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Intel Core i5-2500K review

This latest mid-range processor is a huge leap forwards

Our Verdict

If it wasn't for Intel's marketing goons, these could have been the best CPUs in history. Awesome, even so.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Breathtaking performance at stock clocks
  • Massive overclocking headroom
  • Incredible new integrated video engine

Against

  • Infuriating marketing-driven restrictions

We'll make no bones about it. Intel's latest processors present us with a major headache. On the one hand, there's a hell of a lot we don't like about the Intel Core i5-2500K and Intel Core i7-2600K. All of which has to do with what we believe are probably silly marketing decisions, not engineering issues.

We don't like the fact that Intel has locked down proper overclocking to certain models. We hate that Intel has limited the faster HD Graphics 3000 integrated 3D core to these two K series processors. We're thoroughly cheesed off that the new chips require a new socket, chipsets and motherboard.

And we're borderline homicidal with rage regarding Intel's ludicrous branding scheme.

But here's the thing. In simple CPU performance terms, the Intel Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K are staggering. They overclock like the clappers. The integrated graphics is way better than anything before and the transcode engine threatens to annihilate the very idea of running some software on discrete graphics chips before it's even taken hold.

They're so good, in fact, they make nearly all of Intel's supposedly high-end chips for the LGA1366 socket instantly redundant. Bloomfield-based quad-core Core i7 processors are toast. Even six-core Gulftown Core i7s look marginal.

Put simply, these new chips bring massive performance to a lower price point than ever before. How can you argue with that?

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Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Thermal Design Power95 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i5 i5-2500
L3 Cache6 MB
Clock Speed3.30 GHz
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameIntel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification72.6°C
L2 Cache1 MB
Product Seriesi5-2500
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli5-2500K
Product NameCore i5 Quad-core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Desktop Processor
Product LineCore i5
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80623I52500K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.intel.co.uk
Marketing Information

The Intel Core i5 processor delivers the next level of productivity. With Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, this quad-core processor with 4-way multitasking capability delivers extra speed whenever you need it as well as security features to help protect information and data.

Process Technology32 nm