Intel is reportedly preparing a refresh for its popular Core i5 2500K
. Branded Core i5 2550K, it features a 100 MHz speed bump over 2500K - up to 3.4 GHz base and 3.8 GHz turbo.
In every other way, the features and specifications are identical to the Core i5 2500K - 4 cores without HyperThreading, 6MB L3 cache, HD 3000 graphics, unlocked multiplier 95W TDP. However, it is not known whether this is a direct replacement to the Core i5 2500K or a new complementary product at a higher price point (similar to the relationship between Core i7 2600K and 2700K.
Interestingly, the Core i5 2550K did not feature in the latest official roadmaps and has only recently been conceived. A possible explanation is that it is a last minute response to AMD's FX-series refresh, due in Q1 2012. We can expect the i5 2550K release around the same time. Core i5 2550K will surely be the last Sandy Bridge CPU before Ivy Bridge / Core ix 3000 releases in April 2012.