Intel Core i7-875K review

Price when reviewed

Intel’s new Core i7-875K follows the same basic quad-core architecture as the existing i7-870, but it’s designed more for overclocking enthusiasts. While you can’t raise the basic frequency from 2.93GHz, you’re free to tweak the “Turbo Mode” multipliers that the CPU hits when it’s under heavy load.

We tested this new processor in an Intel DP55WG motherboard with 2GB of DDR3-1066 and an ATI Radeon HD 4550 graphics card (like all i7-800 series chips, the i7-875K uses the older 45nm Nehalem architecture that lacks an onboard GPU).

With default hardware settings, the i7-875K scored 1.93 — oddly, a slower score than the i7-870, which scored 2.03 in a comparable system. Presumably Intel has adjusted the default power envelope in a way that that makes the processor a little less eager to activate Turbo Mode. But you can raise this yourself to make more use of Turbo frequencies.

Even with the standard Intel cooler, the chip remained stable as we overclocked the Turbo Boost multipliers by up to five ticks. This saw the i5-875K blaze through our benchmarks at speeds up to 4.3GHz for a magnificent score of 2.31 – a level of performance we’ve only seen surpassed by top end i7-900 chips.

It’s not a chip for everybody: obtaining this excellent performance involved considerable trial and error, and several system crashes. It’s not cheap either. But compared to the price of a Core i7-900 processor, the i7-875K is a great deal for any enthusiast who’s chosen the LGA 1156 platform. (Click chart to enlarge)

CPU price vs Performance

Before you buy, check out the Core i5-655K, a strong dual-core alternative at around two thirds of the price. But for premium computing power, Intel’s latest quad-core offering is its most tempting yet.


Cores (number of) 4
Frequency 2.93GHz
L2 cache size (total) 1.0MB
L3 cache size (total) 8MB
Thermal design power 95W
Fab process 45nm
Virtualisation features yes
Clock-unlocked? yes

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 1.93

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