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Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 03 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU
Features and Specifications
Sandy Bridge CPU Architecture
Processor Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Core i7-2600K Overclocking
Sandy Bridge Final Thoughts
Intel Core i7-2600K Conclusion

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU Review

Intel's processor development follows a regular "tick-tock" cycle. The "tick" is the refinement of an existing architecture; the "tock" is a new architecture. Proceeding at a roughly yearly pace, the "tick-tock" model brought us the 45nm Nehalem architecture processors (the original Core-i3, -i5, and -i7 CPUs) as a "tock", and the subsequent 32nm Westmere processors as the "tick" part of the cycle. Now, Intel introduces their new Sandy Bridge architecture as the latest "tock", and Benchmark Reviews checks out the new Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K. This unlocked, 3.4GHz, Hyper-Threading, quad-core CPU is the top of the Sandy Bridge line, and we'll see how it performs against the best AMD processors and Intel's own as well.

Intel's first quad-core processors were merely two dual-core dies on a single chip; the CPUs had to communicate across the front-side bus. Later iterations put all four CPU cores on a single slice of silicon. In a similar fashion, Intel's Clarksdale processors had on-chip video, but it was simply a separate GPU placed on the same chip as the CPU cores— even the process used was different: 32nm for the CPU cores and 40nm for the GPU. But the Sandy Bridge CPUs make the transition to a truly integrated product, with all four CPU cores and a GPU core on the same silicon. There's even a shared Level 3 cache that's used by both the CPU and GPU cores.


The integrated graphics core is the Intel HD Graphics 3000core, and Intel promises about twice the performance of the graphics core in the Clarksdale-architecture Core i5-661 processor. Like the CPU cores, the GPU core uses Intel's Turbo Boost technology to increase its power draw and performance when thermal and power headroom permit. Since the Cougar Point motherboards I had available for this test were all based on the P67 Express chipset, which doesn't support the integrated graphics of the Sandy Bridge processors, I wasn't able to test the graphics features of this CPU.

Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Product Name: Desktop Processor Core i7-2600K
Model Number: BX80623I72600K
Price As Tested: $329.99 (NewEgg)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Intel Corporation.



# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-02 22:46
Ohhhhh I am SOOOO glad Intel decided to lock the clock on its lower end CPUs. I love it. I love it because now AMD will allow OCing on it's lower end, upcoming new CPUs, and with any luck, they will compete with the Sandy-Bridge locked up CPUs, and be cheaper. So where will the enthusiast crowd go? AMD of course! And if OCing wasn't cutting into Intel's pocket by allowing people to buy lower and get like performance, then why did they lock the clocks of the Sandy Bridge?

Of course y entire argument relies on AMD finally getting up enough tech power to challenge Intel in the higher end market--something it hasn't done wince 2004.

Ok, ok, it's really easy to break my argument down: If Intel locks us out of OCing, and AMD does not and can come even close to Intel performance, it's a no brainer--AMD will win the day.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-03 09:38
Well, I do mention AMD's advantage in this are in the "Final Thoughts" section. But remember that people who build and overclock their own systems are a minuscule fraction of the market; I suspect if every single overclocked defaulted to AMD, it wouldn't be more than a rounding error in Intel's bottom line.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-03 13:46
That's why I brought up the point "Why would Intel prevent OCing if it weren't hitting their bottom line?" That's the key premise in my argument that must be true in order for the argument to be valid. I have the sense that Intel is mis-marketing here in that they are assuming that if Ocers can't OC then they will buy the top of the line CPU. I think that live of reasoning is wrong-minded because what spawned OCing was the inability to pay for power, while still wanting it. In other words, Intel's cpu power just became to expensive for anyone needing to OC, me included.

So, there's only one option for us: Buy Intel CPUs and give up OCing, or buy AMD cpus and continue OCing. And this is where my second key premise comes in, that AMD will need to bring a lot faster cpu to market than it has today, since even the stock 950 beats it handily. In other words, if I had to buy a processor, and it was a choice between an OC-able AMD that was always going to be slower than a stock, locked Intel, I'd choose the stock, locked Intel.

So the argument, when broken down looks like this:

AMD OCed if and only if Intel is locked and AMD can provide near equal speed by OCing for a fraction of the cost (e.g., The Intel 920 did this).

This all is a factor of Intel being able to beat AMD to a point that they can, again, start dictating the market. For instance, if AMD came out with an OC-able CPU that could nearly match the new 2600 Intel, but only cost 1/3 the price, then OCers would buy that CPU and OCers would have nothing to do with Intel. Again, this harks back to the key point that the only reason I can see Intel doing this is that OCing does cut into their bottom line enough to try and force the sale of the more expensive CPU. If that is a true premise, then again, if AMD can rise to the occasion (like the 920 did), Intel will get smoked out of that market share.

Intel has no high-end Desktop competition today. That's why we're seeing this.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUdelgue 2011-01-05 20:55
Step back and take a breath !

The fastest OC'g AMD chips top out at ~ 4.0, Phenom 4 or 6

Intel can do near 4.5 on their stock cooler

The Intel SB chips are cheaper.

