Twice as powerful for the same money! Intel Xeon E5 vs E3-Series

    Not so long ago, we published an article Comparing the performance of Intel processors of different generations, which presents the test results of the 8-core Intel Xeon E5 processors. Since then, over the campaign, several hundred servers based on V1 / V2 processors have been sold, which have become a worthy analogue of the E5-2620V4 / 2630V3 in such tasks as: database server, terminal server, video surveillance, etc. But, unfortunately, the model the number was limited to only 2-processor platforms, which imposed an additional financial burden when using 1-processor configurations. A large number of requests prompted us to develop a budget model of a 1-processor server / workstation, which should significantly outperform the platforms based on Xeon E3 / Core i7, and at the same time compete with them in price.

    For this line of servers, we used a motherboard based on the C602 chipset, which has not been discontinued. Three types of execution were chosen as the basis: MidiTower, Tower / 4U and 2U.
    In order to correctly position the line of servers on the market,
    comparative testing of Intel Xeon processors E5-2650V2, E5-2680V2 and E5-1650V2 versus E3-1230V6 was performed.

    Stand configurations

    Stand No. 1:
    1. Motherboard: MBD-X9SRL-F
    2. Processor: Intel Xeon E5-2650V2
    3. Memory: 4 x 8GB DDR3L-1333 ECC Reg
    4. Disks: 2 x 150Gb SSD

    Stand No. 2:
    1. Motherboard motherboard: MBD-X9SRL-F
    2. Processor: Intel Xeon E5-2680V2
    3. Memory: 4 x 8GB DDR3L-1333 ECC Reg
    4. Disks: 2 x 150Gb SSD

    Stand No 3:
    1. Motherboard: MBD-X9SRL-F
    2. Processor: Intel Xeon E5-1650V2
    3. Memory: 4 x 8GB DDR3L-1333 ECC Reg
    4. Disks: 2 x 150Gb SSD

    Stand No 4:
    1. Motherboard: MBD-X11SSH-F
    2. Processor: Intel Xeon E3 -1230V6
    3. Memory: 4 x 8GB DDR4-2133 ECC
    4. Drives: 2 x 150Gb SSD

    Test results

    PerformanceTest 9.0

    A general test showed that the E5 processors confidently outperform the E3 processors due to the larger number of cores. And this despite the lower frequency of the memory and processor. In some computing tasks, the advantage of a 10-core processor was more than 2 times.
    Of course, V2 processors have an early version of SSE and AVX, so the testing step of the extended instructions was lost, as well as the memory test - as different generations were compared: DDR3 and DDR4.

    But all this did not prevent the E5-V2 processors from getting the best result in terms of the total coefficient.


    Rendering is a task that perfectly parallelizes using all the computing power. Obviously, in this test, multi-core E5 processors also bypassed the 4-core model Xeon E3. A similar result was observed in other software products, for example 3DsMAX. Also, the E5 line showed an almost 2-fold increase in video encoding tasks.


    The performance test, built into the 7-ZIP archiver, showed a result similar to the previous test - parallel calculations are faster on more cores, albeit with a lower frequency.


    Of particular interest were the results of the game test - how the server processor will behave in the popular 3DMark benchmark.

    For these tasks, a separate stand was assembled with a mid-level gaming video card.
    The desktop processor i7-7700 and the server E5-2650V2 were compared.

    The result did not reveal serious performance differences, but showed that even in games the E5-2650V2 is not inferior to the desktop i7 with a frequency of 4.2 GHz in Turbo Boost mode.

    Brief analysis of characteristics

    In order to partially understand why we see such results, let's look at the main parameters of the tested processors.

    In addition to the standard characteristics, I added one line - "The difference between the base frequency and the maximum frequency during acceleration." It is in this parameter, in my opinion, that the success rate of multi-core Xeon E5 is hidden. After all, how does Turbo Boost work? If the load on all the cores is not high, or if some of the cores are completely idle - the processor can accelerate the active cores to a frequency higher than the base. Moreover, acceleration can occur in steps - depending on the load.

    So the delta of these frequencies at 2650V2 and 2680V2 is 0.8 GHz, and at 1230V6 - only 0.4 GHz.
    This means that if the process supports parallel calculations, but to a limited extent (for example, 3-4 threads), then the 1230V6 processor will be able to process it at a frequency of 3.5 GHz, since Turbo Boost will be inactive due to the load on all available processor cores. And the 2680V2 processor will be loaded only by a third, so it can handle a similar task at a frequency close to the maximum - 3.6 GHz. This situation is likely if the necessary conditions are fulfilled - Turbo Boost of the latest version evaluates a lot of parameters during overclocking, including the thermal mode and power consumption of each core separately and the processor as a whole. So, if there is no overheating and the power consumption is normal, theoretically, nothing prevents the processor from overclocking to the maximum frequency not one (as in the earlier version of Turbo Boost), but several cores at once.
    In my opinion, this is the effect we saw in the 3DMARK test results.
    Well, if the process parallels perfectly, then 10 cores against 4 - show an obvious result, despite the difference in frequency.

