My computer won't even POST anymore. So I really do have to upgrade. I might be getting a cheap replacement mobo to fit my processor just to limp along for a while, but I'm wondering when I go for the full monty whether I should have a faster-speed dual-core or a lower-speed quad-core.
For example, the fastest clocked Intel Core i3 at the moment is 2x @ 3.3 GHz for $150, while the next processor up is 4x @ 2.8 GHz for $180. The i7 adds hyperthreading to each core, so it can process 8 processing threads simultaneously with 4 cores.
Are there instances where the dual-core will smoke the quad-core on clock frequency alone? Or is pretty much any software with a modern OS (Win7 or OSX) going to take advantage of more cores to greater advantage? Specifically to this upgrade decision, as I understand it, the only situation that comes to mind where the clock speed will win every time is if you're using a Sandy Bridge chipset with integrated graphics, where the performance will be directly tied to clock speed.
For me, applications include DAW software, web browsing, video editing, audio file conversion and P2P software.