And last but not, their chips are just plane faster clock for clock and just another 25%
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-05 21:00
Sure, but the point is that with Sandy Bridge, most of that 32nm overclocking goodness only comes with a K-series proc, and _none_ of it is available unless you have a P67 chipset. So unless you buy the absolute top-end parts, Sandy Bridge overclocking is an oxymoron, like "jumbo shrimp".
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# The reason.CompSciGuy 2011-08-19 17:17
The reason it is locked is not by the choice of Intel. What happens is after the chips are made they are tested. Slight flaws in the chip determine what speed the chip is capable of achieving. These flaws are caused by minor impurities in the Silicon used to make the chips, something Intel can't control

Chips are then set to their maximum stable settings, some(ones with less impurities) can be used for over clocking and are sold with an unlocked multiplier.

There is quite a bit more left to how this works, but basically chips with locked multipliers are locked for a reason, not due to companies trying to make more money.
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# RE: The reason.David Ramsey 2011-08-19 18:30
That is not entirely true. For example, Intel now has several CPUs which they will provide utilities for that unlock additional features or speed...if you pay them more money.
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUServando Silva 2011-01-03 00:19
OMG, Intel has almost killed Overclocking as we practiced it before. I can barely recognize it now thanks to this model. As if that wasn't enough, there's no need for a super heatsink-cooler to achieve great clocks now.
Nice article!
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPURobert17 2011-01-03 06:39
Nice job David. It seems there will be another "tick/tock", as in Fusion vs. Sandy Bridge. Each manufacturer tocking and ticking each others' latest technologies.

Looks like a separate spread sheet will be needed when all the mobo players get their version of 1155 spec'd out and sorted to the various processors. And yet another for the on-board GPU cycles vs. discrete graphics.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

Happy New Year !
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-03 14:12
One other thought. It would seem that CPU speed is becoming so fast that there isn't much more to wring out of a CPU that is noticeable speed wise. When we start measuring task in fractions of a second, speed increases of 500% start to mean very little. The exception is long ranging tasks, such as encoding, that add up at the end of the month, or year, and more speed is necessary (although, again, this is a matter of degree). If you are a company and can save substantial human resources per year by upgrading to the latest cpu, then it's worth it. If you only save marginal hours per year, then it's not--even though you can get a 500% increase in speed. (500% of a nano-second isn't going to add up to much.)

So here we are, at a place, or nearly a place, where we can buy a 300USD CPU and have it be so fast that unless we are doing very specific tasks, and lots of them, we will not see or enjoy more speed from the CPU, and except for a hobby and fun, have no need to OC for practical reasons.

We've had this discussion before: Things are getting so fast and so small, that they are becoming mainstream and uninteresting. It's only a matter of time before you can buy an entire system as fast as any top of the line OCed desktop, and have it fit into your hand.

I'm all for it. Saves me space and time.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-03 14:25
You and I are on the same page here, Doug. I make the point about modern CPUs being "fast enough" in some of my AMD reviews. That's why Intel's aiming the Sandy Bridge procs at some of the few tasks that still benefit noticeably from performance improvements: media transcoding.
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# You guys are funnyAmused 2011-01-04 07:33
one the hand, Doug complains that Intel has locked overclocking capabilities and therefore, it's better to choose AMD because their cheaper CPU's will be overclockable.

Then in the next sentence, you state that processors have gotten so fast that it doesn't make a difference.

So which one is it?

AMD guys will do anything they can to justify the fact that AMD will always be 2nd best to Intel, and there are only 2 companies in competition. LOL

Gotta love the AMD guys for supporting their sub-par performance for the past 6 years.
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# RE: You guys are funnyDavid Ramsey 2011-01-04 07:51
It depends on what you're looking for. If ultimate performance is your goal, go Intel: you'll pay more, but your CPU benchmarks will be higher and your video transcodes faster. If you're more interested in gaming, you'd do better to put the extra money you'd spend on an Intel processor into a better video card, since that makes more difference.

If you consider real-world performance and saving money more important that bragging about your scores in AIDA64 or CINEBENCH, an AMD hex-core processor might be your best bet.

Now, personally, I'm one of those people who must have the fastest, even if it makes no difference. So my personal machine is an overclocked 980X with 12G of memory, a 256G SSD main drive, and two spanking new GTX580 cards. But you know what? When I drag out my overclocked 1090T AMD system with Radeon 5770s, I never notice any difference in gameplay at 1920x1200 in games like Crysis, Metro 2033, and Bad Company 2. So what did all that extra money for the 980X system really buy me?
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# EnthusiastDesmond Uhland 2011-01-04 12:55
Kudos for admitting that your beast gaming system plays games with the same framerates of a system more economically friendly. I personally wait for reviews and shake my head at the problems with the new sockets upon release, then scarf up on the discounted 2 year old platform with a shiny new GPU with the money I saved. It is the guys selling their "old" parts for the latest and greatest that make gaming affordable for thrifty gamers. 2600k looks affordable on the P65 platform however the Intel 6 core X68 will the one to invest in, in 2012 IMO.
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# RE: EnthusiastDavid Ramsey 2011-01-04 14:07
Um, no...the "beast" system returns much better frame rates. But once your system can maintain 30fps or better in all parts of the game, anything else is pretty much wasted. You can't see the difference between 50 frames per second and 100 frames per second (anything beyond 60 can't be displayed by most monitors, anyway, since they only refresh 60fps).

