Building a new PC using the Intel i5 2500k CPU

My new computer workstation

The Intel i5 2500k CPU has been deemed a “best buy” by Tom’s Hardware for gaming systems. Of course I use my office PC for mostly work related tasks, but I have found it to be a very good CPU in this regard as well.

My build using the Intel i5 2500k CPU

It scored excellent in all performance areas with only a few CPU’s beating it out for high marks such as video editing and other office related tasks.

The more expensive i7 2600K took the crown as the king of the hill for almost all tasks and gaming too. Still, the little i5 2500k cpu is just slightly behind and over $100.00 cheaper to boot. So, after studying the data and crunching the numbers I bit the bullet and got the i5 2500k to install in my new office PC.

The total costs for my new PC was under $650.00. I wanted to build this thing for next to nothing, so I sold 2 computers that netted me about $700.00 so it could be built for no out of pocket costs. (because its more fun building when it costs you almost nothing) This made me very happy as there really was no downside to the transaction.

One of the primary things I would be doing is running a high powered CAD program (for designing speaker plans) so the processor needed to be well healed to meet this challenge. The Intel i5 2500k CPU did so easily…

I’m running a both a Win 7 and a Win XP Virtual OS (operating system) on my machine. I have Win 7 as my primary operating system. But my CAD program needs to run on Win XP.

Figuring this out was a major pain, I can tell you. But it works flawlessly now and allows me to avoid running a dual boot system and constantly having to shut down one OS and running another. I can get to everything right from Win 7. Very slick. It basically boots up Win XP from within Win7, you still have access to your desktop from both version of Windows. The XP OS is just in a different window just as if you were using a web browser window.Not to get overly detailed about the build but this has turned out to be a fine computer.

Components used:

      • Intel Core i5 2500k; 4 core – 3.2Ghz processor (overclocked to 4.6Ghz on air)

• Skythe Mine CPU cooler

• Gigabyte Z68 XUD3H motherboard (I do wish I had gotten a better motherboard than this one)

• Corsair DDR3 1600MHz 8GB RAM

• (2) 750 GB 7200 rpm drives (1.5TB total) one drive used for backup

• (5) 120mm fans for cooling all in push mode and venting out the case slots. I cut 4 holes into the top of the case to mount the fans. One was built in. The other was for the CPU as it was too tall for the case.

• the case I got for free from a friend. Its an old server case. Lots of room, very heavy, and built like a tank. With the extra holes cut into the lid for the larger fans, it stays nice and cool. I actually like using older cases, that don’t look so great. I think it gives the computer a ‘sleeper’ look. More data for deciding to build a home theater PC, what you need to know first.


This computer stays very cool.

It is loud with all the fans running, but in my office this isn’t really an issue as my temps are more important. Plus, the little heat it does generate does a nice job of keeping the office warmer during the cooler months.

The CPU during normal use runs around 30-35 degrees Celsius. At full load running Prime 95 the temps can creep into the low 60’s Celsius. This is very low for this processor. It can easily take much more heat than this, but my goal is long term reliability and decent speed. Undoubtedly, I could overclock this machine much higher than the 4.6Ghz clock speed I am currently running.

If I were to use this machine in my home theater I would have little choice but to locate it in another room because of the noise. For most HTPC’s this is what I would recommend anyway as any fan noise is usually too much. Put the thing in a closet if you must. I have a ‘dirty’ room behind my main listening front wall, which is a great place to leave the noisy HTPC and computers.

All in all, I’m extrememly happy with this PC especially for the price. I can’t see how you could beat it.
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