Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2
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Intel Core i5-661 3.33GHz
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Xeon E3-1230 v2 Core i5-661 3.33GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 3% 119%
eFootball PES 2020 6% 112%
Borderlands 3 3% 119%
Grand Theft Auto VI 55% 251%
Metro: Exodus 55% 251%
Doom Eternal 6% 112%
The Division 2 80% 306%
Total War: Three Kingdoms 55% 251%
Watch Dogs Legion 3% 119%
FIFA 20 43% 29%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2 is massively better than the Intel Core i5-661 3.33GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 was released over a year more recently than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz, and so the Xeon E3-1230 v2 is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has 2 more cores than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz. With 4 cores, the Xeon E3-1230 v2 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has 4 more threads than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz. Both the Xeon E3-1230 v2 and the Core i5-661 3.33GHz use hyperthreading. The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i5-661 3.33GHz has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 and Core i5-661 3.33GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i5-661 3.33GHz has a 0.03 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has a 18 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-661 3.33GHz, and was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Xeon E3-1230 v2 will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i5-661 3.33GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Xeon E3-1230 v2, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the HD i5 661, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy Bridge-H2Clarkdale
MoBo SocketLGA 1155/Socket H2LGA 1156/Socket H
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date14 May 201207 Jan 2010
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads8vs4
Clock Speed3.3 GHzvs3.33 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.7 GHzvs3.6 GHz
Max TDP69 Wvs87 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature66°Cvs70°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size8 MBvs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i5 661
Base GPU Frequency-vs900 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs10
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewXeon E3-1230 v2 is a Server Processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 3.3GHz, which may go up to 3.7GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics and has a rated board TDP of 69W.

Though not created for gaming purposes, its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
Core i5-661 3.33GHz is a performance CPU based on the 45nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.33GHz, which may go up to 3.6GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel i5 661, with XX Execution Units, clocked at 900MHz which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 87W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.

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