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SB I5-2500K or I7-2600K

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December 20, 2010 10:48:46 PM

Which one to get is the question. Both 4 core at same speed but the 2600K has hyper-threading and an L3 cache of 8mb vs 6 for the 2500K
Price difference seems like it will be $100 dollars.
For me the decision will hinge upon what other cpus will be offered on this 1155 chip set in the future. I will gladly go the 2500K route if there is a future hex-core in the loop. If not, and all we are going to get is the same chips with slightly higher clock speeds and/or extreme editions with a $999.00 tag, I'll go the 2600k route.
Maybe this will be the first time I could get a good upgrade without replacing Motherboard and RAM. Maybe not.
Is the 2bm difference in the L3 cache a dramatic selling point?

More about : 2500k 2600k

December 21, 2010 1:45:42 AM

In my opinion the 2600k is better buy. In this bench:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html it's ranked as 4th fastest cpu on the market, while the 2500k is much lower. A 2600k is close in performance with 980x (according to that bench) and 2500k to i7 880. For $100 more I think it's totally worth it. I'm buying the 2600k.
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December 21, 2010 7:49:48 AM

I didn't realise the difference was so dramatic on those benchmarks. Not that the 2500K did so badly either.
After this, I'd like to skip buying a new mobo, Ram, and cooler just because I'm upgrading my cpu. As I said, I'd love to see what else is in store for this socket in a year or two. That would kind of help with the decision now, if that makes sense. For my needs today, the 2500K is more than enough but a year from now maybe I'll be kicking myself for not getting the 2600K. With that setup I could comfortably just replace the GPU every year or so.
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December 21, 2010 7:54:24 AM

That benchmark only shows a i5-2500, not 2500K. Add another 500 points to i5-2500 to get the approximate 2500K score -> ~7200. Do you really think that paying the 50% more money will be worth it? I doubt it.
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December 21, 2010 8:09:30 AM

tigrc said:
That benchmark only shows a i5-2500, not 2500K. Add another 500 points to i5-2500 to get the approximate 2500K score -> ~7200. Do you really think that paying the 50% more money will be worth it? I doubt it.


Good call on the missing K, tigrc.
Why is there a performance difference (700pts) of the K models in this bench if they haven't been OC'd?
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December 21, 2010 8:35:52 AM

I have no idea. They are completely the same, except the K version has unlocked multiplier. Maybe it's a fake chart?
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a c 83 à CPUs
December 21, 2010 1:53:23 PM

So if there is no difference, why are you worried about the missing K? The 2500K (stock) should perform exactly like the 2500.
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December 21, 2010 1:54:52 PM

tigrc said:
That benchmark only shows a i5-2500, not 2500K. Add another 500 points to i5-2500 to get the approximate 2500K score -> ~7200. Do you really think that paying the 50% more money will be worth it? I doubt it.

2500 and 2500k are the same at stock clocks. I don't see why the k version will have 700 more points doesn't make sense. And it's not 50% more money, the 2500k costs $216 and the 2600k costs $317.
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a c 83 à CPUs
December 21, 2010 2:01:21 PM

Dude, seriously? 50% more means half. $216 / 2 = $108. $216 + $108 = $324. That's a mere $7 difference. The K version costs about 50% more. (assuming leaked prices are close.)
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December 21, 2010 2:23:09 PM

4745454b said:
Dude, seriously? 50% more means half. $216 / 2 = $108. $216 + $108 = $324. That's a mere $7 difference. The K version costs about 50% more. (assuming leaked prices are close.)

Oh okay, makes sense. Sorry! lol
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December 21, 2010 2:31:55 PM

maybe... Intel has snuck something else into the "K" model other than an unlocked multiplier? Its a new batch of chips so don't be surprised lol

Interesting....
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December 21, 2010 3:19:24 PM

4745454b said:
So if there is no difference, why are you worried about the missing K? The 2500K (stock) should perform exactly like the 2500.


Because the 2600K is higher than a 2600 by ~700 in that chart. The only difference seen on their specs is the unlocked multiplier. That is why I don't believe the chart, but if I were to believe it, I would add around 500 points to the 2500K vs the 2500.
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December 21, 2010 3:20:53 PM

CsG_kieran_2 said:
maybe... Intel has snuck something else into the "K" model other than an unlocked multiplier? Its a new batch of chips so don't be surprised lol

Interesting....


