Isn't that quad-core supossed to be called like Penryn or is that the desktop versoin?
Penryn is going to be the 45nm shrink of the Merom.
But Penryn is a dual-core 45-nanometer chip specifically designed for notebooks, sources said. Wolfdale is the name of the dual-core 45nm chip that will be slated for desktops in that time frame. Penryn is essentially a smaller version of Merom, which is due in August, while Wolfdale is a smaller version of Conroe, scheduled for a July launch.
Its already been noted though that they may package the C2Q as the new enthusiast model and use the C2D as the mainstream model. And possibly after a certian amount of time they'll switch completly to the C2Q (possibly when developers get off their @$$ and write software that fully utilizes the function of a multicore processor).
Intel can afford to sell its processors for far cheaper that AMD would ever dream of doing because theey know that they:
a) have the market share and
b) have the money to drop prices (a la C2D intro)
and by the way... STFU
That just means they'll make less than AMD does for Opteron. Not the normal way of introing new processors, especially ones that really "Leap Ahead." Especially ahead of their own processors.
If the price is 1/2 of Opteron, and cost less than Opteron to produce, and can help regain some market share in the server sector, then I see no issues.
If anything, it will make AMD have to either 1) lower their prices for their Opteron offerings, or 2) stay quiet and hope no one really cares if the chip is cheaper, especially in multi-socket platforms.
How many cores your system can use depends on what you do. Games use maybe one or two threads. Encoders can use at least four. Some compilers like GCC can use a lot (>10 in my experience.) I'd get a dual quad-core or better when I get my next machine as I am sure that I will put all of the cores to work (I run Gentoo and thus compile a lot of stuff with GCC.)
I forgot how many years I've been following computers, probably around 10 or so by now, but its always been that hardware leads software. No company is going to write programs with multi-core support if there are no multi-cores. The point of getting a quad-core right now isin't for the performance gain which we most likely won't see too much of as of now, but for when the programs come that will harness the true power.
Although, I do have to admit, the software for computer games far exceeds hardware these days, but I would have to attribute that to inefficent coding and just so much more things going on...