What the difference between a Xeon and a core i7 or core i9 processor? Is Xeon good for gaming? These questions have been asked and answered a lot of times. The reason people keep asking the same question is that there is a lot of misinformation in the answers that are on the internet. So let’s address these questions and see the facts and figures.
Myths about Xeon
The first myth is that Xeon’s and consumer CPU’s do not work with the same motherboard, they are not compatible. This was true when Xeons were made for completely different sockets, but nowadays it’s not the same. Now it’s totally up to the manufacturer of the motherboard to implement support for Xeon’s. In a lot of cases, it is possible to install a core i7 chip on a workstation motherboard and a Xeon chip in a consumer board. The main difference comes when a certain feature like overclocking on a workstation motherboard or error correction code (ECC) memory support on a consumer board might not work.
The second myth, people said that Xeon’s are inherently better for 3D rendering while normal CPU’s like core i7 is better for gaming and stuff. This will be valid for some cases, for example, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2697 v2 (30M cache) with 12 cores and costing around 2500$ will not handle gaming as well as Intel Core i7-4790K Processor (8M cache) costing around only 350$. Gaming usually favors fewer and faster cores compared to a lot of slower core.
Why does Xeon exist?
First of all, Xeon has ECC memory support which is used in computers where data corruption cannot be accepted. Along lines like other workstation and server-grade components, they are indicated for 24/7 operation. That is not all, even though we can find Xeon’s with same specifications as core series CPU sometimes, the Xeon lineup also contains many additional products with specialized features that are not available to the consumers usually because they simply don’t need them, so why bother spending money on them? Along with that ECC memory support, some Xeon supports a massive amount of memory per system and larger-chip data caches. This will affect performance in certain workloads, especially repetitive ones.
There are many Xeon’s with additional processing cores for running a lot of virtual machines on a single box or for big performance boosts and workstation or server workloads. As you move up the product stack you will find ones with 2,4 or more CPUs in a single machine. Xeon is being targeted at specialized customers like data centers, who are less concerned with the cost of the CPU and more concerned with the higher cost of rack space and the electricity cost.
So in conclusion Xeon are different from core series processors. It all comes down to your own specifications and needs. It’s not about which one is the best, it’s about the right tool for the right job. Picking a wrong one won’t make your PC explode. There is no need to pay a premium or give up consumer-friendly features like overclocking to buy a Xeon if you are just going to edit videos on your PC from time to time. however, in cases where you need something not available to consumers, it is also important to realize that consumer-grade chips are just the tip of the ice burg in terms of what’s available out there.
Who should buy Xeon!
so far we have seen that Xeon is a very powerful chipset, with multiple cores and a lot of PCI-E lanes. But keep in mind, it’s not the best and most efficient choice for a normal home user or a gamer.
If you are looking for a CPU intensive workstation or extensive processing 24/7, then you must opt for Xeon. Intel Xeon is targeted for extensive usage like 3D rendering and game development etc. In early 2019 Xeon W-3175X was reviewed and compared with Core i9-9900K. The Core i9 was an extremely close competitive, at some points during testing core i9 outperformed the Xeon W-3175X. Keep in mind that Xeon has 28 cores and 56 threads.
As we have discussed earlier the multitude of cores does not matter when it comes to gaming, the clock speed matters more. Xeon W-3175X can be overclocked, and it will match the performance of Core-i9. All the Xeon chips are not equipped for overclocking; this gives Core chipsets a definite upper hand.
Core i9 9900K costs under 500$ whereas, Xeon W-3175 costs 3000$. The decision is simple and straight forward if you are interested in gaming simply buy 500$ core i9 and enjoy. A time might come when you will need like 28 cores to run a game, for now, core i9 will work just fine.
Xenos targeted toward business consumers, where they can run 24/7 and heavy workloads. Multiple
Cores help run parallel processes at the same time. Xeon is not intended for home use. Xeon has a slightly lower clock speed then Core i9 but it has 26 cores and 56 threads, which comes in handy if you use it right. Intel says that Xeon is a workstation-based system, especially for 3D modeling, game development, etc. Xeon is expensive because they are built for businesses, consumer-grade equipment tends to have a lower price range.
The core i7 and core i9 are generally intended for general use (consumer-grade), including gaming. If you are a gamer and a normal user, the core series will provide you more than enough processing power. Core i7 and core i9 have a higher clock speed then Xeon processors, which is good for gaming purposes.
Buy according to your requirement, if you need a server or extreme processing power, you should go for Xeon. They are heavy-duty and robust. On the other hand, for normal user and gamers, core i7 and core i9 are just perfect.