The point is that unless you're the kind of person who brags about their car's 1/4 mile times (utterly irrelevant to real-world driving), you should plan where to spend your performance dollars.
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# fpsMike Dawson 2011-01-14 06:30
If we were all still using CRT Monitors we could tell the difference all the way up to the monitor's refresh rate cap. My old CRT before I switched to LCD's went up to 120hz, and I'd bet my computer that I could tell the difference between 85hz and 120hz.
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# RE: fpsDavid Ramsey 2011-01-14 08:46
Are you sure you had a video card that could generate a refresh rate faster than 60Hz? I think that was fairly rare until recently...
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# MrEd Wood 2011-02-13 03:37
You're kidding right? GPU's have been able to generate a refresh rates over 100 for over a decade...odd mistake to make.
For example the old Voodoo2

Max 640*480 refresh = 120 Hz
Max 800*600 refresh = 120 Hz
Max 1024*768 refresh = 85 Hz
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# RE: MrDavid Ramsey 2011-02-13 08:30
You're correct, my bad.
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# ermLies 2011-02-24 05:57
Except for the fact that he`s either lying or his 980 just isn`t anywhere near as good as my 2600k is at stock clocks,because i noticed a hell of an increase in gaming.Especially in cpu intensive stuff like gta4 and Arma 2,plus ofc flight sims.The biggest surprise though was crysis, which i didn`t expect to benefit from the new cpu but it really does show an improvement.I now have overclocked the 2600k to 4.8ghz and the performance increase is even more noticable in gta 4, which is now maxed in everything and running an average of approx 80fps at 1920x1080.Haven`t played too many games yet though as i`m doing a lot of 1080p encoding atm.And for that use this cpu is truly amazing.16 to 18 hours transcoding a bluray on your quad 6600?This does it in approx 2 hours!
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# RE: RE: You guys are funnyDoug 2011-01-04 13:59
Yep. I'm probably about done upgrading for those reasons. My last rig was an AMD 4800 and the reason I replaced it is that there were some games I couldn't play. But as far as my work applications, it wasn't really much slower than the 920. On paper, yeah, the 920 smoked it, but when watching the hourglass in Windows 7 while working, not really.
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# RE: RE: You guys are funnyAngus Mcoteup 2011-01-13 17:57
Noticed you don`t mention GTA4 or any of the Arma games or flight sims that i play? :P
I`m currently cpu limited with my Q9650 at 4.1ghz and a GTX 580 and this is why i`ve just ordered the i7 2600k along with 8gb of ram and an asus P8P67 deluxe.Money well spent imo seeing as this lot cost much less than your cpu alone and will definitely improve MY gaming along with the encoding i do.
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# RE: You guys are funnyDoug 2011-01-04 13:37
It's not my fault you can't follow an argument. This is a key premise that you must have missed:

"And this is where my second key premise comes in, that AMD will need to bring a lot faster cpu to market than it has today, since even the stock 950 beats it handily.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 15:34
Yes the speeds have pretty much reached a peak until beeter CPU shielding tech comes about, way to much EMI interferance as well as a host of other current calamities. To offset this delima, Enter Direct X11 Codec. There will be a day very soon when everyone will be able to have full interactivity in a virtual reality sense of computing. This tech does currently exist, but out of our reach price wise for most.

If you research into current advancements and and productural timelines, you should begin to see consumer based entry level systems within the next 5-10 years. Intel Knows this, as well as AMD, NVidia/ATI..

One only has to view some the time lines and review current tech reviews and product spec's to see it begin to unfold very quickly. You can blame SSD's, they are what bandwidth is needed to make the all happen, Hard drives were always the bottleneck, you can blow the doors off a better processor and slow drive system with a slower processor and the fastest drive system. Especially if if that drive system can handle multiple reads and writes per clock cycle.
Oh the expense of it all, I could have probably bout an Island in the Bahama's for the money I've spent over the years on PC's
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 15:37
Sorry about the typos etc., my eyes are'nt what they used to be as well as the messed up ol fingers
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# BS sifterSadButTrue 2011-01-04 12:49
Good discussion. On another site an i7-600K was overclocked to 5. Ghz on air just using multipliers, so that's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. The real issue is that Intel is now offering the potential for i7-980x range of performance at close to the price of an i7-950. And the '950 was already a better chip for OC than anything AMD offered.

What the fanboys from Team Orange never want to admit is that when you overclock you pay quite a bit for a beefier power supply, a 3rd party cooler, and a bigger case with more fans to fit the cooler into. Those are not insignificant expenses and can easily exceed $200. So when I see someone trying to compare their OC'd-to-the-max 1090T to an i7-920 running stock I just laugh. Are they really that desperate?

