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Best CPU fit: i7-3770, Xeon E5-1650, Xeon E5-2630

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July 17, 2012 8:09:06 PM

I am looking to either build my own workstation or purchasing one from someone like Dell.

I am comparing the i7-3770, Xeon E5-1650, and Xeon E5-2630. These seem to be the best bang for the buck at the moment.

I have looked at benchmarks and tests and that of course gives me a good picture, but I wanted some feedback based on what I will be doing.

My average work load will be as follows:
- Running VM Workstation with 2 VM's running most of the time and 3 VM's running every now and then.
- When running just 2 VM's they are set to use 1 core and 2 core totaling 3 cores.
- When running 3 VM's they are set to use 1 core, 1 core, and 2 core totaling 4 cores.
- In these VM's I am running multiple development environments and test applications.
- Outside of the virtual world I will run all of your normal business applications (Office), some audio / video compression tools and yes... some gaming (BF3 and other first person type games). When I game I do normally shutdown the VM's... but gaming is the least of what I do.

As for my other hardware...
- I plan to have 16GB of 1600MHz ram
- Multiple SSD's (SATA 6GB/s) to get as much performance as possible as I have found running VM's even with enough RAM can get disk intensive.
- And larger SATA 6GB/s for storage.
- Dual Video for quad monitors.

Now my first thought was... I could be already using all 4 cores of the i7 when I have all 3 VM's running... but it is a fast processor and hyperthreading.

So I then look at the Xeon E5-1650 and E5-2630. Both with 6 cores and with the E5-2630 I have the option of adding second processor later. I don't see that being done any time soon so I am trying to determine the best option for 1 processor.

Looking at CPU Benchmarks shows the E5-1650 as the best, then the i7-3770, and then the E5-2630. The latter has the lowest clock frequency, but that doesn't always mean anything, but since the E5-1600 and E5-2600 seem to be the latest stock of processors I am guessing comparing clock speeds between the two is probably a safe bet in which is faster.

My other concern is there are a lot of apps that may still only utilize 1 core and I don't want to lose a lot of power when running apps that cannot utilize multi-core.

I would love to get some insight from those of you with experience with these processors or the technical expertise to speak with some knowledge as to what you feel would be the best fit based on my descriptions above.

Thanks in advance.

Greg

July 17, 2012 8:23:18 PM

The Xeon processors are made and configurated for servers and workstations. Xeon are very stable and not laggy and are perfect for video/gaming too but not for OC.

The i7 processors are made... well you know... extreme things.
The best Xeon for you is the E5-1650

Good Luck!

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a c 788 à CPUs
July 17, 2012 8:30:11 PM
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Well the hyper threading will allow 8threads to run on the I7 so you should not run out of cores and you get the high clock speed. LGA1155 platform is cheaper as well than the 2011. There are other pluses with the LGA2011 platform that have to be taken into account
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a b à CPUs
July 17, 2012 8:36:01 PM

Hi :) 

Xeons...pro stuff for servers and workstations...i7s amatuer hour....

No choice...Xeons...

All the best Brett :) 
July 18, 2012 2:10:15 AM

miimario221 said:
The Xeon processors are made and configurated for servers and workstations. Xeon are very stable and not laggy and are perfect for video/gaming too but not for OC.

The i7 processors are made... well you know... extreme things.
The best Xeon for you is the E5-1650

Good Luck!


I am leaning to the E5-1650 as well... just wish it was not stuck as a 1 processor option. Would love to be able to do two E5-1650's at the going price, but I guess they just didn't architecture any E5-2600 series with similar specs since you need a E5-2600 series to use two procs. Anything close to the E5-1650 in the E5-2600 series is very expensive.

Quick question... when you look at the passmark cpu tests... when it gives you the number is that number based on a single core or is that all cores working in concert to get those values? I ask because comparing the i7-3770 to the E5-1650 it looks like the E5-1650 is faster, but if that is considering all cores then perhaps it isn't really faster... just faster if you use all cores. And if that is the case then the E5-1650 would be slower because dividing out the cores would put its per core value lower than the i7-3770.
July 18, 2012 2:15:07 AM

rolli59 said:
Well the hyper threading will allow 8threads to run on the I7 so you should not run out of cores and you get the high clock speed. LGA1155 platform is cheaper as well than the 2011. There are other pluses with the LGA2011 platform that have to be taken into account


I am guessing you mean the memory bandwidth, memory channels, dmi vs qpi? And the E5-1650 does have a larger cache as well.

And I am wondering if it is a safe statement to say the E5-1650 is faster than the E5-2630 when comparing 1 core to 1 core. The processor seem fairly close to same specs other than clock speed which is pretty far apart. (2.3 vs 3.2).
a c 788 à CPUs
July 18, 2012 3:05:23 AM

Yes memory bandwidth, PCIe lanes and so on.
The clock speed is the decisive factor between the two Xeon's, go with the 2xxx series if you are going 2 x CPU only.
July 19, 2012 12:17:51 AM

myitanalyst said:
I am leaning to the E5-1650 as well... just wish it was not stuck as a 1 processor option. Would love to be able to do two E5-1650's at the going price, but I guess they just didn't architecture any E5-2600 series with similar specs since you need a E5-2600 series to use two procs. Anything close to the E5-1650 in the E5-2600 series is very expensive.

Quick question... when you look at the passmark cpu tests... when it gives you the number is that number based on a single core or is that all cores working in concert to get those values? I ask because comparing the i7-3770 to the E5-1650 it looks like the E5-1650 is faster, but if that is considering all cores then perhaps it isn't really faster... just faster if you use all cores. And if that is the case then the E5-1650 would be slower because dividing out the cores would put its per core value lower than the i7-3770.


All the cores.
July 30, 2012 1:56:00 PM

Best answer selected by myitanalyst.
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