Intel core i7 2600k review: Intel Sandy Bridge Review |

Intel Sandy Bridge Review |

Written by

bit-tech Staff

January 3, 2011 | 04:58

Tags: #comparative #core-i3 #core-i5 #core-i7 #cpu #h67 #k-series #lga1155 #overclocking #p67 #performance #processor #processor-graphics #recommended #sandy-bridge

Companies: #amd #bit-tech #intel

1 — Intel Sandy Bridge Review2 — What’s New in Intel’s Sandy Bridge3 — More of What’s New in Intel’s Sandy Bridge4 — Intel Processor Graphics Overview5 — How to Overclock an LGA1155 CPU6 — Sandy Bridge Test Setup7 — Sandy Bridge Cinebench and WPrime Performance8 — Sandy Bridge Image Editing and Video Encoding Performance9 — Sandy Bridge Multi-tasking and Overall Performance10 — Sandy Bridge Gaming Performance11 — Sandy Bridge Power Consumption12 — Intel Core i5-2500K Review13 — Intel Core i7-2600K Review14 — Intel Core i5-2400 Review

Intel Core i7-2600K Review

UK price (as reviewed): TBC
US price (as reviewed): $317 (ex tax)

After gawping at the performance of the quad-core, non-Hyper-Threaded Intel Core i5-2500K for a while, we turned our attention to the Core i7-2600K. This 3.4GHz quad-core, eight-thread CPU dominated the performance charts in all but the most multi-threaded of applications. Only in the Cinebench R11.5 and WPrime benchmarks was any CPU faster at stock speeds, with the six Hyper-Threaded cores of the i7-980X claiming the top spot. However, this CPU costs three times as much as the relatively modestly priced i7-2600K.

With a stock-speed overall Media Benchmark score of 2,080, we couldn’t wait to see how many benchmark records we could smash with an overclocked i7-2600K. Unfortunately, we couldn’t manage to get the same 4.9GHz overclock from the CPU as we could with the i5-2500K.

We wonder how many of these dies will retain their Hyper-Threading capabilities.

However, by using a CPU multiplier of 48x without touching the Base Clock, we could wrench 4.8GHz from it. For this, we used the same voltages and settings as we used with the i5-2500K. See How to Overclock an LGA1155 CPU for more details on how we overclocked all the CPUs on test.

At 4.8GHz, the i7-2600K ripped through our Media Benchmarks, making us wince as it sailed past even a 4.4GHz i7-980X in our video encoding test (if only by 21 points). However, the extra frequency of the i5-2500K overclock gave it the lead in the image editing test, while the extra system bandwidth of its Base Clock-assisted overclock helped it to claim the top spot in the multi-tasking test.

When both K-series CPUs were overclocked, only a few points separated them, although both were 100 points faster than the 4.4GHz i7-980X, which was considerably faster than the previous-generation quad-cores and AMD’s latest 6-core CPU.

The extra frequency of the i5-2500K overclock helped it to be the fastest K-series CPU in Crysis with a minimum of 37fps rather than 42fps, but the i7-980X saved face by claiming the fastest minimum of 43fps.

The i7-2600K managed to wrestle its way to top place in X3, where its minimum of 79fps was 9fps faster than the 4.9GHz i5-2500K and 15fps faster than the i7-980X. We were again blown away by how little power the i7-2600K consumed, even when overclocked and overvolted – we saw a power draw of 234W during overclocking while the 4.4GHz i7-980X system drew 368W.


If you need the fastest possible PC for heavily multi-threaded applications, the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition makes a case for itself, as you can see in the Cinebench R11.5 tests. However, even in this professional-level application, the Core i7-2600K holds its own against a CPU that costs roughly three times as much.

Unless your work justifies buying the very best PC no matter the cost, the Core i7-2600K is all the CPU you’ll need. It’s excellent for everything from gaming to consumer-level media creation and encoding, and the low power consumption will give you a cooler, cheaper PC to build and run too.

