Skip to main content

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.

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.