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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Xeon E3-1230 v2 Phenom 9850 Quad-Core
Cyberpunk 2077 3% 129%
Control 24% 193%
eFootball PES 2020 6% 121%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 24% 193%
Grand Theft Auto VI 55% 266%
Borderlands 3 3% 129%
Total War: Three Kingdoms 55% 266%
Red Dead Redemption 2 30% 207%
FIFA 20 18% 93%
F1 2019 30% 206%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2 is massively better than the AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core 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 three years more recently than the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core, and so the Xeon E3-1230 v2 is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core when running the latest games.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 and the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

The Xeon E3-1230 v2 has 4 more threads than the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core. The Phenom 9850 Quad-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Xeon E3-1230 v2 uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

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 Phenom 9850 Quad-Core 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 Xeon E3-1230 v2 has a 0.8 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. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

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 Phenom 9850 Quad-Core has a 1024 KB bigger L2 cache than the Xeon E3-1230 v2, but on the other hand, it is the Xeon E3-1230 v2 that has a 6 MB bigger L3 cache than the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core. The L3 size of the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core is probably low enough to greatly inhibit its gaming performance in comparison to the Xeon E3-1230 v2.

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 56 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Phenom 9850 Quad-Core, and was created with a 43 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Xeon E3-1230 v2 will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy Bridge-H2Agena
MoBo SocketLGA 1155/Socket H2Socket AM2+
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date14 May 201201 Jul 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads8vs4
Clock Speed3.3 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.7 GHzvs-
Max TDP69 Wvs125 W
Lithography22 nmvs65 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature66°Cvs61°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size8 MBvs2 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
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.
Phenom 9850 Quad-Core is a performance processor based on the 65nm, K10 architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.5GHz and 2MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 125W.

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

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