Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K review -
Sandy bridge Architecture
The graphics engine is DirectX 10 compatible, there is no support for DirectX 11 despite the expectations of many. The GPU core is armed with twelve EUs -- Execution Units (another name for unified processors like CUDA cores / Execution Units / Shader Cores / Stream processors). Clarkdale had eight of these but despite only four more EUs the performance increase will be well over 50% due to the fact that each execution unit can manage twice the work per clock opposed to the older ones. Now there are two different GPU configurations as Intel applied a dual-graphics core to segment their products, available with 1 core (Intel HD Graphics 2000) and 2 cores (Intel HD Graphics 3000). A single GPU core holds 6 EUs and some of Sandy Bridge Core i5 and higher products will have two of these cores, so we'll see configurations with 6 (Core i3) or 12 (Core i5/i7) EUs.
So one last time, as you can understand from the specifications, don't expect heaps of gaming and fragging fun (though very simple games should be playable) but see this more as a desktop integration and implementation for very good Windows usage and importantly, high-definition 1080P transcoding, decoding and acceleration.
Bear in mind though that once you plug a discrete graphics card into a PCIe slot, the Sandy Bridge graphics core will disable itself.
The AVX (Advanced Vector Extension) Instruction Set
One thing we are very excited about is a new instruction set extension you'll be hearing much more of this year, AVX, which stands for Advanced Vector Extensions. AVX is very well suited for floating-point-intensive applications.
AVX provides new features and instructions. The easier way to grasp AVX is to look at it as a new sophisticated form of SSE. Intel opened up the data path which has been expanded from 128 bits towards 256 bits, the two-operand instruction limit is increased to three operands, and advanced data re-arrangement functions are included. Now, AVX doesn't just add new instructions, Intel states it allows the CPU to execute older instructions more quickly over the AVX extensions as well.
AMD has it planned as well for all their next-generation processors. So let's put it really simply, SB processors will support running x87 FPU code which is capable of up to 2GB/s of double-precision throughput per core. Now here is the trick, the very same amount of work once written to be supported over the AVX extensions boils down into a 4x performance increase (theoretical) so that's 8GB/s per core (double precision), a fourfold increase in performance.
Software that caters for and supports AVX will show huge performance increasements, transcoding for example. In our review we'll show you a trick or two with AVX and Media Espresso video transcoding. Nothing to date can beat the phenomenal speed as we'll show you. Small hint, if you do pick up one of these processors, your software application needs to support the AVX extensions and you'll need Windows 7 SP1 (which is not yet released), however at the MSDN website from Microsoft you can download the SP1 RC and open up AVX support at OS level.
PCH - The Platform Controller Hub Chipsets
Paired with the new processors come new motherboard chipsets, ten in total of which five are intended for desktop processors, namely the P67, H67, Q65, Q67 and B65.
Next to the new chipsets there is also a new socket change. Previous Clarkdale series processors were seated onto a LGA 1156 package (socket). The new SB processors are not same socket compatible and Intel placed them onto socket LGA 1155. The primary reason here is that a last generation processor will not work with a series 6 chipset and vice versa.
Now, luckily this doesn't mean you'll be needing a new cooler, your old LGA 1156 CPU cooler is compatible with the LGA 1155 motherboard measurements.
|Segment||Corporate||SMB - B65||Consumer H67||Consumer P67|
|Socket||LGA 1155||LGA 1155||LGA 1155||LGA 1155|
|Memory channels / DIMM per channel||2 / 2||2 / 2||2 / 2||2 / 2|
|SATA Total (Max number of 6Gb/s)||6 (2)||6 (1)||6 (2)||6 (2)|
Above, you can see the primary desktop chipsets released, H67 and P67 will be the two chipset you are dealing with. For end consumers like you and me the H67 chipset will be less performance targeted and comes with support for monitor connectivity. The P67 chipset is targeted at performance and enthusiast end users allowing much more tweaking and providing performance features. In the coming weeks we'll be testing a lot of these chipset based motherboards, of which some will also now have support for the new UEFI BIOS. A graphics user interface BIOS that is going to shock you.
Interesting to know is that the new 67 series chipsets will come with SATA 6G controllers and though not native, all of them will very likely come with USB 3.0 support by using a NEC controller. P67 will get two extra x8 PCIe lanes for graphics cards, hence SLI and Crossfire will run quite well on them. Another change is that the chipset now comes with an Intel Gigabit LAN controller, on the previous chipsets this was optional for ODMs, this time around... it simply sits there and can be used by the motherboard ODM without paying extra for it. So I expect a big increase in Intel based LAN connectivity the upcoming year, bad news for Realtek that is.
We review the Core i5 3570K Ivy bridge processor. Will Ivy Bridge be the processor series everything you expected? Go find out in this extensive review here at Guru3D.
Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K review
Today we test and review Sandy Bridge, the Intel Core i7-2600K and Intel Core i5-2500K processors. We will pair the 2600K processor with the Intel Desktop Motherboard DP67BG and also run a test with the Intel Core i5-2500K processor on a Intel DH67BL motherboard
Core i5 655K and Core i7 875K processor review
Intel today releases two new processors targeted at a somewhat more enthusiast audience. Yes, processors for tweakers and overclockers. On socket LGA 1156 Intel now releases two K series processors. The 32nm Intel Core i5-655K processor has the very same specifications as the Core i5 650; it will operate at 3.2 GHz, will feature two cores with Hyper-Threading technology, sport 4MB of L3 cache and will be made using 32nm process technology. The difference between the 650 and 655K is the unlocked multiplier only. Then we have the enthusiast class Intel Core i7-875K processor, it has the very same specifications as the Core i7 870; it will operate at 2.93GHz, will feature four cores with Hyper-Threading technology, sport 8MB of L3 cache and will be made using 45nm process technology. The only difference between the two central processing units (CPUs) will be the unlocked multiplier on the 875K chip, which will allow overclockers and enthusiasts to easily boost clock-speed of the product without the necessity of overclocking other parts of their systems.
Core i5 650 - 660 and 661 processor review
The time has come for Intel to debut a new line of mainstream 32nm processors, which we have all learned to recognize under the codename 'Clarkdale', the new CPUs will be aimed at the mainstream desktop PC segment and will complement the chip maker's Core i3 and Core i5 line of products. The Intel processor lineup will include the Core i3 530 and 540 models, as well as the Core i5 650, 660, 661, and 670, which will be featured with Hyper-Threading, 4MB of L3 cache and support for dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory. Well, that and an integrated GPU as well of course. Guru3D will put the Core i5 650, 660 and 661 to the test.