Intel Xeon E3-1280 v2 Review: Ivy Bridge Goes Professional

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
Processors
Intel Xeon E3-1280 v2 (Ivy Bridge) 3.6 GHz, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Xeon E3-1290 (Sandy Bridge) 3.6 GHz, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Xeon E3-1275 (Sandy Bridge) 3.4 GHz, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Motherboards
Intel S1200BTL (LGA 1155) Intel C204, BIOS 35;1.13;1.14
Memory
Crucial 8 GB (4 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 ECC Unbuffered, CT25672BA1339.18FG
Hard Drive
Intel SSD 710 200 GB SATA 3 Gb/s SSD
Graphics
Nvidia Quadro 5000
Power Supply
Enermax S Galaxy Evo EGX1250EWT 1250 W 80 PLUS Bronze PSU
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia Quadro Driver: 297.03

Although our focus is on workstation testing, we're using a more server-oriented motherboard based on Intel's C204 chipset, the S1200BTL. Really, this platform's only limitation is a PCI Express slot configuration designed for storage and networking expansion. As a case in point, the board's one 16-lane slot is wired for x8 data rates.

Also interesting was that, although we've seen desktop processors work in other vendors' workstation motherboards, the S1200BTL wouldn't recognize our Sandy or Ivy Bridge-based chips, limiting testing to the LGA 1155 Xeons in our lab.

Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.5
Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2.2
Version: 2.2.0.5440
MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio:
MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion: 4.2
RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
BlenderVersion: 2.62
Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1, Cycles renderer and internal tile renderer (9x9)
e-on Software Vue 8 PLE
1920x1080 Landscape Render, Global Illumination enabled
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5
Paladin Sequence to H.264 Blu-ray
Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality, Mercury Playback Engine: Software Mode
Adobe After Effects CS 5.5
Version: CS 5.5
Tom's Hardware Workload, SD project with three picture-in-picture frames, source video at 720p, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 (64-Bit)Version: 11
Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15 000x7266), Filters:, Radial Blur (Amount: 10, Method: zoom, Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
ABBYY FineReaderVersion: 10 Professional Build (10.0.102.82)
Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
3ds Max 2012
Version: 10 x64
Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440 x 1080
Cinebench
CPU Test, Built-in benchmark
SolidWorks 2010
PhotoView 360
Render 01-Lighter Explode.SLDASM (SolidMuse.com)
Image Output Resolution: 1920x1080, Render: Preview Quality “Good”, Final Render Quality “Best”
Visual Studio 2010
Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
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29 comments
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    Top Comments
  • tomfreak
    Quote:
    Ivy Bridge Goes Professional


    Need Ivy Bridge Goes budget.

    Still Waiting this.... i3, Pentium G
    13
  • Other Comments
  • aqualipt
    Meeeh, Ivy bridge is a disappointment for the hardcore PC users, although is great for mobile users.
    -8
  • tomfreak
    Quote:
    Ivy Bridge Goes Professional


    Need Ivy Bridge Goes budget.

    Still Waiting this.... i3, Pentium G
    13
  • bit_user
    Skip.

    I went with a Sandybridge E5-1620 + discrete graphics. Twice the memory bandwidth. Twice the PCIe lanes. Comparable price. And the raw performance of the cores is only a couple % slower. A good tradeoff for GPU compute.
    -1
  • mousseng
    Okay, I'll take your word for it that a $600+ Xeon can be better value in certain scenarios than an i7. But how exactly is it better value than the ~$230 E3-1230v2, which (as far as I can tell) is exactly the same, only clocked a few hundred MHz lower? Is the need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the server-class CPUs so great that Intel can demand a $400 price hike for 300MHz?
    3
  • Anonymous
    The 3Ds Max test doesn't make any sense unless you mention which renderer you're using (Mental Ray? Vray? Scanline?). Also it would be nice if you compared against desktop processors to see if it's worth splashing out on the Xeons
    2
  • PreferLinux
    Skeletor1The 3Ds Max test doesn't make any sense unless you mention which renderer you're using (Mental Ray? Vray? Scanline?). Also it would be nice if you compared against desktop processors to see if it's worth splashing out on the Xeons

    You don't buy Xeons for performance, you buy them for reliability. The performance for clock speed is exactly the same.
    2
  • PreferLinux
    moussengOkay, I'll take your word for it that a $600+ Xeon can be better value in certain scenarios than an i7. But how exactly is it better value than the ~$230 E3-1230v2, which (as far as I can tell) is exactly the same, only clocked a few hundred MHz lower? Is the need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the server-class CPUs so great that Intel can demand a $400 price hike for 300MHz?

