L2 cache vs the newer L3 cache

I'm wondering if there is a cache-knowledgeable person out there who could give a cache-for-dummies explanation of what the primary difference is between the two, and if one is better than the other? Oh, and while we're at it, is it important to the functionality of the computer that the cache be as big as possible? In other words, is a 1 mb cache going to drag my "everyday use/non-gaming" computer down noticeably, or is it a good investment to increase it to whatever the motherboard will accept? Sorry for the wordiness!
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  1. For the most part, an end user should ignore the amount or type of cache as a selection criteria.
    L2 may be associated with individual cores, while a larger L3 might be available to all of the cores.
    The motherboard has no part in this. It is a cpu specific amount, and will vary by cpu model.
    It can not be changed.

    Look at the bottom line for cpu effectiveness.
    One simple metric might be the passmark number.
  2. Thank you geofelt!
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