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Best Sandy Bridge i5-2500k Motherboard for Gaming

Updated on February 14, 2017

Why Choose a Motherboard for the i5-2500k?

The i5-2500k is one of the best value gaming processors available for 2015 if you can get it used or on the cheap.

Despite its low price, both consumer and professional benchmarks show that as far as in-game FPS, or frames per second, it doesn't get a lot better than the i5-2500k.

In this post I'll review some of the best i5-2500k gaming motherboards and give you a quick guide for what you should look for.

Best i5-2500k Motherboard?
Best i5-2500k Motherboard?

i5-2500k Specifications

Launched in the first quarter of 2011, the i5-2500k quickly became a hit when gamers, and those looking for a mid-range processor, realized that they could get everything they wanted in a processor for around $200.

Intel's second generation of "i" series processors included new Sandy Bridge technology that greatly improved processing power and integrated graphics.

Specifications for the i5-2500k are as follows:

Cores: 4

Threads: 4 (Does not include hyper-threading).

Cache: 6.0MB

Clock Speed: 3.3Ghz (Turbo 3.7Ghz)

Lithography: 32nm

CPU Socket: LGA 1155

Integrated Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000

Unlocked: Yes

P8Z68-V PRO GEN3 Motherboard
P8Z68-V PRO GEN3 Motherboard

LGA Socket 1155 Motherboards

H67, P67, Z68 Chipset

The i5-2500k uses a LGA 1155 socket type that needs to be used with an H67, P67, or Z68 chipset motherboard for compatibility. While these motherboards are widely available there's a few things you should think about before buying.

1. H67 Vs. P67 Vs. Z68

So which should you go with? The H67 is designed for use with integrated graphics, the P67 for dedicated graphics and overclocking, and the Z68 for both. If the price is same across the board, then you should definitely go with a Z68 chipset motherboard. It incorporates new technologies from Intel like Smart Response and LucidLogix Virtu switchable graphic technology.

GEN3 PCI-e 3.0 Compatible

GEN 3 motherboards are compatible not only with PCI-e 3.0, but also forwards compatible with Ivy Bridge processors. You can expect to pay a small premium for these motherboards, so you'll have to determine whether forward compatibility is important to you. If you're the kind that likes to build their rig from the ground up each time, then I recommend going with the cheaper motherboards as PCI-e 3.0 is not readily available at this time.

Asus is one of the most trusted names in the industry and the PRO version of their GEN3 motherboard continues to be the most popular among gamers. Technical details include:

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (1x16 or dual x8)

16-Phase Power Digital power phase

AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX and NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI support

1 x Gb LAN featuring the latest Intel chipset

Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR

4 x USB 3.0 (2 ports at back panel, 1 port at mid-board)

BT GO! (BT Turbo Remote) - Beyond your Imagination of what Bluetooth can do!

and UEFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS.

This is a great budget board option for those of you not looking to spend too much on your board.

Technical details for this amazing board include ; 2 x PCIe3.0/2.0 x16 slots (Single @x16 or dual @x8/x8 mode) with NVIDIA SLI/ AMD CrossFireX support

2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
1 x Intel Gigabit LAN

4 DIMM, max up to 32GB, dual-channel DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333 Support

SupremeFX X-Fi2 built-in 8-Ch. HD audio with EAX5.0 support

1 x HDMI port
and 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports at mid-board for front panel, 2 ports at back panel).

Technical Details include:

CPU: Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors, Intel Pentium processors, Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1155 package . Chipset: Intel Z68 Express Chipset

Memory: 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory, Dual channel memory architecture, Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules

Audio: Realtek ALC889 codec, High Definition Audio, 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel, Support for S/PDIF Out. LAN: 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 . 2 x PCI Express x1 slots. 2 x PCI slots. Support for ATI CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology.

Storage Interface: Chipset: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors, Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Back Panel Connectors: 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port/1 x D-Sub port/1 x DVI-D port/1 x HDMI port/1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector/4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports/2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports/1 x RJ-45 port/3 x audio jacks (Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

Internal I/O Connectors: 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector/1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector/2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors/4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors/1 x CPU fan header/2 x system fan headers/1 x power fan header/1 x front panel header/1 x front panel audio header/1 x S/PDIF Out header/4 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers/1 x serial port header/1 x clearing CMOS jumper/1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

USB: Chipset: Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports. Etron EJ168 chip: Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel.

Technical Details include:

CPU: Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors, Intel Pentium processors, Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1155 package . Chipset: Intel Z68 Express Chipset

Memory: 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory, Dual channel memory architecture, Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules

Audio: Realtek ALC889 codec, High Definition Audio, 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel, Support for S/PDIF Out. LAN: 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 . 2 x PCI Express x1 slots. 2 x PCI slots. Support for ATI CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology.

Storage Interface: Chipset: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors, Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Back Panel Connectors: 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port/1 x D-Sub port/1 x DVI-D port/1 x HDMI port/1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector/4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports/2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports/1 x RJ-45 port/3 x audio jacks (Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

Internal I/O Connectors: 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector/1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector/2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors/4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors/1 x CPU fan header/2 x system fan headers/1 x power fan header/1 x front panel header/1 x front panel audio header/1 x S/PDIF Out header/4 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers/1 x serial port header/1 x clearing CMOS jumper/1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

USB: Chipset: Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports. Etron EJ168 chip: Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel.

I don't find these boards to be quite as sturdy as Asus' or Gigabytes'; however, it's still a great deal for the money and should function great once you get it installed.

What's the best motherboard for the i5 2500k?

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