CPU choice - 2 mb cache difference

Hello experts and hobbyists!
I'm in the researching process of buying a new desktop computer and I seek advice on something... (follows).

The company I intend to buy at, gives me the option to choose between two CPU's, more specifically the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K and the Intel® Core™ i7-2600K, the latter is a bit more expensive. When comparing these two products ( http://ark.intel.com/compare/52210,52214 ) I'm noticing that the i7-2600K has a cache size with 2 mb more than the i5-2500K. Will this have a measurable effect in the overall perfomance of the computer, and are there other things I should take into account when choosing between these two processors?

The main purpose of the computer is gaming.
The other specifications on the computer are as follows:

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 B3
RAM: Kingston 16GB HyperX DDR3-1600 RAM DualChannel
Video card: nVidia GeForce GTX560
Harddisk: Seagate 1000GB SATA3 6Gb/s 7200rpm
Power supply (not sure if this is relevant): Seasonic SS-500et 80+ bronze
(Please ask for further information if you require it to answer my question properly)

Will I be better off with the i7-2600 or is it a waste of money?

Greetings from Denmark :-)
22 answers Last reply
More about choice cache difference
  1. the 2500k is the one for gaming

    the 2600k is a waste of money if only for gaming--main benefit of it is hyperthreading--so good for video editing etc

    with a decent cpu cooler the 2500k can be highly overclocked
  2. Won't the bigger cache in the 2600k increase performance in games?
  3. not really, the hyperthreading occassionally weakens performance in games.
  4. is that graphics card a 560 or a 560ti?

    if its only a 560 then i would use the money saved by getting the 2500k to upgrade the graphics to the 560ti

    if its already a 560ti then use the extra saving to get the 448 core 560ti version
  5. The graphics card is the 560 (without ti). I'm not given the option to upgrade it to 560ti, however I am able to upgrade it to either GeForce GTX570 or GeForce GTX580 which essentially is a lot more expensive than switching the CPU.

    About the overlocking issue: Do you think this system would benefit from upgrading the power supply from 500w to 750w and then attaching a Scythe CPU-cooling system?

    Note: I lack the knowledge to buy all the parts individually and then building it on my own.
  6. well as always it comes down to money--i understand denmark is quite expensive according to a friend of mine

    who went there

    but if you can afford it i would upgrade the psu and get the aftermarket cooler--2500k should overclock to 4.4ghz

    to 4.6ghz ok

    but the 560 non ti is a bit low end so i would also upgrade to the gtx570

    dont know about companies in denmark but here in the uk they will build it exactly as you want it--even if the

    560ti upgrade option isnt available on their website if you telephone them they might do it for you
  7. Like the others have said for a gaming system you really want to go with Intel® Core™ i5-2500K. The reason for this is that very few games can take advantage of more than 4 threads and those that do don't give very much of a performance increase for it. While 2MB of additional cache and 100MHz clock speed does give the Intel Core i7-2600K an advantage in somethings it isnt enough to make up the $100 difference in a gaming system.

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  8. Alright, so I'm set with the Intel® Core™ i5-2500k.
    I guess everything comes down to money now a days. But the GTX560 is ranked 16 on the passmark ranking list ( http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html ). I saw this as a pretty high score though.. How much of a perfomance increase can one expect if it was upgraded to either the GTX560ti or the GTX570?
  9. heres the comparison with 560 and 560ti

    though those are both overclocked 560 versions

    if you go for an overclockable 560ti like asus or msi twin frozr then its close to a 570 not overclocked

    though the lower amount of vram may come to bear in some games

    the 560ti overclocked is certainly the bang for buck card

    forgot the link

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-amp-edition-gtx-560-directcu-ii-top,2944.html
  10. Kern-93 said:
    Alright, so I'm set with the Intel® Core™ i5-2500k.
    I guess everything comes down to money now a days. But the GTX560 is ranked 16 on the passmark ranking list ( http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html ). I saw this as a pretty high score though.. How much of a perfomance increase can one expect if it was upgraded to either the GTX560ti or the GTX570?


    Unless money is no problems at all, the increase would be too small for the money you would pay. Either sell your video card or keep it until you're no more satisfied with the performance (which should be a couple of years if you aren't too picky).
  11. I went on to nVidias homepage and compared the different video cards' perfomance to the primary games I'll be playing. I found that I would benefit from using the GTX570 (I know that the settings they upload are not set as if the system has been overclocked), so it'll only get better..

    I read a review that said my motherboard allows about a 0,10 GHz increase, but don't you think that the 500w 80+ Bronze delivers enough power for the overclock?
  12. not sure what you mean by 0.10ghz increase

    the 2500k runs at 3.3ghz and with a decent cooler 4.5ghz should be doable--1.2ghz increase

    if going for the gtx570 then i would definately go for the 750w psu
  13. Hmm.. I have misunderstood something then. I need to research some more about overclocking I guess.
  14. its very simple on the 2500k

    just up the multiplier

    this should certainly get you over 4ghz

    then possibly a small cpu voltage increase for 4.5ghz

    anything over that will probably need more tweaking in the bios

    my 2600k will go straight to 4.6ghz just by upping the multiplier and to 5ghz with some tweaking in the bios and

    upping the voltage to 1.4v on the cpu
  15. There are just a few basic things I need to understand..

    Does it matter what motherboard I'm using when I overclock the system? And do you use any software to overclock it?
  16. any z68 board will be fine--that Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 B3 is one of the cheaper z68 boards but gets decent reviews

    especially in the overclocking department

    gigabyte boards can be overclocked using easytune 6 which comes with the board

    but doing it in the bios is always preffered to using software to overclock
  17. So I should just different settings, and then monitor the temperature when it's doing a benchmark test or something like that?
  18. yep--monitor the temperature when it's doing a benchmark test or something like that

    just start by upping the multiplier--start at say x40 then test and go to x41 and so on--once its unstable then you need to look a voltages etc

    though you should get a really good overclock just by using the multiplier--it just depends how hard you want to push it
  19. What would you say the ideal temperature should be when it is running the stress-test, and what is the absolute maximum temperature?
    I've read that most of the newer products has a safety-feature that either slows down the computer or shuts it down when it gets too hot.
  20. maximum recommended is 72c

    depends what you stress test with--some people use prime95 but i dont as it puts your cpu through far more

    than real life use would

    personally i just run a modern game at max settings and transcode a video and run my cctv software and superpi

    at the same time--if that doesnt crash or overheat it then its stable as far as i am concerned

    yes it does have thermal overheat protection--you need to check in the bios what temperature its set to
  21. So I should keep upping the multiplier untill it gets unstable or crashes while running stress-tests. When it gets unstable I should increase the amount of Watt supplied by the psu. And when the temperature reaches 72c(?), I have reached the maximum potential?
    And I can change the amount of Watt supplied, in the BIOS?

    I know there are a lot of questions but I really appreciate your answers :-)
  22. thats just about right

    though its the amount of volts to the cpu not watts

    maximum recommended volts is 1.4v to the cpu--and yes it can be changed in the bios

    4.5ghz should be acheivable with about 1.3v --though every cpu is individual so it may take a little less or a little more
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