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Score Guide

Intel Core i7-2600K


  • Frequency: 3. 4GHz
  • Core: Sandy Bridge
  • Manufacturing process: 32nm
  • Number of cores: 4 x physical, 4 x logical
  • Cache: L1: 64KB + 64KB (each core), L2: 512 KB (each core), L3: 8MB (shared)
  • Memory controller: Dual-channel DDR3, 1,333MHz
  • GPU: HD 3000
  • Packaging: LGA1155
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP): 95W
  • Features: SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, SSE4.2, EM64T, EIST, Execute Disable Bit, VT, AES-NI, Turbo Boost 2.0, AVX, Quick Sync Video

1 — Intel Sandy Bridge Review2 — What’s New in Intel’s Sandy Bridge3 — More of What’s New in Intel’s Sandy Bridge4 — Intel Processor Graphics Overview5 — How to Overclock an LGA1155 CPU6 — Sandy Bridge Test Setup7 — Sandy Bridge Cinebench and WPrime Performance8 — Sandy Bridge Image Editing and Video Encoding Performance9 — Sandy Bridge Multi-tasking and Overall Performance10 — Sandy Bridge Gaming Performance11 — Sandy Bridge Power Consumption12 — Intel Core i5-2500K Review13 — Intel Core i7-2600K Review14 — Intel Core i5-2400 Review

Intel Core i7-2600K review | TechRadar

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Intel’s new chips are performance demons

TechRadar Verdict

If it wasn’t for Intel’s marketing goons, these could have been the best CPUs in history. Awesome, even so.


  • +

    Breathtaking performance at stock clocks

  • +

    Massive overclocking headroom

  • +

    Incredible new integrated video engine

Why you can trust TechRadar
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Note: This Intel Core i7-2600K review also reviews the Sandy Bridge architecture as a whole, as well as the mid-range Intel Core i5-2500K processor.

Ready or not, here they come. Intel is rolling out a thoroughly overhauled range of PC processors based on its new Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. Our first taste of the new chips comes in the form of the Intel Core i5-2500K and Intel Core i7-2600K desktop CPUs.

Thanks to the baffling array of chips, sockets and brands, we’ve barely got to grips with Intel’s existing CPU range. Certainly Intel’s main rival, AMD, has no answer in outright performance terms to the chips Intel already offers, but the relentless march of technology must go on.

So, ignore the familiar Core i5 and Core i7 branding. These are all new processors and they’re ready to roll.

As it happens, Intel could actually do with more powerful and, crucially, more power efficient processors for laptop PCs. Deep down, that’s what Sandy Bridge is really about. However, as we’ll learn, Sandy Bridge has a lot to offer for the desktop, too, including exciting new features such as a hardware video transcoding engine and much-improved integrated graphics.

At launch, it’s not quite a full range of processors. In total, Intel is rolling out 14 new desktop CPUs based on Sandy Bridge under the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 brands. Pricing extends from around £75 to £250.

The very top and bottom of Intel’s desktop range will remain unchanged. The six-core Gulftown derivative of the Core i7 and the entry-level Pentium chips live on for now. Everything else is effectively for the chop.

With new chips inevitably come new chipsets, but what you might not expect is the new processor socket. Known as LGA1155, it’s almost identical to the existing LGA1156. It loses just one pin. Problem is, the two sockets are entirely incompatible.

You cannot drop Sandy Bridge processors into any existing motherboard. Nor can you use any previous Intel processors with Sandy Bridge-supporting motherboards.

Although Intel will absolutely deny it, we believe this change in sockets is unlikely to have been a technical necessity.

Instead, at best, we suspect it represents a disregard for existing customers, and at worst a tactic designed to force whole a platform upgrade rather than drop-in CPU changes.

Unfortunately, the new socket isn’t the only dubious new feature that debuts with Sandy Bridge. Intel has also made a fundamental change to the chip’s architecture that has killed traditional processor overclocking using the CPU bus stone dead. We’ll come to the details later, but the bottom line is that Intel has brought overclocking under strict control.

It’s not completely gone, but it’s only available where and when Intel allows it.

