No matter how fast processors have become today, the quest to push them even further does not stop. No wonder there are so many overclocking contests and events all around the world, with the winners not just winning awards, but more importantly, bragging rights. Sadly, there aren't many processors released in the market, which we can call as really overclockable, and the few that are overclockable, are too expensive for most to buy.
AMD came forward and launched the first budget overclockable processors labeled Black Edition, with unlocked multipliers for overclockers to play around. Intel had their Extreme Edition processors, but at a thousand dollars, they were simply beyond most people's means.
Just before Computex 2010, we saw that Intel seemed to have taken a cue from AMD and launched their own version of unlocked processors for the mainstream segment, dubbed the K-series processors. The two processors are the socket LGA-1156 Core i5 655K (3.2 GHz, 2-cores/4-threads) and the Core i7 875K (2.93 GHz, 4-cores/8-threads). While the Core i5 655K is similar in all aspects to the Core i5 650, the Core i7 875K is similar to the Core i7 870. The difference being that the K-series processors have unlocked multiplier, allowing enthusiasts to overclock them to be able to get the last drop of juice out of these processors. We have the Intel Core i5 655K with us and are going to overclock it to as much as it allows us on air-cooling. Read on.
About the Intel Core i5 655K
The Intel Core i5 655K runs at 3.2 GHz, and has two Hyper-Threaded cores with four threads running simultaneously. This Nehalem derivative Clarkdale-based processor is manufactured using 32nm fabrication process. It has 4MB L3 cache also made using 32nm fabrication technology. The processor has a TDP of 73W.
The 655K includes an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) and a memory controller on the die. Rather than using 32nm technology, the IGP is produced at 45nm technology, to reduce cost. You can use the IGP when you mount this processor on a H55 or H57 chipset based motherboard, and the processor works as any other socket LGA-1156 processor on a P55 motherboard. The memory controller supports up to 16GB of dual channel DDR3 memory at up to 1333 MHz. Cache memory consists of 32KB L1 Data cache, 32KB Instruction cache, 256KB L2 cache per core and 4MB L3 cache shared between the two cores. There is also 4MB Intel Smart Cache. The 655K supports Intel Turbo Boost technology, which boosts the speed of one or both the cores up to 3.46GHz depending on CPU loading. Enlisted below are all the processors in the Clarkdale series, along with the 655K.
Now it is time to get to the performance.