If there’s a strong reason to go with a quad-core processor in a basic business machine, we’d expect to see it here in PCMark Vantage, a synthetic collection of tests pulled straight from Windows Vista.
When you put the 2.5 GHz 4850e up against the 2.5 GHz 9850, there indeed seems to be a sizable performance gap. But when you add the Core 2 Duo, it becomes clearer that achieving comparable speed is possible with a dual-core chip. And while the 4850e is a strong value, the 9850 is significantly more expensive than the Core 2 Duo.
The Memories test artificially favors the Core 2 Duo configuration because AMD’s 740G can only partially run the benchmark. Were we factoring in the 780G or 790GX platforms here, the platform would no doubt fare much better.
Futuremark’s TV and Movies suite is the first to really showcase the power of a quad-core chip. Otherwise, the rest of the Vantage benchmarks are pretty close between AMD’s Phenom X4 9850 and Intel’s Core 2 Duo E7200.