Intel Q9550S: A Greener Quad Core?

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Undervolting

Perhaps the most important value factor is whether a Q9550 can meet or exceed the lower power consumption of a Q9550S through undervolting. After some fiddling, we managed to get our Q9550 sample stable at 1.024V according to CPU-Z (1.03125V setting in the BIOS). The Q9550S was stable at a minimum of 1.064V (1.075V in the BIOS), which coincidentally is the same voltage applied when idling with SpeedStep enabled.


CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550, best undervolt.


CPU-Z screenshot: Q9550S, best undervolt.

Undervolted Test Results

Test Results: General System Power Consumption
Test State
Q9550
Q9550S
Stock
UV
Stock
UV
Idle
64W
64W
62W
63W
VC-1
Playback
75W
75W
73W
74W
CPU Load
(2 cores)
120W
99W
105W
99W
CPU Load
(4 cores)
140W
117W
125W
118W

Undervolted, our Q9550 produced a 21W improvement when 2 of its cores were fully stressed and 23W when all 4 were put to to pace. These results place it ahead by 6-8W of the Q9550S at stock voltage. Undervolting the Q9550S resulted in only a 6-7W improvement. The difference between the two processors when undervolted to their respective minimum stable voltage was negligible.

Average Benchmark Power Consumption
Test
Q9550
Q9550S
Stock
UV
Stock
UV
NOD32
84W
75W
78W
74W
WinRAR
96W
83W
87W
83W
iTunes
89W
77W
81W
76W
TMPGEnc
113W
95W
102W
95W
Total Benchmark Power Consumption (Watt-hours)
NOD32
3.52
3.15
3.27
3.10
WinRAR
4.77

4.13

4.28
4.08
iTunes
5.27
4.56
4.79
4.50
TMPGEnc
6.09
5.12
5.53
5.15

Undervolted, each processor used approximately the same amount of power during our timed benchmarks.



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