Intel Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K Processors Debut

Today’s pre-launch of Intel’s Sandy Bridge-based processors should come as no surprise to anyone who even remotely follows the PC tech scene. We, along with Intel and numerous other companies and media outlets, have been slowly leaking Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-related details for many months now. Heck, we’ve even showed off a number of Sandy Bridge compatible motherboards in the past, posted pics of actual processors, and discussed many of the microarchitecture’s features already. We obviously weren’t able to disclose all of the platform’s specifics, however, and boy is there a lot still to cover.

We’ve had a few Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge based processors kicking around the HotHardware labs for a while now, along with a sampling of 6-series chipset based motherboards to go along with them. We’ve been poking, prodding, and testing them to get a good feel for what Sandy Bridge and 6-Series chipset is all about and we’ve amassed a boatload of data to share with you all here. In addition to putting a couple of Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge based processors to the test in our usual suite of benchmarks, we’ve also tested their new integrated graphics core and media encoding engine, tested various multi-GPU setups, overclocked Sandy Bridge, and even evaluated a few mainstream and enthusiast-class motherboards.

Intel Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K Processors Debut


Via:  HotHardware
SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

Amazing !! Truly amazing , the performance of the 2600k is quite Spectacular. Intel Rocks.

Awesome review, easy to understand, and well laid out...2 Thumbs up.  (brb later with some questions)

Edit: Props for the EFI Bios video demonstration on the ASUS board, that's gonna be a hot seller!!

dodgers2213 3 years ago

damn these CPUs look sexy

Dave_HH 3 years ago

Thanks folks. Marco did kick butt on this one and so did Intel!

realneil 3 years ago

An excellent look at what's new from Intel. Thanks for all of the hard work and attention to details Marco.

rapid1 3 years ago

I blindly expect it from Marco now. Not to say that is good, or that his efforts are unappreciated, as that is not at all the case. Marco is just one of the kings of bench marking and product reviews :) Anyway; much like what I said on the mobile side of things, while very impressive I will still be looking at the next Tock before anything would be bought for me personally. I know Intel as always will amaze us on the next one to begin with, there are also things not included on this Tock that I would want. Things such as SATA and USB3 to begin with as well as there new BIOS product and there new COM specification which should be out on the next Tick I thin, and therefore optimized on the Tock as well. Technology is just moving both blindingly fast in at's capabilities today as well as in it's implementation/capabilities as well.

Inspector 3 years ago

DAM nice, i love the bios they made. Your hard works paid off Marco, Great Review.

rrplay 3 years ago

WOW what  great write-up ! Certainly the one we been waiting for.

I was really amazed to see what Asus did in the Bios & what kinda $$ these are going to be going for.

Thanks Marco !

lifeskills 3 years ago
Nice read! I'm sure I will have to go back, there was a lot of info there. Msi890fxa-gd75? 990fx? I hope there's a review in order...;-)
dadodgeson 3 years ago

thars alot of info you must have had these for months ill have to read this agin the price is not as bad as i thought it would be but im with rapid1 ill have to wait. has evga made a mobo yet? good artical marco hope you and the family had a great holliday

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

[quote user="dadodgeson"]

has evga made a mobo yet?


Yea, the EVGA P67 Classified, but it's strange that they haven't been marketing their P67 line-up.   Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock and Intel have been working hard on promoting their Sandy Bridge motherboards, but EVGA has stayed mostly quiet . One thing I do know and see, is that EVGA's cards are everywhere, so maybe they are cooking up some hot sauce ingredients for 1155 to dazzle @ C.E.S ....


sKrappy 3 years ago

will this proc work with a p55 chip set or will it be like shooting myself in the foot.  i read that the 67 chip set will be the only one to utilize the full overclocking potential for this chip.

realneil 3 years ago

Sandy Bridge has it's own socket motherboards instead of 1366 or 1156 sockets, they use the new 1155 socket to connect. You have a choice between P67 and H67 chipsets. There are CPU's with normally locked multipliers and others that are "K" series CPU's with unlocked multipliers. The unlocked are able to OC much better, but cost a little more too.

The P67 chipset is the one designated for enthusiasts. I hear that they're getting some of these CPU's up to, and beyond 5.0GHz. on air!  So it seems that the market is going through another upheaval.

sKrappy 3 years ago

thank you very much Neil for the information and i am amazed at how fast you respond to people comments on here.  Man i love this place, big up to life skills for showing me this site.

realneil 3 years ago

[quote user="sKrappy"]i am amazed at how fast you respond to people comments on here[/quote]

I'm retired and have some time on my hands. I like helping out when I can.

Sandy bridge is going to be worth the money I think. I see it as a game changer.

('cmon AMD!)

rapid1 3 years ago

Ya know Neil I have been thinking about this especially while watching or reading CES coverage. It seems odd to me fore one reason especially related to a graphics capability. Intel has nowhere near the graphics capabilities of AMD/ATI. From what I have seen benchmark wise the AMD/ATI APU beats Intel as well as many of there own benchmarks for previous processors for the APU. However; you see almost no coverage of this fact, which seems at least odd to me.

