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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz Phenom 8450 Triple-Core
Cyberpunk 2077 81% 197%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 144% 300%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 136% 288%
Genshin Impact 37% 125%
eFootball PES 2021 94% 219%
Marvel's Avengers 136% 288%
Watch Dogs Legion 144% 300%
FIFA 21 69% 178%
Mafia: Definitive Edition 94% 219%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 105% 236%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is massively better than the AMD Phenom 8450 Triple-Core when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Phenom 8450 Triple-Core was released less than a year after the Core 2 Quad, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Core 2 Quad has 1 more core than the Phenom 8450 Triple-Core. With 4 cores, the Core 2 Quad is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core 2 Quad has 1 more threads than the Phenom 8450 Triple-Core. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core 2 Quad and Phenom 8450 Triple-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core 2 Quad has a 0.56 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core 2 Quad.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core 2 Quad has a 4608 KB bigger L2 cache than the Phenom 8450 Triple-Core, and although the Core 2 Quad does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

Both the Core 2 Quad and the Phenom 8450 Triple-Core have the same TDP of 95 Watts, but the Core 2 Quad has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameYorkfieldToliman
MoBo SocketLGA 775/ Socket TSocket AM2+
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date10 Aug 200815 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs3
CPU Threads4vs3
Clock Speed2.66 GHzvs2.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP95 Wvs95 W
Lithography45 nmvs65 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature71°Cvs71°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs384 KB
L2 Cache Size6144 KBvs1536 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs2 MB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is a high-end Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.66GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.
Phenom 8450 Triple-Core is a performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 3 Physical Cores (3 Logical), clocked at 2.1GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.