However, don’t let those negatives convince you the new Intel Core i5-2500K and Intel Core i7-2600K chips are stinkers. Compared to their closest equivalents from Intel’s existing range – the Intel Core i5-760 and Intel Core i7-870 – the new chips are arguably in a different league.

In fact, even the mighty six-core Core i7 980X isn’t safe from Intel’s remarkable new Sandy Bridge architecture. It’s that good.

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Intel Core i7-2600K Processor Overview



Released 2011
Segment for desktop computers
Socket Socket LGA 1155
Number of cores 4
Number of threads 8
Base frequency 3400 MHz
Turbo Core 3800 MHz
L1/L2/L3 cache 256Kb/1Mb/8Mb
Unlocked multiplier yes
Architecture (core) Sandy Bridge
Process 32nm
Integrated video core Intel HD3000
Max. memory frequency DDR3 1333Mhz
Max. memory size 32Gb
Max. temperature 72C
Windows 11 support no

Supported instructions: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4 (SSE4.1 + SSE4.2), AES, AVX, F16C, EM64T, NX, VT, Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost 2.0
Supported operating systems: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 10 x86-x64, Linux x86-x64

Intel Core i7-2600K processor overview

The processor was released in 2011 for motherboards with Socket LGA 1155. The model belongs to the high-performance CPU in the line of the second generation of Intel Core processors, has 4 cores / 8 threads with frequencies of 3400 -3800 megahertz and 95W heat dissipation, which will require a good cooling system (up to 120W). The Intel Core i7-2600K is made according to the technological standards of 32nm and carries the Sandy Bridge architecture. At the time of its introduction, this processor was considered a high-performance gaming option. Currently, an Intel Core i7-2600K paired with a fairly powerful graphics card (Radeon RX470, GeForce GTX960 and older), at least 8 gigabytes of RAM, at 1080p resolution (1920 * 1080) and medium-high graphics settings, it can provide quite good performance (40-50 frames, with a drawdown of up to 35 frames per second in complex scenes) even in demanding projects the level of Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2. In older games like GTA V and Tomb Raider 2013, the Intel Core i7-2600K will give a comfortable number of frames per second (50fps+) at maximum graphics settings. This CPU can easily cope with office tasks, providing comfortable work in standard Windows and Office applications, surfing the Internet. nine0114

Comparative performance table Intel Core i7-2600K

This table summarizes the results of tests of the overall performance of the processor in question, the nearest junior and senior models of the line (if any), predecessor and successor (if any), as well as the capabilities of the nearest competitor models:

performance test

Positioning CPU Model PassMark
Test piece Intel Core i7-2600K 5451 points
Junior model Intel Core i7-2600 5324 points
Older model Intel Core i7-2700K 5631 points
Closest competitor AMD FX 8320 5399 points

Intel Core i7-2600K Game Test:

https://youtu. be/2p7z14ib7SM

Compatible motherboards:

B85 and Z77.

Appearance of Socket LGA 1155.

p.s. If possible, use RAM in dual-channel mode (two identical strips), this will give the system additional performance. nine0114

Jump to:
AMD FX Processor List(Socket AM3+)
Ryzen Processor List(Socket AM4)

Intel Core i7-2600K — 86 Secret Facts, Overview, Specs, Reviews.

Top specifications and features

  • PassMark CPU score
  • PassMark CPU score
  • Heat dissipation (TDP)
  • Technological process
  • Number of transistors

PassMark CPU score

Intel Core i7-2600K:
Best score:

Test results of

Intel Core i7-2600K:
Best score:

Intel Core i7-2600K technologies:
Best score:


Intel Core i7-2600K:
Best score:

Memory Specification

Intel Core i7-2600K:
nine0220 937
Best score:


Intel Core i7-2600K processor running at 3. 4 Hz. At the same time, the maximum frequency in Boost mode reaches 3.8 Hz. 4 cores available. The L1 cache is 512 KB, L2 1 MB and L3 8 MB. Power consumption at peak times can reach 95 watts.

The maximum number of threads that Intel Core i7-2600K can work with is 8.

