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Xeon for gaming?

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January 5, 2013 7:29:23 PM

Hello and happy new year to everyone!

So lately I've been wondering- why aren't Xeon processors good for gaming? Let's take for example the E3-1230v2. Basically an i5-2500k on steroids. Yet it doesn't perform anywhere near the i5 in games. Why is that? I know that Xeon are meant to be used in server PCs and for heavy calculations/ editing. But what makes it so that they have all this processing power and can't use it properly in gaming scenarios? Architecture? If anyone could shed some light on this I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

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January 5, 2013 8:56:12 PM

The Intel Xeon chips are made for servers. Servers require stability and handle large amounts of bandwidth. This is why a lot of these Xeon chips have a ultra high amount of L3 cache but have a lower clock speed.

Games generally need a higher clock speed and handle a limited amount of L3 cache. Most games can't make use of more than 3 cores and 6mb of L3 cache. This is why a processor like the Core i5-2500k will beat a w3680 or a Core i7-980x in gaming benchmarks.

If you're looking for a gaming PC with an Ultra amount of gaming power you AREN'T going to do better than a Core i5-2500K. The Core i7-2600K performs the same in benchmarks as the 2500K. What you do need for an ultra gaming PC is a high end graphics card setup.

The Intel Xeon w3690 is nothing more than an Intel Core i7-990x. Your question brought all of the weirdos out of the woodwork. I hope that some of the more exprienced users will also answer this question. A 10 core processor clocked at 2.4ghz would not work very well for gaming.

When it comes to benchmarks you should really look at a benchmark that suits gaming. Not a compiled benchmark that counts only number crunching. In a single threaded benchmark the 2500k and the 2600k is going to beat a w3690. In a game like WOW the 2500K is 5% faster.
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January 6, 2013 2:36:29 AM

The E3-1230v2 is actually similar to the i7-3770 and is not on steroids in any way. It is .1ghz less and no igpu. Other than that the only difference are some features. http://ark.intel.com/compare/65719,65732 Performance is going to be nearly identical including games. They're probably all from the same wafer and just binned accordingly.
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January 6, 2013 9:09:54 AM

k1114 said:
The E3-1230v2 is actually similar to the i7-3770 and is not on steroids in any way. It is .1ghz less and no igpu. Other than that the only difference are some features. http://ark.intel.com/compare/65719,65732 Performance is going to be nearly identical including games. They're probably all from the same wafer and just binned accordingly.


I see. But the Xeon is going to outperform any enthusiast class processor when it comes to crunching numbers?
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January 6, 2013 9:44:37 AM

auntarie said:
I see. But the Xeon is going to outperform any enthusiast class processor when it comes to crunching numbers?


Yes. It is made for arithmetic/doing calculations/processing things. An i5 2500k is made for gaming and simply that. Thats why they are server CPUs and an i5 2500k is not.
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January 6, 2013 3:31:08 PM

The Xeon will outperform most CPU's anyway. But it's just not made for gaming.
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January 6, 2013 5:19:03 PM

No it will get the same performance in number crunching and in gaming. It will not outperform most cpu's. Take into account all specs of the cpu and it will be the same comparison no matter what branding it has. The 1230v2 is outperformed by the 3770 because of that .1ghz. I feel as if my last post was completely ignored.

The IB xeon review did not compare to the i series but the SB review did. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/xeon-e3-c206-workst... Notice both are clocked the same and are identical performance. Same architecture, same speed, same specs, same instruction sets, same everything (except for is some extra features, see link in previous post).
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January 6, 2013 6:36:22 PM

k1114 said:
No it will get the same performance in number crunching and in gaming. It will not outperform most cpu's. Take into account all specs of the cpu and it will be the same comparison no matter what branding it has. The 1230v2 is outperformed by the 3770 because of that .1ghz. I feel as if my last post was completely ignored.

The IB xeon review did not compare to the i series but the SB review did. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/xeon-e3-c206-workst... Notice both are clocked the same and are identical performance. Same architecture, same speed, same specs, same instruction sets, same everything (except for is some extra features, see link in previous post).


