Review of The Intel Core i5 2500K

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Review of the Intel™ Core™ i5 2500K

2011 has so far been a crucial year in terms of advancements in processor technology. Predictably, at the forefront of the processor revolution is Intel, with its second generation Core i5 family of processors, based on the new Sandy Bridge Architecture that stands on a 32nm fabrication node. The Core i5-2500K is so far among the most impressive chips based on the new architecture. Here’s a brief review of its highlights.

Intel™ Core™ i5 2500K – Basic information/specs

Here’s what makes the Intel™ Core™ i5 2500K so spectacularly efficient and superfast:

Number of cores: 4
Number of threads: 4
Clock speed: 3.3 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency: 3.7 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache: 6 MB
Memory size: 32 GB
Memory channels: 2
In addition, the Dual Display Capable i5 processor also features the following advanced technologies: Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, Intel® Virtualization Technology, Intel® Flex Memory Access, Enhanced Intel Speedster® Technology, Thermal Monitoring Technologies, Intel® Quick Sync Video, Intel® Intrude™ 3D Technology and Intel® Flexible Display Interface.

Some tech critics have pointed out that the graphics specifications on the i5 are less than stellar but we found the graphics support features to be competitive and well designed. In fact, the graphics specs on the Core™ i5 2500K are almost as impressive as the ones on i7 chips at a much lower price tag

The specs include: Processor Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Graphics Base Frequency: 850 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1.1 GHz

Overall verdict

For its price (approximately R1700), the Intel™ Core™ i5 2500K offers exceptionally strong and stable computing performance. Its media processing abilities and graphics features deserve a special mention, as does the fact that it has an unlocked multiplier. The Intel™ Core™ i5 2500K also excels at supporting media management and gaming. In fact, on these two parameters, it far outshines its competition (AMD's Phenom II X6 1100T).

What’s missing from this powerful chip is Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, meaning that its quad core can at best produce only four processing threads, which might be a problem when running high-thread applications. Other drawbacks of the Intel Core™ i5 2500K is that it usually requires you to purchase a new motherboard and that its onboard video does not have DirectX 11 support. 

The architecture features of this chip lack the bells and whistles of the more expensive Core i7-2600K, but the Core™ i5 2500K still remains a powerful (and relatively affordable) processor backed by a limited three-year warranty.


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