Video Playback, Power Consumption
Using the 2.83 GHz Core 2 Quad Q9550s, both platforms stay at roughly 6% CPU utilization, on average, when playing various Blu-ray movies. Switching to the slower Core 2 Quad Q8200s did not make much of a difference on the GeForce 9400 mGPU platform, but it increased the CPU load on the G45 system.
There were no substantial differences in power consumption either. The Intel system managed to reach slightly lower idle power consumption on the Core 2 Quad Q8200s, but all other systems manage to stay below 40 W, which is an excellent result. Keep in mind that we used a very efficient 220 W power supply; using a 500+ W model would increase the idle power by a few watts.
Although there are some differences when looking at the voltage regulators—four phases on the DFI/Nvidia board versus three phases on the Intel motherboard—the GeForce 9400 mGPU is clearly more efficient at maximum CPU load (using all four cores). The 92 W peak power on a Core 2 Quad Q9550s is roughly the same as on the Intel G45 system, but using only the Core 2 Quad Q8200s.