Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Intel
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INTEL I7-2600K INTRODUCTION
Intel's second generation Core i7 processor codenamed "Sandybridge" has been making headlines in recent weeks for a number of reasons. When first launched around the time that CES 2011 was in full swing, the mainstream industry was impressed with the performance potential for a relatively low cost, and the enthusiasts relished the fact that Intel has grasped and finally understood that overclocking friendly processors do have more than just a small niche in the computing community. What was once a black art, is now becoming an actual processor feature. The "k" in the i7-2600k is a designation that this processor is multiplier unlocked and can be overclocked to your heart's content based on your cooling and motherboard choices.
Intel's Turbo Boost Technology in essence is just a form of minor automatic overclocking which ramps one or more of the processor's core to a higher than stock rate based on load and how many cores are being taken advantage of. Take for instance this i7-2600k being reviewed today. When under a single core load, the other three cores are essentially powered down and the forth is boosted from the stock clock rate of 3.4Ghz, to 3.8Ghz. With two cores active, there is a potential upclock both to 3.7Ghz depending on the load and shut the other two off to save power. But where the confusion comes is how you actually designate this processor. Is it really a 3.4Ghz processor or is that the slowest it can be clocked with "Turbo boost" turned off? In this review I will show you how much performance difference you will notice if this feature is turned off along with being enabled to see the relative difference.
Another advancement in technology was Intel's integration of the HD 3000 VPU core within the processor to supply a very capable all-in-one product to cover both cpu processing and video processing in one package. Although Intel's Clarkdale processor lineup did have integrated video when coupled with the right motherboard, it covered a workstation's basic needs and not much more. With the release of the HD 3000 capabilities on the i7-2600k, full 3D acceleration with 12 execution units was set in place which allowed you to do some minor gaming at lower resolutions. It is no Geforce or Radeon killer, but for no extra money, the capability is there.
Through this review I will be testing the i7-2600k's CPU processing capabilities and see how it does against Intel processors of the past. Will it be a complete bargain, or will Intel's other processor options fit better in your current workstation. Let's find out.
ABOUT INTEL CORPORATION
For more than three decades, Intel Corporation has developed technology enabling the computer and Internet revolution that has changed the world. Founded in 1968 to build semiconductor memory products, Intel introduced the world's first microprocessor in 1971. Today, Intel supplies the computing and communications industries with chips, boards, systems, and software building blocks that are the "ingredients" of computers, servers and networking and communications products. These products are used by industry members to create advanced computing and communications systems. Intel's mission is to be the preeminent building block supplier to the Internet economy.