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

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Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set memory to DDR3-1333. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head

System 1:
Core i7-2600K
(3.4GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i5-2500K
(3.3GHz - Quad-Core)

Intel DH67BL, DP67BG
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Gigabyte P67A-UD7
MSI P67A-GD65
(P67 Express Chipset) 

2x2GB Patriot DDR3-1866
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 2:
Core i7-975
(3.33GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7-980X
(3.33GHz - Six-Core)

Gigabyte EX58-UD5
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x2GB OCZ DDR3-1333
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64
System 3:
Core i7 870
(2.93GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i5 750
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus Maximus III Formula
(P55 Express Chipset)

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 4:
AMD Phenom II X4 975
(3.5GHz Quad-Core)
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
(3.3GHz Six-Core)

MSI 890FX-GD75
(AMD 990FX Chipset) 

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)


GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64

Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2011B
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2011B, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2011 suite with Intel's new Core i5 and i7 "Sandy Bridge" processors (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, and Cache and Memory).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processors running at their default clock speeds of 3.3GHz (2500K) and 3.4GHz (2600K) with 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM running in dual-channel mode on the Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard.
 


Core i5-2500K
Processor

Core i5-2500K
Multimedia

Core i5-2500K
Memory Bandwidth

Core i5-2500K
Cache & Memory

Core i7-2700K
Processor

Core i7-2700K
Multimedia

Core i7-2700K
Memory Bandwidth

Core i7-2700K
Cache & Memory

 

The new Sandy Bridge-based Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K processors performed right about where we expected them too in the various SiSoft SANDRA tests. In the Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia benchmarks, the processors outpaced their previous-generation counterparts by a fair margin, when core counts were similar--the 6-core Core i7-980X remains Intel's fastest processor overall. The Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K also performed similarly in the Cache and Memory test and each one offered up about 16GB/s of peak memory bandwidth, when running in a dual-channel configuration at 1333MHz.

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