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I5 2500k vs i7 2600k

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September 13, 2011 1:13:38 AM

i notice all the builds use the i5 - 2500k and not the i7-2600k is there a reason for this other than cost ? Or am I correct in thinking that the 2600k is the better choice. Also a random questoin about the 2600k I have noticed 2600, 2600k , and 2600S which is the best and whats the difference between the three ?

More about : 2500k 2600k

September 13, 2011 1:30:38 AM

The "k" means that it is fully unlocked and overclockable. Everything else means that their cores are locked within the CPU. Go for the i5 2500k, no reason to get the i5 2600k when gaming (you won't see much difference).
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September 13, 2011 1:36:18 AM

The main difference between the 2500k and 2600k is that the latter has hyperthreading. Games, at this point in time, does not need 8 threads (4cores hyperthreaded) at most they utilize only about 2-3 cores.

This forums also has a lot more "gamer build" that anything else, so for gaming 2500k is best choice right now.
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September 13, 2011 1:50:20 AM

firexxattxx said:
The "k" means that it is fully unlocked and overclockable. Everything else means that their cores are locked within the CPU. Go for the i5 2500k, no reason to get the i5 2600k when gaming (you won't see much difference).


I understand that, but then why on all the benchmark they have the 2600 and 2500 without the k rated higher than the one with the k ? such as here http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...

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September 13, 2011 1:57:51 AM

Look again. They arent rated higher, they are rated the same, but just on a higher chart than the other. You wont see a difference in gaming.
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September 13, 2011 2:09:18 AM

Trying to clear some things up...

The difference between the 2500/2500k and 2600/2600k is hyperthreading. There's like a .1ghz difference and some cache, but that's nothing really. The reason the 2600/2600k is $100 more is because of hyperthreading. All the processors have four cores, but the hyperthreading on the i7 lets the four physical cores function as eight virtual cores. This is a big advantage in heavily multithreaded applications like video/audio encoding and FEA applications, but for the majority of programs (including all current games), hyperthreading will make no difference. Unless you're sure you'll be running a heavily multithreaded application, save yourself the $100 and go with the i5-2500 or i5-2500k

The "k" means that the processor is unlocked to allow for overclocking. If you know that you'll never overclock then go with the non-"k" version. If you think you might ever overclock then spend the extra $15 on the "k."

Don't worry about the S versions. I'm pretty sure you can't actually buy them anywhere anyway. EDIT: I did find some i7-2600S online, but everywhere I found them they were about $300 which is the same price as the 2600K with lower clock speeds.
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September 13, 2011 2:13:47 AM

thanks that was very helpful, and good to know. Has there been any rumors on the game network saying anything about hyperthreading being incorparated ? Thing is this is my one shot at spending alot on a computer and will most likely be unable to upgrade anywhere withing 5-6 years lol >_<
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September 13, 2011 2:15:06 AM

also i know this isn't the right thread but does the type of motherboard affect the speed of the computer ? why are some more expensive than others ? sorry i'm new to building computers.
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September 13, 2011 2:40:03 AM

We're just getting to a point where quad core and higher processors are becoming normal. Most games to this point have been programmed to run on dual core processors. Now that enthusiast gaming computers are almost exclusively using quad core and eight core processors are coming out, game designers will probably start incorporating more cores. That is all purely conjecture, though. No one can accurately predict what games will look like three years from now.

The price differences between motherboards are the features but there are more important things to pick first. First there are a few sizes available and some motherboards need to be tiny to fit into tiny cases. Those cases aren't as linear in terms of price vs. features so lets assume we're talking about ATX boards (this is easily the most common size). The first differences are the socket. The i5-2500K uses an LGA 1155 socket whereas some older intel processors might use LGA 1366 or others. Socekt type doesn't really affect price but it's the first thing that you need to check. The second thing is chipsets (or northbridge). For the i5-2500K the common chipsets are H61/H67, P67, and Z68 in order of increasing price. Higher prices correspond to newer chipsets and better features and for the 2500K you'll almost certainly want Z68.

Once you pick your socket and chipset, you've got a long range of prices (from $100 to maybe $375 for Z68). One of the differences is the port cluster. More expensive boards have better features like more usb 3.0, dual ethernet, 6+ audio ports, eSATA, and others. The next (and arguably biggest) difference is in the expansion card slots and specifically the PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. The higher cards have more PCIe 2.0 x16 slots and the pros and cons of those can be discussed in a different thread.

There are extra little tidbits to look for like PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which are the newest generation (which will not be supported on sandy bridge but will be supported on ivy bridge), usb 3.0 headers on the motherboard (as opposed to the cluster), features like turbo boost and uefi bios (although most have uefi these days), and of course heatsink effectiveness and overall look.
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