I remember back in the days when I was still a high school student, and the battle between Intel and AMD was so fierce that I could hardly know what was going on. One day, AMD will have the fastest machine, and the next day Intel will come back and say “Oh, I’m faster than you are by 10000 cycle per second and I’m on a smaller dice size, emit less heat and consume less power, bla bla bla”. Not that I was complaining, but it was and still is a daunting task trying to keep up with microprocessor technology.
And even today, after discovering that Quad Core processors are now growing into the mass consumer market (for example, Acer Aspire is using AMD Phenom while Dell XPS is using Intel Core 2 Quad), I’m still spoilt with choice and can’t determine which one is better then the other.
Better, it seems, is a word that is relative to what you really want, need and will use. No doubt, consumer will keep on buying new stuffs and technology, but I find my Intel Centrino Duo and ATI card still runs very smoothly, test and compile my code fast enough, and play games which I want to play nicely.
Would Quad Core really be neccessary? Yeah, for servers, maybe.
But again, if you were given the chance to choose, let’s say for free, between Ferrari and Honda, which would you choose? Ferrari, of course. People are greedy, remember? 🙂
Yes, Quad can be very powerful, if your program and operating system has the intelligent to full utilize the resource it has. However, the true potential of computing world is the 64 bit program and operating. If the day came, when 64 bit OS is widely used, there will be a significant changes in computing world where everything will be much detailed and much faster. Adding more core is just solving the problem of current situation, 64 bit is the future.