Intel Q9550S: A Greener Quad Core?

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Operating Voltage

Rather than tweaking processor design to yield a more energy efficient chip, it is likely the "S" line are simply standard Core 2 Quads capable of operating at lower voltages. They could be easily identified, plucked off the assembly line and binned separately. Binning is an age-old practise that long precedes CPU manufacturing. Apples from the same orchard, for examples, have been binned into different grades, going back many centuries to when they were first grown for sale or trade.

CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550S on load.

CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550 on load.

The Q9550S sample from Intel will be compared primarily to a recent retail sample Q9550. Our Q9550S sample runs at 1.144V according to CPU-Z, 64 mV less than our Q9550 sample.

CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550S at idle.

CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550 at idle.

With SpeedStep in effect, both processors run at the same voltage when idle.

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