Sandy Bridge is going to be a game changer for sure, and I doubt if Bulldozer will even be enough to catch up to the edge Intel holds just with their current 1156 and 1366 products.
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# 32-4=28GB ramdisks anybody?Paul A. Mitchell 2011-01-05 09:25
I'd like to try a 32-bit version of Windows 7
with RamDisk Plus version 11:

We already have a 16 GB XP/Pro workstation working
well with a 10 GB ramdisk using an earlier version
of that software:

32 GB total - 4 GB for 32-bit OS = 28 GB for a storage partition!

I think AMD could "leap ahead" by enhancing their
integrated memory controllers to support quad-channel mode.

(I suggested this to them, many weeks ago, but
received no acknowledgment.)

If Intel's Sandy Bridge will only get "shrunk"
at the next "tick-tock" iteration, Sandy Bridge
is "stuck" with dual-channel mode.

AMD, are you reading this?

/s/ Paul A. Mitchell
Systems Development Consultant
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# Just saying..yes Paul but 2011-01-06 02:43
If people can afford to buy 32GB of ram, they probably wont skimp out on the processor, I don't see how quad channel memory controllers would make AMD processors any more attractive to their target market (low end). Socket 2011 is said to come with Quad a channel controller.
Just Saying.
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# RE: Just saying..Dan BArden 2011-01-13 16:59
AMD has yet for over two decades resolved their FPU issues,(Floating Point Unit). For about a decade or so has yet to resolve their Memmory controller issues, Cant support the fastest ram in all 4 dimm sockets, so the size and speed of your memmory on an AMD platform is limited. In my 28 years of computing experience Intel has always benched way better clock for clock, Intel very rarely returns computation errors yet every AMD processor I have used in all those years consistantly and almost always returns computation errors. Hince is why the DOE, (Department of Energy) uses 10,000 Intel processors in parrallel to computer big problems, hey if AMD was better and way cheaper you'd bet the feds would use them instead, but they are more concerned with shear CPU/FPU accuracy, considering they maintain our US nuke stock pile, albiet I can see why they went with Intel. Just think if they went with AMD we wouldn't be here to write this crap.
And to think AMD now own ATI, which for years I loved, but crippled those video cards too, thats why NVidia is way better, double precision FPU, parrallel processing etc....Not to mention NVidia eqquips their cards with (PPU), Physics Processing Unit, and a GPU, (Graphics Processing Unit)...Which has not only been the fastest Gamming cards always, but performed Direct Processing for quite some time, which is why BIONIC, folding at home etc., use them for Physics as well as high speed calculations....

I could go on and on, but my point is you get what you pay for period..
If you want the best of the best stay with Intel and NVidia all the way and you will have the fastest, most accurate, stable and reliable computing platform period. Very few BSOD's and computation errors.

Peace out people

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# "computing errors"Mike Dawson 2011-01-14 06:36
If either brand of processor is subjected to variables out of spec, they will "return errors."

Variables being temperature, voltage, clock speed, etc.

If run properly, they will both return correct results (unless that piece of silicon is actually faulty, which would get detected before sold)

If I remember correctly, the only processor that ever actually computed numbers incorrectly was an old pentium version that had a division error.
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# RE: "computing errors"Doug 2011-01-14 14:10
Yeah it was the P60 first version. My engineer friend had one and found that out after running geophysical models for an oil company. Bad situation.
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# RE: RE: "computing errors"Dan BArden 2011-01-14 16:07
How many hundreds of million dollars did they loose on the drilling fiasco. That was not a good time for Intel. Dut I'm finding the same relivant situation with the AMD's. I run spec systems with only manufacture certified copatable hardware. NO over clocking, no overheat issues, just balls to the walls , full tilt heavy use for months on end without letup, except for the occasional power outage. The lastest generation AMD's cannot handle it, I've spent time and money to try everything. It's sad, But my 7 year old Intel systems are doing the same without a failure at all, they are now slow as piss, but they still run...
This is the major point I am trying to get across....
For me, this has been my experience, run for a month or so and the AMD's return Divide by Zero and compute errors, BSOD's or a host of other issues.
Durability under other than normal working conditions, you'd be wise to Invest into Intel/NVidia...Think about what I said, over seven years, no errors, nothing, they just keep on running at 100%. That in of itself speaks volumes to me about product quality. I spent a thousand dollars a piece for those Pentium 4 Extreme processors and believe me when I tell you that I have gotten more than my monies worth from them. I cant think of anything else you can buy that will run that long at full throttle non-stop with out a meltdown well before 7 years..It's amazing, It's called Intel, It's what should be inside everyones box.
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# Just a quick rantJohn 2011-01-06 11:56
I am a PC Gamer! I enjoy upgrading my computer as a hobby. My last system I went with Intel due to the fact they were faster than AMD. I am sorry I went that route. I have been unable to change processors they way I was able to with AMD. I feel Intel does not care about the enthusiast, only about the money. Let?s face it another new socket means new MOBO?s, memory, in other words a whole new system. I will go back to AMD on my next build only due to the fact that their track record shows loyalty to the ?do it yourself enthusiast? by limiting the need for a whole system replacement.
What a shame Intel could not take that one little lesson from what they copied from AMD. I would have gladly purchased one of these new processors if it would have fit my MOBO. This year?s upgrade will put into AMD hardware to go with the 5870 upgrade from 2010.
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# RE: Just a quick rantDoug 2011-01-06 14:17
You know this is a good point and also the point someone above made that the new Itel CPUs do not support *nix systems. I've always felt the same way about AMD vs Intel in that AMD seemed more aligned with "the other side" that of the consumer interest, open source (*nix suppor), and now the OCing incident etc. That might be bias on my part, and I offer no evidence except the above two points on the AM2 platform and *nix support with all AMD cpus.

