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Upgrade to i5-2500k or wait for Ivy Bridge

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March 2, 2012 3:29:42 AM

Right now, I have the i3-2120 and it's an incredible CPU. I upgraded from a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, so you can all imagine how I am marveling over the newfound speed and efficiency.

Anyways, I've been reading that out of all the CPUs out right now, the i5-2500k with its incredible speed and overclocking abilities is possibly the best gaming CPU available. That appeals to me, considering how relatively inexpensive it is.

My question is, once the new Ivy Bridges come out, should I save up and get one of those, or just stick with the i5-2500k? I can only imagine the i5 getting cheaper as well once the new lineup comes out, so that only appeals to me even more.

Right now I have an Asus P8H61 and I love it, but I also hear I can't overclock it. Does that mean that since the motherboard can't be overclocked, I won't be able to overclock the i5 as well? Am I going to need to invest in a new motherboard if I want to overclock my next CPU? I bought the i3-2120 not knowing it can't be overclocked, but right now I don't care as I am extremely pleased with its speeds.

Your thoughts?
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a b K Overclocking
March 2, 2012 5:02:54 AM

The i5 2500k is a great choice. Get a good p67 or z68 Mobo along with it and get your CPU running at 4.5ghz!
On the other hand, IB is only a month(maybe 2 months) away, I'd say wait & revise your options.
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March 2, 2012 5:50:37 PM

Yeah that's a buttload of money though lol. The P67 is around $250+ and the i5 is $190+. Then I'm sure I would have to get new RAM as my 1333mhz kingston RAM is probably incompatible with the P67 mobo. I was just thinking of start off with the i5 first and then working my way up lol.
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March 2, 2012 6:09:36 PM

wait for ivybridge, pick up bargain bin i2500k?

Unlikely you need the overclock, but it's there when your cpu is old and needs a kick.

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March 2, 2012 6:14:30 PM

I would not bank on the 2500k dropping in price much .
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March 2, 2012 6:18:41 PM

13thmonkey is right, Intel have no need to lower prices by much with the grip they currently have on the market. That is also a blessing for those that want to sell to upgrade though.
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March 2, 2012 6:20:31 PM

Get ivy bridge. If you look at the early leaks it is overclocking like mad at low volts.

Since you need a new board anyway to overclock get the Z77 boards when they come out...it will be a lot more future proof than 2500k
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March 2, 2012 6:25:36 PM

You mention gaming as the drive for this, but you don't mention the video card & resolution you game at; this could determine if the i3 is already maxing out (or close to) the video card you already have to the point where you wouldn't get a big enough ROI on the i5 to the point you are disappointed.

Yes the 2500k is a god send for someone that slaps on a good air cooler & dabbled a bit in the UEFI/BIOS; but all that brute power is meaningless if your card is already maxed out by the CPU. Like if you game at 720p, 900 or 1080p and your games aren't complex AAA titles, the you won't see nearly as much of a jump in performance between the C2D & the i3 in games (in the OS/productivity suites/encoding 100% yes, but games, maybe not).

If your i3 is trying to drive a 570/6950 @ 1200+ resolution, then yeah, you probably would see a nice bump in FPS with the i5.
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March 2, 2012 6:51:11 PM

Since you will not do anything until ivy bridge is available, just wait and see.
I have little doubt that if you want a change, A Z77 motherboard and appropriate ivy "K" will be the choice over a 2500K.
At the same price point, you will get better performance, cooler running, and better overclocks.
In the past, predecessor cpu's did not drop in price at the retail level.
On the used market, you can expect a 2500K to drop in price some.
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March 2, 2012 7:47:13 PM

i run the i5 2500k and its a great processor. great bang for your buck. I don't think it will drop much in price, but I don't think you can go wrong with it. At least wait a month or so to see what happens when the Ivy Bridge comes out. you never know :) 
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March 2, 2012 11:05:16 PM

Are you unhappy with your performance atm?

I'd wait considering you already have an i3.
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March 7, 2012 7:26:17 PM

I see what you are saying guys, and in the case of waiting for the new chipset and cpus, I'm obviously not jonesing to get new components, it was more of just a query on my end. I'm waiting until the new Intel stuff comes out for sure.

Anyways, I couldn't be happier with my performance. I have the i3-2120 and a Radeon HD 6870. My monitor only maxes out at 1440 x 900, which I love more then 1080p, and I can play BF3 with every setting on Ultra, just with no AA. My machine runs pretty damn cool too.
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March 8, 2012 7:24:15 PM

Well it sounds like you know what to do then! Don't fix what isn't broken! :) 

The longer you wait the better price/performance ratios you're going to get. (in most cases)
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March 9, 2012 3:30:35 AM

Raidur said:
Well it sounds like you know what to do then! Don't fix what isn't broken! :) 

The longer you wait the better price/performance ratios you're going to get. (in most cases)

+!^ :D 
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Anonymous
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March 9, 2012 8:44:42 AM

h2l said:
Right now, I have the i3-2120 and it's an incredible CPU. I upgraded from a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, so you can all imagine how I am marveling over the newfound speed and efficiency.

Anyways, I've been reading that out of all the CPUs out right now, the i5-2500k with its incredible speed and overclocking abilities is possibly the best gaming CPU available. That appeals to me, considering how relatively inexpensive it is.

My question is, once the new Ivy Bridges come out, should I save up and get one of those, or just stick with the i5-2500k? I can only imagine the i5 getting cheaper as well once the new lineup comes out, so that only appeals to me even more.

Right now I have an Asus P8H61 and I love it, but I also hear I can't overclock it. Does that mean that since the motherboard can't be overclocked, I won't be able to overclock the i5 as well? Am I going to need to invest in a new motherboard if I want to overclock my next CPU? I bought the i3-2120 not knowing it can't be overclocked, but right now I don't care as I am extremely pleased with its speeds.

Your thoughts?



as what was said if your happy with your set up, stick with it.

for future consideration:

if you want to overclock it would be better to look at the Z68 motherboards because of more options with ssd caching and lucid (the ability to use you igpu of the prossesor and a discrete card.) there is nothing wrong with a P67 if you want to overclock, it just doesn't let you use the igpu on the chip, you need to have a grfx card.

you might even upgrade to an i5 non "K" version that doesn't overclock and still see large performance gains; you just don't get a better bang for your buck from overclocking.

and you MAY get an ivy bridge processor with the board you have now if your H61 board is listed in the "available model list with future 22 nm CPU ready":
http://event.asus.com/2011/mb/PCIe3_Ready/

however that h61 does not support sata 6Gbs and without that, well upping your processor would not be as beneficial because your hard drive would be bottlenecking.

and i'll repeat: MAY support IB; until it actually happens it truely isn;t a fact.

really if you like what you have, no worries to upgrade now. you have good time to look around before making a jump :) 
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March 9, 2012 11:02:12 PM

h2l said:
Yeah that's a buttload of money though lol. The P67 is around $250+ and the i5 is $190+. Then I'm sure I would have to get new RAM as my 1333mhz kingston RAM is probably incompatible with the P67 mobo. I was just thinking of start off with the i5 first and then working my way up lol.


I got my ASUS P8P67 PRO MOBO for 159 about a month ago... Got my 2500k running at 4.6 and stable (never have had any crashes, could go higher just have never tried). I have seen the base Z68 and P67 mobos going for around 129.99.
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