If you're planning on building a new computer for multi-threaded use, I recommend you go with the newly released i7 core. Why? The reason is simple...
- The i7 core is the latest in CPU technology and it is the future, for now. If you're already going to spend some money upgrading or getting a new computer, then shell out some more so it will last you longer.
- The i7 core, while it may perform at clock speeds lower than its C2Q price counter-part, is equipped with good old Hyper-Threading. Hyper-Threading, in basic terms, creates a second virtual core on the core that's using the technology. Intel equipped all of the cores in the i7 with this technology. In essence, you will be running 8 cores. And don't worry, the i7 architecture allows it to turn off cores that aren't in use resulting in greater power efficiency.
- The FSB is higher than....wait! There is not FSB! Intel has given up on the good old bottleneck and decided to integrate the memory controller to the die. i7 Core will behave much like the AMD processors and will be able to use faster RAM at 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately, the integrated memory controller does not operate at the full speed of the processor. To help with the communication between the memory controller and the CPU, Intel develop a system connection called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). It's much like AMD's HyperTransport. The QPI can perform at speeds up to 25GB/sec. Unfortunately not all processors will perform at this speed (the Core i7 920 and Core i7 940 perform at 19.2GB/sec). Note that 19.2GB/sec is more than enough to support DDR3 1066MHz in triple channel...Oh yes, you don't get dual channel anymore, you get triple.
The i7 Core has many more features to improve the speed of your computer, but I have listed the basic. I have pretty much condensed some of this
review into this thread. So give some credit to them.
In conclusion, for the extra $200-300 you will have to pay for the newer motherboard, RAM, and CPU you will be receiving something that will do your tasks for you at better performance than the C2Q/Phenom. You will also save money in future upgrading. But remember, this ridiculous gain in performance only applies to multi-threaded applications. If you're going to buy a new computer strictly for gaming go after the AthlonX2/Intel C2D. I guess the bottom line is: The Phenom/C2Q is just not worth it unless you want a mix of gaming and multi-threaded usage? I don't know, but I wouldn't buy it.