If you never plan to upgrade your os and want to stick with old software, a "faster" single core cpu is the chip for you.
If you wish to be a consumer that always advances with tech, get a dual core.
A chip can only best offer it's capabilities from the software. If you have an OS that doesn't do anything with multi cpus, than you have nothing. By that same token, some supplemental apps utilize single core processing. A new os like Vista, could theoretically push multi cpu processing within single core apps, giving you a boost regardless of the apps limitation.
Also, we (consumers and companies) are transitioning from 32 to 64 bit computing...though agonizingly slow. A newer chip tends to be 64bits regardless of core number, so that will also help, and again limited by supporting software.
Use my car theory....
Like cars and the roadways of life....
You can buy a fast turbo charged car and drive it 40 mph ALL the time but if you do that ALL the time, it's pointless...or fairly so. However, if you buy that 0-80 in 5 sports car and do plan to take it out onto the interstate and expressways....then it's not too bad an investment.
oh yeah...and back to chips. By the time you decide, Quad core cpus/mobos will be out to support those quad gpu set ups:beard: [november - in 2 months ppl!...time to markets factored in]
It's a crazy tech world with no slow lanes