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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Core2 Quad Q9550

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core2 Quad Q9550

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Much more l2 cache 12 MB vs 1 MB 12x more l2 cache; more data can be stored in the l2 cache for quick access later
More cores 4 vs 2 Twice as many cores; run more applications at once
Supports trusted computing Yes vs No Somewhat common; Allows for safer, more reliable computing
Much more l2 cache per core 3 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core 6x more l2 cache per core
Significantly lower typical power consumption 77.19W vs 94.67W Around 20% lower typical power consumption
Much lower annual home energy cost 22.89 $/year vs 35.75 $/year More than 35% lower annual home energy cost
Much better overclocked clock speed (Water) 4.03 GHz vs 3.07 GHz More than 30% better overclocked clock speed (Water)
Lower annual commercial energy cost 83.22 $/year vs 91.1 $/year Around 10% lower annual commercial energy cost
Front view of Intel Core i3 540

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i3 540

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Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Much newer manufacturing process 32 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Higher clock speed 3.06 GHz vs 2.83 GHz Around 10% higher clock speed
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz vs 3.99 GHz More than 10% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Higher Maximum operating temperature 72.6 °C vs 71.4 °C Almost the same
Newer Jan, 2010 vs Jan, 2008 Release date over 2 years later

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core2 Quad Q9550 vs Core i3 540

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core2 Quad Q9550
121,500 MB/s
Core i3 540
123,300 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench (64-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Core2 Quad Q9550  vs
Core i3 540 
Clock speed 2.83 GHz 3.06 GHz
Cores Quad core Dual core
Socket type
LGA 775
LGA 1156

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing Yes No
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE2
MMX
SSE4
SSE3
EM64T
SSE
SSE4.1
SSE4.2
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

power consumption

TDP 95W 73W
Annual home energy cost 22.89 $/year 35.75 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 83.22 $/year 91.1 $/year
Performance per watt 1.51 pt/W 1.24 pt/W
Typical power consumption 77.19W 94.67W

details

Core2 Quad Q9550  vs
Core i3 540 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 4 4
L2 cache 12 MB 1 MB
L2 cache per core 3 MB/core 0.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 45 nm 32 nm
Transistor count 820,000,000 382,000,000
Max CPUs 1 1
Clock multiplier 8 23
Voltage range 0.85 - 1.36V 0.65 - 1.4V
Operating temperature Unknown - 71.4°C Unknown - 72.6°C

overclocking

Overclock popularity 127 26
Overclocked clock speed 3.99 GHz 4.47 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 4.03 GHz 3.07 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 3.99 GHz 4.47 GHz

integrated graphics

GPU None GPU
Label N/A Intel® HD Graphics
Number of displays supported N/A 2
GPU clock speed N/A 733 MHz

bus

Architecture FSB DMI
Number of links 1 1
Intel Core2 Quad Q9550
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Intel Core i3 540
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