I'm trying to learn about CPU's and which ones give better proven performance. I went to this site and it seems to be a good real-world comparison matrix, even though not as many units are tested as I'd like. The charts there bring up some questions.
Example - comparing performance of an Intel Quad Core Q6600 at 2.4Ghz with an Intel Dual Core E8500 at 3.16Ghz and keeping the mobo out of the equation:
1. Does the above depend if the benchmarking is done with gamer application testing vs. testing with multimedia and other less stringent applications? In other words, would a non-gamer find any significant improvement using the quad core over the dual core?
2. Is the conventional wisdom that a quad core is always preferable over a dual core, no matter what the application? Are there any rules of thumb for this?
3. Do factors like bus speed and L2 cache override the processor speed and number of cores?
4. Is there a better benchmark site than the above that ranks CPU's based on tests with different applications? I'm not a gamer myself, so when I get a new PC in the near future I want to spend the money where it will do me the most good.