Intel Core i5-2405S Review

Conclusion

Intel Core i5-2405S Review

Conclusion

The Intel Core i5-2405S is probably best described as a schizophrenic CPU.

Normally CPUs fall into two categories. There are those that exist solely to power the mighty gaming rigs of the enthusiast market, and those that happily bumble along in a business environment. The i5-2405S is somehow both and neither.

When compared to other Intel CPUs on the LGA1155 socket the major benefit that this has over a Core i5-2500K or similarly non-HT processor is the low TDP. Rather than sup upon 95W, the i5-2405S has a ceiling of 65W. This is obviously a boon if you happen to run a fleet of office PCs and want the lowest electricity bill/carbon footprint possible. But then in a pure 'letter writing' way almost anything will handle such a task. If you require it to do more than that, almost anything that requires a decent amount of CPU power, then the low clock-speed is a serious detriment to a smooth and efficient workflow. There is no point in saving a tiny bit of power and heat if it takes twice as long to complete each task.

So maybe it works as a gaming CPU. After all we saw in both 3D Mark tests and Crysis that, with a decent GPU, the Core i5-2405S is plentifully powerful enough to give you a decent gaming experience. Again things aren't quite as clear cut as that.

Firstly neither 3D Mark Vantage nor Crysis Warhead with zero anti-aliasing will put much strain upon your system and, as we saw in 3D Mark 11, once the detail level and so CPU Workload increases, so the 2405S starts to struggle.

Secondly, and of more obvious importance, is the price point of the Core i5-2405S. Although pricing varies a bit around the internet the Core i5-2405S is generally to be found for the same price as the Core i5-2500K. The i5-2500K is an absolute demon of a CPU. It will run at low speed, low energy if that's what you require but it will equally blaze along at an aircooled 4.8GHz on almost any motherboard. The Core i5-2405S has the low energy bit handled like a champ, but it barely overclocks and at stock is pretty damn slow. So you save almost nothing by buying a much slower CPU for the same amount of money.

All in all about the only people who could possibly be interested in the Core i5-2405S are those who want a low-power CPU for an HTPC or plan on doing nothing more stressful than browsing the internet. If you game, the 2500K is the same money and an infinitely better buy. If you're in business then there are a plethora of low-power CPUs around that will run Word and the like for a lot less money than this.

This is exactly the type of CPU that will turn up in your local PC World. Sure 2.5 GHz of Quad Core energy-efficient power sounds great when told to someone who thinks PCs still have floppy drives. For everybody else there are other options that are better in any department you care to measure.

Thanks to Intel for providing the Core i5-2405S for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

31-08-2011, 06:02:33

tinytomlogan
The latest in a long line of SandyBridge processors is the low power Core i5-2405S. We put it to the test.



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31-08-2011, 06:17:02

SieB
Seems pretty pointless to release this when it offers nothing but a lower TDP and who would buy this when you can get the 2500k for the same money which you can also overclock

Even if you don't go for the 2500k the non K 2500 is still cheaper and faster than the 2405S.

31-08-2011, 07:24:06

sheroo
There's also the i5 2500T as well which is only 45W, but that's even more expensive than the 2500K.

31-08-2011, 20:45:59

badtaylorx
ok amd here is you chance.....hell i'll even write the slogan for you......."AMD's 980 BE--FASTER THAN THE LATEST I5!!!!!!!!!"

01-09-2011, 20:01:03

Speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Seems pretty pointless to release this when it offers nothing but a lower TDP and who would buy this when you can get the 2500k for the same money which you can also overclock

Even if you don't go for the 2500k the non K 2500 is still cheaper and faster than the 2405S.
I think it is aimed more at system builders than anything, lower TDP means less cooling, cheaper parts etc. They would buy in bulk and OEM which would result in cheaper prices than the 2500. Which I'm guessing why PC World was mentioned in the conclusion. Not everyone overclocks but you make a valid point.

02-09-2011, 05:04:08

Ya93sin
Would it not make a better HTPC solution?

But then the 2500K isn't a hot chip, and you get a fair bit more for the money. What would be interesting is if you can passively cool these things and get something truly silent.

02-09-2011, 16:04:29

shyguy094
I think low end AMD is more suitable for HTPCs. I got an mATX board that would do the same thing as an i3-2100 or i5-2405S rig can do. The Athlons are like $40 right now. It would be interesting to see if it's possible to passively cool the i5-2405S. That would be an advantage that the 2400S has. 45W to 65W CPUs can probably be cooled w/o a fan. My cousin's Dell Dimension 1100 was (Celeron D @ 2.53GHz).

02-09-2011, 17:25:04

Speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguy094 View Post

I think low end AMD is more suitable for HTPCs. I got an mATX board that would do the same thing as an i3-2100 or i5-2405S rig can do. The Athlons are like $40 right now. It would be interesting to see if it's possible to passively cool the i5-2405S. That would be an advantage that the 2400S has. 45W to 65W CPUs can probably be cooled w/o a fan. My cousin's Dell Dimension 1100 was (Celeron D @ 2.53GHz).
The onboard GPU though is very efficent, so that is another advantage unless you are talking about AMD APUs. I'm running a small form factor system on a 2100 @ 2560x1600 with no issues. I've also just built a HTPC for someone around the same CPU, they are ideally suited for HTPC applications. Maybe not as cheap as the AMD solutions, but they generally perform better in my experience. Obviously if you don't need the extra HP, then the AMD solution is fine.

02-09-2011, 19:18:45

shyguy094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed View Post

The onboard GPU though is very efficent, so that is another advantage unless you are talking about AMD APUs. I'm running a small form factor system on a 2100 @ 2560x1600 with no issues. I've also just built a HTPC for someone around the same CPU, they are ideally suited for HTPC applications. Maybe not as cheap as the AMD solutions, but they generally perform better in my experience. Obviously if you don't need the extra HP, then the AMD solution is fine.
You're right. AMD's APUs are great for a HTPC solution. I overclocked my HD4250 to 900MHz (880G chipset) and topped out at (an inconsistent) 40 FPS in BC2 on low settings. When the i3-2100 was 30% more than it is now, it had no real place in the market. It was too expensive for the "budget / HTPC people" and lacked 2 cores and an unlocked multiplier for the mainstream enthusiast. When I built my rig, I think the i3 was over $160 or $170. Pricecanada.com only has the NCIX bundle, so I can't check it now (pricecanada has pricing history). At the same time, the Phenom II X4 955 was about $125. AM3+ boards weren't available at the time (it was like early April), so I got a budget AM3 board.
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