Straight off I'm going to say this probably the best processor that you can buy pound for pound. The performance is absolutely stunning and for this low price, you really cant go wrong with this buy.
Technology in this CPU is perfected, they've had the sandy bridge architecture out for a while and know what's going to perform well. The performance of this thing is phenomenal! The highly four cores really do speed through anything you throw at it and the hyperthreading makes big tasks fast as well. Video rendering for example will only take a fraction of the time it would with processors just a few years old. This speed is also GREATLY boosted by the Virtu software that uses both on-board Intel graphics and an additional graphics card when transcoding.
It also overclocks very easily and well indeed, they had an old age woman overclocking it in one of their adverts just to show this. You can easily reach a 4.0GHz overclock up from the standard 3.4GHz with an air cooler and 4.5 at least with liquid cooling - all this just by changing one setting in the BIOS. The hyperthreading is an old technology reborn; it splits the current physical cores into two meaning they can both handle different threads of work given.
The chip runs very cool in my computer idling in the 30C region with a Zalman - CPU Heatsink + 135mm Fan Kit - PWM - CNPS9900 MAX - Blue LED cooler. The low-power design makes it more efficient to run when your computer is built that a older Intel or AMD based machine too. This translates to less money being spent on electricity to waste at heat energy.
Finally yes this is a good processor for gaming, however if you intend to only game the i5 2500k would be a better choice as the hyperthreading feature wont add any boost to framerate, the only exception being the poorly coded Grand Theft Auto 4. The i5 is quite a bit cheaper and still exceptionally fast clock speed.
Overall I can say I was very impressed by this chip after changing from an AMD 955BE processor, this definitely is a better crafted piece of tech. Intel really have shown how powerful computers of this day are becoming with this chip, 5 star rating and a big thumbs up.Read more ›
April 2013 and I've had this baby for just under two years, basically time for a processor refresh. Game plan has always been to squeeze 4 years out of a platform. Spec high when building but not crazily so at built, then repace CPU for mid life boost. 2 years used to be an age in CPU terms....
Well nothing out there at this time beats this processor by enough of a margin to be worth replacing. I probably spent too much at the time :-) Been flawless on a ASUS Sabretooth p67 TUF board. This processor two years on remains awewsome. It's nearly as fast as the lastest ones and over clocks better.
To put this in context the gfx card is a 6870 and I can cost effectly get a 50% performance hike today with a 7850.
Arguably the best (in my eyes) processor intel ever built.
The i7 is coupled with an Asus P8Z68-V LX motherboard and 16GB of Crucial RAM
The i7 was primarily bought for HD video editing - as although my last processor (dual core E6500 with 8gb ram) - never let me down - the rendering times for 1080p video work (shot on a canon 550d) worked out at roughly 60mins to render 30mins of video (also dependent on what effects were being used).
On some initial render testing with the i7 - it looks like it is circa 15mins rendering time for 30mins of video) - so there is a real improvement.
The i7-2600K is the last of Intel's quad core generation of chips; and they definitely saved their best chip until last. So, after a long run of chips which never quite lived up to their hype, the 2600K is truly blazingly fast, and I'd definitely not be in the slightest bit be interested in their hex core chips because this one is, frankly, THAT brilliant. Now, I know what you're thinking - why should I buy this quad core when the hex core is around the corner? Good question, save that the first generation of hex cores should be considered as a 'trial run' for the later generation, just as these 2600K's are the perfect best, albeit last in the quad core release line, after their over-hyped earlier Q6600's, i7 920's etc.
So you're buying Intel's most perfected quad core chip, as opposed to your waiting to buy the first generation chips which will undoubtedly be overtaken by later released hex cores. Thus, you should buy the best of something while you can (and look at just how quickly Intel pull off chips from the market when it suits them to do so!) rather than wait for the un-perfected first gen of hex cores. Surely that makes sense to you as it does to me?
Past chip release history guarantees that, at best, it'll take well over 5 years before they're even close to releasing a chip which smokes these utterly brilliant 2600k's at everything. And I was never as happy with a chip as I am with these 2600k's. Mine is running at around 30 degree while idle and barley hits 70 degrees on full load with after-market cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Cooler. I recommend that you bin the supplied heatsink and fan as it is absolute rubbish - my temps were hitting an egg frying 90 degrees, with stock cooling, on load! Allegedly, Intel were clever enough to supply the first few thousand of these with decent cooling - knowing well that those would be the ones that would hit reviewer's desks first. Very cunning indeed! But one thing hasn't changed, as this chip matures on the market: speed.
Complaining that the 2600K is not fast enough is like complaining that your new Ferrari has mediocre performance. That's how fast this chip is in real world terms. Besides... who needs Ferraris, when you've got a 2600K parked in your board!? ;-))Read more ›