System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, work, HD movie
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca
Country of Origin: Canada
Parts Preferences: Here is my real question: for a $1000 budget, I think spending around $500 on CPU + Video card is about right. I see the 2500K is pretty much the only choice, but would 2600K make sense if I play mostly RTS games (like Starcraft 2, Command & Conquer 3)? Those games are very CPU intensive and not very graphic intensive. Would those extra thread/Cache actually be helpful for RTS? Also, if there any point for waiting for Sandy Bridge E? Or, should I get 2500K and invest a lot on cooling for some "crazy" overclocking?
Of course, other suggestions are welcome.
SLI or Crossfire: no
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Other comment: First time poster here, sorry for any mistakes
Right now there are almost no games (including all the games that you listed) on the market that can take advantage of more than about 3 threads. Since the difference between the Intel® Core™ i7-2600K and the Intel Core i5-2500K are hyper-threading, 100MHz clock difference for about $100 in price. Ask yourself this is that 100MHz worth $100 to you?
So unless you are going to be doing some audio/video or some other heavily multi-threaded work the Intel Core i5-2500K is the processor for you.
IE is correct about the difference. You can OC the 2500K to 4.8 GHz with the native presets on the ASRock Extreme series and the 2600K to 4.9 GHz. I'd recommend saving the $100 and putting it into other components. Get a better cooled case and video card.
Ok, thanks all the replies - I was browsing the forum and was pretty sure about the 2500K; was just wondering if there's any difference for RTS games. I think I will just invest more to cooling and/or spend less than my initial budget - I don't really think I need to spend more than $200 on video card.