|Intel Core i5-655K Processor BX80616I5655K|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Thursday, 29 July 2010|
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Intel Core i5-655K Clarkdale Processor Review
Intel is "striking back" with a pair of Unlocked (K) Processors. The first one is the Core i7 875K. This is a 4-cores/8-threads Lynnfield based CPU. Basically, it's identical to the Core i7 870, but came with a much-lower price tag which at the end obligated themselves to lower the prices to make the rest of the CPUs still competitive. The second product (which we're reviewing today) is the Core i5 655K. This processor is based on Clarkdale's architecture, and so it comes with an iGPU based on Intel HD graphics with a 733MHz clock, and the CPU works with 2-cores/4-threads making it a sweet deal, especially because of the low power consumption and overclocking capabilities.At the moment of launch, the Core i7 870 had a price tag of $562 which was way higher than the Core i7 875K with a price tag of $342. Of course, it was only matter of time for Intel to re-arrange their prices and now the Core i7 870 can be found at the interesting price of $294 (that's a 48% drop!). However, the Core i5 655K is placed at a confusing price-level because while the Core i5 650 retails at $179, the 655K costs $209. This wouldn't be a difficult choice if Intel didn't have their 4-cores/4-threads Core i5 750, which is being replaced for the 4-cores/4-threads Core i5 760 running at 2.8GHz for $205 "only".
And so our first question for this review is: What do you need more? Do you need 2 cores and more GHz? Or 4 cores with less GHz? Because that basically answers your question on which CPU (at this price levels) should you buy. With the Intel Core i5 655K you receive some extra features though, thus making overclock easier. But is the BX80616I5655K worth its value? Benchmarks reviews will analyze and test the Core i5 655K against many other CPUs in this article to answer those questions.
Additionally, I'll add some extensive overclocking tests, including a subzero session in which I'll report the results and experiences obtained from this sample. Again, the only point about releasing a CPU with an unlocked multiplier is to make overclocking easier. In a simple case, brands and PC builders could offer a solution overclocked by default, without doing so much and without thinking about other components stability. The second user would be that without access to a mid/high-end motherboard or RAM. That user wouldn't be limited by overclocking the BCLK and then, the only necessary option would be CPU vCore voltage. Finally, there's always a user (like me) that just wants to overclock the max just for fun. I'll cover all these paradigms on my tests. Said enough, read and enjoy the article!
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Product Name: Intel Core i5 655K
Model Number: BX80616I5655K
Price As Tested: $209.99
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Intel.