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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz Xeon E3-1220 v3
Cyberpunk 2077 48% 7%
Red Dead Redemption 2 39% 9%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 54% 18%
Halo: Reach 75% 55%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 34% 19%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 55% 19%
FIFA 20 57% 22%
Doom Eternal 50% 10%
Grand Theft Auto VI 18% 48%
Need For Speed Heat 49% 8%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz 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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core was released over three years more recently than the Xeon E3-1220 v3, and so the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Xeon E3-1220 v3 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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core has 12 more cores than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. 16 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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Threadripper 2950X 16-Core has 28 more threads than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. The Xeon E3-1220 v3 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Threadripper 2950X 16-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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core and Xeon E3-1220 v3 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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core.

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 Threadripper 2950X 16-Core has a 7168 KB bigger L2 cache than the Xeon E3-1220 v3, 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 v3 has a 100 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core. However, the Threadripper 2950X 16-Core was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Xeon E3-1220 v3 is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameZen+Haswell
MoBo SocketSocket TR4LGA 1150
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date31 Aug 201802 Jun 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores16vs4
CPU Threads32vs4
Clock Speed3.5 GHzvs3.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.3 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Max TDP180 Wvs80 W
Lithography12 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature68°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size1526 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size8192 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size32 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
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Max GPU Frequency-vs-
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Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

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Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe AMD Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz is a very high-end CPU based on AMD's 12nm Zen+ microarchitecture. It offers 16 physical cores (32 logical), initially clocked at 3.5Hz, which may go up to 4.4GHz using Turbo Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 32MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 1TB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 180W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features, Enmotus FuzeDrive for AMD Ryzen, AMD SenseMI Technology, AMD Ryzen VR-Ready Premium, Virtualization, AES, AVX2, FMA4, XFR (Extended Frequency Range) It doesn't feature an integrated GPU. The Threadripper 2950X 16-Core 3.5GHz's high core count and high clock speed make it a great but expensive option for gamers. It will run AAA games very well. While a high clock speed is a priority for gaming, 16 cores is excessive for most gaming applications in 2018.Xeon 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.

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