Intel CPUs: Core i5-750 And Core i5-2500K
We're also including two Core i5 processors, which are some of the most popular in our cabinet of Intel CPUs. The Core i5-750, which is based on the 45 nm Lynnfield design and employs LGA 1156, is our first contender. Second up is the Core i5-2500K, based on Intel's 32 nm Sandy Bridge architecture.
A manufacturing process generation and a number of architectural tweaks separate Lynnfield and Sandy Bridge, giving the Core i5-2500K access to significantly higher clock rates. The newer chip runs at a 3.3 GHz base clock compared to the Core i5-750's 2.66 GHz. With Turbo Boost accelerating a single core, the newer processor can speed up to 3.7 GHz, which is 500 MHz more than the i5-750.
The -2500K's data sheet reveals an impressive range of features, like AVX instruction support, hardware acceleration for AES encryption and decryption, thermal monitoring, second-gen Turbo Boost, and HD Graphics 3000 (including Quick Sync). Hits against the Core i5 include a step back on the shared L3 cache, from 8 MB down to 6 MB, and a lack of Hyper-Threading. You can read more about Sandy Bridge in: Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review
Bear in mind that it takes a K-series processor to enable multiplier-based overclocking in the Sandy Bridge generation. AMD is particularly proud of the fact that its entire FX series is multiplier-unlocked. However, overclocking prowess only take an architecture so far when competing products offer the same capability.