I have an intel E8400, and as it has 2 cores, it can run 2 simultaneous threads (Core architecture does not have hyperthreading as you know).
I'm not very worried about this CPU performing well in future games, because I honestely believe this CPU can stand its own for at least another couple of years.
Still, I have a question: When games come that use 2+ threads (there are probably a few out there), how well will this CPU handle them? Let's suppose you run a game that spawns 4 threads: Of course a Quad will perform better because it can dedicate each of its cores to each thread, but would a dual perfom badly? Would it be overwhelmed, or despite the fact the it has 2 cores, could it handle 4 threads reasonably? (of course I don't expect it to be on Quad level).
despite of having 2 cores, could this CPU's speed sort of make up for handling 4 threads and still mantain an acceptable level of perfomance?
Thats a pretty tough question to answer as it depends on too many variables to tell, your best guidance in that avenue would be to look to the past on the switch from Single-Core to Dual-Core. I am sure that basically the same thing will come to pass with the switch from Dual-Core to Quad-Core. I built my current computer back when the Single to Dual switch was going on (I bought a Dual-Core), and my computer performed exceptionally well in games, and currently performs much better than any single core I could have bought then or even now in current games. Most single core computers don't play current games very well, if at all. So, my guess would be no for your final question. If you want the computer to last as long as possible, go Quad-Core. It may not perform as fast now in games, but it performs at an acceptable level. Then in the future it will actually perform better than the Dual-Core counterparts, so as far as I am concerned a Quad-Core is the only way to go today if you are any sort of gamer or power-user.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of multithreaded software to provide scalability as well? If a certain piece of software "sees" your hardware can handle 2 threads, it will spawn 2, if it can handle 4, it spwans 4, and so on.
And I think that by the time my CPU can't handle games, most of the socket775 CPUs (even Quads) will be sloppy by then.
I think this is a bit like Pentium 4 and Pentium D CPUs (which were both Netburst CPUs; the Pentium D was just 2 of them strapped together)... as long as Pentium D's were enough for games, so were single core P4's (both of them can still pull through most games anyway).
So I think, yes, my CPU will still cut it for at least 2 years. But the time it doesn't, something tells me that s775 Quads won't as well.