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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Xeon E3-1220 v3 Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 9% 140%
Cyberpunk 2077 7% 104%
Doom Eternal 10% 97%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 19% 78%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 18% 81%
Halo: Reach 55% 1%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 19% 161%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 20% 165%
Grand Theft Auto VI 48% 226%
Need For Speed Heat 8% 103%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 is massively better than the Intel Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz 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 E3-1220 v3 was released over a year more recently than the Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz, and so the Xeon E3-1220 v3 is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Xeon E3-1220 v3 has 2 more cores than the Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz. With 4 cores, the Xeon E3-1220 v3 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

Both the Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 and the Intel Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz have the same number of threads. The Xeon E3-1220 v3 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz 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 E3-1220 v3 and Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz 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 0.4 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 E3-1220 v3.

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 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz, 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 i5-2390T 2.7GHz has a 45 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. However, the Xeon E3-1220 v3 was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

The Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz 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 E3-1220 v3, 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 2500 Desktop, 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 CodenameHaswellSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 1155/Socket H2
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date02 Jun 201320 Feb 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs2.7 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.5 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Max TDP80 Wvs35 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs65°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size8 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 2500 Desktop
Base GPU Frequency-vs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs11
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.
Core i5-2390T 2.7GHz is a super energy efficient CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.7GHz, which may go up to 3.5GHz and 3MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates weak Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 2000, with 6 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.

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