Intel Core i7-2600K works on 32 nm architecture. Total number of transistors 995 million

Regarding memory specification. The Intel Core i7-2600K processor supports DDR3. The frequency of RAM is 1333. The maximum supported volume is 32 MB. The maximum memory bandwidth is 21. The number of supported memory channels is 2.

The Intel Core i7-2600K integrated graphics is equipped with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 core. The base frequency of the graphics system is 850 MHz. And the maximum frequency of the graphics system can reach 1.35 MHz. nine0114

Now about the tests of the Intel Core i7-2600K. According to PassMark, the processor scored 5187 of the possible points. Based on the analysis of more than 4000 processors, the Intel Core i7-2600K ranked 788 in the ranking of the best.

Why the Intel Core i7-2600K is better than others

  • 32 nm process technology. This parameter is lower than that of 44% of goods
  • The base clock frequency of the processor is 3.4 GHz. This parameter is higher than that of 68% of goods
  • PassMark CPU score 5187 . This parameter is lower than that of 19% of products
  • Thermal Dissipation (TDP) 95 W. This parameter is higher than 71% of products
  • Number of transistors 995 million. This parameter is lower than 25% of products
  • Geekbench score 5 765.584 . This parameter is lower than that of 2% of goods
  • Number of cores 4 . This parameter is lower than that of 53% of goods

Overview Intel Core i7-2600K

Test results



Memory specification

Interfaces and communications

Main characteristics


Intel Core i7-2600K Review: Highlights

PassMark CPU score

The PassMark benchmark considers read speed, write speed, and seek time when testing SSD performance.
Show all


max 89379

Average: 6033.5


Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)


max 23628.202

Average: 5219.2


Geekbench score 5


max 1600.56

Average: 936.8


3DMark06 test score


max 18628

Average: 3892.6


Test score Cinebench R11.5 /64bit (Multi-Core)


max 45.3622

Average: 5. 3


Cinebench R15 test score (Multi-Core)


max 4614

Average: 638.4


Cinebench R15 test score (Single-Core)


max 276

Average: 128.5




Thermal control technologies


Intel Privacy Protection Technology


Function Execute override bit


Intel Trusted Execution Technology


Number of threads

The more threads, the higher the performance of the processor, and it will be able to perform several tasks at the same time.
Show all


max 256

Average: 10.7


L1 cache size

Large amount of L1 memory accelerates results in CPU and system performance settings
Show all


max 4608

Average: 299.3 KB


L2 Cache Size

L2 cache with large scratchpad memory to increase processor speed and overall system performance.
Show all


max 512

Average: 4.5 MB


L3 cache size

Large amount of L3 memory accelerates results in CPU and system performance settings
Show all


max 768

Average: 16. 3 MB


Maximum Turbo Clock Speed ​​

When the processor’s speed drops below its limit, it can jump to a higher clock speed to improve performance.
Show all


max 5.5

Average: 3.2 GHz


Number of cores


max 72

Mean: 5.8


Processor base clock speed


max 4.7

Average: 2.5 GHz


Frequency with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0


max 5.1

Average: 3.5 GHz

5. 1GHz

Max. number of PCI Express lanes


max 64

Average: 22.7


Idle States


Unlocked CPU multiplier

Some processors have an unlocked multiplier, which makes them faster and better in games and other applications.
Show all


Turbo Boost technology

Turbo Boost is a technology that allows the processor to operate at a frequency higher than the maximum. This increases its productivity (including when performing complex tasks)
Show all


Mean: 1.9



Intel HD Graphics 3000

Max. graphics system frequency

1. 35GHz

max 1.55

Average: 1.1 GHz


Number of PCI-Express lanes


Max. number of processors in configuration


Mean: 1.3


DDR version


Mean: 3.5


Max. memory bandwidth

This is the rate at which the device stores or reads information.


max 352

Average: 41.4 GB/s

352 GB/s

Memory frequency

The RAM can be faster to improve system performance.
Show all


max 4800

Average: 2106. 2 MHz

4800 MHz

Max. number of memory channels

The greater their number, the higher the data transfer rate from memory to processor


max 16

Mean: 2.9


Max. memory size

The largest amount of RAM memory.


max 6000

Average: 404.4 GB


System bus frequency

Data is transferred between computer components and other devices via a bus.
Show all

5 GT/s

max 1600

Average: 156.1 GT/s

1600 GT/s

ECC memory support

Memory debugging code is used when it is necessary to avoid data corruption during scientific computing or server startup. It finds possible errors and repairs data corruption.
Show all


Intel Flexible Display Interface (Intel FDI)




Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST)


Intel® AES-NI Commands

AES is required to speed up encryption and decryption.


