We’ve already had a good look at the Intel Core i5 2500K processor; it’s getting a reputation as the go-to-guy if your budget won’t quite stretch to a 2600K but u still want a Sandy Bridge gamer’s chip.
Although its getting all the attention as a flag ship chip in the second generation Core i5 line-up there are a couple of other interesting family members. Not because of their overclocking ability- they don’t really don’t have much without K moniker-no it’s because they’re low-power chips. The most interesting one of these low-powered chips is the Core i5 2500T
It’s the ‘T’ part of the name that’s the important bit; it means that the chip has a TDP of just 45Watts. That may still sound like a fair old chunk of power with AMD’s Fusion E-530 running at ust 18W but it’s a remarkable 50Watts lower than the 2500K . And with a hell of a lot of extra performances too.
On the flip side, unlike the 2500K, the multipliers aren’t unlocked so there’s not a lot you can to improve on the default 2.3GHz clock speed. It’s not the only lower power member of the family there’s also the 2500S. The s series of chips have slightly higher TDP’s of 65Watts.
Usually when you see the words low power next to a CPU it tends to bring up the thoughts of enfeebled performance.
The thinking is that every high-performance component is compromised to allow the processor to carry the low power banner. Well its pleasing to say that the i5 2500T doesn’t cut many corners at all and in fact holds its own in the majority of our benchmark tests.
It’s actually only just beaten by the two Core i7 processors in a few of the Benchmark tests. Of course it helps no end that, unlike the Core i3 2100, the 2500T is a fully paid up member of the quad-core brigade with 6MB of L3 cache to back up its 2.3GHz clock speed.
Despite the lack of i7 quad’s Hyperthreading you do get turbo boost, which can push that lowly core speed as high as 3.3GHz. For a low-power chip, that’s one chunky boost.
But-and there always has to be a but- Intel has locked its multiplier on 2500T so its overclocking options on the CPU part of the core are limited . But then this is a CPU really aimed at system builders or home users looking to build a quiet yet fairly powerful system.
On the other hand there’s quite a degree of tweaking to be had on the graphics side of the core. We were able to get it up to 1.65GHz before running into problems with Just Cause 2.
That’s an impressive over clock of 400MHz on the standard maximum Turbo speed of 1.25GHz, though it’s still no 3D gaming GPU.
Pricing details of the 2500T is a bit sketchy at the moment but even if it does come out around $251 mark, another $83 on top of the i3 2100, then its still another nail in the coffin of that low-performing i3.
It’s also an impressive gaming chip too. With performances only a smidge short of the top-end Sandy Bridge i7 2600K. Low-powered and a decent gamer’s chip. You could be saving the world in-game and out.
Its clear from the benchmarks below that the Core i5 cannot compete with the fully Hyperthreaded goodness of the 2600K in processing terms. The weaker GPU component lags significantly behind and the extra threads push the i7 ahead. In games with a discrete GPU though there are little differences between them.
- Quad-core layout
- 2.3GHz operating frequency
- 3.3GHz Turbo
- LGA 1155 sockets
- 4 Cores
- 4 Threads
- 1,333MHz DDR3, 1,066MHz DDR2
- 6MB Cache memory
- 45W Max TDP