Reviews: Archive: Processors 2008-09

REVIEW / Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300

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Régis Jehl Published on November 6, 2008
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  • Socket 775
  • Number of cores 4
  • Clock rate 2.5 GHz
  • Cache 6.0E-6 MB
  • Thermal Design Power 95 W
  • Technology 0 nm
Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9300 is the start of its Q9xxx line of four core processors, and runs at 2.5 GHz.

That puts it around 7% behind the 2.66 GHz of the next model up, the Q9400, but when we measured it, we found the performance difference to be closer to 5%.

That doesn't mean the difference isn't there though, as our DivX video encoding test shows: the Q9300 took 5 minutes 15 seconds to perform the same task that the Q9400 managed in just 4 minutes 51 seconds.

Compare the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 with the AMD Phenom X4 9750 and other CPUs in our
Product Face-Off

If you're not a habitual user of such demanding software, though, you'll probably be better off with a dual-core processor: not only are they cheaper to buy, they're also more energy efficient in the long run.

Keeping an eye on the power consumption of you processor is an important poin that's easy to miss.

This particular model did well on our two tests, which measured the power consumption of our test PC first with the CPU idling, and then with it running at 100%: its 170 W and 247 W respectively are both good scores for a quad-core processor.

By comparison, a dual-core processor running at a higher clock speed, the Core 2 Duo E8400, measured 165 W and 217 W, respectively, but the AMD Phenom X4 9750 was particularly greedy with 195 W and 303 W.
Quad-Core from Intel
Intel launched the Core 2 Quad Q9000 range in January 2008 with two models: this Q9300 (2.5 GHz) and the Q9400 (2.66 GHz).

The two processors are in between the Q8000 series and the more powerful Q9050 series, with the main distinguishing feature being the amount of cache: from 4 MB on the Q8000, Intel first upgraded to 6 MB on this Q9000 series before doubling it again to 12 MB on the Q9050 processors.

All three families use 775 sockets, but the Q9200 and Q9300 are engineered at 45 nm, giving them a rather average TDP of 95 W.


  • Shows off its four cores: great for all sorts of demanding applications
  • Good in non-optimized applications too


  • High power consumption


As with most of the other quad-core processors that we've seen, the Q9300 really comes into its own when you throw plenty of demanding applications at it. If you're not editing 3D video or playing the latest games on it, though, it's less of a must-have.
4 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 DigitalVersus 2008-11-06 00:00:00
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