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.
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.
- 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.