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

Benchmark Results: Rendering

Our Vue 8 render workload takes more than 20 minutes, and Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture helps cut more than 30 seconds from the task at the same 3.6 GHz clock rate. Shifting from Sandy to Ivy Bridge and adding 200 MHz nearly shaves off two minutes.

In testing Blender’s newer Cycles engine, we see slight scaling between last-gen and current-gen Xeon E3 CPUs. Not surprisingly, the -1275 finishes last due to its Sandy Bridge design and slower clock rate. The -1280 v2 places first again thanks to Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture and 3.6 GHz base frequency.

Although we’d expect similar behavior from SolidWorks as Vue and Blender, the Ivy Bridge-based Xeon E3-1280 v2 establishes a larger advantage over the Sandy Bridge architecture in this one test.

Subtle improvements each step of the way make it pretty clear than upgrading a previous-generation workstation with a newer Xeon E3 probably won’t do much for performance (the same conclusion we drew about Intel’s desktop-oriented Core i7-3770K). However, the Xeon E3-1280 v2 is quantifiably faster than the Xeon E3-1290. So, if you held off on upgrading to a Sandy Bridge-based part, the second-gen E3s should yield more bang for your buck.

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  • 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
    Anonymous 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