There was a time when clock speeds were all the rage, and reaching the gigahertz mark in consumer CPUs was like this golden milestone so far away from realization. Then after several decades of continuous clock speed bumps, somewhere in the road, Intel and AMD stopped pushing for pure raw power and ultimately the 4GHz mark never came to be – overclocking aside, of course.

Instead efficiency and performance per watt have become the new rule upon which processors are judged, and increasing the number of cores on a single processor package is considered the new exploitable tool that will deliver actual processing power increases in the future to come.

Dual core processors are quite common today, and quad CPUs have also become affordable over the last 12 months. Future architectures are also pointing towards multi core designs, eight or more. But unlike pure raw processing power increases, multi core processors rely more heavily on software optimizations to deliver the intended results. Which begs the questions…

How many cores does your current CPU have? Do you think more cores will make your computer run faster? Do you know if the software you use is optimized for multi core CPUs? Was a core count bump part of your last PC upgrade? And finally, do you believe quad core CPUs are pure novelty considering today's software standards?