Benchmark Results: PCMark 7
Thanks to its higher clock rate, the Core i7-3970X stands up to Intel’s Core i7-3770K in PCMark’s overall suite score. From experience, we know that several components of this synthetic test are really only able to tax four cores effectively. So, the Sandy Bridge-E-based chip’s extra resources are underutilized, while the more mainstream CPU’s Ivy Bridge architecture gives it an advantage.
The big, expensive Xeon can’t reach quite as high, its Turbo Boost implementation limited to 3.8 GHz. This eight-core processor goes largely unused, forcing it into fourth place.
The same combination of variables is exacerbated in PCMark’s Productivity suite. Three Ivy Bridge-based chips huddle at the top, followed by five variations of Sandy Bridge-based hardware. Four AMD processors bring up the rear, unable to achieve the performance per clock cycle needed to compete.
Parallelism is rewarded in PCMark’s Creativity sub-routine, and Intel’s Core i7-3970X grabs a first-place finish. Why doesn’t the eight-core Xeon get that honor? Presumably, a higher clock rate under full load gives the six-core CPU an advantage over the eight-core model running slower.
The same goes for the Entertainment test, where both the Core i7-3970X and -3960X outmaneuver Intel’s Xeon E5-2687W.
Same thing goes for the 3960X compared to the 3930K....not worth the extra 100mhz for $400....
Intel also doesn't want a situation where their LGA 1155 processors outperform their $1000 extreme edition in lightly threaded workloads, which is yet another reason to favor 6-core for now.
I'd personally like to see an 8-core i7, even if it means lower clocks, but I don't think that'll happen until Ivy Bridge-E. At 22nm Intel probably won't have to make a choice, we'll get the best of both worlds.
Run the i7 for one month under Prime95. It will crash. Run the Xeon for one month under Prime95. If it crashes, then you got a defective Xeon because they're not suppose to crash under 24/7 workload.
Why would you even include the 8350? It is 1/6th the price of this CPU. I couldn't imagine what a modern AMD desktop CPU would consist of at the $1000+ price range.