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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz Xeon E3-1220 v3
Halo: Reach 75% 55%
Cyberpunk 2077 48% 7%
Red Dead Redemption 2 39% 9%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 54% 18%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 55% 19%
Doom Eternal 50% 10%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 34% 19%
Grand Theft Auto VI 18% 48%
FIFA 20 57% 22%
Need For Speed Heat 49% 8%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz 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 3990X 64-Core was released over three years more recently than the Xeon E3-1220 v3, and so the Threadripper 3990X 64-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 3990X 64-Core has 60 more cores than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. 64 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 3990X 64-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Threadripper 3990X 64-Core has 123 more threads than the Xeon E3-1220 v3. The Xeon E3-1220 v3 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core uses hyperthreading and has 1.984375 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 3990X 64-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 Xeon E3-1220 v3 has a 0.1 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 Threadripper 3990X 64-Core has a 31743 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 200 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core. However, the Threadripper 3990X 64-Core was created with a 15 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 CodenameCastle PeakHaswell
MoBo SocketSocket sTRX4LGA 1150
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date05 Jan 202002 Jun 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores64vs4
CPU Threads127vs4
Clock Speed3 GHzvs3.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.5 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Max TDP280 Wvs80 W
Lithography7 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature68°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size3072 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size32767 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size260 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno

CPU Graphics

Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size58.5 mm 75.4 mmvs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe AMD Threadripper 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz is an extremely high-end (HEDT) CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 64 physical cores (128 logical), initially clocked at 3.0Hz, which may go up to 4.5GHz using Turbo Boost. As of 2020, it is the only HEDT processor with 64 cores. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 260MB 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 2TB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 280W, making it one of the most power intensive processors on the market. It also has a maximum temperature of 68C so appropriate CPU cooling will be necessary. Among its many features are 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 3990X 64-Core 3.0GHz's high core count and middling clock speed make it a decent but extremely expensive option for gamers. This CPU is better suited to prosumers and content creators who may be running high-intensity threaded applications. It will run AAA games very well. While a high clock speed is a priority for gaming, 64 cores is truly excessive for any gaming applications in 2020 and beyond.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.