Not the current dual core, but the dual processor setups. You'll read pundits that don't get it but I found dual processor machines to always be smoother overall. Even if the game doesn't take advantage of the dual CPUs one can run the game and the other does the OS housework.
I won't duplicate all the nice web pages about how to measure multiple CPU horsepower but will note the biggest bang for the buck is the dual. We had a quad CPU server but it pretty much loafed doing not much for all the added expense.
Not so much gaming but another area will really pay off in more CPUs or cores is video editing and video processing. Cinelarra and other such readily use more CPUs.
I posted the same question on a gaming forum but wanted to hear a few other answers so that I can see ideas on a different perspective.
Is there a way to know how fast a multi-core (dual core and the soon quad-core or perhaps more in the future) processors are in terms of raw power?
I'm looking more on how a multi-core processor's speed in terms of a single core processor's speed. Like say a 3.2GHZ single core processor would be able to perform a complex single "thread" process in 10 minutes. (by single thread I mean process A needs input from process B and process B needs input from process C, therefore B cannot start before C ends and A cannot start before B ends) How fast would a 2.6GHZ dual core processor perform the same process.
I'm planning to buy a new PC and am evaluating what I should get to prepare for a long term PC (2 Yrs perhaps) The problem is that the trend now is to expand horizontally rather than vertically. But most software's system requirements as a standard (de facto i pressume) place a single core chip on requirements. What happens if I have a 2.6GHZ dual core processor and the box says I need atleast a 3.2GHZ processor. Will I be able to use the software? What if it says 6GHZ? I was told by my friend that multi core processors have a different benchmark speed for them but we're not sure if the industry will use this new benchmark on their requirements instead of the now standard way of stating requirements.