That's what I'm thinking of as well, if that chart is true. However, there is absolutely no info about any other changes made to the K series, as far as I've researched...
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a c 83 à CPUs
December 21, 2010 3:27:53 PM

K is unlocked. Thats the only difference thats been revealed. Its most likely that the chart is wrong.
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a c 126 à CPUs
December 21, 2010 7:26:29 PM

Ripthruster said:
Which one to get is the question. Both 4 core at same speed but the 2600K has hyper-threading and an L3 cache of 8mb vs 6 for the 2500K
Price difference seems like it will be $100 dollars.
For me the decision will hinge upon what other cpus will be offered on this 1155 chip set in the future. I will gladly go the 2500K route if there is a future hex-core in the loop. If not, and all we are going to get is the same chips with slightly higher clock speeds and/or extreme editions with a $999.00 tag, I'll go the 2600k route.
Maybe this will be the first time I could get a good upgrade without replacing Motherboard and RAM. Maybe not.
Is the 2bm difference in the L3 cache a dramatic selling point?


The cache wont make a major difference in most apps nor will the loss of HT.

For Sandy Bridge based CPUs, I don't think there will be anymore Extreme Editions. The whole selling point to a Extreme Edition was the unlocked multiplier which when tied in with the great overclocking of a standard Core 2/Core i7 made them top overclocking CPUs. But since Sandy Bridge has the SATA controller, USB controller and PCIe controller all on die the BCLK has to be locked at 100MHz in order for those components to work properly.

As for the six core variants, the only info we have right now is that Sandy Bridge DT (Desktop) is set for LGA1155 and there has been no news of a six core variant. Only quad cores. But that by no means gives the answer. Its possible they may release a six core later or they may release one on the 22nm architecture. If we look at Nehalem it went from new arch to 32nm on the same socket so that means its possible that Ivy Bridge will as well fit LGA1155.

But until Intel gives us any more news the only six or eight core CPUs we know of are slated for a release in Q3 of 2011 on the LGA2011 socket.

Eitherway I doubt you would truly need a newer CPU even if you go with a Core i5 2500K. I mean current CPUs alone are so damn fast that most software can barley utilize them to the max and no game out there can fully utilize a quad core let alone a game. Nor can any rendering programs. It would take probably a good 5 years before a Core i5 2500K is truly slow. I mean hell, my Q6600 still performs fast as all get out and its going on 4 years old.
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December 21, 2010 10:12:40 PM

tigrc said:
That's what I'm thinking of as well, if that chart is true. However, there is absolutely no info about any other changes made to the K series, as far as I've researched...


Is it possible the motherboard recognizes the CPU is unlocked and gooses the voltage a bit on its own?
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December 21, 2010 10:17:31 PM

jimmysmitty said:
The cache wont make a major difference in most apps nor will the loss of HT.

For Sandy Bridge based CPUs, I don't think there will be anymore Extreme Editions. The whole selling point to a Extreme Edition was the unlocked multiplier which when tied in with the great overclocking of a standard Core 2/Core i7 made them top overclocking CPUs. But since Sandy Bridge has the SATA controller, USB controller and PCIe controller all on die the BCLK has to be locked at 100MHz in order for those components to work properly.

As for the six core variants, the only info we have right now is that Sandy Bridge DT (Desktop) is set for LGA1155 and there has been no news of a six core variant. Only quad cores. But that by no means gives the answer. Its possible they may release a six core later or they may release one on the 22nm architecture. If we look at Nehalem it went from new arch to 32nm on the same socket so that means its possible that Ivy Bridge will as well fit LGA1155.

But until Intel gives us any more news the only six or eight core CPUs we know of are slated for a release in Q3 of 2011 on the LGA2011 socket.

Eitherway I doubt you would truly need a newer CPU even if you go with a Core i5 2500K. I mean current CPUs alone are so damn fast that most software can barley utilize them to the max and no game out there can fully utilize a quad core let alone a game. Nor can any rendering programs. It would take probably a good 5 years before a Core i5 2500K is truly slow. I mean hell, my Q6600 still performs fast as all get out and its going on 4 years old.