The next time I upgrade, I may well buy AMD for those reasons, if they can get close to Intel CPU speeds. It would be nice to only have to pop in another CPU and you're done, rather than replacing your RAM, MB, and cpu.
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# RE: RE: Just a quick rantDavid Ramsey 2011-01-08 17:18
Where did anyone get the idea that Sandy Bridge CPUs "do not support *nix systems"? Just for the heck of it, I dragged the ASUS P8P67/Intel 2600K test setup back out and installed OpenSUSE 11.3. Works fine. In fact I'm typing this reply on Firefox from OpenSUSE on that system.

Pretty damn perky Linux system actually.
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# RE: RE: RE: Just a quick rantDoug 2011-01-08 20:31
Someone above mentioned it and I wrongly accepted their information. And when you think about it, that would be a stupid move on Intel's part given the vast majority of server systems run on some sort of *nix around the world.
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# RE: RE: RE: Just a quick rantCharles Hall 2011-01-17 14:23
I just built up an ASUS P8P67 Pro with a Core i5 2500. The GbE interface doesn't work -- the network configuration tool says the kernel module wasn't found. I haven't yet found a Linux driver for this. Did you have network problems?

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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Just a quick rantDavid Ramsey 2011-01-17 14:28
No...I just installed standard OpenSUSE 11.3 and the GbE interface worked perfectly.
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# Who knows?CompSciGuy 2011-08-19 17:31
Half of the crap I am reading here is wrong in so many ways.

I am a Comp Sci major and have had to research and study such things as Computer Hardware Architecture, Operating systems etc. I constantly build computers to study them, old to new. I have both AMD and Intel computers, I have a closet full of parts I play with all the time, build computers, run software to check performance etc. take it back apart.

The idea that a CPU would not support an Operating system is plain ridiculous that is absolutely not possible. And there are scientific reasons Intel changes their pin patterns not just to create a new line of cpu's to sell. And Currently AMD cpu speeds not clock speeds but actual measured performance speed of calculations etc. are still pretty far behind Intels chips.

I am tempted to sit here and reply to all of these with facts, but really do not have the time, not sure what I was researching when I found this site.
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-13 17:18
Yes, sometimes to properly implement other advances in MB, RAM and Chipset designs, require a complete overhual to achieve a desired result.
See my earlier Blog, 28 years of computing experience with both platforms and AMD has yet to live up to its promise to Knock Intel to the wayside.
AMD produces nothing but compute errors, and BSOD's even at stock clocks, which is why none of their motherboards support ECC RAM, why would you spend money to verify compute errors. 1+1=2 not 3 or 4 or 5. Thats why my main rig is Intel, and the AMD is just a file server. I dont like mistakes, And when I do game, I like the fact that my main rig based on Intel/Nvidia smoke the hell out of anything AMD/ATI has ever had to offer. Dont believe me, just look at the history of 3Dmark, SYSMark etc. and see the truth for yourself..

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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-13 17:27
Dan, I find your assertions that AMD CPUs all routinely produce compute errors to be rather strange. I've never heard this before (in my 33 years of computing experience), whereas Intel processor have had documented computational bugs...Google "Pentium FDIV bug", for example.

I run both Intel and AMD rigs, and neither seems to have a stability advantage over the other.

You claim that AMD has "yet to live up to its promise to knock Intel to the wayside." I don't recall AMD ever "promising" such a thing, outside of the usual advertising hyperbole both companies engage in, but when the original Athlon 64 X2 processors came out in late 2003, they decisively smoked everything Intel had at the time, and remained on top of the performance heap for at least a year.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 00:18
Yeah, you been around, since 8086/8088 days, in those days I worked on 800MHz processors that were liquid cooled, and hell no they werent AMD processors. AMD has always been 2 FAB processes behind Intel, were is there 32nm process, nope AMD hasnt realesed those yet, but intel has and for quite some time, theyre already prototyping the 22nm process, yet AMD hasnt, they cant afford it right now....Sad but true.....Every piece of hardware that has achieved advances in tech has been intially spured on by advances in Intel processors period, Intel has always brung the newest advances to market first, period....As a matter of fact every version of Windows has been coded around the lastest generations of Intel processors and chipset etc....
AMD cannot compute high end math and physics very well, period...These arent assertions, theyre plain fact... And believe me if I could I would tell you why, but I am not at liberty to tell you why....
I would love for AMD to be a better processor, but they arent, otherwise I would buy them...
So I'm stuck spending more money to get real world accuracy....
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 00:46
I enjoyed your Article David and found it very complete and accurate..But quite honestly, AMD needs to stop trying to fool people, they need to just say hey, we cant add and we cant make more than 2 memmory modules work any faster than 1333Mhz, all the motherboards that support AMD CPU's would cost less, if the MB Mfg.'s wouldn't have two put 2 worthless extra ones on there...And heck, if AMD would get off their high horse and allow the use of both types of Video card use in SLI/Crossfire like Intel does, then maybe they could sell more CPU's etc...Personally I think NVidia is the way to go, as with the Intel name brand, one only has to look at all the different MB offerings that support Intel/AMD to see that Intel based systems offer you so much more than a plain ol' gamming rig...AMD has to spread it wings a bit IMO
But I really value your honest opinion and killer benchmark reviews, the are some of the most thorough and accurated and unbiased I have seen to date, in my entire experience with computing, way to go and thank you.

