Energiewende - please hold the line.....
At stock clock speeds, the Core i7-875K is a better performer than the Phenom II X6 1090T—just a little bit in multithreaded applications, but quite a lot in single-threaded ones. The 875K is also a (very slightly) better value. When both CPUs are overclocked, the 875K retains its performance lead. Either way, the 875K is more power efficient than the 1090T, too.
In order to reach the highest overall clock frequency we had to drop the memory multiplier down by one level and pushed up the base clock to 180MHz with the turbo multiplier of 24. This is an overclock of more than 1.1GHz, which meant we were running 4.33GHz. This means we were able to get an extra 160MHz out of the Core i7 875K that we were able to get from the original processor with the same exact stepping.
The truth is, the vast majority of consumers will be pleased with the non-K models, because even those overclock like a dream. That's been evidenced numerous times before throughout our recent content, with even budget models being able to hit 4.0GHz or higher with relative ease.
It's for that reason that K models are going to be for those who truly take overclocking seriously, and I assume that's what Intel's going for - those who want to break records, and need the flexibility to use whatever RAM kit they have on hand, rather than having to purchase an expensive kit, which at that point could cost more than the processor they're overclocking with.
If you've been contemplating the purchase of a Lynnfield-based rig for overclocking, and have the budget to afford the 875K, it is absolutely the processor to get. Flexibility, performance, and competitive pricing--the Core i7-875K has it all.
Our perceptions changed when Intel told us that they will not be binning these processors in a special way or marketing them at die-hard overclockers, but instead at system builders who can utilize the unlocked core features to provide cheap pre-overclocked systems with minimal fuss. In the same vein, the K-series will allow users to purchase cheap motherboards that don’t need overly complex BIOS options as we only need control of core multiplier ratios and VCore to get a quick and easy overclock. Bearing these aspects in mind, it’s hard for us to be negative about this launch; however, we’d like to see Intel unlock more processors in the future.