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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Xeon E3-1220 v3 Xeon E5-2660 v2
Halo: Reach 55% 60%
Cyberpunk 2077 7% 19%
Red Dead Redemption 2 9% 4%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 18% 28%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 19% 29%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 19% 4%
Doom Eternal 10% 21%
Grand Theft Auto VI 48% 30%
FIFA 20 22% 32%
Need For Speed Heat 8% 19%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon E5-2660 v2 is massively better than the Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 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 E5-2660 v2 was released less than a year after the Xeon E3-1220 v3, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance 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 Xeon E5-2660 v2 has 6 more cores than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. 10 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 v3 is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Xeon E5-2660 v2, it would seem to be a decent choice.

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 E3-1220 v3 and Xeon E5-2660 v2 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 E3-1220 v3 has a 0.9 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 Xeon E5-2660 v2 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 Xeon E3-1220 v3 has a 768 KB bigger L2 cache than the Xeon E5-2660 v2, but on the other hand, it is the Xeon E5-2660 v2 that has a 17 MB bigger L3 cache than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. In this case, the L2 size is probably what counts, so the Xeon E3-1220 v3 is likely superior in this area.

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 v3 has a 15 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Xeon E5-2660 v2 (though they were created with the same size 22 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Xeon E3-1220 v3 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).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 2011/Socket R
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date02 Jun 201310 Sep 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs10
CPU Threads4vs-
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs2.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.5 GHzvs3 GHz
Max TDP80 Wvs95 W
Lithography22 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs256 KB
L3 Cache Size8 MBvs25 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphicsno
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 E3-1220 v3 is a Server Processor based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.1GHz, which may go up to 3.5GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor DOES NOT Integrate any Graphics and shares the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.

Though not created for gaming purposes, its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
The Xeon E5-2660 v2 is a 10 core Intel processor. It is part of the Xeon E5 v2 family, and was released in September 2013.
It has a clock speed of 2.2GHz and is based on the Ivy Bridge architecture.
The performance of this server processor is excellent.

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