Around last July (2010), Intel publicly announced a revision of their i5 processors, mostly from Stepping code C2 to Stepping code K0. As I understand it, this revision is a fairly substantial one. I'm now trying to buy an i5 processor from any one of a number of UK online retailers that stock them but am only being offered the old C2 version. In most cases, you can't even tell which version it is from the retailer's website advert, let alone expect the retailer to understand the difference.
Does anyone know why it is that the K0 version is seemingly totally unavailable in the UK? Or is this a case of inevitable delays, or possibly Intel waiting to see that UK stocks of the C2 version are all virtually exhausted before they'll start supplying K0?
Does anyone actually know the operational difference between a C2 and a K0? Is K0 intrinsically more stable, or can it perform to greater processing speed?
Am I being overconcerned about this Stepping designation? The impression I'm getting is that if I buy a C2 rather than a K0, I'll in effect be getting an old version with plenty of bugs.
My favoured processor is the i5-650 3.2GHz LGA1156 Clarkdale and I'm holding off buying it until I can get some reassurances on this. I'm not an overclocker, incidentally..
The K0 seems to be tray only for now: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43546
You can find teh differences between them here:http://download.intel.com/design/processor/specupdt/322911.pdf
You don't have to really worry about it though. Usually they have corrected somoe erratas, or has better temps or slightly more stable etc, but this will really only affect certain specific situations. As with the Q6600 where teh G0 stepping was a much better overclocker. But for "normal" use it is nigh on impossible that you would see a difference. Unless there was a well known issue that was fixed.
From the link you gave me and from other material I've now uncovered, the K0 revision entailed Intel using a new and different type of silicon. So, it was quite a considerable change and no doubt resulted in one or two performance improvements here and there, but also maybe one or two negative issues. More than anything, though, it appears that the biggest operational change was in the operating system's ability to more easily read the identity of the chip - or at least, that's my interpretation.
But, like you say, I probably don't need to be too concerned about it, as overall performance is hopefully little different from the C2 revision.
Bump. Did you find out any more on differences between C2 and K0 ? Do you know if the K0 will keep all the same technologies like *Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) and *Intel® Trusted Execution Technology. I am also looking to purchase an i5-650 soon but paused when i heard about the stepping. All i can tell is that K0 will mean these differences:
- New S-spec and MM numbers
- A new Extended CPUID (0x00020655)
- A new Host RevID (0x18)
- Added Processor Context ID (PCID) support
Also what motherboard will you be using?
All I've discovered is those same four headed-up differences that you've listed. For most mortals like myself, I don't think these changes will affect the processing to any great degree. They seem to be just some refinements (I can't pretend that I understand all the associated jargon).
I'm planning to use a Gigabyte GA-P55-US3L. This mobo's a slightly undersized ATX with provision for Skt LGA1156. Hence my choice of an Intel i5-650. Not the last word in CPUs but then again I don't need every last ounze of speed. This particular mobo has some legacy ports on it as well, which means that I can still use my old Laserjet printer on its parallel interface. It has one PS2 port for a keyboard and a minimum of 8 USB 2.0 ports, so the mouse will be going on one of those. There's the usual wired Ethernet port, etc. etc. On the board itself, it has 2 X PCIex16/4 X PCI/1 X PCIe/4 X DDR3 slots taking up to 16GB of 1333 RAM. The whole thing's Windows 7 compatible, so if you want to stick with, say, WinXP you can, but if you want to then move to Windows 7, the facility is there. You just need to keep in mind that, with WinXP, you're restricted to 4GB of RAM (around 3.2GB of you take into account certain processing overheads; but use of a good graphics card will help in that regard).
It's a 3.2GHz 4MB Clarkdale chip, dissipating just 73 watts at maximum. So, it shouldn't pose any great cooling problems. I'll be using an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro v2 cooler on it, not the stock Intel cooler.
Note that, although it uses the P55 chipset, there's no Northbridge and so a separate graphics card, plugged into, say, one of the two PCIex16 slots, will be required (preferred by me, anyway). Price in the UK is around £80 incl VAT.
Although the latest Revn. of the board is reckoned to be Revn 2.3, I've yet to find a retailer with any 2.3s; I've found one retailer with allegedly a Revn 2.0 and the rest simply still stock the 1.1. I'm trying to get one of the 2.0s, therefore. See either www.gigabyte.com or www.giga-byte.co.uk.
For my particular needs - processing large photographic imagefiles - this board should do admirably and all my peripherals should still be usable with it.
It's one of Gigabyte's mobos that supports Crossfire and SLI but a techie in France recently published something on the Web, warning that this family of mobos would give you downgraded speeds if you populated the PCIe slots in a certain way. He's right, I think, but Gigabyte do warn of that in the user manual. So, be warned. If you're a gamer; this and some similar Gigabyte boards may not be the best choice.