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Monday, 17 June 2013


Intel Xeon E5 2687W vs Intel Core i7 3960X

First of all this is not 'just any' comparison, its the battle of the heavy weights. The premium or lets say the top notch market has been dominated entirely by Intel ever since its Xeon processor series set foot. But in the last few months Intel has tried to fill this gap between the top notch and the commonly heavy used systems like the extreme Gaming PCs or the Studio PCs with the launch of it latest Processor from the Sandy Bridge section the Intel Core i7 3960X.
First thing firs the reasons for comparisons:
1. Intel did not have a daily use premium processor thus far either it was the Mammoth Xeon processors or the Ivy Bridge i7s or i5s.
2. The Xeon could only be afforded by large firms and institutions due to its very high purchase as well as maintenance cost, leaving small businesses and server owners stranded and made to use the 'cheaper' processors consumer processors.

So keeping all this in mind lets take a brief look at the key features of these two titans:

Clearly these two are as different as they get but then they cater to two different markets after all. Taking a deeper plunge into the details i came across this:

Intel Core i7-3960X advantages

  • Operating frequency of the CPU is higher than the frequency of the Xeon E5-2687W microprocessor.
  • The clock multiplier on this CPU is not locked. Thus, the processor can be freely overclocked on most motherboards to get greater performance.
  • The microprocessor is 13% more energy efficient.
  • The official price of the Intel i7-3960X is much lower than the price of the Intel Xeon E5-2687W.

Intel Xeon E5-2687W advantages

  • The E5-2687W packs more processing cores than the Core i7-3960X CPU. Large number of cores helps this processor to tackle multiple processes or heavily multi-threaded tasks.

 As seen clearly the i7 3970K is dominating over the Xeon E5 2687W but this is because of two prime reasons the i7 was intended to function on a single processor motherboard unlike the Xeon that works in a pair as it is a server or processor. Intel launched the 3970K just to give the consumers a taste of what its like to use a high end processors and even help owners of small servers like that of regional universities to graphic designer to get better performance without spending a bomb!

The i7 3970K has a larger L2 cache memory than the Xeon E5 making it slightly faster in single threaded applications like gaming and internet surfing to MS Office work but when real performance or multi-threaded tasks are needed the slower but definitely the larger 20MB L3 cache of the Xeon comes into play making it still the ideal choice for hardcore working.
Also the Xeon can support more RAM than the 3960X, with 750GB vs 64GB making it still the first choice for heavy servers.

My Verdict:

Frankly speaking these two just can't be compared on any basis sending Intel's expectations to keep them in the same bracket to the rock-bottom! The only thing that can come out of this is the fact that definitely Intel has managed to bridge the gap between the big players and the still emerging ones giving the latter a still cheaper/performance hardware to boost up their work giving them some relief and the space to improve their working capacity, something what AMD couldn't do so far as the latest FX 9590 is still not for consumer sale whereas the Intel i7 3970K is a consumer hardware! So if you are planning to setup a small business or a server for a local university or office etc then a central CPU with the 3970K in it is the right choice for you whereas if you are the blesses ones, then still the Goliath of a processor the Intel Xeon E5-2687W is what you are looking for.

So if you have any other query regarding the same or any suggestion or point that you would like to add please let me know.

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