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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-14 08:48
I still think you're unnecessarily harsh on AMD processors, but thanks for the compliment! I do try to keep my biases out of the articles as much as possible. My biggest complaint against Intel now is that the only way to get a decent number of PCIe lanes is to either buy an X58 system, or a very expensive P55/P67 motherboard with an NF200 chip.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-14 01:44
AMD smoked the Shiznit out of Intel in 2003-2004 with the x64 dual core series CPUs with on die memory controllers--first before Intel.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 03:02
Yeah, your right 7 to 8 years later and half a dozen die releases later they still can't get DDR3 to run at 2133MHZ or higher on all four or six memmory sockets like Intel can. Yeah you told me, alright by goly, yes sir, used weely did, ya bets ya........

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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-14 03:21
The point is that you were wrong about that. Once you make a silly comment like that, the rest of your post becomes suspect too.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDavid Ramsey 2011-01-14 07:51
Who cares if AMD can't get memory to run at 2133MHz? One, not a fraction of a percent of users run memory that fast, and two, as you'd see if you read some of our memory reviews, running memory that fast may return nice bandwidth benchmarks, but it makes virtually no difference in application performance.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug 2011-01-14 14:03
Yep. Running memory fast is not nearly as beneficial as running it tighter. That means running memory SLOWER is really faster. And just to let you know, I'm running 3 banks with 12GB in my X58v2 MB with a 920 and it won't hit it's 1600Mhz factory speed. The best I can do is 1440 and remain tight at a 3.8 OC. Ram is OCZ Gold.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 15:03
No, when you do more than just casual gamming and web brousing etc., an AMD works just fine..But in the event you want to program, code/incode, video transcoding, serious audio decoding/encoding etc...and the list of things I do with my machine is so much more than a casual user..INtel my man, NVIDIA....
I'm talking real world heavy use, Don't tell me no half trut's and I'll tell you no lies my friend...You go ahead and believe in AMD/ATI, thats your right, I run both AMD/Intel, NVidia/ATI, IMO Intel/NVidia combo, hands down, wins period.....
I can be rather pushey by nature, as well as brash, I'm sorry if you took offense, as it wasn't intended that way..
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUCompSciGuy 2011-08-19 17:42
Actually you are DEAD WRONG about AMD motherboards not supporting ECC RAM , I have one sitting right here, it is an ASUS K8N-DRE, it is a server motherboard, and 99% of the time only server motherboards support ECC RAM, desktop motherboards do not use ECC RAM.

And your idea that Intel creates nothing but compute errors when over clocking is wrong as well, I also have an AMD computer sitting right here, it overclocks just fine. To properly overclock you have to know what you are doing, many things have to be set inside your BIOS and can't just be directly controlled by a piece of software inside the operating system.

It is depends on your motherboards BIOS, whether you can over clock, what you can over clock and to what extent. You also need to know the math to figure out what settings you should set and to what they should be set. I build computers constantly. I spend days researching motherboards, RAM, CPU's, etc. on manufacturers sites, reading white papers, manuals and other specs, before I decide on a good combination of hardware to build a system with.

It trips me out to see amateur hobbiests on sites like this passing along faulty information based on their weekend trials and errors with computers.
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# Systems Development ConsultantPaul A. Mitchell 2011-01-14 07:27
> Every piece of hardware that has achieved advances in tech has been initially spured on by advances in Intel processors period

... like integrated memory controllers?

... like native 64-bit logic backwards compatible
with 32-bit instructions?

How quickly we forget!

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# RE: Systems Development ConsultantDan BArden 2011-01-14 14:30
Exactly, what I've been saying..
If you want an entry level low tech way to game AMD is what I run.
But I'm 48, and I like to play with movies and editing and audio as well as gamming, and when everything is idle it defaults to [email protected], BIONIC projects etc. My main entertainment system PC does it all so very very well and so much more reliable. 2600k, Dual SLI GTX 580's...
Those AMD's are religated to file servers, and print servers etc., as well as some of those BIONIC chores etc during their idle time. But they fail misserably at that chore. Oh by the way every single one of those have crossfire going on, so they were'nt exactly cheap eigther...
more to follow:
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# RE: RE: Systems Development ConsultantDan BArden 2011-01-14 14:39
I havent gotten a Astropulse work unit yet to see what happens or maybe I missed it as that new Sandybrige is ripping through everything else so fast it is almost a blur to watch run. My take right now is where the hell am I gonna come up with the money to get more of those new intels and GTX580's. I'll have to take a second on the home i guess, now off to conn the wife...Wish me Luck, I'll need it...
I'm still Configuring and tweaking the new hardware and software, but initial impression, hell yeah and allright Intel....
Real world computing and serious damn gamming for men with bigger toys..
You get what you pay for, Enterprise quality, speed, perfomance and accuracy, Thank you Intel, and a special thanks to NVida on the SLI GTX 580's..BOOM, BOOM, A, ZOOM, ZOOM!!!!!
more to follow:
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDan BArden 2011-01-14 14:47
THank you OCZ for the SSD's and a special hug to MIcrosoft for Windows7 64bit, hey Microsoft when you gonna come out with a 128bit operating system, I'd like to Beta test for ya...
One thing I will conclude with is faster RAM, means faster, everything..Running SSD's do better with the fastest board memmory, everything completes so, so, much faster, This machine is a monster, my god, AMD you'd better take note, because the dust you see was left by Intel..

