LOL...and you think I'm not confused
I can only tell you the way I see things.
Intel and AMD are in the business (they don't do this just for fun) of selling processors. So they each have a vested interest in producing better, improved versions of products that have gone to pasture.
That whole line of business competition has led to a dynamic environment where...CPU speed...has been replaced by CPU efficiency...in terms of marketing CPUs to boxmakers and the general public.
It's gone from how fast (sole criterion) to how efficient (how long will it take me to perform this task with this processor?).
And...we must never discount the necessary hype of new products...not because the differences are really important or pertinent...but that's just the nature of business.
When it comes to multicore processors...the general public (which is blindly ignorant of many things regarding computers and technical matters, in general) thinks that 2 cores are better than 1. Anyone who sells anything knows that more is better, even if you don't understand how more is better.
Well...it just ain't so, IMO. It could be so, if applications existed which take advantage of all this improvement in work techniques...but the reality today is that the vast majority of what consumer-level/home users do on a computer...have been done quite well in prior years by systems which do not have the horsepower of today's systems.
Except for gamers and enterprise-level users...who really are the driving force behind a number of improvements that pass on down to lowly consumer clucks like me
. Add that to steps which were taken just to be able to sell more computers to the "uninformed public" and you have the situation today where (IMO) users have much more system than they need to do mundane tasks.
Example: Onboard anything...came about just because...all the big players in the market...wanted to make it as easy as possible to sell a computer to new users. In the old days...users had to buy a separate video card...buy a separate sound card...buy a separate NIC...buy a separate USB card...in order to have those functions available for install.
Who benefits? We all do...key manufacturers (Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Dell, HP, etc.) sell more products and users get systems/components which are superior to any previously produced.
The best advice I can give anyone who wants to purchase a system today...is to treat the purchase of such in exactly the same manner that you treat the purchase of an auto. With notable differences in mind.
Price differential and expected life for that user...may vary from the approach taken when purchasing an auto, especially if one has a family. Buying a car is still sort of a family project...buying a computer is not, since the price is low enough (in this country) that every user can realistically afford a system which can be called "mine", not "ours."
A computer is (like an auto) a virtual necessity, but it's also something where a user can exert more of a "personal touch". The persons who assemble their own understand this...the persons who decide they want umpteen cores when there's no need, they understand this often...the persons who want a lavendar laptop instead of a traditional gray or whatever, they understand this.
What I'm trying to say...a computer has the same fluffy rhetoric that any other product sold to millions/billions of human beings has. But a user can get away from the empty rhetoric and see if for what is...by just taking advantage of all the data/information available by using a search engine called Google.
And realizing that...reading "reviews" is only useful...if you choose a reliable, honest "reviewer". "Customer reviews" are as quirky as anything else, but some persons write those with honesty and are not just being angry or fluffy.
The hardware in computerdom for consumers like me...has come a loooong way. The prices for systems/components has come a long way also, making what might have been consider a "minor luxury" available to anyone who can scrape up a couple of hundred dollar bills. I bet that most persons don't even realize that they pay MUCH more Internet connectivity...than they do for their systems
Sooo...don't fret over speed of CPU or why there are so many multicore systems with so few multicore apps...just take advantage of it and be aware that, right now...those vendors are doing their best to provide us with more alluring products tomorrow...and we will like them and take advantage of them, whether we be businesmen, students, or clucks sitting at home like I do
We are the beneficiaries of the efforts of others...that's why they sell these products to us, rather than give them to us.
To anwer your question...regardless of the speed difference, I can flatly say that any dual-core processor running at the same speed as a single-core processor...will outwork that single-core processor.
I base that on the fact that...no one has ever worked to develop a slower, less efficient computer part during the time that I have been interested in such (the last 13 years).