|Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 03 January 2011|
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Processor Testing Methodology
The Intel Cougar Point P67 Express chipset and Sandy Bridge processors will eventually replace the older P55 chipset. However, Intel promises much greater levels of performance from their new platform. For this test I had access to three P67 Express-based motherboards for the Core i7-2600K CPU: an Intel DB67BG, an ASUS P8P67, and an ASUS P8P67 EVO. For comparison platforms, I used an AMD 890FX-based system with an AMD 1100T six-core CPU and an X58-based system with an Intel Core i7-950 processor (whose price is a rough match for the Core i7-2600K CPU used on the P67 systems). At $269, the AMD 1100T Black Edition is cheaper, but it's the most expensive consumer processor AMD makes.
Intel released a new BIOS for the DP67BG motherboard as I was partway through testing, but despite numerous attempts I was unable to flash the board to the new BIOS- the Windows-based update utility would report "Success" every time without actually updating the BIOS, and attempting to use the flash utility in the existing BIOS merely rebooted the motherboard, then shut it down after a few seconds.
For each P67 motherboard, I tested at both stock settings as well as the highest overclock I could achieve. Overclocking a Cougar Point/Sandy Bridge system is different from what you're used to, as I'll detail in the "Overclocking" section after the test results. I tried for the maximum overclock I could achieve with all four processor cores running under load; the results for each P67 motherboard are summarized in this chart.
The labeling of the results in the charts may be slightly confusing: the first two columns are the 890FX/AMD 1100T and the X58/Intel Core i7-950 platforms; the next six columns are all the Intel Core i7-2600K processor, at stock and overclocked speeds in the Intel DP67BG, ASUS P8P67, and ASUS P8P67 EVO motherboards, respectively.
Intel P67 Test Platforms
Intel X58 Test Platform
AMD 890FX Test Platform