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Xeon curiosity

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February 16, 2012 12:31:02 AM

Greetings,

I am starting to look at Xeons for a possible future workstation build. I was wondering about several things.


- When is a "server" CPU considered ideal for a workstation, and when is it considered only ideal for rack-mounted "server" use?

- Looking at the lower-end Xeons, like 1155 socket-based - what advantages do they have over the i7-2600K, or for that matter the 2011 socket 3930K? Some of the cheaper Xeons are down in that price range, and their specs seem equivalent, but not better than their desktop counterparts, so who are they marketed to? I'm talking about single-processor boards, the Xeons seem to have the same amount of cores, threads, cache, similar clock speed, etc.

- Are socket 2011 Xeons on the market, yet? All I see are Westmere-based processors so far, and retail sites like NewEgg don't even list 2011 socket Xeons.

I guess my main question at the moment is what advantages do the cheaper Xeons have over the high-end desktop Sandy Bridge processors in applications like 3D CAD and rendering?

More about : xeon curiosity

February 16, 2012 3:12:59 AM

The 1155 Xeons have larger cache in some cases. A server workload is different than a desktop workload, and the caching algorithms are geared towards that in terms of branch prediction and data retention. They also run cooler and use less power. Also supported is ECC memory in larger capacities, whereas the desktop processors don't. When will office users overclock their workstations? Never. They want reliability. Architecturally, the difference between Xeons and desktops processors narrows with every generation. Perhaps these days it is just binning.
February 16, 2012 5:18:29 AM

What kind of work will you be doing?
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February 16, 2012 5:34:36 AM
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There is actually a review on 1155 xeons. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/xeon-e3-c206-workst... Jrazor is incorrect about cooler/less power and the only one with more cache is the 1220 comparing it to an i5 as it is 4c/4t. Workload is identical with identical software. 1155 xeons are pretty much identical to consumer cpus other than supporting ecc. They are pretty much just binned to handle 24/7 workload that consumer parts aren't tested for (although will still do it). The e3 1230 is the cheapest 4c/8t but other than that I would suggest a 2600k to overclock and get more performance; assuming this is for home use. (The 1155 xeons are locked btw.)

2011 xeons are supposed to come out around when IB comes out. They will support multi socket mobos. 1155 is the mainstream platform and as always will not get multi cpu support. 1155 has no advantage over 2011, 1155 is mid end, 2011 is high end. You could say price but that really doesn't count.
February 16, 2012 5:28:22 PM

fb39ca4 said:
What kind of work will you be doing?



Well, for the work I do right now, just plain Jane AutoCAD, my overclocked 2500K, GTX-570 and 8GB of RAM is more than plenty the majority of the time, although, I can get it to "pause" once in a great while if I am running a lot of stuff (youtube streaming, multiple windows open in multiple browsers across two displays, itunes, Google Earth, Excel, Word, Visual Studio) in the background all at once (that's how I roll), in addition to drafting, and very rarely, AutoCAD freezes solid when attempting to do stuff like, burst a large drawing - although I think that issue may be more due to some kind of file corruption.

In the not-to-distant future, it is a good possibility that I will need to run Revit (MEP) on my machine, in addition to 3D solid modeling programs, in addition to doing all the other multi-tasking. I was going to see how my current machine handled all of that (maybe thrown in an SSD to speed up booting), at the same time saving up money for a significant upgrade, if needed. I have heard that Revit will be relying more and more on multiple-thread capabilities.

I was going to look at the IB-E processors when they come out late this year/early next year, or, wait for a couple more years for Haswell-E chips. Then, I started looking at the Xeons, and thought maybe some of the lower-end ones might make for a future-proofing solution, especially if they can be paired up dual-CPU style but it looks like none of the 1155 Xeons have this capability? I got to wondering what the difference between the current low-end E3 series and the 2600K is, they both have quad-core, eight threads, 8MB of L3....the Xeons are clocked lower though. Do the Xeons have different instruction sets, better reliability, etc?

February 16, 2012 5:34:24 PM

k1114 said:
There is actually a review on 1155 xeons. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/xeon-e3-c206-workst... Jrazor is incorrect about cooler/less power and the only one with more cache is the 1220 comparing it to an i5 as it is 4c/4t. Workload is identical with identical software. 1155 xeons are pretty much identical to consumer cpus other than supporting ecc. They are pretty much just binned to handle 24/7 workload that consumer parts aren't tested for (although will still do it). The e3 1230 is the cheapest 4c/8t but other than that I would suggest a 2600k to overclock and get more performance; assuming this is for home use. (The 1155 xeons are locked btw.)

2011 xeons are supposed to come out around when IB comes out. They will support multi socket mobos. 1155 is the mainstream platform and as always will not get multi cpu support. 1155 has no advantage over 2011, 1155 is mid end, 2011 is high end. You could say price but that really doesn't count.


Ah, I replied to the other post before I had fully read yours. So all the 1155 Xeons are locked? That pretty much rules them out, then. I like to push my systems moderately hard. I assume that the cheapest 2011 Xeon is still going to be ~$1,000 per CPU? So, that probably rules that out. Hmmm....I feel like I may have need for more than 4 threads in the near future, but I didn't think the 2600K enough of an upgrade (other than having twice the threads) over my i5 to warrant switching out the processor and risk damaging the socket, etc. That Hyper 212+ was kind of a bitch to install.....I'd rather not have to do that again until I make a fresh build.
February 16, 2012 6:29:37 PM

The current westmere 6core cpus that support dual socket configs start at $550 so I'd expect SBE xeons to similar.

Edit: Actually found the rumored price is the e5 2620 is the cheapest 6 core SBE xeon at $406.
February 16, 2012 7:11:04 PM

One would think that in a dual-CPU board, that even the cheaper Xeon would kick ass for some years to come.....What's a good board (dual)? Is there a decent one for less than $500? I am thinking that for fast, multi-threaded work and entertainment uses, two of these e5 2620's would be better than a 3930K system (maybe even on par with 3930X), and only marginally more expensive?
February 16, 2012 8:03:54 PM

You never really hear much about mobo previews. Take a look at newegg of current dual cpu mobos, it'll give you an idea.
February 26, 2012 1:39:19 AM

Best answer selected by ebalong.
March 15, 2012 5:19:57 AM

thanks members tom's very much. that is very helpful for me. i hope have many of articles like this. thanks..
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