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The Core 2 Quad S-Series

Core 2 Quad Gets Efficient: Enter The Q8200S And Q9550S
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Core 2 Quad Q8200s and S9550s at 2.33 GHz and 2.83 GHz, now limited to 65 W.Core 2 Quad Q8200s and S9550s at 2.33 GHz and 2.83 GHz, now limited to 65 W.The new processors are all based on Intel’s 45 nm manufacturing process, and they basically utilize the same silicon as the regular, non-S models, centering on the Core 2 Duo 'Wolfdale' design, utilizing two processing cores. Intel puts two of these onto one physical processor to create a Core 2 Quad processor, which it refers to as Yorkfield. Supporters of monolithic processor design have criticized this approach, saying it would not result in a true quad-core. And indeed, the disadvantage is increased front side bus traffic due to inter-core communication. However, we believe that the real judge should be the benchmarks, and the results there have been nice: the Core 2 Quad delivers high performance at an acceptable power consumption level.

S-Series Models

The S-series currently consists of three processor models. All have exactly the same technical characteristics and performance as the corresponding regular models, but they are rated at a maximum thermal design power of 65 W. The Core 2 Quad Q8200S runs at 2.33 GHz and has two 2 MB L2 caches; the Core 2 Quad Q9400S is a 2.66 GHz part with two 3 MB caches; and the Q9550S top model runs at 2.83 GHz and has the full 6 MB L2 cache for each dual core die, resulting in a total of 12 MB L2 cache.

Power Matters

Having four cores run at only 65 W is a significant step, as this has been the thermal design limit for Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors since their introduction. This means that virtually any Core 2 Duo system that was designed to be energy efficient will now be able to work with these quad cores as well, effectively doubling the performance reserves.

However, Intel is not the first company to deploy a 65 W quad core processor for desktops, as AMD presented its Phenom X4 9100e in May 2008. Credit belongs to AMD as the first, but the 9100e wasn’t a high-performance part at only a 1.8 GHz clock speed. Not only is the Core 2 Quad faster when compared at the same clock speed, but the new S-series models at 65 W are available at mainstream clock speeds of up to 2.83 GHz. The higher frequencies mean that they are able to provide substantial performance even for traditional applications that may not be able to benefit from multiple processing cores.

Click here to view more images of Intel's Core 2 Quad and its vital stats in CPU-Z.

Check prices for Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9400S

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Top Comments
  • 35 Hide
    afrobacon , March 9, 2009 6:20 AM
    It would have been nice if the benchmarks would have included the equivalent "non s" model core 2 quads.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2009 2:02 PM
    any Overclocking?
Other Comments
  • 35 Hide
    afrobacon , March 9, 2009 6:20 AM
    It would have been nice if the benchmarks would have included the equivalent "non s" model core 2 quads.
  • 6 Hide
    Claimintru , March 9, 2009 6:38 AM
    Quote:
    The only real difference besides the power consumption level is their pricing, which is higher as a result of the lower energy use.


    Yay the money you save as a home user is completely negated by the price increase. 1.5 years later it might show, and by then your energy saving version of a processor that has been out already for months is even more obsolete.

    Big businesses however might benefit, but most workstation computers run on garbage parts just enough to keep a browser and word open.
  • -9 Hide
    zedx , March 9, 2009 6:41 AM
    What's the use of such overpriced products when you can get better efficiency with core i7 and similar idle consumption for only some $$$ more. And why only three processors? The review published at Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3505 more than a month ago is much better. (Of course it doesn't include Q8200s but that doesn't matter much)
  • 1 Hide
    macer1 , March 9, 2009 7:11 AM
    another "great" article...........

    like previously posted way to also bench the "NON s" model....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2009 9:21 AM
    This would\'ve been a great product a year or two ago, but IMHO it\'s only a smart buy today if let\'s say you\'re still holding on to your original Conroe Core2 e6300 that you bought the day it came out, and want to upgrade to a quad(assuming that your motherboard will support it, I believe we\'ve all been dissapointed before wanting to upgrade an Intel CPU and discovering that we have the right socket, but the wrong chipset...).
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2009 2:02 PM
    any Overclocking?
  • 5 Hide
    sublifer , March 9, 2009 2:10 PM
    afrobaconIt would have been nice if the benchmarks would have included the equivalent "non s" model core 2 quads.


