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4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2015
This process is a real high point in Intel's processor creation like the Q6600.

I've been using this since 2012 and in my opinion there has been little reason to buy a newer process in a desktop computer since. The processor to this day offers brilliant performance, better than the current day i5s and not far behind what the newer i7s are doing. I think this is mostly because intel has focused more on laptop, power saving architecture but not on pure, raw processing power.

To add to this, I do not think the new broadwell processors are likely to offer much of a speed increase for desktop users, but there may well be some improvements with Skylake which will not be far behind with all the delays on broadwells release.

If you have a 1155 socket motherboard and want a quick upgrade, you couldn't do much better that this for the price.
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on 31 March 2012
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.
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on 2 June 2015
Still going strong to this day. First bought in November 2011 (at the same price of review: £239), still highly competitive with today's CPU market.

Considering the price of this has been at a standstill since it's release, you can tell how well it holds it's value despite being a 4 year old processor. I personally run this chip on a Z68 board with 16GB RAM+GTX680, and the CPU overclocked to 4.8GHz with he help of a hydro-AIO. It's been like this since I first installed it all those years back. Zero issues with running (apart from me messing up the overclock by going too far, but that's user-error).

As for performance, it's a work horse. Primarily for gaming, it doesn't break a sweat (even with 2015 games). No slowdowns or issues, this CPU is gold if you can get a hold of one. Similarly, I've used it for level design in Unreal 3.0 SDK, ETQW SDK, Source Hammer SDK. Alongside productivity apps such as Sony Vegas 13.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS6, Handbrake (video conversion). Top performance on all merits, no cons.

Technical details/spec/Info:
Power (full system): Full load: 350w, Idle: 95w
TDP: 95w
Temps (YMMV): 35c Idle, 68c Full load

5/5 - Don't think i'll be upgrading this piece for another few years! Just wish motherboard technology
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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!? ;-))
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on 31 December 2013
I'll be blunt I bought this thing back in Jun 2011 so my CPU is approaching the the 3 year old threshold when I take the next year or two to save for my next machine, however I will be in no rush to do so as the newer CPU's even those with the K and extreme branding do not like to be overclocked to the extent that this one can even if they are more "power efficient". I prefer raw power over energy efficient any day and even Haswell struggles to overclock where as this CPU can hit 5ghz with nothing more than a good air cooler. I have mine water cooled at 4.4Ghz and it's not even breaking a sweat but rather sitting there rendering 3D models and Games quite happily.

To sum up if you're on a budget (or even without a budget!) and want a great Intel CPU that is WILLING to be overclocked then this is your best choice!
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on 30 June 2011
The Title says it all. GREAT chip. you want Fast then you need this. Easy to install, comes with standard cooler, but you will need thermal paste. Have made a one and half hour hi def DVD, with this chip running, Video convertion, menu and burning all processed and burned in 30 mins 7 secs. WEll worth it, and would highly recommend. Thanks INTEL.
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on 27 March 2012
Having upgraded from an AMD 995BE with a big oc this thing blows the chip out of the water! The speed difference is huge but the biggest difference in speed between this and my old chip is in rendering video, it must be at least twice as fast as my old 955 and also able to handle multitasking with heavy programs with ease. It's really solid processor and well worth it as an upgrade for me. Being a little of an AMD fanboy I was hesitant at first but I'm glad I changed platforms it was a solid decision. AMD really dropped the ball on this gens processors with bulldozer and they've nothing to match it :( for that but :D because I now have a screaming fast computer with the i7 2600K.
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on 30 January 2014
I've had my i7 2600K for more than 3 years now and it even survived a motherboard & PSU blow-up that caused my PC to catch fire whilst taking out all the electricity in the house (well main-circuit breaker anyway). Three months on with a new MOBO and Pro Corsair PSU it is running great Overclocked to 4.5GHz with voltage capped at 1.315V to protect chip. Furthermore I now have it liquid cooled and it runs at 22-degrees C @ idle and sometimes gets up to 47-degrees (never above 60 C) so a good 20 degrees below where it used to operate using stock-fan air-cooling. It also partners my new GTX 780 graphics card OC'd too and does not cause any bottleneck whatsoever.

Bottom line: the latest i7 Intel chips are no more than 10% faster than this 'old' tech processor and that speaks volumes
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on 18 April 2013
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.
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on 4 July 2011
Wow! this processor is the Best I have ever Used, with the turbo running which it runs at 4.50GHz Running with the 8mb Cache and the 4 processor cores with 4 v-cores

now well over a Year down the Line and i still love it paired with the intel SSD its epic

Im Running this With
* ASUS P8P67 PRO Motherboard
* Corsair H60 Watercooler in dual fan, Tempertures: Idle:25c Fullload:30c
* Kingston HyperX 6gb DDR3
* ASUS Nvidia GTX 570
* Intel 520 180gb SSD
* 1TB western digital 7200RPM Black
* 2TB Western Digital 7200RPM Black

Recommend to Gamers, and Multitaskers
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