Me happy now, and high David
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# @Dan BartonDoug 2011-01-14 17:21
I think you have the wrong thread Dan. Try these:

Intel Community Forum:

nVidia Community Forum:

Other than that, why is it that I can find no information on processor errors when googling AMD for that information? If you have evidence that AMD is producing faulty CPUs please do post it.
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# I object to censorship at this websitePaul A. Mitchell 2011-01-14 18:17
unproven claims about computational errors in AMD CPUS are OK,
but proven claims about defects in Intel's push-pins are NOT OK??
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# RE: I object to censorship at this websiteDan BArden 2011-01-14 23:30
Doug and Paul, prove it for yourself then, grab your favorite rig, Load it up with BIONIC, pick some different @Home projects that suit your flavor of ATI Crossfire/NVida SLI etc.....Run a whole lotta different projects so as to keep you system at about 100% bandwidth/truput. You know, all cores and GPU's running all the time and constantly. See if your system can stay running for a whole 24 hour period without crashing, better yet a whole week would make a better shake down cruis.
Surely this will prove your systems overall integrity, not to mention possible problems will usually occur during this burn in run. Really, you should try this out, I learned alot of things about the whole system in general, as I prepare PC's extreme heavy load computational environments, that's all I am trying to convey here..
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# RE: RE: I object to censorship at this websiteDan BArden 2011-01-14 23:41
In conclusion and finally, a quick bench mark run, is just that, a quick self test and fact finding endevour, nothing more. David was honest and very accurate, unbiased and complete...My input is that you can't always judge one platform over the other based on intial bench test results. You should follow up with at least a 72 hour burn in run to qualify and quantify any initial bench mark results, that's all.
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# RE: RE: RE: I object to censorship at this websiteDoug 2011-01-14 23:54
You should consider that software can cause divide by zero errors and is probably the reason you are seeing errors. Like I said, show us the evidence, or in scientific terms, it's called "non repeatable" and thus spurious. I'm not interested in your nonscientific, subjective experiences running specific software--w/o the ability to hardware test a bank of AMD CPUs and show us how they are throwing "divide by zero" errors. If you could show that, your name would be all over the world for exposing the biggest cover up in the history of computing. It's the software your using. Test it using Prime95, which is proven to be error free. I bet you won't get any errors running Prime95. And if you do, well, sucks for you because there are plenty of people running Prime95 24-7 on AMD rigs without errors. Unless you can provide hard scientific evidence of your accusations, your proverbial goose is cooked. This is ridiculous.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: I object to censorship at this websiteDan BArden 2011-01-15 02:48
Yep they failed with that prime95 thing too, Not just AMD's but some of my Intels too! But more over AMD's more frequently. If you read all my other post, you'd understand that. Thermal issues I suspect with dies. Nothing is perfect, all I'm saying is I personally get better luck with INtel/NVidia setups. And hey Doug I've been down the road of software/hardware combinations. Yes I like to cross check everything too with a mirade of combinations. Just so you know I work with all sorts of computers at work, not just Intel and AMD, I work with several type of robotics for automation purposes also. You need to chill dude, relax, your getting too personal. My life experience, how about working with and responsible for the operation of over 10 billion dollars of sofisticated military computing hardware, not at liberty to discuss specifics. So, if you never have or do currently work with that kinda resposibility, and when you can afford to have a hundred thousand dollars worth of computers running in a rack at your house in the garage, come talk to me again small time man.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: I object to censorship at this websiteDoug 2011-01-15 02:57
Sounds like more blubber from the flubber. I'll state it once more and then I'm done until you provide scientific evidence that AMD is manufacturing faulty cpus in that the generate divide by zero errors, and you have my attention. Red Herrings, spurious comments, and chest thumping will not convince me of the above. But if it makes you feel good, please carry on--you'll be doing it alone.
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# Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorPeter 2011-01-19 20:10
In this review, David Ramsey wrote: "I was unable to test since the P67 Express-based motherboards I had do not support the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics".

1. What does it mean exactly for a motherboard to "support" Sandy Bridge integrated graphics?
2. Which boards currently do so?
3. Do no P67 motherboards offer this support? That would rule out the ASUS P8P67 DELUXE and the Intel DP67BG motherboard, each of which I was considering to use with the i7-2600K processor.
4. What criteria should one use to determine whether a motherboard can exploit the full capabilities of the i7-2600K processor?

