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Practical difference between 2500k & 2600k?

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January 4, 2011 7:35:07 AM

Hey!

I'm planning on building my first computer (gaming) this month. I guess I lucked out because every indication is that Sandy Bridge is going to be a bit of a leap over the current set of CPUs, in terms of power and value.

Anyway, I'm trying to choose which one to get. (Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about, so my regurgitations from articles I've read might be off.)

The differences appear to be that the 2600k's clock is about 100Mhz faster. It has hyperthreading to bring it to 8 threads vs. 2500k's 4 threads. And it has an 8MB L3 cache vs. the 2500k's 6MB L3 cache. And of course, the price -- 2600k is supposed to be $317 and 2500k, $216.

Now I realize the 2600k costs almost 50% more and it's certainly not 50% better. So whatever extra you get in the 2600k, it comes at a premium. That said, how much of a factor (re: gaming) do you think its advantages over the 2500k will be?

Thanks!

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January 4, 2011 7:39:06 AM

Get the i5-2500K, it'll be the best CPU for the money. The i7-2600K is mainly intended for people with powerfull Xfire/SLI rigs (which doesn't mean that you can SLI/Xfire two mainstream cards on the i5-2500K, for example 2 GTX460's 1GB or 2 HD 6850's)
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January 4, 2011 7:56:44 AM

Im still deciding. The $100 dollar difference seems like a big deal when you're talking about $317 vs $216 but when you add in new ram, mobo, and even a new cooler then it isn't a 50% jump in price as a system...more like 25%. So its like $450 for an I5-2500k setup or $550 for a I7-2600K. The question is 2 or 3 years from now will I be missing the hyperthreading and an 8mb L3?
Both are overkill for my needs now but I who knows in a couple of years.
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January 4, 2011 8:00:20 AM

Ripthruster said:
Im still deciding. The $100 dollar difference seems like a big deal when you're talking about $317 vs $216 but when you add in new ram, mobo, and even a new cooler then it isn't a 50% jump in price as a system...more like 25%. So its like $450 for an I5-2500k setup or $550 for a I7-2600K. The question is 2 or 3 years from now will I be missing the hyperthreading and an 8mb L3?
Both are overkill for my needs now but I who knows in a couple of years.


If you're planing to SLI/Xfire in future then get the i7 2600K if the budget isn't a problem. I'm just saying that the i5-2500K will be the best choice for the money for a long time.
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January 4, 2011 9:37:41 AM

For gaming, the 2500K will be as good as the 2600K.Unless you do a lot of rendering, heavy multi-tasking, and programs which really make use of HT, you should get the 2500K.
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January 4, 2011 10:36:51 AM

what tamz said.if you want it for gaming the 2500k is better because its $100 cheaper and the game bench marks say that 2500k and 2600k are equal. If you do rendering, encoding and video editing 2600k is better
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January 4, 2011 12:03:26 PM

Ummm...considering how well and easily they OC, why even bother with the 2600k? Seriously, with these things apparently hitting >4GHz with ease, why spend the extra $100 on the 2600k? If you really need that extra horsepower, you're probably better waiting off for socket 2011 to arrive...
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January 4, 2011 12:06:43 PM

gamerk316 said:
Ummm...considering how well and easily they OC, why even bother with the 2600k? Seriously, with these things apparently hitting >4GHz with ease, why spend the extra $100 on the 2600k? If you really need that extra horsepower, you're probably better waiting off for socket 2011 to arrive...


i7 2600K performance is better than i5-2500K only in heavy SLI or Cfire rigs. (i mean it won't bottleneck them that much)

Considering that the OP won't do GTX580 SLI or HD 6970 Xfire, then the i5-2500K is the way to go.
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January 4, 2011 12:08:12 PM

+1 to most of the above the 2500K is great for gaming spend the extra $100 on the graphics card
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January 4, 2011 1:14:06 PM

Quote:
BullDozer is going to get slapped around by Sandy bridge


+1

But i think that he was joking anyway. :D 
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January 4, 2011 4:16:20 PM

Alright. So I guess the 100 Mhz sortof is what it is. Probably not the best place to spend $100 on the build. The hyperthreading sounds like I'll really, genuinely have no use for. The L3 cache difference... I still can't tell how important that would be.

And it sounds like video card choice is important. (Why? Because of the Ghz differential and potential to bottleneck, I guess?) I am planning on getting a 6950, 570, or I guess the (upcoming?) 560. And down the line, I'll probably SLI/crossfire it. Sounds like I'm not planning on the 580/6970 supercard route. So I'm leaning toward 2500k.
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January 4, 2011 4:22:20 PM

RobotAngst said:
Alright. So I guess the 100 Mhz sortof is what it is. Probably not the best place to spend $100 on the build. The hyperthreading sounds like I'll really, genuinely have no use for. The L3 cache difference... I still can't tell how important that would be.

And it sounds like video card choice is important. (Why? Because of the Ghz differential and potential to bottleneck, I guess?) I am planning on getting a 6950, 570, or I guess the (upcoming?) 560. And down the line, I'll probably SLI/crossfire it. Sounds like I'm not planning on the 580/6970 supercard route. So I'm leaning toward 2500k.


Then get the i5-2500K, but get a good heatsink also (CM Hyper 212+) if you're going to Xfire 6950 or GTX570, you'll need to OC the i5-2500K a little bit in order to unleash the full power of those beasts :D 
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January 5, 2011 6:32:26 AM

Best answer selected by RobotAngst.
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January 14, 2011 12:11:49 AM

unknown_13 said:
i7 2600K performance is better than i5-2500K only in heavy SLI or Cfire rigs. (i mean it won't bottleneck them that much)

Considering that the OP won't do GTX580 SLI or HD 6970 Xfire, then the i5-2500K is the way to go.



The onlt difference between the 2500k and 2600k is the 2600k has hyperthreading. The new gpus in sli/xfire won't bottleneck the 2500k.
Its funny that you're the first person to say the 2600k is better for gaming.
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