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Intel Sandy Bridge High C/P Combo-Core i5-2500K with GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R OC Guide


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In early January 2011, Intel announced new generation platform, LGA 1155 CPU socket.

It’s called Sandy Bridge, also named as 2nd generation Intel Core Processor.

There are three key differences with old structure. First, the CPU clock changes from 133MHz to 100MHz.

Second, under CPU non-OC mode, memory can support up to DDR3 2133.

Furthermore, Sandy Bridge CPU all built in new generation GPU.

The GPU can work with Intel H6X chipset.




This review just finished on 30 Jan. Intel announced the design error press on 31 Jan. There are many data and threads in internet.

The brief is Intel 6 series chipset in some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time,

potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives.

If you already bought, some MB brands recommended you can install at 2 P67 SATA3 ports first.

If you need more than 2 HDD/SSD/DVD-ROM devices, you need to buy the P67/H67 boards which support extra non-P67 SATA ports to avoid the installation difficulty.


Besides, for internet news, Intel new 6 series chipset will fulfill market demand by end of April.

If you consider to buy LGA 1155 platform now, you better to check all MB makers return policy carefully.

For the users who have purchased, you can swap the boards with MB makers from April.

GIGABYTE has 2 official announcements immediately. The users can swap the complete new products after new B3 stepping P67 chipset boards produced.

However, after I read 3 major brands announcements, I do suggest you to check the detail carefully.

EX: Swap for complete new products, refurbished, or repaired? Only swap boards or complete packing? Can return for cash?

The details above are the users really caring about, no matter you have bought or not.

Due to Chinese New Year holiday, many users will purchase their new computers. You can consider LGA1156 or LGA1366.

If you don’t worry about the swap, you still can go for Sandy Bridge or consider AMD platforms.

The buying suggestions are my personal opinions.

I just hope the Intel Chipset issue can be solved by good communication between MB makers, distributors and dealers.

The users can have better warranty and save some Intel products image.


Now, in the market you can see 5 CPU models, 2600K/2600、2500K/2500、2400 and 2300.

Last time, windwithme has introduced 2600K performance and OC guide.

This time, I choose the other hot selling one, the cheaper Core i5-2500K.

The product ID is Intel Core i5-2500K.

K sku is started from middle 2010 which means unlock clock version.

The clock is 3.3GHz and supports latest Turbo Boost 2.0 to achieve 3.70GHz.

It’s physical 4 Cores and doesn’t support Hyper-Threading.

It can execute 4 threads and called 4C/4T.

It’s 32nm manufacturing, the power consumption is 95W, L3 Cache is 6MB and it’s 2nd highest CPU in LGA115.



Intel always has clear distinguished.

4 Cores CPU uses copper bottom version and the bottom has some solid state thermal paste.

I would recommend you to add some more thermal paste to enhance the ability.

Left side is the back of 2500K D2 Revision.



MB is GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R. You can find the serious change from your first sight of the product outlook.

PCB, DRAM and PCI slots are all black. Also GIGABYTE uses special matte black PCB. It enhances the looking.



GIGABYTE also has lower spec one, P67A-UD3 and the PCB is original blue.

If you want black PCB, the most entry model is P67A-UD3R.

Now the UD3R price is around 5500NTD, 190USD.



Lower Left Corner

2 X PCI-E 2.0 X16 supports 2-Way CrossFireX and bandwidth is X16+X4.

3 X PCI-E X1


Realtek RTL8111E LAN Chip

Realtek ALC892 Audio Chip supports 7.1 channel and Dolby Home Theater surrounding technology.



Lower Right Corner

2 X White SATAIII provided by P67 chipset supports SATA3

4 X Black SATAII, provided by P67 chipset supports SATA2

You can use mix mode and it supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10.



Upper Right Corner

4 X DIMM DDR3 supports 1066/1333/1600/1866/2133. DDR3 supports max capacity at 32GB.

It supports XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) memory and next is 24-PIN power connector.



Upper Left Corner

UD3R is 8 phases PWM. For 32nm CPU, this design is enough.

The extra 2 phases PWM is for CPU VTT. The upper left is 8Pin power connector.




8 X USB 2.0(Black)

2 X USB 3.0(Blue)

1 X 1394

1 X RJ-45 LAN

1 X S/PDIF Coaxial/Fiber output


Edited by windwithme
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GIGABYTE heat sink is also new designed. The matte material makes the quality be better.



CPU socket sides are 8 phases CPU PWM and the same design heat sink.



System Configuration

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K






Cooler: Mega Shadow Deluxe Edition

OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit



Default Performance

CPU 100.1 X 35 => 3502.7MHz

Enable Turbo Boost, Enable C1E, Voltage drops to 1.050V. (Default is 1.220V)

DDR3 1596.4 CL8 9-8-24 1T 1.500V


Sandy Bridge CPU structure is different with previous Core i7. The clock is 100MHz.

