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CPU Core Details

CPU Codename Nehalem-WS Lynnfield
MoBo Socket LGA 1366/Socket B LGA 1156/Socket H
Notebook CPU no no
Release Date 29 Mar 2009 30 May 2010
CPU Link GD Link GD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

{
CPU Cores 2 4
CPU Threads 2 8
Clock Speed 2.4 GHz 3.06 GHz
Turbo Frequency - 3.73 GHz
Max TDP 130 W 95 W
Lithography 45 nm 45 nm
Bit Width 64 Bit 64 Bit
Max Temperature - 73°C
Virtualization Technology no no

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size 256 KB 256 KB
L2 Cache Size 1024 KB 1024 KB
L3 Cache Size 8 MB 8 MB
Memory Types
Max Memory Size 24 GB 16 GB
Memory Channels 3 2
ECC Memory Support no no

CPU Graphics

Integrated Graphics no no
Base GPU Frequency - -
Max GPU Frequency - -
DirectX - -
Displays Supported - -

CPU Mini Review

Mini Review Xeon Processor W3503 is a Dual Core server processor. Offers very modest gaming performance. Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 45nm, Nehalem architecture. <br/> <br/> It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 3.06GHz, which may go up to 3.73GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache. <br/> Among its many features, <b>HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization</b> are activated. <br/> <br/> The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics and has a rated board TDP of 95W. <br/> <br/> Its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.

Gaming Performance Comparison

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz is massively better than the Intel Xeon Processor W3503 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.

Both the Xeon Processor W3503 and the Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

The 4 has 2 more cores than the Xeon Processor W3503. { With 4 cores, the 4 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core i7-880 Quad has 6 more threads than the Xeon Processor W3503. The Xeon Processor W3503 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i7-880 Quad 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 Processor W3503 and Core i7-880 Quad 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 i7-880 Quad has a 0.66 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 4.

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 W3503 and the Core i7-880 Quad have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, we have to look back to the clock rate, where the Core i7-880 Quad wins out.

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.