Review: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550

Our score: 5/5
Reviewed: November 5, 2008 11:00 PM
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Published: November 5, 2008 11:00 PM
By Régis Jehl
Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9550 is just one model below the most powerful processor in this series, the Q9650.

Although its clock speed of 2.83 GHz is 6% lower than its big brother's 3 GHz, we measured its performance to be 2.4% behind the more powerful model.

Compare the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 with the AMD Phenom X4 9750 and other CPUs in our
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It's a minimal difference that was only noticeable in certain tests, such as encoding videos.

When it came to encoding our test clip as a DivX file, the Q9550 took 4 minutes 40 seconds, while the Q9650 was just marginally quicker at 4 minutes 23 seconds.

Up against a dual-core processor, though, the discrepancy is a lot more noticeable: the 2.83 GHz E8300 takes 6 minutes 32 seconds to complete the same task.

If you're not a regular user of demanding applications that are optimized for quad-core applications like this one, a dual-core processor with a higher clock speed will be a better bet.

Unfortunately, the weak spot of these powerful quad-core processors is the amount of energy they use.

While the Q9550 was idling, our test PC used 165 W, but 238 W while the CPU was working at 100%;

On a dual-core model like the E8300, these figures are 165 W and 215 W respectively.
5/5 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 DigitalVersus 2008-11-06 00:00:00


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


  • High power consumption


All of Intel's Q9050 range are excellent processors for powerful applications like rendering 3D images and video editing. If you're not a regular user of such demanding software, a fast dual-core processor will likely serve your needs better.

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