Some P67 MB work at 99.8MHz in default mode. It’s a little bit lower than spec.


Hyper PI 32M X4 => 10m 41.660s

CPUMARK 99 => 522



Nuclearus Multi Core => 19095

Fritz Chess Benchmark => 21.28/10215



CrystalMark 2004R3 => 315229




CPU => 5.42 pts

CPU(Single Core) => 1.38 pts



Windows Experience Index - CPU 7.7



Comparing to my previous review, i7-2600K, 2 CPUs performance difference is only Hyper-Threading and 3.3/3.4GHz clock.

Hyper PI 32M, 2500K is much faster. It dues to 2600K is 4C8T, and the software needs to operate 8 Hyper PI 32M.

However, dues to support Hyper-Threading, 2600K in most benchmark software have higher score.

For single core test, 2500K, 3.3GHz, is still lose a little bit. However, 2500K default performance can run most applications already.


Temperature (Room Temp. is around 16℃)

System Idle - 17~26



CPU Full Speed - 31~40

Intel Burn Test v2.4,Stress Level Maximum


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2500K temperature is lower, even 2600K use high end cooler, because I lower the voltage and no Hyper-Threading.

Under full speed, the temperature is still under 40℃. Intel 4 Cores CPU uses 32nm manufacturing is another reason.


Power Consumption

System Idle - 65W



CPU Full Speed - 101W



Through Power Angel test, the power consumption watt is very good.

As 32nm manufacturing, Sandy Bridge 2500K with GTX 560 Ti power consumption is much lower.

Comparing to LGA 1156 platform, it’s lower than i7-870 with ATI 5830 idle/full speed at least 70~100W.


Sharing windwithme BIOS fine tune setup

Boot Screen



Main BIOS Tuning Menu, called M.I.T.



Clock Setup Page

CPU Clock/Frequency, DDR3 Multiplier



2500K in default mode setup has 37, 36, 35 and 34. Turbo Boost 2.0 technology has more detail CPU boosting mode.

Internal PLL Voltage Override is new item in F7a BIOS. It can enhance CPU stability at 5GHz.

It’s limited for D2 version Sandy Bridge CPU and you need to pull CPU voltage to very high level.



Memory Setup Page

The items have 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866 and 2133.



Advanced DDR3 Parameters Setup Page

Setup below is for DDR3 1866 CL8 10-9-24 1T



Voltage Page

Load-Line Calibration Auto/Disabled/Enabled

CPU Vcore 0.750~1.700V

QPI/Vtt Voltage 0.08~1.700V

PCH Core 0.840~1.940V

CPU PLL 1.520~2.520V

DRAM Voltage 0.900~2.600V



PC Health Status



Sandy Bridge structure doesn’t need to adjust too many BIOS items.

However, the users need to pay more to buy K sku CPU, 2500K/2600K, to wide OC range.

The other non-K sku only can OC to 105~108MHz.

LGA 1155 structure segment is more clear but more limitation for OC.

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The packing shows it supports Core i7 platform and capacity is 2 X 4GB.



The clock is DDR3 1600 and parameter is CL9 9-9-24 1.50V. Intel recommend Core I platform DDR3 voltage should be 1.650V.

However, this VENGEANCE official spec only needs 1.50V. It’s really helpful for power saving and OC voltage.

The outlook is different as normal CORSAIR design. VENGEANCE uses new heatsink. All black design makes delicate be better.



CPU 3392.2MHz DDR3 1596.4 CL8 9-8-25 1T 1.500V

ADIA64 Memory Read - 18119 MB/s

Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 20874 MB/s

MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 18956 MB/s



I tried 2 D2 version Core i5-2500K and the built-in Memory Controller quality are different.

One of them can achieve 100/2133, but the other one only can run at 100/1866.

This is very important for OC DDR3. It’s not only DRAM quality but also CPU.


CPU 4801.7MHz DDR3 1867.4 CL8 10-9-24 1T 1.600V

ADIA64 Memory Read - 21811 MB/s

Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 23934 MB/s

MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 24605 MB/s



Another advantage of Sandy Bridge platform is DRAM performance improvement.

The dual channel is much better than LGA 1156 bandwidth and even close to LGA 1366 tri-channel.

During test, VENGEANCE quality is good. I can set CL8 at DDR3 1600 and also can run DDR3 1866 CL8 by rising voltage.

Pulling from 1600 to 1866 and rising CPU clock, ADIA64/MaXXMEM bandwidth performance is increasing around 20 to 30%.