    I at least expected the power consumption and power measurements to compare the non-"S" models.
    While it is nice to know how these quads do compared to a dual core, we all want to know whether its worth the investment buying the "S" version rather that the std. models currently available.
  • 2 Hide
    gaiden2k7 , March 9, 2009 2:19 PM
    I was kind of jumping back and forward did it ever mention how the 'S' cpu's overclocks compared to the non-'s' ones? I keep thinking lower TDP would actually reduce the O.C. capabilities. And ya, wished they would have compared it w/ the non-'s' ones... bummer.
  • 7 Hide
    thejerk , March 9, 2009 2:31 PM
    No, it didn't give any overclocking information, which would have been nice. And, certainly, comparisons to the non-S versions should have been included. The article is somewhat silly without the comparison.
  • 8 Hide
    hardwarekid9756 , March 9, 2009 2:32 PM
    These benches are worthless without comparing them to the equivilent Q8200/Q9550. Why do I care how these new things compare to the E8500, and not the other Q-series chips they're replacing? It's cool to have a dual-core in there...but please...comparative gogo?
  • 4 Hide
    68vistacruiser , March 9, 2009 2:38 PM
    I have to agree with a lot of posters that the non-s versions should have been included. I do think some people would have liked to see over-clock figures, but I'm happy to see real-life comparisons. Final thoughts: this should help bring down the non-s prices, which works for me. And please people, don't bring up Anandtech ... their benchmarks are suspect as I feel they favor their best advertisers, and they like to block out opposing opinions on their website. I gave up on them several years ago after following their advise and making some pretty bad decisions. Never again!
  • 6 Hide
    KyleSTL , March 9, 2009 2:47 PM
    The 80Plus chart states that Gold requires 97% efficiency at 100% load. Please correct it to state 87%. Thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    A Stoner , March 9, 2009 5:00 PM
    Supply and demand determine prices. They feel the demand for the low power processors is enough that the prices will sell them out of supply. If they cannot move the parts fast enough at the price, the price will drop, or they will stop binning for that power envelope, even though the processors will still be lower power.
  • 4 Hide
    hellwig , March 9, 2009 6:12 PM
    If you had compared these quad-cores to, say an E8300 running at 2.83GHz, wouldn't we have seen the Q9550S use twice as much power at 100% load, seeing as a Q9550S is basically two E8300's slapped together.

    Also, why wouldn't Intel market their 45nm duo's at a lower TDP (AMD likes their 45W TDP BE-series Athlons). Seems to me nothing adds up here.

    I'll be waiting for more meaningfull benchmark comparisons.
  • 3 Hide
    jerreece , March 9, 2009 8:27 PM
    I have to agree with the others. This review REALLY needs to compare these energy efficient models with their, less efficient brethren. That's where the real difference is.

    And I have to admit, I'd like to have seen some OC numbers. My first thought when I saw the article was, "Oh cool, maybe they'll OC higher now too."

    Of course I have no idea if the chips OC at all now. :( 
  • 3 Hide
    judeh101 , March 9, 2009 9:16 PM
    what happened to the overclock?
  • 1 Hide
    marraco , March 9, 2009 9:42 PM
    65 W CPU generally are the better overclockers. Overclocking is the really important information that I want from this article, and compared with the same model at 95W, and other equally costly processor.

    It allow to decide best buys.
  • 2 Hide
    cadder , March 9, 2009 10:09 PM
    The overclocking ability is a big question. But then most businesses that use these would not overclock anyway. And maybe energy efficient quads would find their way into more laptops.

    I've been curious about processors like the P9500. It seems to be a fairly fast dual core processor, and it is at only 25W. Are they not used in desktops because of their high price? Was energy saving in a desktop not considered important until recently?
  • 0 Hide
    russofris , March 9, 2009 10:43 PM
    Any chance you can an E6600 to the graphs to give us a good baseline for comparison?
  • 0 Hide
    marraco , March 9, 2009 10:57 PM
    cadderThe overclocking ability is a big question. But then most businesses that use these would not overclock anyway. And maybe energy efficient quads would find their way into more laptops.I've been curious about processors like the P9500. It seems to be a fairly fast dual core processor, and it is at only 25W. Are they not used in desktops because of their high price? Was energy saving in a desktop not considered important until recently?

    On my work, it was decided to buy 2 new computers. I changed it to 5 computers, with the same budget, better performing, without overclocking, and wich I gonna overclock for sure.
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