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# RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorOlin Coles 2011-01-19 20:53
Only H67-Express motherboards can utilize Sandy Bridge integrated graphics, because only those motherboards have the DVI/D-SUB/HDMI output ports built-in.
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# RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorDavid Ramsey 2011-01-19 21:13
To add to Olin's reply, there is no motherboard that can "exploit the full capabilities of the i7-2600K processor".

You need a P67 motherboard to overclock the CPU, but then you can't use the integrated graphics.

An H67 motherboard supports the integrated graphics, but doesn't allow any overclocking.

Don't like that? Complain to Intel. I sure don't.
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# RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorPeter 2011-01-19 21:34
Thanks to both David Ramsey and Olin Coles for your helpful and speedy responses. To ask follow-up questions:
1. Does this really mean that if you use a P67-based motherboard with the i7-2600K processor, the graphics capabilities of the processor really go entirely unused altogether?
2. I realize it's a very powerful processor in other respects as well, but doesn't that in part defeat the purpose of getting the i7-2600K?
3. I saw a website that suggested a new Intel chipset, the Z68, would be released in the near future (2nd Quarter 2011, possibly). Does anyone know about this, and whether it would be more appropriate for the i7-2600K?

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# One more followup questionPeter 2011-01-19 21:39
1. If you use a H67 motherboard, do you then not need any video or graphics card?
2. If you use a P67 motherboard and use a video card (presumably with HDMI/DVI output ports), how much worse video performance would you experience compared to using the integrated graphics capabilities that an H67 motherboard would offer?

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# RE: One more followup questionDavid Ramsey 2011-01-19 22:18
"If you use a H67 motherboard, do you then not need any video or graphics card?"

No, you don't. Probably.

"If you use a P67 motherboard and use a video card (presumably with HDMI/DVI output ports), how much worse video performance would you experience compared to using the integrated graphics capabilities that an H67 motherboard would offer?"

I haven't tested the integrated Sandy Bridge video, but Intel states it provides roughly twice the performance of their previous generation integrated video, which was unusably slow for modern gaming. So it's a pretty safe bet that almost any separate graphics card costs more than $50 will handily outperform the Sandy Bridge integrated video.
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# RE: RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorDavid Ramsey 2011-01-19 22:15
"Does this really mean that if you use a P67-based motherboard with the i7-2600K processor, the graphics capabilities of the processor really go entirely unused altogether? "

Yes, that's what it means. It's more than just the connectors available on the board; the P67 Express chipset does not have the circuitry required to support Sandy Bridge video.

"...doesn't that in part defeat the purpose of getting the i7-2600K?"

In part, yes, although one could argue that most people buying the top-end Sandy Bridge would want better video. Of course, if you buy that argument, why should the 2600K have integrated video at all? Good question.

Any Z68 stuff is rumor at this point.
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# RE: RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorPeter 2011-01-19 23:00
David, you wrote:
"one could argue that most people buying the top-end Sandy Bridge would want better video. Of course, if you buy that argument, why should the 2600K have integrated video at all? Good question."

This is very interesting and also helpful. If a $50 video card can significantly outperform the on-board graphics capabilities of the Sandy Bridge (i7-2600K), it really does raise the question of why Intel bothered to put such a capability on the chip in the first place. Perhaps just "because they could." I suppose this is just a stepping stone to some future processor whose on-chip graphics capabilities WILL be as good or better as those on a separate video card. Maybe. In the meantime, I guess the obvious choice is to choose a P67 motherboard over a H67 motherboard, because
1. P67 motherboards can overclock and H67 motherboards can't
2. a P67 motherboard using a separate video card offers better graphics than an H67 motherboard using the on-chip integrated graphics.

Is this correct? If so, why would anyone opt for an H67 motherboard?
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# RE: RE: RE: Question about integrated graphics and the i7-2600K processorOlin Coles 2011-01-20 07:40
It depends on what you want to do with your computer. If playing 3D games is on the agenda, Sandy Bridge CPUs will only handle a light load and discrete graphics cards will do a better job. If you aren't playing intensive 3D games, then it will work just fine (on an H67 motherboard).
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# Mr.Doug 2011-01-20 13:54
It would have been a home run if the on board graphics processor could have worked in parallel with any graphics card, thereby bringing up a cheapo card to a better performance level. OR allowing the graphics processor to somehow work in addition to the CPU. Seems like just letting it sit there when not in use is a waste of resources.
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# RE: Mr.Olin Coles 2011-01-20 14:34
Patience. The settlement has just cleared the bank, and NVIDIA is already working with Intel on this very solution. Using Optimus technology, paired with Lucid Logic 'GPU Virtualization' software (yet unannounced), the Sandy Bridge CPU will be able to enable QuickSync + GPU.
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# RE: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPUDoug Dallam 2011-08-19 21:14
Locking down CPU overclocking sounds like a very nice invitation for AMD to do what it did to Intel when it released it's first x64 dual core chips. Silly Intel. Locking OCing and trying to charge for it if for kids. Looks like you need your snot noses cleaned again.
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