As we're nearing the end of the year it's been almost a year ago since Intel introduced its first quad-core processors. This week ExtremeTech provides an article to investigate if four cores really offer advantages over dual-core processors.
The Core 2 Q6700 and Q6700 offer a 1066MHz effective FSB clock, while the newer E6850 and QX6850 push the FSB up to 1333MHz. A 1066MHa effective front side bus speed yields an overall peak bandwidth of 8.5GB/sec while pushing the FSB up to 1333MHz results in a peak throughput of 10.7GB/sec. That's plenty fast, but there still may be occasions when the FSB isn't fast enough for complex tasks.
This is distinct from AMD's approach, which is to build four cores onto a single die. This is more complex than building a multi-chip module, which has been part of the reason for AMD's long road in shipping Barcelona. While there are theoretical advantages to AMD's approach, actual applications performance won't be known until AMD actually ships their new CPUs.
Check it out over here. The reviewer concludes that quad-core chips definitely offer significant performance boosts in some applications but that the performance boosts in games is still very limited. It may still take some time until most games will take good advantage of more processor cores.