Well, I sort of doubt it has to do "only" with the new core. I suspect the 200-300 PPD people are probably running multiple multi-core/multi-slot systems to get those BIGADV work units with their 20% bonus bounty.
The FAH17 core may perform more efficiently/faster, but it comes with risks, per one of the FAQs I read someplace, and you don't get any bonus points for running it. According to the FAQ, FAH17 requires "more donor interaction" and to make up for it, gives you more risk for crashes, buggy behavior, and maybe (as I interpret it), the potential for lost WUs.
Been playing with it this weekend and just today I have activated it on both laptop and workstation (both meet the requirements), but it doesn't seem to give me any discernable benefit. Maybe I need to be patient for a new WU.
But even so, the upshot to me is that any benefit the new cores give me would be ONLY due to the new core being more efficient, minus the time your system wastes on any failed WU's. I'm still getting 8-14 hour WUs, which is 33-50% of a days' available processing time. Points lost from one failed WU (if it fails at the end or during upload) on my 12-thread system can't be made up by one successful WU in the remaining 10 hours (given a 24 hour day, which is how I assess the risk here).
If the next work units (due tomorrow afternoon sometime) are slugs too, I am probably going to disable the advanced processing before I go back to work on Monday. I just don't need to come home at the end of a long day to find out that a WU failed or the app failed at 8:30 am, losing me the entire day of processing potential.
The latest FAH control also has a slider which is nicer for adjusting the load, but for some reason, my Sandy Bridge i7 Asus laptop won't even engage its GPU unless I have the slider set to "full", which is not recommended for a laptop. So I left it on "light". The disappointment for me is that this laptop is now only making 5400 PPD, which is 75% worse than it did last October and 20% worse than my old Q6600 machine. The laptop was clearing 19k to 22k PPD during last October's Frankenbot festival (and it was set to use 75% of resources back then), so something's wrong somewhere.
So far I am not enthusiastic. I will try to reserve judgement for another couple days, however.