The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S Processor

With the economy still chugging along not too many people are thinking about buying a processor above $300, so today we will be looking at the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor. This 45nm processor retails for just $169.99 online, which makes it interesting due to the price point alone. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor isn't really anything to laugh at as it operates at 2.33GHz with a 1333MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) and 4MB of L2 cache. The only thing that this processor is really lacking is cache, but how many people really need more than 4MB of L2 cache?

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Default Settings

It should be noted that when the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 originally came out it had a Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating of 95W. The processor I have in my hands today is a new stepping that has a TDP of just 65W! Intel is has recently silently launched R0 revisions for both the 95W and 65W TDP Core 2 Quad Q8200 chip, which the 95W TDP chip is currently using an M1 stepping. Intel informed Legit Reviews that the 65W parts would carry an S at the end, so this part is the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Default Settings

This new 65W part does carry a price premium over the older 95W parts, but they are aimed at the specialty OEM/channel that build small form factor computers and not consumers. It should be noted that 65W TDP does NOT necessarily translate to substantial, measurable AC "at the wall" power savings and doesn't change the performance of the processor. TDP is simply a measure of the maximum power seen with commercially available apps. If you are looking to order a specific Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor be sure to use the sSpec number to make sure you get the right TDP and stepping that you desire.

Intel Q8200 sSpec Numbers:

Let's take a look at the benchmarks to see how the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S does. It will also be interesting to see how this new R0 stepping overclocks!

The Test System

Before we look at the numbers, here is a brief glance at the test system that was used.

The Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. All of the modules were run in dual channel mode with a 120mm fan placed on top of them to keep them cool except for the Core i7 system that was run in triple channel. The EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB used NVIDIA ForceWare 169.28 video card drivers and the. The LGA 775 test system used the ASUS P5E3 motherboard using BIOS version 1404 and the LGA 1366 test system used the ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard with BIOS v8004. The AMD Phenom testing was done on the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard with BIOS v1.5b5 installed along with ATI system driver version 8.50. 

Memory Settings:

Here is the Intel LGA 1366 Test platform:

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

See Above

Motherboard

ASUS P6T Deluxe

Memory

6GB Corsair DDR3 1600MHz

Video Card

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512

Hard Drive

Western Digital RaptorX 150GB

Cooling

Thermaltake BigWater 760i

Power Supply

Corsair HX1000W

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

Here is the Intel LGA 775 Test platform:

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

See Above

Motherboard

ASUS P5E3 Deluxe

Memory

4GB Corsair DDR3 1800C7

Video Card

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512

Hard Drive

Western Digital RaptorX 150GB

Cooling

Corsair Nautilus 500

Power Supply

PC Power and Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

Here is the Intel Skulltrail Test platform:

Skulltrail Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

2x Intel Core 2 QX9775

Motherboard

Intel D5400XS 

Memory

4GB Micron 800MHz FB-DIMM

Video Card

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512

Hard Drive

Western Digital RaptorX 150GB

Cooling

Zalman AT Fan/Heatsink

Power Supply

PC Power and Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

The AMD Phenom X4 9950 Processor Test System

Here is the AMD Phenom Test platform:

AMD Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

All AM2 and AM2+ CPUs

Motherboard

MSI K9A2 Platinum

Memory

4GB OCZ Flex PC2-6400

Video Card

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512

Hard Drive

Western Digital RaptorX 150GB

Cooling

Zalman AT Fan/Heatsink

Power Supply

PC Power and Cooling 1KW

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit

Sandra 2009 Memory Bandwidth

Sisoft; Sandra 2009:

Sisoftware Sandra 2009

The Sisoft Sandra 2009 benchmark utility just came out recently and we have started to include it in our benchmarking. With Sandra 2009 you can now easily compare the performance of the tested device with its speed and its (published) power (TDP)! Sandra XII SP2 also has SSE4 (Intel) and SSE4A (AMD) benchmark code-paths, which is great for those of you testing next-generation AMD & Intel chips.

Sandra 2009 SP2 Benchmark Scores

Results: Sandra 2009 SP2 showed that the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor had roughly the same amount of bandwidth that the other processors did that were running DDR3 1333MHz memory kits with CL7 timings.