OC Performance

CPU 100 X 48 => 4801.7MHz 1.360V

Disable Turbo Boost, C1E and Internal PLL Voltage Override

DDR3 1867.4 CL9 10-8-24 1T 1.660V


Hyper PI 32M X4 => 8m 16.377s

CPUMARK 99 => 741



Nuclearus Multi Core => 26687

Fritz Chess Benchmark => 29.64/14226



CrystalMark 2004R3 => 407352




CPU => 7.55 pts

CPU(Single Core) => 1.93 pts



Windows Experience Index - CPU 7.7



Windows Experience Index is still 7.7. I hope this built-in benchmark can be more detail for performance difference.

In most software, under 2500K OC to 4.8GHz condition, the performance increases 30~40% compare to default mode.

I would like to test CPU OC under 1.4V. It can run long term and no need to pull high clock or voltage.

So, I disable Internal PLL Voltage Override here and don’t test 5GHz which is over 1.4V.


Temperature (Room Temp. is around 16℃)

System Idle - 23~33


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CPU Full Speed - 55~63

Intel Burn Test v2.4,Stress Level Maximum



Under OC condition, it increases 6~7℃ in idle mode and 23~24℃ in full speed mode. I think the result is acceptable.

If you install inside chassis, it will increase 5~8℃ more.


Power Consumption

System Idle - 85W



CPU Full Speed - 179W



The power consumption increases around 20/78W. It’s very good result as well.

Sandy Bridge power consumption is much lower than other socket platform. For power saving demand users, it’s a good choice.

Using this high performance and clock platform with GTX 560 Ti, you just need one 500W PSU.


I use MediaEspresso to compare the video converting time.

DVD File VTS_01_1.VOB, capacity is 1023MB. 2500K convert to MP4 file.


CPU default mode – 6’ 55”



CPU OC to 4.8GHz – 5’06”



Comparing default mode and OC to 4.8GHz, you can save 1’49”, around 36%.

Using P67, I cannot use latest Quick Sync Video to test the performance. I will test it with H67 platform.

However, you can refer to the CPU clock to consider the performance improvement.


3D performance is using NVIDIA latest mid-high VGA, GIGABYTE GTX560 Ti SO.

The product ID is N560SO-1GI, 1GB DDR5, and SO means Super OC.



The original default clock is OC to GPU/DDR5 1GHz/4580MHz.



3DMark Vantage => P26244




1920 X 1080 => 4939




DX11 1920 X 1200 TEST B - 52.7 fps




1920 X 1200 => 251.46/202.39/277.46/184.05 fps



Comparing to previous GTX460, NVIDIA GTX560 Ti performance is much higher.

Another reason is this model is OC version, the clock is higher than NVIDIA official GTX560 reference card. The 3D performance is much higher.


Finally, I enable the Internal PLL Voltage Override

CPU 100 X 54 => 5400MHz 1.600V


Hyper PI 32M X1 => 6m 36.818s

CPUMARK 99 => 833





1.It’s mainstream P67 product for GIGABYTE. The price is only higher than P67A-UD3.

2.New matte black PCB and new design make product be more elegant.

3.2oz PCB, All Japanese made solid caps and rich applications.

4.Rich BIOS items, wide voltage range and good CPU OC capability.

5.Built-in 2 SATAIII and 8 USB.



1. It doesn’t support NVIDIA SLI

2.CPU voltage only can display correct in own software. Some software cannot display the correct value.

3.1/31 news showed 6 series chipset has some potential issue with SATA2 devices. I hope Intel can solve this issue soon.


Performance ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Components ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Specification ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Outlook ★★★★★★★★☆☆

C/P Value ★★★★★★★★★☆




Since Sandy Bridge is 32nm, the Intel 4Cores CPU power consumption and temperature are much lower.

For OC capability, comparing to 45nm i5-760, you can find running 4.2GHz stable one easily.

Per new i5-2500K, if you have good cooler, it also can achieve 4.8~5.0GHz to run long term.

According to manufacturing improvement, you can see the big performance gap between Sandy Bridge platform and pervious.


Intel middle-high end C/P platform transfers from i5-760 with P55 MB to LGA 1155 i5-2500K with entry P67 MB. The CPU/MB price is only higher than last generation a little.

Of course, LGA 1156 still has some advantages. It’s cheaper and CPU OC range is higher.

If you have less budget or doesn’t want to buy Sandy Bridge K sku CPU, you also can consider LGA 1156.


Currently, Intel has 4 different sockets which includes old LGA 775 and extreme position LGA 1366, last mainstream LGA 1156 and new mainstream LGA 1155.

It’s very complicated for users.

I predict LGA 1155 will move to mid-low market in the future.

LGA 1155 will take over the mid-high market few months later after SATA2 BUG issue.

You can collect more price information and performance review before purchasing.

Windwithme finish this review between Chinese New Year holiday. I wish you all have good fortune in Rabbit year.

In new coming year, there are more and more high C/P value hardware.

Thanks for reading this mainstream LGA 1155 review. :)


This review is also post in my blog.WIND3C

Welcome all of you to come and comment.

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