Intel has introduced low-power, 45 nm quad core processors for the desktop market. Although AMD was first to release such a product, the Intel processors are exactly as fast as the regular 95 W versions.
The only real difference besides the power consumption level is their pricing, which is higher as a result of the lower energy use. While the Q8200 costs $163, the Q8200S has a $245 price tag. The price difference between the Core 2 Quad Q9400 and the Q9400S is $101. The Q9550S top model is only $52 more expensive than the regular version.
We believe this is a lot, as Intel has been offering low power 65 W Xeon quad-cores for a while now, and hence does have some experience with these parts. On the other hand, their new S-series models represent a unique selling proposition. After all, AMD currently does not offer quad-core processors at upper mainstream clock speeds and mainstream power envelopes.
The 8200S may not make a lot of sense when compared to a regular Core 2 Duo E8500 or E8600, but the Q9400S and Q9550S deliver significant performance within the mainstream 65 W TDP specification. Here’s hoping that AMD will be able to offer a low-power Phenom II soon as well.
Check prices for Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9400S