Question Upgrading to Xeon Processor for first time

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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I am looking to upgrade the CPU of the hardware setup that I have below, because the i7-3820 only has 4 cores. The Xeon processor I am interested in is the one that has the most number of cores and threads. Here is the CPU support list of my motherboard. With this in mind, I am thinking of getting the Xeon E5-2697 v2 CPU

I have never used a Xeon processor before, other than knowing that they're power hungry (very high TDP ratings which worry me because they might burn the system or something) and that they have a lot of cores. Back in the days there were used for server applications. It was always out of reach to me mainly due to the cost and back then I wasn't tech savvy enough, but now after almost a decade prices have dropped. Is there anything that I have missed out/is everything in my setup compatible with the processor? Are Xeon processors compatible with Non-ECC memory (like the one I am using below)?

I have already flashed the BIOS of this motherboard (Both BIOSES) to v4.8.

I have another system with the following setup:

Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)

RAM: 8x sticks of DDR3 (64GB Total) Kingston HyperX 1600MHz

CPU: Intel i7-3820

CPU Cooler: DeepCool Gammax S40

Case: NZXT H440

PSU: Seasonic SSR1000-PD (1000W)

Also I am curious about the nomenclature of these processors - i.e. how are they named?

Ex: Difference between E5-2697V2 vs. E5-2695 V2 Xeon CPUs

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Eximo

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If they list support for 150W CPUs, then the board can handle 150W CPUs. (These were very much premium boards at the time) I wouldn't worry about the board burning up.

You aren't actually increasing the rated TDP of the CPU, not that that means much.

ECC is not required to run them, and your motherboard would have to support ECC anyway.

Xeon nomenclature is basically just numbers, if you want the detail:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/processor-numbers-data-center.html

Really, just best to look at your boards and chipset to see what is compatible, all else is just a name.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Also I am curious about the nomenclature of these processors - i.e. how are they named?

Ex: Difference between E5-2697V2 vs. E5-2695 V2 Xeon CPUs

Any advice would be appreciated.
The Intel ARK is the place to look. Here is all the processors in the same E5 v2 family -- https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/78582/intel-xeon-processor-e5-v2-family.html
You can sort that web page by CPUs, or clock speed, etc. So you can see the difference between the 2697 and the 2695 is clock speed.
 

avg9956

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Ok thank you for your replies
I have already placed an order for the CPU

Personally haven't used yet a 130W TDP CPU, but I'd imagine it would require monstrous cooling.
Would be curious as to how it compares with my Ryzen 9 5900x. Both CPUs have 12 cores, 24 threads, but of course the IPC improvements over the years have vastly improved.

Also I checked my Intel SSD if it needed any firmware update, came across an article that it would fail/brick after 1700 hours of idle power time
Luckily my Intel SSD is of the latest version: XCV10132
 

Eximo

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i7-3820 is a 130W TDP chip. Under most circumstances it probably doesn't reach that power draw, where the 12 core would be more likely to if you gave it something that uses all the cores.

The difference being that the 3820 is going to stay at high clock frequencies, and the 12 core is going to drop down to the base clock for the most part.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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I am looking to upgrade the CPU of the hardware setup that I have below, because the i7-3820 only has 4 cores. The Xeon processor I am interested in is the one that has the most number of cores and threads. Here is the CPU support list of my motherboard. With this in mind, I am thinking of getting the Xeon E5-2697 v2 CPU

I have never used a Xeon processor before, other than knowing that they're power hungry (very high TDP ratings which worry me because they might burn the system or something) and that they have a lot of cores. Back in the days there were used for server applications. It was always out of reach to me mainly due to the cost and back then I wasn't tech savvy enough, but now after almost a decade prices have dropped. Is there anything that I have missed out/is everything in my setup compatible with the processor? Are Xeon processors compatible with Non-ECC memory (like the one I am using below)?

I have already flashed the BIOS of this motherboard (Both BIOSES) to v4.8.

I have another system with the following setup:

Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)

RAM: 8x sticks of DDR3 (64GB Total) Kingston HyperX 1600MHz

CPU: Intel i7-3820

CPU Cooler: DeepCool Gammax S40

Case: NZXT H440

PSU: Seasonic SSR1000-PD (1000W)

Also I am curious about the nomenclature of these processors - i.e. how are they named?

Ex: Difference between E5-2697V2 vs. E5-2695 V2 Xeon CPUs

Any advice would be appreciated.
Not advice, more of a warning: performance in games will be worse on the Xeon than your i7.

more cores only translates to more performance if you’re running something that can take advantage of those cores.

The list of tasks that can take advantage of more than 4 cores is very short:

  • Rendering video (e.g. cinebench)
  • 3D rendering (e.g Maya or Lightwave)
  • Server applications (e.g SQL Server)
  • Benchmarking software
So if you don’t have one of those tasks in mind you will probably find the Xeon slower than your old CPU.
 

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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Not advice, more of a warning: performance in games will be worse on the Xeon than your i7.
This i7 only has 4 cores. Modern games definitely use more than 4 cores right now. Its older games that are more likely to be single-core and can be configured at times on how many cores you want to use in their config.ini file if they have one.

Anything less than 8 cores for gaming will not be sufficient in the long run.

Also more modern games that says it will only use X amount of cores does not necessarily mean it will use only X amount of cores strictly per say.
The additional cores will still help in processing the game and result in a smoother difference.


The list of tasks that can take advantage of more than 4 cores is very short:

  • Rendering video (e.g. cinebench)
  • 3D rendering (e.g Maya or Lightwave)
  • Server applications (e.g SQL Server)
  • Benchmarking software
I beg to differ. Add gaming to that list as well as cryptomining.

And also a great incentive to upgrade the old CPU that i have is to be able to support PCI-E 3.0. Keep in mind these components were during the time of transition of PCI-E 2.0 to PCI-E 3.0 and from SATA 2.0 to SATA 3.0.
 
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avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
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Ok CPU arrived. Installed it and it works
Temps are ranging from 35-40C on idle.




Time to say goodbye to my old i7-3820!
Thanks a bunch guys.
 

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