Intel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz
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Intel Xeon E3-1220
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz Xeon E3-1220

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz is massively better than the Intel Xeon E3-1220 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 i7-5820K 6-Core was released over three years more recently than the Xeon E3-1220, and so the Core i7-5820K 6-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Xeon E3-1220 when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i7-5820K 6-Core has 2 more cores than the Xeon E3-1220. 6 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Xeon E3-1220 is more than enough for gaming purposes.

The Core i7-5820K 6-Core has 8 more threads than the Xeon E3-1220. The Xeon E3-1220 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i7-5820K 6-Core 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 Core i7-5820K 6-Core and Xeon E3-1220 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 i7-5820K 6-Core has a 0.2 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 Core i7-5820K 6-Core has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Xeon E3-1220, 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 E3-1220 has a 60 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-5820K 6-Core. However, the Core i7-5820K 6-Core was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Xeon E3-1220 is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswell-ESandy Bridge
MoBo SocketSocket 2011-3 / R3 / LGA2011-3LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date29 Aug 201403 Apr 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs4
CPU Threads12vs4
Clock Speed3.3 GHzvs3.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.6 GHzvs3.4 GHz
Max TDP140 Wvs80 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature67°Cvs69°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size768 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size15 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

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Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

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Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz is an extreme processor based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 6 Physical Cores (12 Logical), initially clocked at 3.3GHz, which may go up to 3.6GHz and 15MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked, meaning it can be overclocked easily.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 140W.

Its performance is overall identical to Core i7-4930K and is thus exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
Xeon E3-1220 is a Server Processor based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.1GHz, which may go up to 3.4GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics and has a rated board TDP of 80W.

Though not created for gaming purposes, its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.

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