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Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge CPU E-mail
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Written by Hank Tolman   
Monday, 03 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge CPU
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Core i5-2500K
CPU Testing and Results
AIDA64 Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
SiSoftware Sandra Tests
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Street Fighter IV Benchmark
x264Bench HD 3.0 Test
Sandy Bridge Final Thoughts
Intel Core i5-2500K Conclusion

CPU Testing and Results

Before I begin any benchmarking or overclocking, I thoroughly stress the CPU and memory by running Prime95 on all available cores for 12 hours. If no errors are found, I move on to a gaming stress test. To do this, I use Prime95 again to stress the processor, while running an instance of FurMark's stability test on top of this. If the computer survives this test for 2 hours without lockup or corruption, I consider it to be stable and ready for overclocking. After achieving what I feel is stable overclock, I run to these tests again for certainty. The goal of this stress testing is to ensure the clock speeds and settings are stable before performing any benchmarks. I adopted this method from another writer here at Benchmark Reviews and it seems to do a great job of flushing out what only seem to be stable overclocks.


Once the hardware is prepared, we begin our testing. Each benchmark test program begins after a system restart, and the very first result for every test will be ignored since it often only caches the test. This process proves extremely important in the many gaming benchmarks, as the first run serves to cache maps allowing subsequent tests to perform much better than the first. Each test is completed five times, with the average results displayed in our article.

We are going to focus here mainly on comparing the test results from the Core i5-2500K against the Phenom-II X4-975BE since that is the AMD processor that the Core i5-2500K relates to most closely in price. Also, it will be interesting to see the results of the Core i5-2500K in comparison to the Core i7-920, an extremely popular Nehalem CPU that still holds a large market share.

Intel H67 Test Platforms

  • Motherboard: Intel DH67BL with BIOS 1596
  • Processor: 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) Intel Core i5-2500K (MSRP $216)
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Yasya
  • System Memory: 2x2GB Patriot Gamer Series DDR3 ([email protected])
  • Primary Drive: Filemate Solid GO 60GB SSD
  • Power Supply Unit: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W 80-Plus Certified
  • Graphics Adapter: MSI NVIDIA GTS450 Cyclone (Forceware 260.99)

Intel X58 Test Platform

  • Motherboard: MSI X58 Pro LGA1366 Intel X58 ATX
  • Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield/Nehalem BX80601920 ($255)
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen II
  • System Memory: Kingston 6GB (3 x 2GB) KVR1333D3K3/6GR DDR3 1333MHz (PC3 10666) (CL7-7-7-20)
  • Primary Drive: Filemate Solid GO 60GB SSD
  • Power Supply Unit: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W 80-Plus Certified
  • Graphics Adapter: MSI NVIDIA GTS450 Cyclone (Forceware 260.99)

AMD 890GX Test Platform

  • Motherboard: Biostar TA890GXB-HD (890GX/SB850)
  • Processor: 3.6GHz AMD Phenom-II X4-975BE HDZ975FBK4DGM (MSRP $195)
  • Processor: 3.2GHZ AMD Phenom-II X4-840 HDX840WFK42GM (MSRP $102)
  • Processor: 3.3GHz AMD Phenom-II X2-560BE HDZ560WFK2DGM ($100)
  • Processor: 3.1GHz AMD Athlon-II X4-645 ADX645WFGMBOX ($119)
  • Processor: 3.1GHz AMD Athlon-II X3-445 ADX445WFK32GM (MSRP $77)
  • Processor: 3.2GHz AMD Athlon-II X2-260 ADX260OCK23GM (MSRP $68)
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen II
  • System Memory: 2x2GB Patriot Gamer Series DDR3 ([email protected])
  • Primary Drive: Filemate Solid GO 60GB SSD
  • Power Supply Unit: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W 80-Plus Certified
  • Graphics Adapter: MSI NVIDIA GTS450 Cyclone (Forceware 260.99)

Benchmark Applications

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.1
  • PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0b1019
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage v1.0.2.0 64-Bit
    • TV and Movies
    • Gaming
    • Music
  • SiSoftware Sandra 2010.1.16.92 CPU Test
  • Maxon CINEBENCH R11.5 64-Bit
  • Street Fighter IV benchmark
  • x264Bench HD 3.0
  • Handbrake 0.94 video transcoding



# GamerKyle 2011-01-06 20:39
I agree with the that every new line of processors comes with new motherboards. To me this is quite silly and I wish that they would not do as such. It is also a fault when Intel is placing quite the restriction on overclocking even with the K models.

Either way I am most likely going to get the i5 2500k since it is very strong. Also the price is rather cheap at $211 when currently the i5 750 is $200 and the i5 760 is about $209 dollars. Since I did not upgrade following the first i series I would need to get a new motherboard anyway.Integrated graphics means little to me since as a gamer I would get a higher end GPU regardless. I just have to make sure the motherboard is p67 not H67 for overclocking and such.

Anyway nice read, thanks for the article.
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# MrJMG 2011-02-23 14:57
If the p67 motherboards do not use the GPU on these new chips does that mean the GPU potential goes to waste I.e. If it were to make use of it, then in a standard system would you have, in effect, two graphics cards (with the intel HD GPU plus whatever other dedicated graphics card you use working together)?
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# RE: MrOlin Coles 2011-02-23 15:12
Only H67-Express motherboards can utilize Sandy Bridge integrated graphics, because only those motherboards have the DVI/D-SUB/HDMI output ports built-in. NVIDIA is already working with Intel on this very solution. Using Optimus technology, paired with Lucid Logic 'GPU Virtualization' software (yet unannounced), the Sandy Bridge CPU will be able to enable QuickSync + GPU.
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# mrzikkun 2012-03-24 11:35
nahh. actually h61 also have dvi, hdmi ports, dont know about d-sub(need it?). so actually use h61 and run this cpu is could be cheap, than buy a h67 or whatever that expensive twice
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