Processor Review: Intel i7 2600k

The Summary:

This processor is insanely fast, and will only set you back about $300.

The Specs:

  • 8 logical cores (4 physical, each hyper-threaded)
  • 3.4 GHz (stock)
  • 32nm
  • 8mb cache
  • Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics

This processor has 8 logical cores (4 physical cores, each hyperthreaded) so you’ll have a good experience with any multitasking you might have to do. Cache is pretty big as well.

The Setup:

CPU in actionIntel i7-2600k
Stock Cooler (with Arctic Silver)
2GB DDR3 PC2100
ASrock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Motherboard
850W Corsair Professional PSU

The Stock Benchmarks:

Passmark has become the go-to standard for processor benchmark s. That being said, this processor ranks pretty highly, and is the first processor under $599 listed.
It is ranked #7 at the time of writing for “high end CPU’s” on passmark.

The Overclocking:

This processor also does pretty well on the overclocked benchmarks over at Passmark, coming in at #8. They say that most people are able to overclock at an average of 31% above stock clock speed, or 4.45Ghz.

There are claims on the internet that you can get this CPU up to 5.1Ghz or higher (+50%) using overclocking and modifying the voltage levels in the CPU. I was unwilling to shorten the lifespan and risk burning out the chip by messing with the voltages on the CPU, but I did get the CPU up to 4.3 GHz stable clock without modifying the default voltage levels, and with the stock cooler. Under load, the processor seems to stay at moderately cool. With this, I reran some compiles I did on the stock install (like the linux kernel), and saw some slight improvement.

This is a great processor, and I’m glad I went with it! I’ll keep mine overclocked at 4.3GHz.


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