Intel has been successfully retailing 45nm processors since the last quarter to 2007, but as per recent tradition, they've only debuted a single 'champion' SKU in retail with the Core 2 Extreme QX9650. Acting as a showcase to their engineering prowess, the QX9650 is 3.0GHz processor with 12MB of L2 running on a 1333MHz FSB. Though expensive, Intel does have all the advantage to charge a premium as it desires since the competition could barely churn enough Phenom processors at launch (not to mention any competitive ones). Intel on the other hand, has made strategic offerings to best support its overall production of Penryn and Harpertown processors (both of which are 45nm processor codenames) for the desktop and workstation segment respectively.
By the mid of first quarter in 2008, Intel has built up enough volume to expand its 45nm processor family in all segments. The workstation segment saw the introduction of low-powered 50W TDP based Harpertown processors with lower voltage operation, while the high performance notebook segment is slowly introducing the Intel T9000 and T8000 series 45nm processors that feature more cache than its predecessors and supports the new architectural enhancements found on the 45nm processor designs. And finally for the DIY enthusiasts, Wolfdale dual-core and more Penryn 45nm processors have begun populating the retail stores. Case in point today is the performance review of the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 and Q9450 processors that will eventually retire the current Core 2 Quad 6000 series processors. Here's how Intel's desktop quad-core processor lineup looks like at the moment:-
|Processor Model / Processor Characteristics||Clock Speed||L2 Cache||Front Side Bus (MHz)||Max TDP (W)||Estimated Price (US$)|
|Core 2 Extreme QX9650||3.00GHz||6MB x 2||1333||130||$999|
|Core 2 Quad Q9550||2.83GHz||6MB x 2||1333||95||$530|
|Core 2 Quad Q9450||2.66GHz||6MB x 2||1333||95||$316|
|Core 2 Quad Q9300||2.50GHz||3MB x 2||1333||95||$266|
|Predecessor Quad-Core Models|
|Core 2 Extreme QX6850||3.00GHz||4MB x 2||1333||130||$999|
|Core 2 Quad Q6700||2.67GHz||4MB x 2||1066||95||$530|
|Core 2 Quad Q6600||2.40GHz||4MB x 2||1066||95||$266|
As you can see, there's even a Core 2 Quad Q9300 processor. We've not yet received a sample of this model, so our article today will concentrate on the performance aspects of the Core 2 Quad Q9550 and Q9450 processors. Note that all the newer quad-core Penryn processors that don't fall under the Extreme labeling manage a more friendly 95W TDP qualification. Combined with the Penryn's architectural enhancements, specifications and price points, the new Core 2 Quad series is easily the recommended choice even without serious evaluation. Who wouldn't want more for less? That's exactly what the new 45nm processors deliver, so read on to see where exactly the newer comers stand among the more prevalent Intel quad-core processors to-date.