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Is the Intel Xeon good for gaming.

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November 27, 2012 9:59:18 AM

To my understanding I know that the "Xeon" line of processors are good for servers. I was just wondering if they would be any good for gaming too?
-e-coli


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November 27, 2012 11:41:53 AM

No, mostly they are not, they usually have lower clock frequencies and more cores. Gaming need exactly the opposite. Rather fewer cores with more clock speed. Most games use 2 cores.

Very few use four. Battlefield 3 is the only onje i can think of now that uses four cores.

There are other reasons but that is what it boils down too.
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November 27, 2012 12:22:36 PM

You might have to use ECC ram with xeons. I'm not sure though but if it does that's much slower
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November 27, 2012 1:05:38 PM

Xeons sacrifice performance for reliability and error correction, so no. Get an i5.
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November 27, 2012 1:15:01 PM

Xeons are also good for high-end workstations.

If it's a new build I would not get Xeons unless you're planning to use it for something else. If it's 2nd hand there's no reason why you cannot use them for gaming, I would just make sure it has a high clock speed.

I would also double check the memory compatibilty as the cheapest Xeons need ECC ram, and the higher-end xeon motherboards need ECC registered ram or better, which is expensive.

Personally, I have an 3.1GHz quad core Xeon E3-1220 with 16GB of ECC DDR3 1333MHz ram on an Asus uATX P8B-M running SBS2011 24/7. I would quite happily install a half decent graphics card and sound card (server boards have basic graphics and no sound card) to turn it into a gaming machine.
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November 27, 2012 4:38:49 PM

no
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November 27, 2012 6:49:45 PM

I don't know what everyone here is talking about.

For the most part, Xeons are identical to Core i5/i7 chips. There are a few minor differences - Xeons support ECC RAM, which is nice (although Pauls3743 is wrong: they don't require ECC, they just allow for its use if you would like). Aside from ECC support though, lower end Xeons and Core i5/i7 models are basically the same chip. For example, a Xeon E3-1275V2 is basically identical to an I7-3770, while an E3-1225V2 is basically an i5-3470. Some Xeons are even better for gaming - the Xeon E3-1290V2 is a quad with hyperthreading with a 3.7GHz base clock and a 4.1GHz turbo, which makes it faster than any non-overclocked i7 at gaming.

Even going to the high end, a similar trend emerges: the Xeon E5-1660 is basically the same as an i7-3960x. I would avoid the really high core count Xeons - they do tend to sacrifice clockspeed for cores, which isn't what you want when gaming. The lower and mid range Xeons are perfectly good for gaming though, and there's absolutely no reason not to get them.
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November 27, 2012 8:13:30 PM

The Xeon's don't have an unlocked multiplier, so if overclocking is in your plans, that's one reason to not get one.
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November 27, 2012 8:42:59 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
The Xeon's don't have an unlocked multiplier, so if overclocking is in your plans, that's one reason to not get one.



True. That's really the only downside though.
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November 27, 2012 10:06:19 PM

cjl said:
For the most part, Xeons are identical to Core i5/i7 chips. There are a few minor differences - Xeons support ECC RAM, which is nice (although Pauls3743 is wrong: they don't require ECC, they just allow for its use if you would like).


I'm speaking from personal experience. Name me one Xeon/motherboard combo that does not require ECC ram for a xeon processor (a motherboard which supports non-ECC when it has an i3, or less, in it doesn't count) and I'll stand corrected.
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November 28, 2012 12:13:17 AM

Paul: The memory controller is in the Xeon itself, not in the board. Pretty much every board that supports a Xeon E3 or E5 should support non-ECC memory. If you want a specific example, how about the Asus P8C WS?

The fact of the matter is, unbuffered DDR3-ECC and non-ECC memory use the same physical slot, and since the memory controller is on the Xeon, not on the motherboard, any board which supports one should support the other. The only time this won't be the case is if the board supports a Core i7/i5, but not a Xeon, since the memory controller in the i7/i5 can't use ECC memory.
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November 28, 2012 4:18:50 PM

I stand corrected. I was aware that with the advent of the lga1366 Bloomfields the memory controller moved on die. I was not aware that the chips would accept anything less than ECC ram. This was for two reasons 1). my first few servers wouldn't start with anything less than ECC-registered ram (my first was actually a Pentium 3 server board) and 2). when I looked to upgrade to my current Sandy Bridge E3 none of the specs, for the server boards I looked at, made mention of a non-ECC option for ram.
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November 28, 2012 6:11:02 PM

That's interesting that the early ones wouldn't use non-ECC RAM. I'm not terribly familiar with the workstation line of products pre-Bloomfield, so that's news to me.
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