In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz is marginally better than the AMD FX-4130 when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.
The FX-4130 was released over three years more recently than the Core 2 Quad, and so the FX-4130 is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core 2 Quad when running the latest games.
Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).
The FX-4130 and the Core 2 Quad both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.
The has more threads than the . Both CPUs have one thread per physical core. The FX-4130 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core 2 Quad uses hyperthreading, as it has 1 logical threads per physical core.
Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.
More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.
The FX-4130 and Core 2 Quad are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the FX-4130 has a 1.14 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.
Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.
The Core 2 Quad has a 8192 KB bigger L2 cache than the FX-4130, and although the Core 2 Quad does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.
The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.
The Core 2 Quad has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the FX-4130. However, the FX-4130 was created with a 13 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core 2 Quad is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, but there really isn't much in it.