Intel Core i7-2600K, Core i5-2500K and P67 / H67 Motherboards Review

1. Introduction3. Intel DP67BG Extreme


Intel Sandy Bridge Launch - Intel Core i7-2600K, Core i5-2500K Processors and P67 and H67 Motherboards Review

The Sandy Bridge CPUs

Intel will package their new CPUs in a box which has familiar styling to other CPUs in the Core family and each will be bundled with the usual product documentation, case sticker and heatsink.

The CPUs themselves look near identical to the rest of the Core range with the metal heatspreader on the top. Two grooves are cut in the side of the CPU PCB to assist in placing it correctly on the motherboard and the standard metal clamp holds them in place. On the underside we have the new socket 1155 layout.

The CPU on the right is the new i7-2600K processor which is a 32nm part that runs at 3.4GHz as standard. This clock speed is achieved via a 100MHz bus and 34x multiplier and we have four cores on this CPU with Hyper-Threading which gives the processor the ability to run 8 threads at any one time. Cache levels are similar to previous i7 CPUs with 4x32Kbytes of L1 data and instruction, 4x256Kbytes of L2 and 8mb of L3.

The CPU on the left is the i5-2500K and it, like the i7 is an unlocked CPU which means we can increase the multiplier to assist with overclocking. As with the 2600K this processor uses a 100MHz bus speed and achieves its 3.3GHz speed with a multiplier of 33. L1 and L2 cache levels are the same as the i7 however the L3 drops to 6MB and there is no Hyper-Threading on this 32nm quad core processor.

Each of the CPUs features Turbo Boost 2.0 technology which varies the speed of the cores dependant on the workload with the 2600K hitting a maximum of 3.8GHz, the 2500K maxing out at 3.7GHz.

Interestingly Intel has taken a different approach to their on-board GPUs with these new CPUs. Even the i7 range has on-board HD 3000 series graphics which are DirectX 10 capable and the specification varies by CPU model. For the i5 we can hit up to 1100MHz, the i7 our maximum frequency is 1350MHz. Intel have also ensured that key features such as HDMI 1.4/Blu-Ray 3D are supported by these new processors and have added Advanced Vector Extensions to maximise productivity and image editing applications as well as offering GPU computing enhancements.

As with the Socket 1366 processors Intel are also offering two different coolers with their new 1155 range and these are shown below.

First up is the XTS100H cooler which Intel recommend for use with the 2600K. It is a copper block and heatpipe based model. There are three U shaped heatpipes which run through a block of aluminium fins and it shares similar styling to the cooler which is provided with high end 1366 processors, even down to having a switch to move from quiet operation to performance fan speed. The second cooler is the standard retail model which will be bundled with the majority of the new Core range. Four standard push-pins attach it to the motherboard and a copper CPU block has thermal paste pre-applied. We also noted that 1156 coolers fit the new platform without issue.

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