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Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz
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by Rob Williams on April 29, 2008 in Intel Processors

The wait for an affordable 45nm Quad-Core is now over, and the Q9450 promises to become the ultimate choice of the new offerings. It’s not much slower than the QX9650, offers 12MB of cache and as expected, has some fantastic overclocking ability. How does 3.44GHz stable sound?

Introduction

When Intel launched their first 45nm processor last November, the QX9650, people might have been excited, but not everyone wanted to shell out a premium to have the fastest piece of hardware available. So, most sat around and waited in hopes to see more affordable Quad-Cores hit the market.

January came, and at CES we found out that the new CPUs were still not ready for launch. This was a blow to those who were already holding off their upgrade or new built. But fast forward almost four months, and finding a 45nm Quad-Core is easier than ever.

It just might not be the Q9450.

Because the new CPUs are in such high demand, it’s hard to find the top two mid-range models in stock, anywhere. For those looking for an entry-level point into the 45nm Quad-Core scheme of things, you’ll be pleased to know that the Q9300 is readily available at most popular e-tailers.

But we’re here today to take a look at the Q9450, the mid-range offering of the mid-range offerings. Clocked at a healthy 2.66GHz, it looks to be an ideal chip for those looking to piece together a fast computer without breaking the bank. For those curious about overclocking, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Closer Look at the Core 2 Quad Q9450

As mentioned above, the Q9450 is one popular chip right now, and because of that, prices tend to be inflated, which is unfortunate. The official price from Intel is $316, but many e-tailers are selling it for well over $400, when it should be closer to $350 – $360. The situation is even worse for the Q9550, which seems to be even more rare.

If you want a new Quad-Core and happen to want it now, then the Q9300 would make for a great choice. I haven’t touched one personally, but I know what kind of performance it pushes out, and given that it has good overclocking ability, it’s hard to go wrong. Plus, because it’s not suffering any sort of shortage, prices are ideal, at around $285.

Processor Name
Cores
Clock
Cache
FSB
TDP
1Ku Price
Available
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775
4
3.20GHz
2 x 6MB
1600MHz
150W
$1,499
Now
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770
4
3.20GHz
2 x 6MB
1600MHz
136W
$1,399
Now
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650
4
3.0GHz
2 x 6MB
1333MHz
130W
$999
Now
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
4
2.86GHz
2 x 6MB
1333MHz
95W
$530
Now
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450
4
2.66GHz
2 x 6MB
1333MHz
95W
$316
Now
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
4
2.5GHz
2 x 3MB
1333MHz
95W
$266
Now
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
2
3.16GHz
6MB
1333MHz
65W
$266
Now
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
2
3.00GHz
6MB
1333MHz
65W
$183
Now
Intel Core 2 Duo E8200
2
2.66GHz
6MB
1333MHz
65W
$163
Now
Intel Core 2 Duo E8190
2
2.66GHz
6MB
1333MHz
65W
$163
Now
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200
2
2.53GHz
3MB
1066MHz
65W
~$133
May 2008

Where the Q9450 sits well, though, is with it’s robust cache, at 12MB. The Q9300 on the other hand, cuts that in half. The benefits of all that extra cache is difficult to to judge from a simple specs standpoint, but it’s a topic I’d like to delve into in a future article.

So, let’s get right to some benchmarking! On the following page, we explain in-depth how our testing methodology works, then we’ll jump into our SYSmark and PCMark tests, followed by many more.


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