Currently The Best Bang For Your Buck
Best Bang for the Buck<br>Fast<br>Not too expensive<br>Overclocks very easily
Might require a new motherboard/memory
The Bottom Line:
Great speed, keeps cool on air, overclocks very easily - best bang for the buck if you are a gamer or average user!
Intel's i5 2500k is Currently The Gamer's Choice
I'm a hardcore PC gamer. There, I admitted it. When I was upgrading my gaming rig a few months ago I did some extensive research on what was currently the best CPU for the price. That CPU was the i5 2500k.
Coupled with a p67 or z68 motherboard, this i5 2500k 3.3Ghz CPU is easily overclocked to well over 4.0Ghz on air alone (as opposed to water cooling). When I say easily, I mean it. All you need to do is make one simple multiplier change in the BIOS and you're done. Even the most basic of amateur users could accomplish this OC with no hassles.
The whole point of buying the unlocked CPU is to have the abililty to overclock. If you don't plan on doing so, save your money and go with the stock 2500!
Some people may say that you should go for the i6 or i7 unlocked CPU's, but for the purposes of this review I'm going to say the i5 2500k is the best bang for your buck. If you are looking to do basic computing and get your game on with the latest and greatest, the i5 will suit you perfectly. If, on the other hand, you plan to do any heavy graphic design or video editing, I would recommend jumping for the i7.
Heat, Reliability & Performance
This CPU comes with a very good heatsink and thermal paste stripe. As mentioned before, I have everything stock and have not seen my CPU go above 65 degrees under load. An extra heatsink won't be necessary unless you are going to watercool or want something with a bit more fashion sense.
I have been running the latest games (Battlefield 3 Beta, Rage, Batman Arkham Asylum, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Etc.) at breakneck speeds coupled with a good graphics card. No worries of bottlenecking here. This upgrade gave my PC a user experience rating of 7.7.
If you know anything about upgrading or building a computer, you know it's rare that you'll be upgrading just the CPU alone. Just a thought to keep in mind as you work with your budget (memory, new mobo, etc.).
I love this CPU. It's a great upgrade that will stay relevant for the next several years. Anything over 3.0Ghz is good at this point, and this CPU can accomplish well over 4.0Ghz with a simple overclock.