What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

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vbironchef
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What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by vbironchef » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:58 pm

I heard that the Xeon E5 will have a least one with 8 cores. What else is different between the cpus and how does it translate in faster (more points for [email protected]) times.? Just wondering if my next build should be with a Xeon cpu. What would be your choice.? Since the big-adv now requires at least 16 cores what would be the newest and fastest cpu coming in the near future for [email protected]?

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Re: What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by Apoptosis » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:51 pm

That is a great question and the Intel Xeon Processor E5 is codenamed Sany Bridge-EP

The Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition (3960X) for LGA2011 platforms is basically a neutered Intel Xeon server processor with two of the CPU cores disabled. So, every Intel Core i7-3960X processor has had two core disabled internally. From what I heard Intel fused off the cores and no motherboard maker has been able to workaround that. Intel supposedly did this to keep the processor under 130W TDP, which is what Intel set for their high-end desktop PCs as being the max allowed. They need to make limits like this so motherboard makers can implement the proper power design. Back on topic... Since the CPUs share the same architecture they are pretty much identical... And have all the same features: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST), Intel 64, XD bit (an NX bit implementation), TXT, Intel VT-x, Intel VT-d, Turbo Boost, AES-NI, Smart Cache, Hyper-threading.

Again, a really good question. The Intel Core i7-3960X is the companies flagship processor even though it has cores fused off... Who would have thought that!

That said... The Intel LGA2011 platform will be getting a true 8-core processor. It's called the Intel Core i7-3980X. It will have all the cores enabled, so 8-cores and 16 threads. Rumor has it that it will be clocked at 3.4GHz with a turbo boost of 4GHz... So 2 more physical cores and a 100MHz speed boost over the Core i7-3960X. The cache and everything is the same and so is the TDP (It is safe to assume that this is the same processor with nothing fused off and a minor speed bump). No need to switch over to server chips with that on the way if you are looking for a [email protected] monster. The only reason I would go server and use Xeon processors is if you wanted to build a system with a server board with dual processors. Then it is the only way to go.

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Re: What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by vbironchef » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:10 pm

Yes it did. Thank you very much. I was thinking of dual processors and thought I would have to buy a new case because of the size requirements. I don't want to go that route. I will wait till the Intel core i7-3980X comes out to build my next rig. The case I am going to use is a Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T. When do you think the Intel core i7-3980X will come out?

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Re: What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by Apoptosis » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:31 pm

well... Ivy Bridge is going to paper launch in early April... I'm guessing it will launch in Q2 and they might try to slip it in around the Ivy Bridge launch. Just not sure if they want to keep it quiet or promote the launch. Intel has snuck several interesting processors out lately. The Intel 2550K is an example of this.
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Re: What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by FeelRealGood » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:11 pm

Hey, Apoptosis, nice posts in response to the new Xeons coming out. Just wondering how sure you are about those release dates. Intel seems to be pretty quiet about when we'll see them other than saying Q1 of 2012. I've read a lot of rumors discussing that they might see a release during CeBIT in early March. Even still, I'm not sure how long it will be until distributors get ahold of them.

My problem, I lost my workstation late in December and been without a computer for the last few months that can handle the tasks I require. I don't want to invest into an older workstation board (1366) or go with a single 2011 processor just to see the Xeon released weeks later. Not to mention, finding a distributor with 3930k seems to be impossible. The few shippers I've talked to said it might take a month to receive the chip, despite the high demand. I suspect Intel is withholding the 3930k's to push the 3960x's which doesn't really give a proper jump in performance for the price increase.

Seems like a difficult time to build a new computer.

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Re: What is the difference between a Xeon E5 and a i7 3960X

Post by vbironchef » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:24 pm

Apoptosis wrote:The Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition (3960X) for LGA2011 platforms is basically a neutered Intel Xeon server processor with two of the CPU cores disabled. So, every Intel Core i7-3960X processor has had two core disabled internally. From what I heard Intel fused off the cores and no motherboard maker has been able to workaround that. Intel supposedly did this to keep the processor under 130W TDP, which is what Intel set for their high-end desktop PCs as being the max allowed. They need to make limits like this so motherboard makers can implement the proper power design. Back on topic... Since the CPUs share the same architecture they are pretty much identical... And have all the same features: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST), Intel 64, XD bit (an NX bit implementation), TXT, Intel VT-x, Intel VT-d, Turbo Boost, AES-NI, Smart Cache, Hyper-threading.

I do have another question about the thermals of that chip. Are the current motherboards going to handle the extra TDP? Would a Corsair H80 be enough cooling for the Intel Core i7-3960X processor.

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