Photodex ProShow Gold 3.2

ProShow Gold allows the user to combine photos, videos and music to create spectacular slide shows. The software provides the capability to share memories with friends and family on DVD, PC and the Web. ProShow Gold brings still photos to life by adding motion effects like pan, zoom, and rotate. The user can also add captions to a photo or video and choose from over 280 transition effects.

Photodex Proshow Gold 3.2 Benchmark Settings

The workload we are using takes 29 high resolution jpeg photos and converts them to an mpeg2, widescreen DVD quality, 3min 9sec slideshow video file. The input photos are in 3872x2592 resolution and total about 170MB in size.

Photodex Proshow Gold 3.2 Benchmarking

ProShow Gold 3.2 lets you share your slide shows in virtually any format and on any device. You can upload your shows directly to YouTube or choose from over 20 devices to directly output to including the iPod, Blackberry, ZuneTM and more. Not bad for software that runs under $70 and is optimized for eight-cores! Our benchmark testing wasn't at 100% load the entire time, but averaged around 95% during the testing period.

Photodex Proshow Gold 3.2 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Photodex Proshow software showed that the 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (8MB Cache) was just slightly faster than the 2.33Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 (4MB Cache) processor. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor was shown to be faster than even the AMD Phenom II 940, which is impressive as it is running at 3.0GHz!

Sony Vegas 8.0c

The Vegas Pro collection combines Vegas Pro 8, DVD Architect Pro 4.5, and Dolby Digital AC-3 encoding software to offer an integrated environment for all phases of professional video, audio, DVD, and broadcast production. These tools let you edit and process DV, AVCHD, HDV, SD/HD-SDI, and all XDCAM formats in real time, fine-tune audio with precision, and author surround sound, dual-layer DVDs. Vegas Pro software also supports 24p, HD and HDV editing, which is what we are going to look at in this benchmark.

Sony Vegas Benchmarking

The Sony Vegas 8.0c workload that we are using takes a series of short movie and audio files and creates a single video that incorporated special effects and transitions. It uses a MainConcept HDV encoding profile to render the 24p widescreen video clip at a resolution of 1440x1080x32.

Sony Vegas Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Running our custom Sony Vegas 8.0c benchmark shows just how important a CPU is when it comes to create a single video clip from multiple clips. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 did very well in this benchmark and was not too far behind the Intel Core 2 Quad 9300, which operates at 2.5GHz and has a larger L2 cache.

Microsoft Excel 2007

Microsoft Office Excel 2007 is a powerful and widely used tool with which you can create and format spreadsheets, and analyze and share information to make more informed decisions. It allows you to import, organize and explore massive data sets within spreadsheets and then communicate your analysis with professional-looking charts. Excel 2007 also provides tools to “see” important trends and find exceptions in your data. Legit Reviews has two benchmarking tests that we do on Microsoft Office Excel 2007.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Testing

The first workload executes approximately 28,000 sets of calculations using the most common calculations and functions found in Excel. These include common arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, division, rounding and square root. It also includes common statistical analysis functions such as Max, Min, Median and Average. The calculations are performed after a spreadsheet with a large dataset is updated with new values and must re-calculate many data points. The input file is the 6.2 MB spreadsheet seen above.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Lots of people use Microsoft Office at work and home, so this is an important test for many of our readers. Many people don't run 28,000 sets of calculations at once, but if you do the CPU will determine how fast the task is completed. 

The Black-Scholes model is used in our second Excel test to calculate a theoretical call and put price using the five key determinants of an option's price: stock price, strike price, volatility, time to expiration, and short-term (risk free) interest rate.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Testing

This workload calculates the European Put and Call option valuation for Black-Scholes option pricing using Monte Carlo simulation. It simulates the calculations performed when a spreadsheet with input parameters is updated and must recalculate the option valuation. In this scenario we execute approximately 300,000 iterations of Monte Carlo simulation. In addition, the workload uses Excel lookup functions to compare the put price from the model with the historical market price for 50,000 rows to understand the convergence. The input file is a 70.1 MB spreadsheet and with 10 times the calculations of the first test, this one should take a bit longer to complete.

Microsoft Excel 2007 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: With 300,000 iterations of Monte Carlo simulation taking place in this benchmark it takes all the processors a bit longer to finish as it puts a good load on the system. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor holds it own on this benchmark.

