Core 2 Duo vs Core 2 Quad?

I have a Dell Optiplex 745. It currently has a Core 2 Duo running at 2.0ghz. I'm told the system can handle up to a Core 2 Quad at 2.66ghz.

For $90, is that a substantial upgrade?

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  1. Maybe... depends on what you are doing. If you are running heavy multi-threaded software, then yes. If you are not, then you'll just see a modest increase in speed from the extra .66 GHz.
  2. Yes.
  3. Even if in single threaded applications you will increased performance (not just from the extra frequency) as there are 4 cores to take some processes. If the background work load is covered by 2 then the other 2 are free to work on whatever program you are using. So yes, this is a noticeable difference.
  4. Depends on if the programs you use can take advantage of more than 2 cores. Assuming both Core 2 Duo and Quad both have the same clockspeed, the difference in performance for programs capable of using only 2 cores will be very small since background processes generally do not use much processing cycles.

    If you use programs / play games that can make use of more than 2 cores, then you can see a decent improvement in performance; roughly 30% - 40% improvement under the best circumstances depending on how well the program / game has been designed to take advantage of more than 2 cores.

    Since the Core 2 Quad is 2.66GHz compared to your current Core 2 Duo at 2.0GHz, any program you run will get a performance increase just based on clockspeed alone.

    I prefer a quad core over a duo core since that means I can play games and encode video at the same time. Both are pretty CPU intensive so each of those processes will get to use 2 cores.
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