Hey whats up everyone!
So today I’m going to answer a question that I’ve seen over and over again. And again… so once and for all, I will answer the question
Ok so when choosing between these two processors, you really have to decide what kind of things you plan to do with your computer. The primary difference between the i7 2600K and the i5 2500K is that the i7 2600K is Hyper Threading enabled. There are also a couple smaller differences like the i7 2600k is 100mhz faster and has 8mb instead of 6mb of L3 cache and a $100 difference.
Now since you’re planning to purchase the K edition of both processors, the 100mhz speed difference isn’t really a difference at all because both chips can be overclocked to the same speed. The extra L3 cache will also gain you very negligible speed gains so it all boils down to hyper threading.
For those who don’t know what Hyper Threading is, it’s actually some pretty old technology implemented first on the Pentium 4 processors the discontinued and brought back again. Now you can look up the full details on Hyper Threading, but in the most basic terms, Hyper Threading doubles the threads on each core. In laymen terms, threads are pretty much the stuff that is sent to the processor for processing. Problem is, each core can only handle a single thread at a time. Imagine a thread that only requires half of the CPUs resources but is hogging the thread. By using Hyper Threading, you can utilize the other half theoretically increasing performance.
Now when you open task manager, it will look like you have 2 cores, but it doesn’t mean that you’re doubling the cores, this just means that you’re allowing each core to process 2 threads at a time also known as Hyper Threading.
Ok so now that thats out of the way, what benefits from Hyper Threading? Well, multithreaded applications. These applications tend to be apps like video editing, video encoding, photo editing, compression software and things like that. Games on the other hand are primarily designed for either 1 or 2 threads. Off the top of my head I can only really think of two games that do support more than 2 threads and that would be Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. (While I’m sure there are more, that’s all I can think of right now at the moment) Even then, both the i5 2500K and the i7 2600K will yield nearly the same performance (FPS) since they will both handle the games just fine with most of the bottleneck on the GPU instead.
So which processor should you buy? Well, it all depends on what applications you will use the processor with. For those who are heavy into video editing, video encoding, and multithreaded applications, buy the i7 2600K. For those who plan to surf Youtube and play games all day, an i5 2500K will perform exactly the same as the i7 2600K except you pay $100 less.
Well what if you edit videos occasionally? Is the i7 2600K still worth it? Well, that will have to depend on you. With an application fully optimized for video editing such as Adobe Premiere, you may see up to a 30% performance boost, but in most cases you’re looking at somewhere lower than that so you’ll really have to make that judgement call. Below I have posted a link to some benchmarks if you’d like some exact numbers.
For benchmark numbers please check out this link!
Anyway, I hope this answers some questions for you.
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