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Intel Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K Review

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NVIDIA and Intel made a big splash with the announcement that NVIDIA's SLI technology will be fully supported by Intel's P67-based motherboards. This means that we should be able to hook up a Tri-SLI setup and get the most performance from our gaming rigs. To find out if this is true, I pulled one of the P67 boards sent for review that support a Tri-SLI configuration and hooked up a trio of GTX 580s to see where the performance curve was with the eye candy turned up. I will be using a new beta driver for the testing so the results should offer up a reasonable expectation of performance. I will run through a short list of games and benchmarks due to time constraints, but expect a full review with this setup in the near future.



  • 4x AA
  • 16x AF
  • Tesselation = Normal

3DMark Vantage

  • High Preset
  • Xtreme Preset

Metro 2033

  • Global settings Very High
  • 4xAA
  • 16xAF
  • DOF=Off

Batman: Arkham Asylum

  • Maximum in Game settings
  • 4XAA in CP
  • 16xAF in CP
  • PhysX to High

Alien vs Predator

  • Maximum in-game settings

Testing Setup: Intel Core i5/i7 Socket 1155

  • Processors: Intel Core i5 2500K, Core i7 2600K 3.8GHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
  • Memory: Mushkin 996805 Redline PC312800 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 4GB
  • Video Cards: NVIDIA GTX 580 x3
  • Power Supply: Sapphire Pure 1250W
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit




While the frame rates above do not seem all that impressive, you have to realize that the game settings are turned way up. This allows you the ability to get the best possible visual quality along with excellent frame rates. By moving to a more economical card, you can still see excellent scaling. Overclocking the CPU well above its factory Turbo Boosted 3.8GHz should pay significant performance dividends as well. As an example of the frame rate change when you lower the eye candy, the results in Batman: Arkham Asylum jumped to 329FPS at 1920x1200 and 286 at 2560x1600 - this using our standard Batman video card settings. If you have the means, the benefits are certainly there, but if your financial situation is little less robust, you can move down to a Dual-SLI setup and still see significant gains. However, testing was hampered by a glitch caused by the video driver causing serious lag in some situations. This went away with fewer than three cards.

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