    The ability to significantly increase the frequency in single-threaded calculations and use all cores in multi-threaded ones makes E5 processors a universal solution for most typical and specialized tasks, including both professional and home ones.

    Price analysis of models

    We have three 1-processor models based on Intel Xeon E5-V2 multi-core processors:

    Compare the cost of classic 2U-servers based on E3 and E5 in test configuration:

    • E3-1230V6: $ 3223
    • E5-1650V2: $ 3255
    • E5-2650V2: $ 3139
    • E5-2680V2: $ 3349

    Compare the cost of 4U / Tower-servers based on E3 and E5 in test configuration:

    • E3-1230V6: $ 3622
    • E5-1650V2: $ 3381
    • E5-2650V2: $ 3265
    • E5-2680V2: $ 3475

    Compare the cost of Miditower-servers / workstations based on i7 and E5 in test configuration:

    • i7-7700 / H270: $ 2121
    • E5-1650V2: $ 2289
    • E5-2650V2: $ 2173
    • E5-2680V2: $ 2,383

    Total - in the case of rack-mount version, a model based on E5 has a similar or lower cost than a model based on E3.

    In the case of a workstation, the situation differs due to not quite direct comparison - a desktop motherboard and memory without error correction are calculated in the workstation based on i7. A workstation based on E5, on the contrary, has a server MP and RAM. If you compare not with a PC on i7, but with a server on E3, then models based on E5 will also be slightly cheaper.

    Why do we trade “obsolete equipment”? Our lineup includes different generations for two reasons. The first reason is reflected in a previous article on performance comparison - the new generation does not always provide performance advantages. The second reason is the lifespan of the model. The low life of the model is disastrous for the design business. There are projects that are being implemented for a very long time. It may take more than one year from the moment of design to the moment of delivery. If the lifetime of the model is lower than the implementation period, then obvious difficulties arise in reconciling the differences between the specification laid down in the project and delivered in fact.

    Such problems are faced by fans of HP and other vendors. The 8th generation of servers was laid everywhere, and after the 9th, it quickly disappeared from the market. The same thing awaits Gen9 in the near future - some models are either already discontinued or will be removed in the near future and will be difficult to access, as formed a new lineup on the Gen10.

    Why is V2 cheaper than V4 or Scalable? Initially, they were purchased, at one time, at the same prices. But, recently, the market was filled with offers of used servers based on processors of this generation at prices significantly lower than those of our new servers. Therefore, it was decided to discount components to create competitive conditions. This action showed a positive effect, which prompted us to extend it until the end of the production of motherboards and the full sale of existing stocks. At the moment, new servers are available with a 3-year warranty at prices significantly lower than the analogues of the latest generation.

    Or, in the framework of this article, comparing with the younger Intel Xeon processors is much more powerful, but for the same money.


    A comparison of performance and price analysis shows that the line of servers / workstations based on Xeon E5-V2 processors can be not only a more budgetary alternative to the latest generation servers with equal power, but also significantly outperform 1-processor systems in the same price range.

    STSS Flagman EX series single-processor servers are actively used by our customers for various tasks, starting from database servers and terminal servers, ending with video surveillance and virtualization. As I already mentioned, there is certainly a certain percentage of software that uses the latest technology of the latest generation processors in the calculations. Under such a specialized range of tasks, we recommend new models based on Intel Xeon Scalable.

    If we consider the STSS Flagman EX workstation as a personal workstation, then we get a high-performance multi-core server configuration for the same money as a PC based on the latest generation i7.

    From personal experience

    When I replaced my working system with the configuration E5-2650V2 + 32 GB of RAM - I forgot what the brakes are in principle. Due to my duty, something constantly spins on my computer, video is encoded and played, software is tested. And this is in addition to the usual office tasks. 3 browsers and 100500 tabs, bases, mail, tables are constantly open. Everything flies, the processor confidently works in Turbo Boost at 3 GHz (3.4 GHz at the peak), loading rarely exceeds 65%. Memory - out of 32 GB, the maximum consumed 24-26 GB. The reason for replacing the PC was just the inability of the desktop 4-core processor to cope with my daily needs.

    Habr readers who apply for the STSS Flagman EX line-up using the HABR code word receive a 5% discount .

    We make a request through the configurator or write to

    Thanks for attention!

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    How can 1-processor servers based on the Xeon E5-V2 be interesting?

    • 9% Nothing! I'm used to paying only for the latest technology! 8
    • 11.3% If only there is not enough money for the server of the latest generation ... 10
    • 36.3% A normal alternative for the main range of tasks, why overpay for the name? 32
    • 42% Fire! I want a computer based on E5-2680V2 !!! 37
    • 1.1% The question is complex - I will write in the comments in more detail. one

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