Intel Core i7/i5 Pros
Overclocking – Unlocked i5 and i7 processor are designed to be overclocked, meaning they can run at higher clock speed than what they’re qualified for, assuming the right voltage and BIOS settings. This equate to free power and more values, a feature that Xeons do not have.
GHz per dollar – For pure Gigahertz speeds for the money, the 2011 and 1150 i7’s come out on top every times, making them the best value for single threaded application. For example a 4-core i7-7700 running at 3.6GHz retails for around $300. The comparable quad core Xeon running at that clock speeds will cost about $50 more.
On board graphics – i7 and i5 processors all come with onboard graphic, meaning a discrete video card is not required for video display, whereas Xeon processor-based PCs cannot be configured without discrete videos. Though we recommend a discrete card for anything beyond the most casual gaming or video works, on board graphics are suitable for many home office uses.
L3 cache – CPU caches are like small batches of memory that the processor keep close by to speed up certain application. Most Xeon processors have 15-30MB of L3 cache depending on the model, close to double their i7 counterpart. This extra cache is one reason why Xeon’s are so much faster at high demands workstation application than i7.
Support for ECC RAM – Error Checking and Corrections (ECC) RAM detects and corrects most common data corruptions before it occurs, eliminating the cause of many system crash and translating to more stable overall performance. Only Xeon processor support ECC RAM.
More cores, multi CPU options – If your application require as many CPU cores as possible, Xeon is what you need. The new Xeon v3 processors max out at 12 cores (24 after Hyperthreading) whereas even the KabyLake i7-7700k has just eight cores. Multi-CPU configurations are also only possible with Xeon.
Longevity (under heavy load) – Xeon processor are qualified to handle heavier, more intensive loads day in and day out. For the serious workstations user, this can translate to better longevity over i7 counterparts.
Hyperthreading at a lower pricepoint – Most of the advantage of Xeon processors come to users in a higher price ranges, but not this one. Since all Xeons come with Hyperthreading – a process essentially doubling the CPU cores through the creation of virtual core – and i5 processors do not, many users shopping in this price ranges may find the Xeons to be a better value, assuming their specific applications supports these virtual cores.
So which is best for you? That answer depends on what you’ll be using your new PC for and the pricepoints at which you feel most comfortable. If gaming or homes and office tasks are more your style where GHz speed is more important than copious numbers of core, or workstation application on a budget where value is critical, the i7’s and i5’s should be your choices. If you’re into moderate to high-end workstations PC usage like CAD design, 4K video, and 3D rendering where the benefits of ECC RAM, more cache, and possible dual CPUs are advantageous, we heartily recommend Xeon.
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