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I7 920 D0 vs Xeon w3520 ? Please help.

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  • CPUs
  • Xeon
  • Intel i7
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April 17, 2009 2:11:06 AM

i7 920 D0 vs Xeon w3520? I was wondering which one is better? In-gaming? And can the Xeon W3520 work on on GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5?

I was reading that the Xeon W3520 is more slower. Is that true? According to http://www.cpubenchmark.net. But that site, just look at the forum, there's NOT alot of people. And I'm not sure how they benchmark or those charts actually represents. So I'm kind of doubting if the scores are actually true. Are workstation processor more slower than desktop processor? Is it too early to tell the benchmark of the Xeon w3520? I bought a xeon w3520 out of haste and panic when buying a GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 that was on sale and refunding the motherboard might be more difficult in returning it in time, because 920-D0 and Xeon are backed order. Should I cancel Xeon w3520 because I'm worry about the CPU might be not be compatible with the motherboard? And the i7 920 D0 are MORE difficult grab and cost just as much as a this Xeon (really the Xeon cost much less comparing to other retailers that are guarantee in selling 920-D0's "shipping and taxing").
I looked at the specs on the official intel site on the CPU i7 920 and Xeon W3520. They both look like they have the same spec, only Xeon is ECC that's it and I also heard rumors you can disable ECC if you want. And the Xeon is guaranteed D0.

Xeon W3520 : http://ark.intel.com/cpu.aspx?groupId=39718
i7 920: http://ark.intel.com/cpu.aspx?groupID=37147&code=i7+920

Is there any Tom's Hardware in benchmarks for Nehalem Xeons? The Xeon W3520 is a Nehalem right?

More about : 920 xeon w3520

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April 17, 2009 4:21:13 AM

I've that the W3520 could have problems with some motherboards. Even if it is the server version of the 920, at that. Why are you going for a server CPU anyway?
April 17, 2009 5:08:56 AM

Well I just bought a Gigabyte like I said on post the "on sale" type in that you only within 15 days to return if something goes bad. And I'm really pessimistic of the "on sale" type motherboards. I was hoping to make it in time in buying an i7 920-D0. But, the i7-D0 sold out right before I plan to buy it next mourning. And so I began trying find D0 stepping, be cheap, and get it in time before my motherboard arrives. I came across Xeon as hopefully an alternative in searching. Is it another alternative? I read forum blogs that Europe uses Xeon w3520 as alternative for the 920-d0 with no problem but I feel there's doubt for some reason. Performance wasn't mention, only they only show benchmarks about clock speeds, cpu-z, temperature, etc. And I saw some screenies that it can clock a tad higher than the i7 920-D0, well maybe. 4.6 GHZ on a Xeon I think I can recall. And that's the dilemma I'm in. I see a bleaked chance in getting an i7 920-D0 and to be able to return my "on sale" motherboard if something goes bad in time.
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April 17, 2009 7:17:19 AM

Quite a dilemma indeed. I'd tell you to go for the Xeon, since it's the server version of the 920 after all, but it's your money after all. To be fair, I've only encountered one user online experiencing compatibility ish between his Xeon and mobo.

C'mon guys! We need your help! Fail Complex is on a tight sched here! :) 
April 17, 2009 11:12:03 PM

I sent an email to Gigabyte and they responded back.

Question - 747499

Q. Yes I have question about this motherboard bought a Xeon w3520 and use GA-EX58-UD5 will it work? I'm not sure of what the bios version it's still in delivery. Will the D0 stepping chipset work? And if doesn't work because of the outdated bios. How would I upgrade the bios if I already bought the intel chip D0 stepping. Xeon w3520 or i7 920-D0?

Answer - 747499
A. Dear Customer,

If you purchased a current inventory retail boxed GA-EX58 series model motherboard, the BIOS should already be updated for the D0 stepping processor. If not, you will need to use the older C0 stepping processor to boot and update the processor before installing the D0 stepping.

The workstation Xeon series processors has not been validated nor tested on the desktop GA-EX58 series motherboards.

Thank you for choosing Gigabyte products.
---
That makes me anxious seems like It may not work.
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April 20, 2009 7:45:19 AM

I guess all you can do is install what you have and hope for the best. Sorry we couldn't be of much help man, but then what Gigabyte says apparently goes. :( 
June 30, 2009 3:53:01 PM

@fail_complex,

About the EX58 UD5, I was also told the same thing about the D0 processor and the UD5 mobo, so I was really worried when I got around to building my system, as I didn't have access to a C0 stepping CPU...

But I decided to try and install the CPU on the mobo with the stock BIOS (F3) and it recognized my D0 processor without any issues, so don't listen to what Gigabyte say about having to install a C0 processor first before updating the BIOS so that a Do stepping CPU can be recognized...
September 5, 2009 12:28:14 AM

Xeon is higher binned then i7 920, it's actually like a i7 960, but for less money...it also requires less voltage and sustains heat better, which means it overclocks better (just like others, some better, some worse, don't get me wrong). You would do well to buy it, but perhaps choose another mobo
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November 10, 2009 5:21:34 AM

Igneos is absolutely correct. Go for the Xeon. BTW, Gigabyte has this CPU on their compatibility list for the EX58-UD5. But only the D0 stepping!

...which fits perfectly.
March 2, 2012 8:51:34 AM

did you use Xeon w3520? I have opposite problem here. I got a CPU but without a motherboard. I try to figure out with motherboard is compatible. Please let's me know

Thank you
!