TechSpot: Intel's Sandy Bridge Debut - Core i5 2500K, Core i7 2600K Reviewed

Enter the Sandy Bridge 32nm architecture, which marks the introduction of the 2nd generation Intel Core processors. Sandy Bridge is designed to be a two-chip platform consisting of a processor and Platform Controller Hub (PCH). It incorporates an Integrated Display Engine, Processor Graphics, and Integrated Memory Controller.

The debut of Sandy Bridge will result in the replacement of almost the entire Intel desktop CPU lineup and an important segment of their mobile line as well. All in all, 14 new desktop CPUs are being launched today spanning the Core i7, i5 and i3 series, in addition to 15 mobile processors and several more supporting chipsets.

This review focuses mostly on the desktop side of things but there's still a lot to cover including the inner workings of the Sandy Bridge architecture and how it differs to its predecessors, the improved integrated graphics logic, Turbo Boost 2.0 and the new 6-series chipsets.

Read: Intel's Sandy Bridge Debuts: Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K CPUs Reviewed

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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i'd be more tempted to spend more money on a cpu upgrade if i didn't have to upgrade my mobo. still no interested in what amd has to offer, and not optimistic about amd competing performance decently.

Yay! Lot's of fun to all early adopters. Pity no USB 3.0 yet. I'm still good with my Q9550 @3.8Ghz. I guess early 2012 would be a good time for me personally.

I think I'll pass on Sandy Bridge for now. I'm waiting to see the new replacement for the X58 socket and the high-end i7s that's supposed to be coming out late this year (last I heard). I'm also kinda holding out for an 8-core of one of those, buti f the price is too unreasonable, I'll snatch up a 6-core.

2Cold Scorpio said,
I think I'll pass on Sandy Bridge for now. I'm waiting to see the new replacement for the X58 socket and the high-end i7s that's supposed to be coming out late this year (last I heard). I'm also kinda holding out for an 8-core of one of those, buti f the price is too unreasonable, I'll snatch up a 6-core.

if octo-core pop out it would be Extreme edtion (you guessed right 1000$ at least)

Another socket, another user base screwed. But it was known it was coming when 1156 landed and people still bought into it so it was really a compromise by those buyers who didn't plan on upgrading their system.

Glad I'll be sticking to AMD who minimize such an impact.

Digitalx said,
Another socket, another user base screwed. But it was known it was coming when 1156 landed and people still bought into it so it was really a compromise by those buyers who didn't plan on upgrading their system.

Glad I'll be sticking to AMD who minimize such an impact.

or keep the socket and change the chipset + new CPU require the said chipset

it would only serve to get old cpus into newer boards not the other way around

and oh AM3+ CPUs doesn't work with older motherboard despite being the same socket
you would need a shiny new AM3+ motherboard

Ci7 said,

or keep the socket and change the chipset + new CPU require the said chipset

it would only serve to get old cpus into newer boards not the other way around

and oh AM3+ CPUs doesn't work with older motherboard despite being the same socket
you would need a shiny new AM3+ motherboard

Indeed it was bound to happen but I plan on doing it as my AM2 system has lived a good life. But point is an AM3 can be dropped in an AM2 mobo which supports AM3. That's 2 forward generations supported in legacy hardware... not like LGA775 works in any of intels new sockets does it ? ... that's the point it's more the principle of less frequently changing the socket and if or when put as much effort into providing legacy or future support not after 12 months then shut people out of an upgrade path. Intel seem to like screwing people in that area then squeezing more money out of people who persist to support their bs strategy.

Digitalx said,

Indeed it was bound to happen but I plan on doing it as my AM2 system has lived a good life. But point is an AM3 can be dropped in an AM2 mobo which supports AM3. That's 2 forward generations supported in legacy hardware... not like LGA775 works in any of intels new sockets does it ? ... that's the point it's more the principle of less frequently changing the socket and if or when put as much effort into providing legacy or future support not after 12 months then shut people out of an upgrade path. Intel seem to like screwing people in that area then squeezing more money out of people who persist to support their bs strategy.

still just as i said before
different CPU would need different chipsets (as bare minimum)

just for the sake of example(all needed LGA775)
first generation Core 2 needed P965
2nd generation Core 2 needed P35 at least (or at least most of the crop did)

you may be able to run P4 in those said above board, but it kind defeat the purpose

lflashl said,
im not touching anything new for another six-8mtns, well not till PCIe 3.0 comes out. Then it will be a complete upgrade!

i am pretty sure nothing is quite close to maximize PCIe 2.0

I'm just waiting for the current top end i7 9xx cpu's to drop now that these are coming so I can upgrade this i7 920 to something over 3Ghz.

GP007 said,
I'm just waiting for the current top end i7 9xx cpu's to drop now that these are coming so I can upgrade this i7 920 to something over 3Ghz.

990X(extreme!) is coming
also 970 would hopefully drop in price to sub 600$ then

GP007 said,
I'm just waiting for the current top end i7 9xx cpu's to drop now that these are coming so I can upgrade this i7 920 to something over 3Ghz.

Overclock it. It's the same chip as the others but with a lower core frequency. Your better off putting that money towards something more meaningful like ram, gfx card, ssd etc.

GP007 said,
I'm just waiting for the current top end i7 9xx cpu's to drop now that these are coming so I can upgrade this i7 920 to something over 3Ghz.

No point in upgrading just bang on a decent HSF and overclock it... 920's can pass 3GHz easy.

Those who got i5/i7 recently obviously dont need to upgrade. But some people are upgrading for 3-5 year old pc's...should they really wait?

Quattrone said,
2011 will be the year of AMD, they will make a full come back with their next generation CPU.

You have a vivid imagination.

yeah i am happy with my i5-760

kind of sick of intel and there socket changing games every 30seconds cant they just use the same damn one

DKAngel said,
yeah i am happy with my i5-760

kind of sick of intel and there socket changing games every 30seconds cant they just use the same damn one


Honestly, this is exactly why I'm going back to AMD. I can't say I have had anything but pleasant thoughts about my Q6600, but I really don't think I should be forced to get a new motherboard to use these new chips. Only the very top end of the upcoming line of AMD's upcomming offerings will be using the new AM3+.

Huh, only a 2.8% increase clock for clock from the 9x0 series of i7's... I'll keep my i7 920 and see what happens in 4 months..

micro said,
Huh, only a 2.8% increase clock for clock from the 9x0 series of i7's... I'll keep my i7 920 and see what happens in 4 months..

i think the one would be Core i7 29xx or 28xx

micro said,
Huh, only a 2.8% increase clock for clock from the 9x0 series of i7's... I'll keep my i7 920 and see what happens in 4 months..

Because clock speed is what it's all about

on the salvation of most the tyrants!

on-topic:

epic release, but waiting to see Sandybridge-E Ci7

The only ones in my price range are the i3 (really just the i3-2100) , so would it be a noticeable difference to upgrade from my Core2Duo E8400?

The Protagonist said,
i think i will stick with my 15-750 for now

To think I just got an i5-760....I will also stick with what I have

The Protagonist said,
i think i will stick with my 15-750 for now

I don't understand you. In every benchmark there the 2500k kicks the 750's in the rear, and prices of both are 215 and 200!!
Performance and consumption are magnificent, i'd so get one if i could!

thartist said,

I don't understand you. In every benchmark there the 2500k kicks the 750's in the rear, and prices of both are 215 and 200!!
Performance and consumption are magnificent, i'd so get one if i could!


Problem is that you can't recover the expended money on the processor, because if you could trade it for the new one, there's no problem, pity the world isn't as cunning as that.