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

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Below are a couple of screenshots from the latest version of CPU-Z that detail some of the new Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K processors’ inner-workings.


Core i5-2500K CPU Details
 

Core i5-2500K Cache Details
 

Core i7-2600K CPU Details

Core i7-2600K Cache Details

As you can see, and we’ve already mentioned, the chips utilize the new socket 1155 and are built using Intel’s 32nm process node. The chips we tested and that will hit retail shelves are revision D2, with stepping 7 and they feature a 100MHz BCLK. And other than their frequencies, support for HyperThreading and L3 / LLC cache sizes, the Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K are essentially identical.

The Core i5-2500K has 6MB of L3, whereas the i7-2600K has 8MB. There is 64K (32K data, 32K instruction) of L1 cache per core, and 256K of L2 cache per core. All of the caches are 8-way set associative, with the exception of the L3 / LLC which is 12-way set associative on the Core i5-2500K and 16-way on the i7-2600K.

There has been a lot of scuttlebutt regarding Sandy Bridge and its potentially limited overclocking. The reason for all the chatter is because Sandy Bridge based processors have an on-die clock generator and much more complex design that cannot handle high BCLK frequencies in its current form. So, what Intel has done in an attempt to satisfy the overclocking market is introduce K-series SKUs that are totally unlocked for easy overclocking via multiplier manipulation. But take note that other non-K SKUs will also have “limited” unlocking which will allow for multipliers to be increased by up to 4 speed bins above the processor’s peak, official Turbo frequency. Now, while there’s not nearly as much BCLK headroom as previous architectures, that doesn’t mean it can’t be altered at all. The BCLK on current Sandy Bridge chips can typically be increased by up to 5%-9% or so. With a default BCLK of 100MHz, that means about 105MHz to 109MHz (give or take a few MHz) will typically be possible, depending on the particular chip.

The highest multiplier available on K SKUs is 57, which would equate to 5.7GHz, but it’s not likely that kind of frequency will be possible. These processors are highly overclockable, though.


Intel Core i7-2600K Overclocked to 4.57GHz

We spent some time tweaking our Core i7-2600K using the stock Intel high-performance cooler and an Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard and were easily able to hit a rock-solid and perfectly stable peak frequency of 4.57GHz. We achieved this speed by increasing the CPU voltage to 1.35v, with a multiplier of 44 and a BCLK of 104MHz. With more tweaking, we're certain higher clocks will be possible. We were actually told by Asus that approximately 50% of Sandy Bridge CPUs can hit 4.4-4.5GHz, 40% can hit up to 4.6-4.7GHz, and about 10% will reach up to 4.8-5GHz. We should also mentioned that at the speeds we hit, with the stock cooler, temperatures were absolutely not an issue. While overclocked, the 2600K idled in the high 40'C range and peaked in the low 70'C range.

 

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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!!

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damn these CPUs look sexy

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

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

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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.

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

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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 !

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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...;-)

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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

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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 ....

 

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