Athlon 64 - Dual Core Question


Mar 20, 2005
I am currently building a HTPC and have to decide which socket 939 processor to buy. My main activities for this HTPC will be TV viewing and PVR, video encoding and dvd burning, mp3 listening, and occasional gaming (when I get the itch to game on a big screen).

This setup seems to scream 'dual core', but availability is limited right now and prices are inflated. I was thinking about getting an Athlon 64 to start, and then get a dual core when the prices come down. I would then use the Athlon 64 in a new gaming rig that I would build at the end of the year. So here are my questions:

1. Will dual core greatly benefit a HTPC setup as described above?

2. In the meantime, should I go with a Venice core or San Diego core? Will the extra cache benefit video encoding? Will it improve gaming performance once I use it for gaming later on? I don't want to spend the cash for extra cache if I don't need it.