Intel i7 2600K (Sandy Bridge) Review

A couple of million Sandy Bridge reviews hit the web today. Since I've no idea which one is the best out there, I'm just posting the one of our good friends over at

Fyi, for the real overclocking reviews we will have to wait another couple of days until mainboard manufacturers have patched their BIOSes with the latest microcode (which Intel decided not to share).

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to find out for myself, but it does temper expectations. It’s also somewhat frustrating that overclockers are limited to only two processors out of an entire lineup. No K designation means no overclocking with those chips, period. There’s no getting around it. However, when looking at the full lineup, only the i3′s don’t come with an unlocked chip. Both i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge chips have unlocked options. Two out of six chips isn’t too bad. (Two out of eight if you count i3.) Plus the premium you pay for the unlocked privilege isn’t very steep to begin with; a welcome change when talking about Intel.

Anyone that doesn’t focus solely on extreme clocks and is in need of an upgrade would be well served to give the Sandy Bridge platform a good hard look. Efficiency per clock is out of this world. Add to that the potential for 24/7 overclocks easily in excess of 4 GHz and you have a winning combination on your hands. Everything except sub-zero performance is absolutely stellar. Sandy bridge beats out its P55 predecessor handily. It also beats a quad-core X58 setup clock for clock (Intel hex-cores will still have an advantage in multi-threaded programs and benchmarks) and anything AMD has to offer to date (bulldozer, bulldozer; wherefore art thou bulldozer?).

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