The Xeon needs twice the power, probably more heat, no SSE instruction set.
I would sell the Xeon and probably be able to fund part of an I7 rig from it. lol. There isn't any real benefit from it unless you had 2 Xeons and could get a dual cpu board, then it would have an advantage.
the xeon is fine. got 4cores+4ht cores. would make no sense to buy a 3770k.
I agree that the performance would be similar. It is going to come down to how much a single CPU mobo costs for each version, then the cost of RAM (ECC vs non-ECC).
I need to price it out to see if the cost savings is erased. If it turns out to be the same cost for each build and I only opt for 1 CPU, wouldn't it make sense to buy the i7 (newer, overclock capabilities, HD4000)?