Can one somehow guess how for example Intel Core i5-3320M @ 2.60GHz (dual core) and Intel Core i7-3612QM @ 2.10GHz (quad core) would compare on basic single-threaded tasks? I know this is problematic, depends on the task, compiler, instructions used, task can be parallelized, hyperthreaded etc., but one needs to have at least some approximate idea how both would compare on "general" sigle-threaded tasks using "general" SW just by looking at the CPU specs.
My guess is that the CPU frequency is the key - i.e. the ratio of the CPU frequencies. I have tried a computation in R (a lot of GLM models, all using only 1 CPU) on Intel Core2 Duo T7250 @ 2.00GHz (28 seconds) and Intel Pentium CPU B970 @2.30 GHz (24 seconds). The results fit to my hypothesis: ratio of the time elapsed 28s/24s = 1.166, is approximately the same as reciprocal ratio of the frequencies 2.3/2 = 1.15.
Do you basicly agree or are there other things to consider? So, if my goal is fast solving single threaded tasks, I would prefer the 2.60GHz dual core over the 2.1 quad core, right?
PS: I have found benchmarks for the dual i5 (4078 pts) and the quad i7 (6901 pts), but this doesn't give me an idea how much pts were given for the additional # of cores and how much for the single-thread performance.