Cinebench R9.5

MAXON; CINEBENCH 9.5:

CINEBENCH is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS based on the powerful 3D software CINEMA 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using CINEBENCH 9.5 carry significant weight when analyzing a computer's performance in everyday use. Especially a system's CPU and the OpenGL capabilities of its graphics card are put through their paces (even multiprocessor systems with up to 16 dedicated CPUs or processor cores). During the testing procedure, all relevant data is ascertained with which the performance of different computers can subsequently be compared, regardless of operating system. Again, higher Frames/Second and lower rendering time in seconds equal better performance.

Cinebench 9.5 Benchmarking

Cinebench 9.5 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.

Cinebench 9.5 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Cinebench 9.5 was tested in both 64-bit and 32-bit, which resulted in some minor performance differences as seen above. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 was right behind the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300, but while that hold true on Cinebench R10 on the following page?

Cinebench R10

MAXON; CINEBENCH R10:

CINEBENCH is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS based on the powerful 3D software CINEMA 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using CINEBENCH 10 carry significant weight when analyzing a computer's performance in everyday use. Especially a system's CPU and the OpenGL capabilities of its graphics card are put through their paces (even multiprocessor systems with up to 16 dedicated CPUs or processor cores). The test procedure consists of two main components: The first test sequence is dedicated to the computer's main processor. A 3D scene file is used to render a photo reaslistic image. The scene makes use of various CPU-intensive features such as reflection, ambient occlusion, area lights and procedural shaders. In the first run, the benchmark only uses one CPU (or CPU core), to ascertain a reference value. On machines that have multiple CPUs or CPU cores, and also on those who simulate multiple CPUs (via HyperThreading or similar technolgies), MAXON CINEBENCH will run a second test using all available CPU power. Again, higher Frames/Second and lower rendering time in seconds equal better performance.

Cinebench 10

Cinebench R10 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores on all of the processors, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.

Cinebench R10 Results

Results: Running Cinebench R10 in 64-bit mode showed a significant improvement in performance on all of the processors and the results were in-line with what we expected from running Cinebench R9.5!  The Intel Core 2 Q8200 was still ahead of the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor!

POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 25

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 25:

The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is an high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file, and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.

The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which, in a nutshell, allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend on purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 beta 25, which is the most recent version available.  The benchmark used all available cores to complete the render.

Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 25

Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the score from dialog box, which indicates the average PPS for the benchmark. A higher PPS indicates faster system performance.

Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 25

Benchmark Results: Looking at POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 25 showed the Q6600 and the Q8200 were still running head-to-head!

POV-Ray Real-Time Raytracing

Legit Reviews was e-mailed by one of the developers over at POV-Ray to see if LR could include real-time raytracing in our performance analysis, and we were more than happy to include the data in our testing. 

E-Mail From POV-Ray -- I thought I might ping you about an experimental feature we've added to the POV-Ray SMP beta: real-time raytracing. It's mostly useful to folks who have multi-core systems and in fact is something that I've wanted to do for years but the hardware just wasn't there (at least not in the consumer price range). It works best on a kentsfield or later, but a core 2 duo should be sufficient if you don't mind sub-10fps frame rates.

If you want to try it out it please feel free to grab it from:  http://www.povray.org/beta/rtr/

POV-Ray real-time raytracing

This experimental software by POV-Ray was a welcomed addition to our testing and was able to spread the work load across all the cores in even our eight core test system as seen above.

POV Ray RTR Benchmark Chart

Results: POV-Ray Real-Time Raytracing is a great benchmark that we love to use on Legit Reviews and it does a great job at showing how performance scales with CPU cores. This time the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 is ahead of the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 by nearly one whole frame per second!

Futuremark 3DMark06

Futuremark 3DMark 2006

3DMark06

Futuremark's 3DMark06 has a built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded DirectX gaming metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are processed with a software renderer that is dependent on the host CPU's performance. Calculations that are normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the CPU for processing and rendering. The frame-rate generated in each test is used to determine the final score.

Futuremark CPU Benchmark Results

Futuremark CPU Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The 3DMark 2006 CPU test showed that the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 was overall faster than the Q6600, but the CPU test showed that the Q6600 had more CPU power. Remember that the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 has 8MB of cache and the Q8200 has just 4MB!

Power Consumption

Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fan, video card and hard drive model. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, POV-Ray 3.7 was run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load. All of the systems used identical hardware minus the motherboard and processor. It should be noted that the Core i7 processors used a Thermaltake BigWater 760i water cooler and the rest of the systems used a Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooler.

