 has a speed of 2.33GHZ. The faster processor from this family is the Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9650 which has a 3 GHz.
The Q9650 will provide you a better performance; however the change may not be noticeable, since there is not much difference between these two.
You will be able to see a big difference in your system if you also upgrade your hard drives to hdd with more RPMs and add more memory, something that you already did.
Please beware of where you purchase the processor, since there are a lot of counterfeit processors and engineer samples for sale on the web.