I don't even know how to respond to that... if the Xeon performs the same as an i7 then what is the point in calling it a Xeon and selling it for about $80 cheaper? Anyway, I looked at some articles and read that Xeons are generally better at rendering, calculating etc. because they have huge amounts of l3 cache. Also, their architecture seems to be somewhat different- Ivy Bridge H2, whatever that means. Maybe only the E5 series were meant to be dedicated to server work, seeing as they are the only ones with excessive amounts of cache...
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January 6, 2013 9:44:18 PM

auntarie said:
I don't even know how to respond to that... if the Xeon performs the same as an i7 then what is the point in calling it a Xeon and selling it for about $80 cheaper? Anyway, I looked at some articles and read that Xeons are generally better at rendering, calculating etc. because they have huge amounts of l3 cache. Also, their architecture seems to be somewhat different- Ivy Bridge H2, whatever that means. Maybe only the E5 series were meant to be dedicated to server work, seeing as they are the only ones with excessive amounts of cache...


I agree with you, Xeon's do NOT perform the same as i7's no where near. Xeon's are made for number crunching & calculating. Their architecture is completely different than i7's & i5's that's why they use server boards , low speed dimm ram etc.
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January 6, 2013 11:18:44 PM

So the article I posted is complete bull? I'd like to see evidence. The intel site says they have the same amount of l3 cache. Also if you take a look at other cpus, both i7 and xeons, the amount of l3 is correlated to the number of cores. H2 refers to the socket lga 1155. It is just used to denote xeons e3s vs the i series but it is still the same architecture. The price difference is supply and demand. I'd also like to note that you do not need a server board. They work on consumer chipsets and can use non ecc ram. You can even oc the ram.

The reason low speed ram is used on e5 is they really are just for servers/workstations. It's about stability, heat and power, the same reason why they are clocked lower. Who in their right mind buys a $2k 8 core cpu for gaming? But it doesn't mean they can't. Here's some gaming on the e5 2687w. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-3970x-sandy... They are getting as good as performance as the i5 and i7 and even manages to win most of the time.

You can generalize xeons as better at rendering because generally xeons are higher end cpus. When you think of xeon, you think of the 6-10 core cpus not the low end i7 or i5 equivalents. The same goes for opterons.

To say they are completey different architecture is obsurd. I can't think of a better way to prove it other than to show you the cpu die. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5091/intel-core-i7-3960x-... Notice they even say, "Sandy Bridge E is really a die harvested Sandy Bridge EP, Intel's next generation Xeon part." I'm sure I can google more reputable sites that says they use the same wafers for i7 and xeons but I can leave that to you. Binning is widely known for someone quite knowledgeable in this field.
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January 7, 2013 2:43:30 AM

ihsaan96 said:
The Intel Xeon chips are made for servers. Servers require stability and handle large amounts of bandwidth. This is why a lot of these Xeon chips have a ultra high amount of L3 cache but have a lower clock speed.

Games generally need a higher clock speed and handle a limited amount of L3 cache. Most games can't make use of more than 3 cores and 6mb of L3 cache. This is why a processor like the Core i5-2500k will beat a w3680 or a Core i7-980x in gaming benchmarks.

If you're looking for a gaming PC with an Ultra amount of gaming power you AREN'T going to do better than a Core i5-2500K. The Core i7-2600K performs the same in benchmarks as the 2500K. What you do need for an ultra gaming PC is a high end graphics card setup.

The Intel Xeon w3690 is nothing more than an Intel Core i7-990x. Your question brought all of the weirdos out of the woodwork. I hope that some of the more exprienced users will also answer this question. A 10 core processor clocked at 2.4ghz would not work very well for gaming.

When it comes to benchmarks you should really look at a benchmark that suits gaming. Not a compiled benchmark that counts only number crunching. In a single threaded benchmark the 2500k and the 2600k is going to beat a w3690. In a game like WOW the 2500K is 5% faster.

ihsaan96 said:
I agree with you, Xeon's do NOT perform the same as i7's no where near. Xeon's are made for number crunching & calculating. Their architecture is completely different than i7's & i5's that's why they use server boards , low speed dimm ram etc.


Your original post was fishy because that comment about weirdos. But now it really catches my eye, since it says the xeon and i7 are the same then you contradict yourself saying they are completely different architectures. So I googled and you apparently just copy + pasted. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110710111... And it's also false. L3 cache isn't that important. The 2500k beats the x3680 and 980 in games because of higher ipc since it's sb vs nehalem. It's nice that you want to help for such a young person but you need to have credible sources, not comments from some random yahoo (pun intended). Also plagiarism is something you never want to do.
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January 7, 2013 2:01:29 PM

Best answer selected by auntarie.
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