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Do you recommend the Xeon E3-1231v3 for gaming?

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Do you recommend the Xeon E3-1231v3 for gaming?

Postby RGiskeel » April 24th, 2016, 1:38 pm

So I'm actually planning to build a new PC, and I found out this Xeon E3 CPU, which quite caught my eye.
The Xeon E3-1231v3 is a workstation-grade Haswell CPU, but it has a quite similar specs as the i7-4770 and has a cheaper price than that i7. According to the Intel ARK page, the Xeon E3-1231v3 has a base speed of 3.4GHz, and turbo speed of 3.8GHz, while the i7-4770 has a base speed of 3.4GHz and turbo speed of 3.9GHz, which means that the Xeon has 100MHz lower turbo speed than the i7.
Both have 8M cache and hyperthreading, but the TDP is different. The Xeon has 80W TDP, while the i7 has 84W. This actually means that it's slightly more power-efficient than an i7.
In Passmark, the Xeon gets 9600 points while the i7 gets 9830, so it loses by 230 points. However, it's not so significant for me, unless if it hits like 1000+ points. This is to be expected due to lower turbo speed.
When it comes to the price (according to Intel ARK), the Xeon E3 costs only $250, while the i7 costs $312. That saves about $62, which is nice for me, considering the fact that the i7 isn't even affordable for me. The reason why it's cheaper is because the Xeon E3 doesn't have any integrated GPU unlike the i3/i5/i7 (although some Xeon models do have it). However, I won't need it because I'm gonna put a GTX 960 anyway.

When compared to the i5-4690K, which is the highest performance Haswell i5, the Xeon E3 is still way better.
The i5 has a base speed of 3.5GHz and turbo speed of 3.9GHz, so that's only 100MHz lower base and turbo speed on the Xeon. It only has 6M cache, compared to 8M on the Xeon, and it has 88W TDP, which is even less power-efficient than both the i7 and the Xeon.
Unlike Xeon, the i5 doesn't have any hyperthreading, and there is a performance impact because of this (see below).
The Xeon totally blows the i5 out of the water in Passmark, because the i5 only gets 7704 points. That's 1896 points below the Xeon. It probably happened because it doesn't have hyperthreading, which sometimes helps while using some apps.
The price comparison is barely noticeable: The i5 is $243, while the Xeon is $250. So really, the Xeon wins this fight against the i5.

In terms of gaming performance the Xeon performs quite well when paired with the GTX 960. Check out this video of someone testing GTA V on a Xeon E3-1231v3 with GTX 960 here.
I'll just use my current 1366x768 monitor to do stuff, so I won't really need that extra 1080p eye-candy. Also, getting a new monitor means that I need to shell out some more cash, so I'm not gonna do it for now.

So what do you think? Would you like to get this, if you need to upgrade your PC? Or, would you get an i7 instead?

I'd really like to see if I could tweak Windows 8 Dev Preview beta so that it could be used for everyday stuff!*
*Includes tweaking it to the point where it identifies as Windows 7 SP1.

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