Core i7-2600K and Core i5-2500K Radeon HD 7970 Gaming-Performance-Difference
Category : 2012
Published by Marc B├╝chel on 22.02.12
In this article we're going to check gaming performance of Intels LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge CPUs when they're being supported by a Radeon HD 7970 graphics card from XFX. We're curious if there will be a measurable performance gaps between these two CPUs regarding modern games or if the 100 MHz and the absence of hyperthreading on the Core i5-2500K don't even have an influence on gaming performance.





Specifications

  i7-2600K i5-2500K
Codename Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge
Socket LGA 1155 LGA 1155
Manufacturing 32 nm 32 nm
Transistors 995 Million 995 Million
Die-size 265 mm2 265 mm2
Clock 3.40 GHz (Turbo 3.80 GHz) 3.30 GHz (Turbo 3.70 GHz)
Cores / Threads 4C / 8T 4C / 4T
Turbo Yes (2.0) Yes (2.0)
Bus Speed 100 MHz 100 MHz
Memory DDR3 DDR3
Memory controller Dual Channel Dual Channel
QPI -- GT/s -- GT/s
L1 Execution Cache 32 KByte 32 KByte
L1 Data Cache 32 KByte 32 KByte
L2 Cache 256 KByte 256 KByte
L3 Cache 8 MB shared 6 MB shared
TDP 95 Watt 95 Watt
C1E technology Yes Yes
Enhanced Intel Speed Step Yes Yes
Virtualisation Vanderpool Vanderpool
Instruction sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3
SSE4.2, AVX, EM64T
MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3
SSE4.2, AVX, EM64T



Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

Test setup

Motherboard ASRock Z68 Extreme 7
Processors
  • Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.40 GHz, Turbo @ 3.80 GHz
  • Intel Core i7-2500K @ 3.30 GHz, Turbo @ 3.70 GHz
  • Memory Kingston HyperX H2O @ 1'600 MHz CL 9-9-9-24
    Grapics Cards
  • XFX Radeon HD 7970 Double Dissipation @ 925 MHz Reference
  • Storage Corsair Force 3 120 Gigabyte
    Power Supply Enermax Max Revo 1350 Watt


    Software




    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

    3DMark 11 - 3DMark Vantage

      3DMark 11 Total 3DMark 11 - Graphics 3DMark 11 - Physics
    Core i7-2600K 7'836 7'773 8'705
    Core i5-2500K 7'459 6'683 6'644
    % difference 5.05 % 16.31 % 31.02 %


      3DMark Vantage Total 3DMark Vantage - Graphics 3DMark Vantage - CPU
    Core i7-2600K 28'368 30'589 23'293
    Core i5-2500K 25'441 29'915 17'561
    % difference 11.51 % 2.25 % 32.64 %



    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

    Unigine Heaven - Furmark - Stone Giant

      Unigine Heaven - Points Unigine Heaven - fps
    Core i7-2600K 1038 41.2
    Core i5-2500K 1032 41.0
    % difference 0.58 % 0.49 %


      Furmark - Points Furmark - fps
    Core i7-2600K 2'585 43
    Core i5-2500K 2584 43
    % difference 0.04 % 0.00 %


      Stone Giant - fps
    Core i7-2600K 85
    Core i5-2500K 85
    % difference 0.00 %



    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

    Crysis - Resident Evil 5

      Crysis - fps
    Core i7-2600K 50.665
    Core i5-2500K 50.625
    % difference 0.08 %


      Resident Evil 5 - fps
    Core i7-2600K 146.8
    Core i5-2500K 138.1
    % difference 6.30 %



    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

    Call of Juarez - Far Cry 2

      Call of Juarez - fps
    Core i7-2600K 68.3
    Core i5-2500K 68.3
    % difference 0.00 %


      Far Cry 2 - fps
    Core i7-2600K 90.04
    Core i5-2500K 89.11
    % difference 1.04 %



    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion
    [pagebreak]

    Discuss this article in the forums.

    Street Fighter 4 - World in Conflict

      Street Fighter 4 - fps
    Core i7-2600K 185.50
    Core i5-2500K 182.22
    % difference 1.80 %


      World in Conflict - fps
    Core i7-2600K 87
    Core i5-2500K 87
    % difference 0.00 %



    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums. [pagebreak]

    Conclusion

    In general it is particularly noticeable that on average there is almost no difference between the performance of these two CPUs. If there is a bottleneck in recent games, then it is the graphics card, even if it is a high end Radeon HD 7970. With these test series we see the biggest performance differences when running Futuremark benchmarks. We were quite surprised to see that in 3D Mark Vantage there is an almost twelve percent advantage for the Core i7-2600K concerning the overall score. Looking at the 3D Mark 11 number we still see a significant five percent advantage for the CPU that supports hyper threading. Therefore it seems like the CPU test has quite an influence on the overall result in Futuremark benchmarks.

    In real world games things look a bit different. Except in Resident Evil 5 there is no game that showed a significant benefit from one or the other CPU. Looking at World in Conflict (0.00 %), Street Fighter 4 (1.80 %), Far Cry 2 (1.04 %), Call of Juarez (0.00 %) as well as Crysis (0.08 %) we see that there is no noticeable performance gab between the Core i7-2600K and the Core i5-2500K.

    Should you be thinking about building a gaming PC and you are asking yourself if the Core i5-2500K or the Core i7-2600K is the better choice for you, then we can say that you better save CHF 100.- (est. EUR 80.-) and go for the cheaper CPU. If you want to spend these CHF 100.- (est. EUR 80.-) anyway, then you should go for a better graphics card, which really gives you a measurable performance boost.


    Page 1 - Introduction / Specs Page 5 - Crysis / Resident Evil 5
    Page 2 - Test setup Page 6 - Call of Juarez / Far Cry 2
    Page 3 - 3DMark 11 / 3DMark Vantage Page 7 - Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict
    Page 4 - Unigine Heaven / Stone Giant Page 8 - Conclusion


    Discuss this article in the forums.