Its an apples to papayas comparison. You can't compare a true server chip which utilizes ECC and FB-DIMM to a "normal" desktop chip. Each is designed for a specific usage.
Are you going to be running a server environment? Moving large files and constant data calculations? Going to be gaming or encoding music or video? Watching video? Surfing the internet? Doing CAD or other graphical work? Are you willing to spend more on a LGA771 (Xeon 5XXX series compatible)motherboard and the server RAM that will work with it? These are all factors that set either chip apart from the other. You've gotta be a bit more specific if you want a better answer.
Like the others said, if you want to compare a Core 2 to a Xeon, you are better off looking at the 30XX series Xeons. 3060 vs E6600 Compared
If you are planning on going for a dual cpu setup and are looking at the 51xx series, pick up the 5120's and a roll of electical tape. A small spec covering one pin = 2.33Ghz 1333FSB Xeon 5140's just google for xeon pin mod 2cpu for info
Since you are advocating comparing Xeons to Xeons, what about Xeon 3060 vs Xeon 5130 for a database server also performing mathematical operations? Go with the extra chip speed of the 3060 or the extra FSB of the 5130? No overclocking is possible as this is for a school machine.
If you're talking about mathematical applications I think the bandwidth problems of FB-DIMM will cause some problems. But then again, there are few boards that can support as much RAM needed for math than a 771 FB-DIMM. Soo, I don't know yet. Let me run a few tests and I'll get back to you.
Hey Ninja, excellent questionnaire. I'll answer it for my needs for a Q2-Q3 2007 2xQuad buy and let's see how it stacks up.
Are you going to be running a server environment?
Moving large files and constant data calculations?
Humongous files and there are times when I crunch pure numbers but not too often. Mostly image and vid processing.
Going to be gaming or encoding music or video?
Zero gaming. 1% music encoding. 10% video encoding.
Single most important function when it comes to videocard specs.
Surfing the internet?
Doing CAD or other graphical work?
Rarely CAD. Superheavy Photoshop and the rest of the CS suite.
Are you willing to spend more on a LGA771 (Xeon 5XXX series compatible)motherboard and the server RAM that will work with it?
My original estimates for a 16GB RAM system was $14K. Picked my jaw up off the floor, cut the RAM in half, cut some more corners on multiple HDs and am currently coming out with about $9K on 771 and an estimated $6K on 775. (Note: OR AMD versions. No fanboy here. Just price/performance is what rules the buy)