I wouldn't mind going overkill on this system if it means for four or possibly even five years, I'll only need to upgrade the GPU.
I've seen speculation in other forums about what else may or may not be coming for the 1156 chipset.

Plus unexpected Christmas Bonus was announced today. That kind of sealed the deal.
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a c 126 à CPUs
December 30, 2010 5:23:59 PM

Ripthruster said:
I wouldn't mind going overkill on this system if it means for four or possibly even five years, I'll only need to upgrade the GPU.
I've seen speculation in other forums about what else may or may not be coming for the 1156 chipset.

Plus unexpected Christmas Bonus was announced today. That kind of sealed the deal.


To be honest, even if you went with a LGA1366 setup you would be fine for probably 4 or so years with just GPU upgrades. I do that. My older system lasted me 5 years and was a Pentium 4. I upgraded from a 9700pro, 9800XT then to X850XT.

But Sandy Bridge will last a bit longer than LGA1366.
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January 5, 2011 1:56:30 AM

tigrc said:
Because the 2600K is higher than a 2600 by ~700 in that chart. The only difference seen on their specs is the unlocked multiplier. That is why I don't believe the chart, but if I were to believe it, I would add around 500 points to the 2500K vs the 2500.



The K series chips carry HD 3000 series processing units vs the HD 2000 units in most the others, that is more then likely the cause for the discrepancy. Keep in mind if you're using discrete graphics the on die graphics is disabled via mobo choice and you're only getting the benefit of overclocking. Regardless, dollar per performance the 2500 is pretty clearly the better deal, but if you can spring the extra 100 bucks, you'd be stupid to not get the 2600k (30$ cheaper case, get a cheaper HD etc, upgrade those later.)
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January 5, 2011 2:03:55 AM

One review said if you have a 2nd monitor you can run the HD2k/3k on a 2nd monitor while still using a discrete graphics card. Which means you get the benefits of QuickSync without having to disable your graphics card.

The only thing I'm confused about is I coulda sworn I saw a review that said P67 allow K series to OC but can't use the GPU on the CPU. If you want to use the HD2k/3k you need to use H67 board. Which is what's confusing me.. is it really not possible to OC the CPU and still make use of QuickSync because of those features being on different boards? Sounded like there was going to be a new board in Q2 to allow both. Anyone have any details on any of this?

Sandybridge is a great CPU.. but the motherboards seem like a complete clusterfuck.
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a c 83 à CPUs
January 5, 2011 2:44:19 AM

Toms review said as soon as a card is in there then QuickSync is disabled. I haven't read a lot of reviews yet, and it would be horrible if it depends on motherboard. Meaning H67 and your ok, but P67 and your not. Going to lead to a lot of confused people, myself included.
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January 5, 2011 3:33:50 PM

epdark said:
The K series chips carry HD 3000 series processing units vs the HD 2000 units in most the others, that is more then likely the cause for the discrepancy. Keep in mind if you're using discrete graphics the on die graphics is disabled via mobo choice and you're only getting the benefit of overclocking. Regardless, dollar per performance the 2500 is pretty clearly the better deal, but if you can spring the extra 100 bucks, you'd be stupid to not get the 2600k (30$ cheaper case, get a cheaper HD etc, upgrade those later.)


I'd be stupid to get the 2600K instead of 2500K for gaming and normal use :)  I'm not gonna buy a cheaper, lower quality case and a cheaper, slower HD to buy a somewhat equal CPU for my needs. The 2500K even beats the 2600K in some games... No one is stupid by buying what they need.
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January 5, 2011 6:39:34 PM

Can it overclock to 4.5 GHz on stock air cooling?
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January 5, 2011 6:51:57 PM

The only difference between the 2500K and the 2600K is hyper threading and the 100 MHz that I can see. If almost everything isn't even using 4 threads and won't be for quite a while there's no point in the 2600K for the average gamer really?

EDIT: Just seem the L3 cache difference. Doesn't seem to be making a huge difference in the benchmarks I've seen though.
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January 5, 2011 7:08:12 PM

2500K is a no brainer for games :) 
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