Select any two CPUs for comparison
VS

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz Xeon Processor E5606
Red Dead Redemption 2 132% 218%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 72% 136%
Halo: Reach 4% 31%
Cyberpunk 2077 97% 170%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 157% 252%
Borderlands 3 132% 218%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 117% 197%
Detroit: Become Human 99% 172%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 153% 246%
FIFA 20 66% 128%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz is massively better than the Intel Xeon Processor E5606 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 Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz was released over a year more recently than the Xeon Processor E5606, and so the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Xeon Processor E5606 has 2 more cores than the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz. With 4 cores, the Xeon Processor E5606 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

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 Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and Xeon Processor E5606 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 i5-3230M 2.6GHz has a 0.47 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 enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Xeon Processor E5606.

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 Processor E5606 has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz, 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 Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz has a 45 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Xeon Processor E5606, and was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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).

The Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz 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 Processor E5606, 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 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile, 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.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeWestmere-EP
MoBo SocketBGA 1023LGA 1366/Socket B
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date20 Jan 201313 Feb 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads4vs-
Clock Speed2.6 GHzvs2.13 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.2 GHzvs-
Max TDP35 Wvs80 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs-
Max Temperature105°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs1024 KB
L2 Cache Speed-vs-
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000 Mobileno
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1350 MHzvs-
DirectX11vs-
Displays Supported3vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5 X 37.5vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision3vs-
PCIe Configurations3vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-3230M 2.6GHz is a middle-class mobile processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.6GHz, which may go up to 3.2GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor integrates mildly powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4000, with 16 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 35W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Intel Xeon E5606 is a Server CPU part of the Xeon Series continuously released by Intel.
It's based on the Nehalem architecture and the memory controller supports DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066.
The performance though good, falls behind most Intel i5, i7 and since Intel Xeon E5606 wasn't built for gaming purposes it comes at a considerably high price.

Vendor-Specific Features

Intel Quick Sync VideoIntel Quick Sync Video
Intel InTru 3DIntel InTru 3D
Intel InsiderIntel Insider
Intel Wireless DisplayIntel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible DisplayIntel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HDIntel Clear Video HD
Intel vProIntel vPro
Intel Hyper-ThreadingIntel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/OIntel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted ExecutionIntel Trusted Execution
AES New InstructionsAES New Instructions
Intel Anti-TheftIntel Anti-Theft
Idle StatesIdle States
Intel SpeedStepIntel SpeedStep
Thermal MonitoringThermal Monitoring
Execute Disable BitExecute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPTIntel VT-x with EPT
Embedded OptionsEmbedded Options

Title

Body