    If you need the single-threaded performance, you need it. You can't get that performance by combining multiple systems. In servers or render farms, you can just add a few more machines to make up for the lesser performance, because they are dealing with tasks that are extremely well threaded – so you don't buy the fastest option, you buy the best value option. But in some cases, the single threaded performance is more important (certain workstation tasks) or you are limited to one system (many workstation tasks), so the performance matters more than value until the performance stops making a significant difference.

    And I wouldn't say that it is better value, rather I'd say that it is necessary for the extra reliability.
    0
  • mandrilux
    Nice review, but i'd like to view a comparasion between E3-1245v2 or E3-1275v2 versus I7-3770 or I7-3770K over a motherboard with chipset Z77 like Asrock. Because the E3 is cheaper than I7 and supports same socket.
    Thanks.
    3
  • mandrilux
    Nice review, but i'd like to view a comparasion between E3-1245v2 or E3-1275v2 versus I7-3770 or I7-3770K over a motherboard with chipset Z77 like Asrock. Because the E3 is cheaper than I7 and supports same socket.
    Thanks.
    -3
  • ekho
    Intel doesn't compete hard these days.
    It does whatever it wants.
    AMD or ARM-BASED are not serious competitors at least for about next 2 years I guess.
    1
  • silverblue
    ARM doesn't feature in the workstation space, whereas AMD's Vishera/Delhi, whilst not perfect, could still be a good CPU - its performance gains over Zambezi/Valencia eclipse Ivy's over Sandy. Still, it'll only be aggressive pricing from AMD that really makes them stand out this year against the i7s.

    I'm liking the v2 moniker; instead of inventing new codes, is it so hard to just attach a suffix like a version number of an a/b/c etc.? That's enough to convince people that it's comparable to an older model in speed, socket type etc. but the version number will denote improved performance.
    0
  • A Bad Day
    Quote:
    2 = LGA 1155 4 = LGA 1356 6 = LGA 2011 8 = LGA 1567


    Intel: Compatibility? Standards? Screw that.
    3
  • A Bad Day
    EDIT: I wonder what was Intel's reasoning for four different socket under the same CPU brand?
    0
  • jaquith
    Nice review Chris and thanks! :)

    Translation to Real World - One thing that has often disturbed me is the duration of many of these benches, my experience is that they often either aren't relevant or worst aren't a good measure to real world jobs which often last for HOURS not 1~2 minutes. For comparison sake and perhaps scaling it would be nice to have a 'Part 2' with E5's and UP/DP/MP.

    It took me a half cup of coffee to figure out why you choose the E3-1290, I got it once I realized the clocks.

    Using Stock clocks the Ivy Bridge is a good step in the right direction, but other than it's Litho it's hard for me still to consider it a 'Tock'. I'm hoping the Haswell will correct some of the IB shortcomings.
    1
  • Anonymous
    This is a server chip. Where are the IO and database tests? You know, server tasks.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Would have loved to see the Xeon v2 coupled with a Z77 chipset board, just to see if there is any performance degradation compared to the C-series chipsets. AsRock, Gigabyte, MSI all support the Xeon V2s on their H77 and Z77 boards.
    0
  • mousseng
    433097 said:
    If you need the single-threaded performance, you need it. ... But in some cases, the single threaded performance is more important (certain workstation tasks) or you are limited to one system (many workstation tasks), so the performance matters more than value until the performance stops making a significant difference. And I wouldn't say that it is better value, rather I'd say that it is necessary for the extra reliability.

    Okay, so basically it is that thing I said (the need for performance being that great). And yeah, I worded the whole 'value' bit pretty poorly, but you seem to have caught on to what I was getting at. Thanks!

    Being a consumer with no knowledge of the enterprise/server sector of hardware, it's a bit difficult to see how something so seemingly small can be worth so much, but I often forget that businesses have a lot more money to spend than individuals like myself.
    0
  • mayankleoboy1
    arent the IvyBrisge-EP supposed to ne launching in Q3 2013?
    -2
  • jaquith
    mayankleoboy1arent the Ivy Bridge-EP supposed to ne launching in Q3 2013?

    It depends, supposedly Q2 2013 but if the Haswell makes the Ivy Bridge-EP superfluous then it's doubtful it will ever be produced.

    If you can stomach guesses and utter conjecture then here's an interesting post with external links in an effort to prove or disprove - http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2259752
    -1
  • iamtheking123
    bit_userSkip.I went with a Sandybridge E5-1620 + discrete graphics. Twice the memory bandwidth. Twice the PCIe lanes. Comparable price. And the raw performance of the cores is only a couple % slower. A good tradeoff for GPU compute.

    E5 is the full server version of Sandy Bridge. The equivalent won't be released for Ivy Bridge until next year, so the comparison isn't valid. This is just some re-badged client Ivy Bridge parts with minor enhancements.

    FYI you wasted money if you bought E5 for home use. Overclockability, which Xeons don't have, is more important that memory bandwidth or pci-e lanes.
    -3