We then ran a handful of processors and platforms, including the new Q8200S and Q9550S, through Futuremark’s latest system performance metric built especially for Windows Vista, PCMark Vantage. PCMark Vantage runs through a host of different usage scenarios to simulate different types of workloads including High Definition TV and movie playback and manipulation, gaming, image editing and manipulation, music compression, communications, and productivity. Most of the tests are multi-threaded as well, so the tests can exploit the additional resources offered by a quad-core CPU.
Intel's new low TDP quad core chips performed well in PCMark Vantage. The Q8200(S) is currently Intel's lowest clocked quad-core processor at just 2.33Ghz. The standard Q8200 can currently be found for the same price as the much higher clocked dual-core E8400. Despite the nearly 700Mhz clock frequency gap, the lower clocked Q8200S edges out the E8400 in PCMark thanks to its additional processing cores. The 2.83Ghz Q9550S closes the clock frequency gap with the E8400 to just 170Mhz, giving it a significant performance advantage. At least in PCMark Vantage, quad-cores clearly reign supreme.
A more interesting comparison is the Q9550S and the Phenom II X4 940. They are very evenly matched and performed roughly on par with each other with the Q9550 coming out ahead in all but the Music and Communications tests, where the Phenom II has a large lead. Neither the Q9550S nor the Phenom II X4 940 could touch the Core i7-920 which performed best overall, with a very significant lead in the gaming test.