Hyper-Threading Technology

Many Intel processors use state-of-the-art hyper-threading technology. Thus, each processor core works simultaneously on two threads, which significantly increases performance. Most processors work on the principle: one thread per core, therefore, their performance is lower.
Show all



AVX allows you to increase the speed of calculations in multimedia, financial and scientific applications, it also improves the performance of Linux RAID.
Show all


Version sse

Allows you to speed up multimedia tasks (such as adjusting the sound intensity). Each subsequent version has a number of improvements
Show all


max 4.2

Average: 4.1




Thermal Monitoring


Flex Memory Access






Identity Protection








Quick Sync Video


Clear Video HD


InTru 3D


Process technology

The small size of the semiconductor means it is a new generation chip.

32 nm

Average: 36.8 nm

5 nm

Number of transistors

995 million

max 57000

Average: 1517.3 million

57000 million

Thermal Dissipation (TDP)

The Thermal Dissipation Requirements (TDP) is the maximum amount of energy that can be dissipated by the cooling system. The lower the TDP, the less power will be consumed.
Show all


Average: 67.6W


PCI Express Revision


Mean: 2.9




Release date


Embedded options available


Case size

37. 5mm x 37.5mm

Device ID


GPU base clock

The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a high clock speed.


max 2400

Average: 535.8 MHz

2400 MHz

Supports 64-bit system

A 64-bit system can support more than 4 GB of RAM, unlike a 32-bit system. This increases productivity. It also allows you to run 64-bit applications.
Show all


Turbo GPU

If the speed of the GPU drops below its limit, then to improve performance, it can go to a high clock speed.
Show all


max 2100

Average: 1091 MHz


Monitor support

Multiple monitors can be connected to the device, making it easier to work by increasing the working space.
Show all


Mean: 2.9



Sandy Bridge

Maximum temperature Tcase


max 105

Average: 75.1 °C

105 °C




How many PCIe lanes


How much RAM does the Intel Core i7-2600K support? nine1049

Intel Core i7-2600K supports 32 GB.

How fast is the Intel Core i7-2600K 5600X?

The processor runs at 3.4 GHz.

How many cores does the Intel Core i7-2600K have?

4 cores.

Does the Intel Core i7-2600K support ECC memory?


Does the Intel Core i7-2600K have integrated graphics?

Intel HD Graphics 3000

What kind of RAM does the Intel Core i7-2600K support

The Intel Core i7-2600K supports DDR3. nine0114

What is the socket of the Intel Core i7-2600K

LGA1155 is used to install the Intel Core i7-2600K.

Is the Intel Core i7-2600K a 64-bit processor


What architecture does the Intel Core i7-2600K use?

The Intel Core i7-2600K is based on the Sandy Bridge architecture.

Is the multiplier unlocked on the Intel Core i7-2600K processor?


How does the Intel Core i7-2600K perform in benchmarks? nine1049

According to PassMark, the Intel Core i7-2600K scored 5187 points.

What frequency does the Intel Core i7-2600K processor run at?

Intel Core i7-2600K processor running at 3.4 Hz.

What is the maximum frequency of the Intel Core i7-2600K?

In this case, the maximum frequency in Boost mode reaches 3.8 Hz.

How much cache is the Intel Core i7-2600K?

L1 cache size is 512 KB, L2 1 MB and L3 8 MB.

How many watts does the Intel Core i7-2600K consume? nine1049

Power consumption at peak times can be up to 95 watts.