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Core i5-2500 and i5-2500K overclock

Overclocking in Core i5-2500 and core i5-2500k by starredreviews

The nominal clock frequency of the core i5-2500 is 3.3 GHz and its turbo frequency is 3.7 GHz. Before we jump into the overclocking, let us understand the turbo frequency – 3.7 GHz.

The stated Turbo frequency of 3.7 GHz does not mean that all the four processor cores will have their clock ramping to the 3.7 GHz. It will heat the processor beyond its capacity. The stated 3.7 GHz is applicable when only ONE core is active. If two processor cores are active the maximum TURBO core frequency is 3.6 GHz. If three cores or four cores are active the turbo frequency reduces to 3.5 GHz and 3.4 GHz respectively.

Before proceeding further, let us understand the concept of frequency Bins. In Sandy Bridge, a frequency bin means an incremental amount of the frequency increase for that processor. One Frequency bin is equal to +100 MHz for Sandy Bridge processor.

The Intel core i5-2500 does support “limited overclocking”. The overcloking is limited to 4 frequency bins above the turbo frequency. The 4 frequency bins is equivalent to 400 MHz. What is means is that, if the turbo frequency of i5-2500 with 1 active core is 3.7 GHz, then the maximum overclock frequency of the core i5-2500 will be four frequency bin higher or 400 MHz higher or 4.1 GHz. In the table below we have listed the overclockable frequency with the 4 frequency bin rule.

Table : Intel core i5-2500 Turbo Frequency and overclokcing

Number of Active Core
Number of Bin Turbo Frequency
Over clock bins
Over clock Frequency
1 +4 3.7 GHz +4 4.1 GHz
2 +3 3.6 GHz +4 4.0 GHz
3 +2 3.5 GHz +4 3.9 GHz
4 +1 3.4 GHz +4 3.8 GHz

Notice that Intel does not officially claim that you will be able to ramp to 4.1 GHz. You will have to test your part to see if it is stable at 4.1 GHz. You may have to provide additional cooling support.

If you want to overclock above this, the core i5-2500K is the answer. The multiplier can be set even higher in the BIOS to reach higher clock frequency. In the i5-2500k, the multiplier can be set to x57 which can theoretically reach to 5.7 GHz. A multiplier setting upto x44 was found stable with moderate cooling and upto x48 was found stable with some special effort cooling.

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  1. Mini
    May 12th, 2011 at 19:00 | #1

    Can you post some screenshots on how to overclock it ? Does it has to be on BIOS setting ? What will happen if I overclock it beyond the range and the system fails to boot ?