Intel's Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture Debuts: Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K CPUs Reviewed

By Julio Franco · 48 replies
Jan 2, 2011
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  1. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    MY guess would be the stock boxed low profile heatsink fan.
    Anand achieved 4.4GHz using the stock hsf while Guru3D also achieved 4.3GHz stable on the reference cooler.
    Most sites are reporting 70-76C max temp for max overclock at max load using the stock Intel cooler. A decent airflow chassis (as opposed to an open air testbench) and a moderately priced aftermarket heatpipe cooler should bring these temps down considerably considering that the stock Intel HSF on past overclocked CPU's has the cooling ability of a housebrick.

    OC3D managed just shy of 5GHz using a top of the line air cooler (Noctua NH-D14)
  2. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Yes you are. There wasn't 1155 before 1156.

    And I quote...
    "LGA 1155 is designed as a replacement for the LGA 1156 (also known as socket H)."
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    BMfan be trollin'.....and like a lot of trolls, receives most of his world view and knowledge base via voices picked up by his tinfoil hat and Star Trek reruns.

    Also (to avoid consecutive posts)
    Try totally invalid. The price paid for a Sandy Bridge CPU is pretty much the same as you would pay for comparable performance for a Bloomfield CPU without GPU.
    Don't want to use on-die graphics- simple- buy a P67 board. Think of it as an optional extra -like ashtrays or cup holders in cards (edit: cars ! do'h).
    Using your argument you could also say that buying virtually any motherboard on the market "is paying for something I'm never going to use". When was the last time most people ;
    Used the serial port on their motherboard?
    Used 12-14 USB ports simultaneously ?
    Used 6-10 SATA ports simultaneously ?
    How many people use Firewire, Floppy, or for a growing number of users IDE ?

    No, What's daft is that you'd consider using an HD 6950/6970 with a E6600 for the next 6-9 months. Just because the on-die GPU is there doesn't mean you have to use it. It doesn't degrade CPU performance
    The "E" in Sandy Bridge E stands for Enthusiast or Extreme. It will be the replacement for the present Core i7 9xx CPU's and will support 40 lanes of PCIE 3.0, have quad channel DDR3-1600 support, while the CPU's themselves will be (much as the present CPU's are) server grade Xeon's that don't meet the requirement. I'll let you connect the dots on pricing.
  4. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Why are you not an admin here yet?
  5. I normally have respect for you but do you know what you can go and do?

    To Princeton,i do apologize but for some reason i had it in my head that there was a 1155 socket before 1156.
  6. @dividebyzero:

    Thanks for your reply. That was pretty much the answer I was expecting (ie: price is so good, still better than previous generation of i7) - I just wanted to check I hadn't misunderstood the situation.

    It just seemed too good to be true, to be getting greater performance, lower power consumption, lower price and an integrated GPU thrown in 'for free' on top - and I was wondering what the catch was. (ie: That perhaps you may have said that prices were predicted to drop for current i7s which might compensate slightly - or that other there were other SKUs not included in the review that would be more appropriate for those not going to use on-die graphics).

    I agree that there are lots of features that people don't use on motherboards, but trying to compare a serial port or extra USB ports to the cost of a GPU is perhaps stretching it a little. At least until recently, GPUs were anything but a cheap component. This now appears to have changed enough of late, to the extent that these new Intel SKUs can include one without raising the price visibly - or more have been able to lower the price significantly for the same performance. Not a bad thing by any means - but makes my surprise at it fairly understandable surely? (Or maybe I'm just a cynic when it comes to companies and newly released component pricing!)
  7. Too bad ski or crossfire is as limited as with the lga 1156 x8/x8.
    I think much of the performance increase from the previous gen is due to the large difference in clock speeds of the previous gen and sandy bridge. What is impressive about SB is that while they increased the frequency they lowered power usage.
  8. This has got to be one of the most hyped CPU releases ever, thats a shame really, because it doesn't exactly live up to it.
    Memory bandwith: Pretty good for dual channel but not much better than P55. 8/10
    Synthetics: Meh, not earth shattering but reasonable. 7/10
    Applications: Very nice. 8/10
    Encoding: Good but not great. 7/10
    Gaming: Good but nothing spectacular here really. 7/10
    IGP: Very good, but many will never use it. 8/10
    Power Consumption: Fairly good. 7/10
    Overclocking: Looks to be its saving grace but many will never do this. 8/10
    Price: 9/10 (for 2500K), 6/10 (for 2600K)

    Overall: 7.5/10

    The 2600K is just simply over priced, it's performance does not justify $100 odd price premium over 2500K, knock $50 off it and it's reasonable otherwise I'd steer clear. 2500K is good value for anyone running a dual core who wants to go quad.
    Anyway I'm not getting too excited over this yet, Im sticking with my C2Q q9550 until Ivy Bridge and Bulldozer (and anyone on a P55 or X58 Quad is simply going to shrug at Sandy Bridge) it is simply not worth the time and money upgrading. I know many will upgrade (and Intel are counting on this fanboyism) but whats that old saying about having more dollars than sense?
  9. RaiDeR55

    RaiDeR55 TS Rookie Posts: 45

    What about the built in DRM for streaming video content etc.?.Lets see Remote shutdown of chip and hardware level DRM..Are those good things to really have in a cpu..?? The speed and other features of the Sb chip seem pretty good.With good OC potential on air..
  10. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    The 2500K definitely lives up to it. It can match the 975 at a fraction of the cost. IMO nobody is going to even consider bulldozer. I'll be replacing my E7500 with a 2500K as soon as they become available in Canada.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Mmmm...continue to point out that people who contribute multiple posts containing fallacious information may be better served researching facts -most specially after being provided the correct information after their first post ? I'm right aren't I ?...That was the answer to the question you posed ?...What do I win?

