Intel Core i5-3570K CPU review
Probably the best value and most well-balanced processor on the market
Intended to be the top-end Core i5 in the Ivy Bridge generation of chips, the i5 3750K is the official replacement for the 'gamer's choice' CPU, the i5 2500K, so immediately it has a lot to live up to. The clock speed, cache amount and number of cores are all the same, but a die-shrink and selection of new Ivy Bridge features bring it out a little ahead in terms of raw specs. So far, so good.
As well as a process shrink, the move to Ivy Bridge has also introduced so-called '3D' tri-gate transistors, which are more efficient and better performing in all sorts of ways: they use less power and generate less heat. Ivy Bridge chips also contain a slightly better GPU component than Sandy Bridge chips. While the technical revision could have been Intel's cue to add extra features, it instead decided to keep the specs broadly similar and make the prices competitive; the i5 3750K is the same price as the i5 2500K / 2550k.
The i5 3750k might not be much better as a CPU than its Sandy Bridge predecessors, but lower power requirements combined with better integrated graphics (courtesy of the Intel HD Graphics 4000 DX11 chip, which has 16 execution units compared to the HD Graphics 3000's 12) means that there's really nothing bad about it. At release time, the only complaints worth mentioning were that it wasn't impressive enough to justify an upgrade from the i5 2500K - and that probably doesn't affect anyone buying the processor new!
The real icing on the cake is that the i5 3750K can be overclocked a fraction more than the i5 2500K could be. We're talking a difference along the lines of 100MHz or so, but with the other advantages the chip offers, it's worth taking notice of. If you want the best balance of power and price at any level, this is the one to go for.
• Price: £179.80
• Socket: LGA1155
• Clock speed: 3.4GHz
• Cache: L3/6MB
• Process: 22nm