Also this is a new production unit of an Intel device. I personally would want to wait for the tock (IE: updated version), if it were my money. I also as I am sure you have heard that AMD's CEO is gone or will be shortly. So someone new will be coming in, whom I hope will be someone who is more aggressive in development. Especially on Bulldozer, which I look forward to seeing, but it has been out there (in development) for quite some time.

One thing that has really frustrated me watching that development is that it has already fallen behind Intel's development cycle 3 or 4 times now since it started being worked on. So I would hope an aggressive would not only step it up, but insist on it being updated and or adapted even further. While this may not really seem to apply in some ways, I think it would, and would wait a minute. The technology clock now moves very fast, and within 6 months we should be where both sides of this go retrospectively.

Another thing to compare this to something like the iPhone 4 announcement today. This event will lead to changes market wide in many things. Not only will At&t probably have to consider speeding up the LTE adaptation, but they also have direct competition now. The smaller players also have to come up with or add something as well, which will lead to better more competitive pricing as well as hopefully larger device availability market wide.

The main thing here is I know Intel GPU development is far behind both AMD and Nvidia so I personally would not really be excited about getting something of the same caliber from them as any solution to any thing. I am excited about the Tegra chips as well as the APU chips, but not really about SandyBridge for these reasons. I also personally do not like the Chipset choices Intel made for SandyBridge because I think that in today's media driven world a 1366 chipset with advanced, and enhanced graphic and PCI-X bandwidth as well as memory capabilities makes considerably more sense. On top of that many serious users will have a separate and singular or multiple GPU's as is so there is no point for them (which I assume many forum members here would be a member of this picture).

realneil 3 years ago

Intel has never really tried to enter the high-end graphics market. Sure, there was  some rumblings about a year ago that they were gonna do it, but then they put the skids to the work, and haven't started again. NVIDIA and AMD/ATI have a niche market providing vastly superior graphics to enthusiasts at differing levels for varying prices. Although these cards sell for every conceivable price, the total market share for graphics in the PC market is firmly dominated by Intel and their on-board graphics chip-sets.

So yes, Intel isn't as fast in an enthusiasts way of looking at the situation. But they aren't trying to be either.

One aspect of Sandy Bridge reviews that I've seen over and over is that the on-board video on Sandy Bridge H67mainboards encode video much faster than almost any other high end cards you can buy. Also, if you add an aftermarket PCI-E graphics card to the system, the on-board solution shuts down and you lose all of that bitchin' encoding power.

How did Intel figure out video encoding to such an advanced degree?

As for waiting, I like the idea of a CPU and Mainboard that can overclock to over 5.0GHz. on air. I like it enough to buy it now.

I'm a slave to technology I guess,.......

rapid1 3 years ago

Yeah a few vendors are selling liquid cooled units clocked at 5.2Ghz from what I saw after writing what I did. Of course these are top dollar units, but wow 5.2 Ghz warranted. I was really talking bout the quality of the internal GPU, whereas I see the AMD APU doing a better job as from what I understand it is a 6000 radeon internal GPU. The one thing that gets me on either is a GPU generates heat, so does a CPU so these integrated units from anyone must make some serious heat. If they can clock them stable at 5.2 Ghz there must be some serious work in the body of a SandyBridge!

realneil 3 years ago

Sandy Bridge uses little power compared to conventional CPU's. They're running cool and fast. (so I hear)

digitaldd 3 years ago

[quote user="realneil"]

Sandy Bridge has it's own socket motherboards instead of 1366 or 1156 sockets, they use the new 1155 socket to connect. You have a choice between P67 and H67 chipsets. There are CPU's with normally locked multipliers and others that are "K" series CPU's with unlocked multipliers. The unlocked are able to OC much better, but cost a little more too.

The P67 chipset is the one designated for enthusiasts. I hear that they're getting some of these CPU's up to, and beyond 5.0GHz. on air!  So it seems that the market is going through another upheaval.



I think I head on the Maximum PC podcast last week [#164 I think] that the Sandy Bridge CPUs easily overclock to around 5ghz but seems to be locked from getting much higher than that. They mentioned someone having done testing with no voltage restrictions and liquid nitrogen.


rapid1 3 years ago

From what I have seen (custom built PC's on a few custom manufacturers site, with 3 year warranty), clocked at 5.2 Ghz I would say that 5.0Ghz limit is false, plus the fact that liquid cooling is rather cheap now. From what I remember though these were clocked at 5.2Ghz cooled with air, but only in certain cases/setups. While I may be incorrect on the amount of these to see them anywhere at all clocked that high and warranted would mean to me that at the least the unlocked K processors are both some hardy cpu's, and that internally they cool really well. I know I was saying at first that I would wait till the tock before I would consider one of these, but from what I have seen that interpretation has changed. While of course buying one of these would not be uber cheap drop in upgrading, as you would need the MB, and most likely Memory as well if you wanted to grab one, they seem to be pretty darn good investments if your running an old PC, your PC blows up, or you just had the money to spare for it.

realneil 3 years ago

I've read of a few running at 5.2GHz. too. But not much higher than that, far.

