What significance does duo core and quad core CPU mean?

When I source hardware for my server upgrade, I am confused by the duo core and quad core CPUs. Originally my CPU is duo core Intel Xeon 3.0GHz. Later the supplier quote me on quad core Intel Xeon 2.0GHz with lower price.
Q#1. What advantages does a duo/quad core CPU have over single core CPU?
Q#2. Is dual CPU better than single CPU with duo core given same brand and speed?
Q#3. Under what situations does a duo core/quad core CPU have performance advantage over single core CPU?
Q#4. How do I estimate the over performance with my two CPU configuration - duo core 3.0GHz vs quad core 2.0GHz?
Q#5. Any adivce on how to choose from these single/duo/quad core CPU?
Thanks a lot.
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jamesaskhamConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Richtree,

1) Depends, if an application is written to take advantage of multiple cores (a multi-threaded program) then the advantage can be massive. Even if the application isn't written for multiple cores, the OS can still take advantage of this by using 1 core for the application and the other (or others) for background tasks. Overall, you'd be wise to get at least a dual core system at the moment (as more and more programs are being written to be multi-threaded).
2) Interesting one, Dual CPU will be faster in this scenario. See this link for more details: http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=23
3) Situations where applications are multi-threaded or where you are running lots of applications at the same time will all benefit from multiple cores. At the moment you really shouldn't be looking at a single core server solution if you can afford dual core.
4) This will depend, if an application can take advantage of 4 cores (few and far between at the moment but will increase in time) then the quad core will be quicker, in the short-term you will probably find the dual core to be quicker in applications that are only designed for two cores. It's a bit of short-term long term really, I would still go for the quad core myself.
5) From what you've said I would go for a Quad Core solution, as it seems the be long term solution.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.
jamesaskhamConnect With a Mentor Commented:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000942.html - This site has some clear information on Dual Core vs Quad Core.

http://videoediting.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=83846 -> Good article on a direct comparison.

richtreeAuthor Commented:
Very good links. It's not a mist any more.
No problem.
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