    I would probably need to brush up on my sensitivity training first....oh! and learn another language....Emo is a language isn't it?
    Oh, there are plenty of catches. The first being that connectivity of the chipset isn't anything but a minor reworking of the P55 family. The second would be that while the differences between CPU's looks fairly impressive in bar graph form, how many people would see needing to take -for example- an extra 12 seconds to compress a 400mb file (Core i5 750 v Core i7 2600K) and consider that result a dealbreaker in keeping (or buying) a Core i5 750 ?

    The main differentiator between Sandy Bridge and it's predecessors is the new AVX instruction set, which has yet to be implemented by software writers. Once it see's widespread use in browsers etc. it (along with Bulldozer) will make a whole lot more sense for even those running P55 and X58.

    The Intel GPU isn't Fermi by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe this will help clarify the situation. The Intel GPU die is approximately 4.7mm x 8.8mm. Overall die size is 216mm² (compare with its predecessor Lynnfield at 296mm²). You could argue that culling the GPU would decrease die size and could be a factor in lowering costs. By the same token, that would require two seperate wafer lines, masks etc ( for both 2 and 4 core variants of both desktop and mobile parts) and a partial redesign to account for die layout which would probably erode most,if not all,those savings.
  12. Stupido

    Stupido TS Booster Posts: 66

    One of those new i5 2whatever should be very good match for a mini-ITX system... almost ideal HTPC system... ( I would have omit the "almost" part if the gaming performance is better ;) )
  13. banzaigtv

    banzaigtv TS Rookie

    A Core i5 2500K beating the crap out out of the Core i7 975 Extreme Edition for one-fifth of the price??? And a Core i7 2600K running Resident Evil 5 on 720p resolution at 45 FPS with NO ATI OR NVIDIA GRAPHICS CARD??? ARE YOU F****** SERIOUS??!?! Dell, please put a Core i7 2600 in the Dell Studio XPS 8100, PLEASE!!!
  14. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    I know right? This is quite a remarkable leap in integrated graphics. Obviously it isn't going to be for hardcore gamers, but it could help bring pc gaming up. A lot of people don't pc game because they buy terrible prebuilt pc's with onboard graphics.
  15. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 367   +46

    It's one helluva steal if you think about it. An insanely fast $300 processor without having to buy a separate GPU to play games is quite amazing in my books.

    Budget gamers rejoice!
  16. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Excellent review Steve, thank you for your brilliant efforts. You have covered almost every area which needed attention, however, one question which I felt need to be looked at is "will IGP's performance can multiply just like CPU performance with every product cycle?" If so, then I guess by the mid of this decade IGP performance level may reach 70-100$ discrete grahpic range, at which point significant market for the likes of nVidia in these segments will disappear and Intel and AMD will be left alone to fight it out. Not a bad situation for most of the users IMO.

    Secondly, I would like Intel to take a step forward and comeup with something to rival with Optimus, where when the discrete GPU is not needed the desktop PC should switch straight to CPU-IGP; which should result in reasonable power savings as well.

    PS: I am not an Ecomentalist, but power is an expensive commodity in my part of the world ;)
  17. banzaigtv

    banzaigtv TS Rookie

    Some other site is comparing the Core i5 2500K to the Core i7 975 EE and the Core i7 2600K to the Core i7 980X. When Apple, HP, and Dell start shipping Sandy Bridge computers to retail, this is going to be epic. Epic, especially when I have a shiny new Sandy Bridge i7 desktop playing NFS Hot Pursuit sitting in my bedroom in March. :)
  18. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Well it had to happen. 2 Years after buying my Dell Studio XPS with i7 920 there is finally a worthy successor to the chip and finally my processor is not guarenteed to sit in the top 3 of all CPU related benchmarks. Its been a long time at the top and I was quite used to it. Dammit its gonna be a long way down :)

    Still, 2 years ain't bad. Longest I've ever had a CPU remain the high in the charts etc.

    Nice review guys
  19. SilverCider

    SilverCider TS Rookie Posts: 71

    One question I have on these strangely awesome cpu's, what does Intel know that we don't? I mean those prices are extremely odd! We all know Intel are very good at producing $1000+ high end cpu's, so why do we have these that kick the last generation's butt all over whilst undercutting their previous efforts with price. Are they aware of some upcoming AMD competition or are they trying to push AMD's market share out of the window? :p
  20. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    There is nothing odd about the pricing. Plus it doesn't work that way. If they want to charge $1000 they do. When competition comes about they slash prices, but not before.
  21. SilverCider

    SilverCider TS Rookie Posts: 71

    I'm sorry, I really don't know what I typed there looking back at it! I suppose we've just got to be grateful that they haven't charged more than they have given their impressive products that sit with their extreme range! It's also nice to see that Intel have still pushed ahead with their tech as much as possible despite there being very little coming from AMD in this particular segment yet.
  22. Hi, I have to ask because this baffles me. I have looked at all sorts of reviews now, and the review sites use 1200watt, 850, 750 and 700 watt. I haven't seen anyone below which I don't get because even a 300 watt PSU should be sufficient. Isn't this correct or am I missing something?
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    Anything over 700w is overkill for a single graphics card but 300w is too low. With a GeForce GTX 580 you don't want to go below 550w or there abouts. Without the graphics card 300w is fine.
  24. Great review.
    How many different CPU/Chipset combos do you really need to have?
    With 14 CPU's and 4 chipsets how much more complicated can you get? Yeah, there will be more chipsets later, just to make the waters more muddy.

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