Power Consumption Results

Results: When it came to power consumption the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S used less power than the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 that it traded blows with in nearly all of the performance benchmarks. At load the Q8200 used 21W less power than the Q6600, which was nice to see.

Intel Q8200 Processor Overclocking

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Default Settings

With stock BIOS settings, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 runs with a 333MHz bus speed and a 7x multiplier that is used to reach the final core clock of 2.33GHz.  As you can see above, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard FSB runs at 333.9MHz, so right out of the box the FSB is ~1MHz higher than stock settings. Let's start off by overclocking without adjusting any voltages to see what the Q8200 quad-core processor can do out of the box.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Overclocking

The ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard BIOS is very simple to use and to see what the processor could do with default settings we just had to increase the 'FSB Frequency' setting from 333MHz to 400MHz. Just by making this one adjustment the board really picks up some speed and you can feel it when using applications. With this setting you can also increase the memory frequency up to 1600MHz as seen in the BIOS picture above.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Overclocked to 400MHz FSB

By leaving all the settings in the BIOS on 'auto' we increased the FSB speed to 400MHz and the system was rock solid.  By increasing the FSB to 400MHz we could now run the DDR3 memory at 1600MHz versus the previous speed of 1333MHz.  It also allowed for the overall clock frequency to increase from 2.33GHz to 2.8GHz.  Not bad for leaving everything in the BIOS on 'Auto' other than the Front Side Bus Frequency!

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Overclocked to 450MHz FSB

With the voltage still set to auto we kept increasing the FSB until the board became unstable. We were able to reach 430MHz FSB before things started to get unstable. By increasing the voltage to 1.31V we were able to reach a FSB to 450MHz with ease. At this speed you can now run the DDR3 memory at 1800MHz, which provides some additional bandwidth for those wanting more. At 450MHz FSB we were running at 3.15GHz, which is starting to look impressive.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Overclocked to 475MHz FSB

It was possible to reach a bus speed of 475MHz, but we had to run the processor at 1.350V in order for the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 to be able to reach these speeds. This rounds up to being a 1GHz overclock, which very nice for a processor that costs just $169.99 at online retailers. Overclocking varies from processor to processor and will void your warranty, so no complaints on this nice speed boost. If you are looking for a simple way to boost performance changing the FSB from 333MHz to 400MHz is the quick and easy overclock and for those wanting more you can increase voltages and reach well over 3GHz like we did. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor seemed to hit a wall above 475MHz as nothing was stable even when putting 1.4-1.5V through the processor with water cooling, so if you hit a point where nothing boots or is stable you have likely hit a wall or are being limited by the motherboard or memory kit.  We have had this memory kit and motherboard well beyond these settings, so we know for certain that the processor has reached its limit.

Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Overclock Benchmarking

When it comes to benchmarks, the overclocked Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 was a monster.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor Default Settings

Seeing the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor (4MB Cache, 2.33 GHz, 1333MHz FSB) trade blows with the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor (8M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB) was very impressive. Why is that impressive? Back in 2007 when the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor was launched it cost $851 in 1,000 quantities. When the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 was released it was available for just $245 in 1,000 quantities. The actual street price today on an Intel Q8200 is just $169.99, so you are getting a great performing chip at a fraction of what it cost just two years ago. Not to mention that the processor we looked at today was built on a newer 45nm processor, uses less power since it is a 65W TDP part and is even more environmentally friendly thanks to being halide and lead free.

The overclocking performance was impressive, as anytime you can get a 1GHz overclock with minimal effort you can't complain about wanting more. With the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S overclocked to 3.3GHz the processor came alive and felt like a whole new processor. Not a bad feeling for something that didn't cost you any more money.

If you are looking to build a system and are wanting to run a 45nm quad-core processor then give the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 a close look. At $169.99 shipped it will be hard to pass up at a time like now when consumers are starting to budget their hard earned money. With hundreds of LGA 775 motherboards on the market running Intel chipsets you also don't have to look too far to find a great motherboard to build a solid and stable computer. For those of you looking to build a HTPC or SFF, you should take a closer look at the  Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S 65W TDP. The extra price might be well worth it to you since heat and noise are the main areas of concern when building one of those systems.

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S processor isn't the fastest processor around, but it won't dissapoint and loves to be overclocked!