Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S and Q9550S 65W CPUs - HotHardware

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S and Q9550S 65W CPUs

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Since the launch of their latest processor architecture in the form of the Core i7 processor line, Intel has been busy slowly reorganizing their desktop CPU offerings. While the Core i7 line-up currently takes a performance leadership position, it only covers the high end of the market at this time, and a new Core i7 capable platform can be a bit on the pricey side. This means the aging but trusty Core 2 line-up still has a place in Intel's front-line battle plans.

AMD's recent release of the refined Phenom II processor line has put quite a bit of pressure on Intel's Core i7 plans. While Phenom II can't compete toe-to-toe with Core i7 in pure performance, it's certainly very competitive when it comes to overall value, as we found out in our evaluation recently. However, in terms of performance for your dollar, Core 2 still holds the line for Intel and a series of price cuts over the last few months have positioned Core 2 to better compete in the mainstream and value segments.

In order to make room for Core i7 and to better compete with AMD's offerings, Intel has been busy cutting prices on Core 2 processors and phasings out many models. Some of the first to go were the bulk of the Core 2 Extreme line-up. The QX6800, QX6850, QX9770, and QX9650 have all been retired and their former market segment, now filled by the new Core i7 chips. Most of the 65nm Core 2 Duo models have also been cleared out and a few Core 2 Quad models are also on the chopping block, including the extremely popular 65nm Q6600 and the relatively new 45nm Q9450.

In the midst of the Core 2 line-up restructuring, Intel has released a new line of low power Core 2 Quad processors. The first three members of the new S-series line-up are the Q9550S, Q9400S and Q8200S. As their names suggest, these three chips are closely related to the existing, standard non-S Q9550, Q9400 and Q8200 chips. In fact, the new S-series is identical to existing Core 2 Quad models with one significant exception; a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of just 65W.

At just 65W, Intel's new S-series quads have a TDP that's 30W lower than standard Core 2 Quad chips which are all rated for 95W. In fact, the only other 65W chips Intel offers are from the Core 2 Duo line-up of dual-core processors. AMD has offered a line-up of low power 65W TDP quad-cores for some time in their Phenom e-series, but AMD achieves the lower TDP by significantly downclocking existing Phenom models. The latest Phenom e-series chip, the recently released 9450e only manages 2.1GHz. Intel's new S-series, on the other hand, pulls no punches and they are available up to 2.83GHz. High performance quad-core chips with the thermal envelope of dual-cores? It almost sounds too good to be true.  Let's look and see if they are...

 
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S & Q9550S

Intel Core 2 Quad 65W S-series Processor
Specifications & Features
   Q9550S
 Q9400S Q8200S
sSPEC number
Core Frequency
System Bus Frequency
Clock Multiplier
TDP (Thermal Design Power)
Number of CPU Cores
L2 Cache
Max Processor Input Voltage (VID)
Manufacturing Process
Total Die Size
Packaging
Instruction Set Extensions


Extended HALT State (C1E) Enabled
Execute Disable Bit (XD) Enabled
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT)
Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)
MSRP
SLGAE (E0)
2.83 GHz
1333 MT/s
8.5x
65W
4
12MB (2 x 6MB)
1.3625V
45nm
2 x 107mm²
Flip Chip LGA775
MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
$369
SLG9U (R0)
2.66Ghz
1333 MT/s
8x
65W
4
6MB (2 x 3MB)
1.3625V
45nm
2 x 82mm²
Flip Chip LGA775
MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
$320
SLG9T (R0)
2.33 GHz
1333 MT/s
7x
65W
4
4MB (2 x 2MB)
1.3625V
45nm
2 x 82mm²
Flip Chip LGA775
MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1
Enabled
Enabled
Enabled
Disabled
Disabled

$245



45nm Yorkfield Quad-Core

The new low power Core 2 Quad S-series initially consists of 3 chips, the Q9550S, Q9400S and the Q8200S. A fourth chip, the Q8400S will be arriving on April 19th. It will be a higher clocked version of the Q8200S and it will offer the same clock frequency as the Q9400S. Just like the Q8200S, the Q8400S will only have 4MB of L2 cache and no support for Intel's virtualization tech. It will initially be offered for an MSRP of $245 and it should fit in well between the Q8200S and the Q9400S. A standard, full-power 95W model, the Q8400, will also be launched at the same time for $183.


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Nice review! Throw one of these bad boys in that Zotac ITX board and have a heck of a rig.

One question I may have missed it, but were you using the stock cooler in the temps and overclocking tests?

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As noted in the article, the temps were taken with the Silverstone NT-06 heat-pipe air cooler with the stock fan set to 900RPM. The overclocking results were conducted using the stock cooler at stock voltage!

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Thanks Mike!

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pretty good review. i'm actually updating mobo and cpu and core 7 seems to be the way!

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I have been intrigued by these chips for a while now, but I'm not usre the $100+ price premium over the higher power consuming chips is worth it.

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That's because it's not.

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