Intel i5-2500 3.3GHz LGA1155 Sandy Bridge CPU Review

Intel Core i5 Processor i5-2300

Sandy Bridge is now a very mature platform, and Ivy Bridge will be knocking on the door this week.  However, Ivy Bridge does not offer much in terms of performance over Sandy Bridge, so Sandy Bridge is the furthest thing from becoming irrelevant, and, in fact, if Ivy Bridge pushes Sandy Bridge pricing down, it may find its own boost to keep it strong.  As throngs of enthusiasts dump their "old" parts to fund Ivy Bridge builds, many people may be looking to grab secondhand Sandy Bridge parts for an upgrade or an additional machine.  Folders may be a large crowd to gobble up awesome hardware at a good price, and we'll be looking at how the i5-2500 may benefit them in terms of efficiency.




As I've mentioned, Sandy Bridge has been around for awhile, and Ivy Bridge will be stepping in as a minor generation step in Intel's processor lineage.  However, it won't be irrelevant, as there aren't many major selling points for Sandy Bridge owners to jump ship to Ivy Bridge, although many enthusiasts will.  For a detailed look at what the Sandy Bridge architecture brings to the table, an excellent article at Anandtech spells it out nicely.  There are tons of resources for raw performance metrics and benchmarks, so we'll be taking a somewhat different approach, and take a look at how the Sandy Bridge family, and the i5-2500 in particular, fares in underclocked and undervolted scenarios, as well as in overclocking.  We'll give a high-level comparison of each clock settings' gaming performance in Far Cry 2, as well as a raw computational assessment in PCMark7.


We'll draw direct comparisons to tests we performed on the i5-2300, and will lay out how the i5-2500K will differ under the same underclocking and undervolting conditions.



Processor Number
# of Cores
# of Threads
Clock Speed
3.3 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency
3.7 GHz
IntelĀ® Smart Cache
6 MB
Bus/Core Ratio
5 GT/s
Instruction Set
Instruction Set Extensions
SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available
32 nm
95 W
Recommended Customer Price
$205 - $213
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)
32 GB
Memory Types
# of Memory Channels
Max Memory Bandwidth
21 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported
Processor Graphics
IntelĀ® HD Graphics 2000
Graphics Base Frequency
850 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency
1.1 GHz


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