Skip to main content

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

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel 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
MotherboardsIntel S1200BTL (LGA 1155) Intel C204, BIOS 35;1.13;1.14
MemoryCrucial 8 GB (4 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 ECC Unbuffered, CT25672BA1339.18FG
Hard DriveIntel SSD 710 200 GB SATA 3 Gb/s SSD
GraphicsNvidia Quadro 5000
Power SupplyEnermax S Galaxy Evo EGX1250EWT 1250 W 80 PLUS Bronze PSU
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 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: 0.9.5Video: 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 v2.2Version: 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 PLE1920x1080 Landscape Render, Global Illumination enabled
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5Paladin Sequence to H.264 Blu-rayOutput 1920x1080, Maximum Quality, Mercury Playback Engine: Software Mode
Adobe After Effects CS 5.5Version: CS 5.5Tom'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 2012Version: 10 x64 Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440 x 1080
CinebenchCPU Test, Built-in benchmark
SolidWorks 2010PhotoView 360Render 01-Lighter Explode.SLDASM (SolidMuse.com)Image Output Resolution: 1920x1080, Render: Preview Quality “Good”, Final Render Quality “Best”
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
  • aqualipt
    Meeeh, Ivy bridge is a disappointment for the hardcore PC users, although is great for mobile users.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    Ivy Bridge Goes Professional


    Need Ivy Bridge Goes budget.

    Still Waiting this.... i3, Pentium G
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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 XeonsYou don't buy Xeons for performance, you buy them for reliability. The performance for clock speed is exactly the same.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply