Seeking advice on a Workstation/Gaming rig combo

I'm thinking about putting together a smaller workstation that I also would want to use for occasional gaming experiences.

What I'm very unsure about is how to find a good trade-off between running (multi-threaded) applications that benefit from multi-core systems and applications that benefit from a high per-core performance.

So let's begin this by addressing the following questions:

* How well does modern games benefit from multi-core (4+) systems as of today? I know that e.g. Skyrim supports 4 cores since a recent patch but how well optimized is it really?

* I read that some Core i7's can go into some kind of a turbo mode by shutting down a few of the cores while running the remaining cores at a higher than nominal clock speed. Is this feature supported on Xeons? How high per-thread performance gains can one achieve with this turbo mode in per cents? How well does this work on Xeons? On a dual CPU system can or will the turbo boost even shut down one entire CPU?
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  1. as of today, 4+ cores are not really useful other than in heavy rendering or very intense multi-tasking

    i7s and xeons are the same thing. just that some i7s can overclock and xeons cant. xeons sometimes have a few more pci-e lanes avaliable and some of them support ecc memory.
  2. By smaller workstation do you mean a system that uses a small form factor (mATX / Mini-ITX)? If so I can base a system around that.
  3. TheBigTroll said:
    as of today, 4+ cores are not really useful other than in heavy rendering or very intense multi-tasking

    i7s and xeons are the same thing. just that some i7s can overclock and xeons cant. xeons sometimes have a few more pci-e lanes avaliable and some of them support ecc memory.


    That's what I will want to use the workstation for; computational tasks and the ability to run several programs at once. I sometimes have 50+ windows open and it really taxes on my old system.

    Moreover I will be experimenting a lot with virtual machines and VT-d.

    But what you are saying is that some (modern LGA2011) Xeons and i7's don't support ECC?!? I thought support for this feature was a standard these days!!!

    Edit:
    By small I mean a standard Mid/Fulltower system. Otherwise it would be interesting to see a dual CPU system on a uATX/miniITX board ;D
  4. Quote:
    But what you are saying is that some (modern LGA2011) Xeons and i7's don't support ECC?!? I thought support for this feature was a standard these days!!!


    It's a standard but it's not a requirement, most systems don't really need it apart from servers with high work loads.

    Quote:
    By small I mean a standard Mid/Fulltower system. Otherwise it would be interesting to see a dual CPU system on a uATX/miniITX board ;D


    That would be but there's no way you could do dual CPUs on a $1500 budget. :lol:
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