Regardless, anywhere in the 5GHz. range is a damn site better than the almost 4.0GHz. I'm getting with my two (2.93GHz at stock) i7-870's right now. I like the fact that they're getting those 5.0GHz. speeds using less power and producing significantly less heat while doing it too.

I'll continue to use my two all-in-one water coolers (Asetek & Corsair) once I upgrade to Sandy Bridge because I think that they are a good idea that works well with what I have now.

I hope to see AMD come out with some good new technology that gives Sandy Bridge a run for it's money, and if they do, I'll get at least one of those and one less Sandy Bridge solution.

As to the memory, SB seems to run fine on the DDR3-1600 RipJaws sticks that I have already.

EDIT: Please understand that I'm not complaining about getting the speeds that I'm getting with my present systems. The overclock I get now is significant and completely stable too. These things are fast and a lot of fun just the way they are. I re-read my post and thought it looked a little weird.

coolice 3 years ago
Woah, my future upgrade was going to be an AMD rig. I'm no gamer, no video editor. Dont use anyhting thats CPU intensive. But i dont want to shell 400$ for a computer that'll not be capable 2 years down the line. I dont mind shelling out a few bucks to go for the i5 series. Also, great article. I loved the conclusion, I always read the conclusion first and if i like the sound of that, i read the rest of the article. It was Great, just enough detail. better than some of the other websites out there.
mados123 3 years ago

Great article although I am curious as to why there wasn't a difference between the timing of the discrete GPU encoding with the NVIDIA card and the "No hardware acceleration"? Was CUDA encoding turned off? Also, are there any comparisons of the quality of the videos that were encoded?

omegadraco 3 years ago

What is up with the HD 3000 built into the chip? I would assume motherboards would need to have a video out port in order to support this built in cipt.

rapid1 3 years ago

Yes I believe that is true the motherboards have output and the system also has dual graphics cards. From what I understand a chip or one of these chips do awesome video rendering all on there own, but active graphics need a GPU for best performance, well then you would have 3 GPU's on board.

Grady56 3 years ago

Hi fellow poster's , I dont think I really introduced myself But my names Grady :) I am 15 And I LOVE TO BUILD AND MESS AROUND WITH PC's!

Anyways, When I heard about the Sandy bridge chip's having a problem I kinda figured that Intel had a pretty big problem on their hands. I was going to buy a Sandy Bridge CPU but there a little too expensive right now( I don't want to clean out my parents wallet :P ) I guess i'll have to wait...AGAIN.

rapid1 3 years ago

Hey Grady56 there is an easy solution for you, go get a job I had one when I was 15. Then in a month or two you can get whatever chip you want. As for the Sandy Bridge issue just make sure you get one of the updated motherboards. Intel and the motherboard makers have made new motherboards on a repaired chip set already.

Grady56 3 years ago

When you were a kid the economy wasn't going to hell :) Its REALLY hard for anyone to find a job nowadays especially a 15-year old; But thanks for the though.

rapid1 3 years ago

LOL, Burger King, Mcdonalds, Taco bell, Pizza Hut, and Walmart still always have hiring sing's up all the time where I live.

Grady56 3 years ago

I'm assuming you live in a larger city? I live in a pretty small town( there's not many taco bells Although, we do have a Walmart)

I think this is kinda off-topic maybe, we should focus on the Sandy Bridge CPU's  Instead of this :)

rapid1 3 years ago

LOL; I apologize I was just messing with you Grady56.

Grady56 3 years ago

I know, its no problem.

rapid1 3 years ago

We are glad to have you as a new member.  As you will see or at least generally when we have contests here at HH we get a lot of new members. Some last some leave, but it is a great community if your into hardware, and or technology in general. We have a very knowledgeable and widely diversified crew here I have been a member for quite a while (approximately 4 years now) now, not as long as some of course. We are always glad to have new members!

rapid1 3 years ago

Speaking of which I have no direct experience with any Sandy Bridge yet. Of course I have read a good bit on them, and am impressed with what I see so far. Of course technology always marches on to. So we will see more as well as newer things shortly I am sure. Of course mobile technology seems to change weekly (Chips, memory, GPU's, payment methods, display, the whole shebang), and we are expecting some new AMD cpu's very shortly (Bulldozer family), and will also probably hear something about the next level in GPU's as well. Memory also never seems to stops, and the SSD parade keeps on frequently prices go down a lil bit, speed goes up a good bit, and size goes down.

DScheive 3 years ago

that processor looks so pretty :D lol so sharp and i love the blue coloured chips :) that look all new and state of the art... the green chips look classic :P

rapid1 3 years ago

As far as it goes I really love Gigabyte motherboards all the way around and for many reasons. I think the first has to be the extra copper PCB's there built on. But there are many considerations from tweak ability to the way they treat employees compared to many other OEM's. Gigabyte is a very solid manufacturer to deal with all around, not to mention there a direct Intel partner.

ANguyen 3 years ago

Intel Core i7-2600K is such an amazing CPU. The Spring Rig Give Away is give out and computer with an Intel Core i7-2600K

rapid1 3 years ago

Nice use of the Nokia Font!

GPiro 3 years ago

Was the i7-2700K mentioned above, supposed to be the 2600K?

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