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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

Intel Core i5-2500K Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

The Core i5-2500K was an eye opener for me. I have to be honest, I was never very impressed with the Core i5 series before. Not when the performance was matched by very inexpensive Athlon-II processors. The 2nd generation of Intel Core processors has changed my view. The Core i5-2500K handily outperformed the Phenom-II X4-975BE at a very similary price. More importantly, media and CPU arithmetic processing was improved, just like Intel said it would be.

While the Core i5-2500K was very solidly constructed and performed well in all different kinds of environments, I am a little concerned with the fact that Intel is releasing yet another new chipset and platform for their new processors. I understand that the new integration of the 32nm GPU on the die has to cause a change, but it seems like every time Intel comes out with new processors, you have to get a new motherboard to go with it. Anyone using a years old AM2+ socket can upgrade to the latest AMD processors without any issues.


That being said, it seems to me that the Sandy Bridge might be worth the upgrade. The increased performance in all areas is one reason, but more specifically, the increased media performance, in addition to the integration of the IMC on the same die as the CPU and GPU, makes for faster communication between the different components. Compression functionality is also increased (as it was in the Clarkdale/Arrandale CPUs), and arithmetic performance is better. Overall, the functionality of the Core i5-2500K is a force to be reckoned with.

The Core i5-2500K has TDP of 95W, the same as the AMD Athlon-II X4 CPUs. The Phenom-II X4 CPUs have a much higher TDP of 125W. Also, Intel has said that Sandy Bridge CPUs draw as little as 3W of power on average. We will see what an entire system pulls in our motherboard review, but such little power draw should allow for great overclocking ability. We will be bringing you a complete article on overclocking the H67 platform in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

The unlocked Intel Core i5-2500K is priced for $224.99 at NewEgg. That's not far off from the AMD Phenom-II X4-975BE, but we have seen that the performance is much better in nearly all of our tests. One exception is the gaming test, but we know that CPU performance doesn't constitute a lot when it comes to gaming. If you are looking for media or arithmetic processing, or compression, though, the Core i5-2500K is a great value.


+ Great compute performance
+ New 32nm GPU process
+ Very Low TDP
+ Improved AES-NI


- No Hyperthreading
- Difficult to overclock on H67 (even as a K CPU)
- Requires a new motherboard platform

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

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# 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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