i'm new in tom's hardware and i must say it's the best page for everything about hardware great work
my question, as you can read, kinda unusual for this page (better asked in the emulator's forum i know), is about i5 430M vs i7 720QM, very good laptop CPU's, which is better for running emulators (dolphin and pcsx2), the emulators uses only 2 cores i know, but who has used them i hope would tell me
sorry if someone has asked a similar question like this before
If you strictly run emulators, the i5 will do the job easily. The i5 you are looking at has 2 physical cores and it has 2 logical cores, i.e. it can handle 4 total threads. If you play other games that are graphics intensive and/or do a lot of video work, I'd go with the 720 (8 total threads). It will cost a bit more, but the added cores would help you out in those areas and in general day to day tasks in regard to speed.
All in all, if you have a fair amount to spend, shoot for the 720. But if you are on a budget, the i5 will do just fine in regard to emulators.