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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Xeon E3-1290

Reasons to consider the
Intel Xeon E3-1290

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Higher clock speed 3.6 GHz vs 3.3 GHz Around 10% higher clock speed
Much lower typical power consumption 77.19W vs 112.55W More than 30% lower typical power consumption
Higher turbo clock speed 4 GHz vs 3.7 GHz Around 10% higher turbo clock speed
Supports trusted computing Yes vs No Somewhat common; Allows for safer, more reliable computing
Slightly more l3 cache 8 MB vs 6 MB Around 35% more l3 cache; more data can be stored in the l3 cache for quick access later
More threads 8 vs 4 Twice as many threads
Better PassMark score 8,704 vs 6,383 More than 35% better PassMark score
More l3 cache per core 2 MB/core vs 1.5 MB/core Around 35% more l3 cache per core
Much lower annual home energy cost 22.89 $/year vs 41.29 $/year Around 45% lower annual home energy cost
Significantly lower annual commercial energy cost 83.22 $/year vs 110.03 $/year Around 25% lower annual commercial energy cost
Newer May, 2011 vs Jan, 2011 Release date 4 months later
Front view of Intel Core i5 2500K

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i5 2500K

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Much better performance per dollar 4.1 pt/$ vs 0.33 pt/$ More than 12.5x better performance per dollar
Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Significantly better performance per watt 6.79 pt/W vs 3.05 pt/W Around 2.2x better performance per watt
Significantly higher Maximum operating temperature 72.6 °C vs 56.7 °C Around 30% higher Maximum operating temperature

Benchmarks Real world tests of Xeon E3-1290 vs Core i5 2500K

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Xeon E3-1290  vs
Core i5 2500K 
Clock speed 3.6 GHz 3.3 GHz
Turbo clock speed 4 GHz 3.7 GHz
Cores Quad core Quad core
Socket type
LGA 1155


Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing Yes No
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

power consumption

TDP 95W 95W
Annual home energy cost 22.89 $/year 41.29 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 83.22 $/year 110.03 $/year
Performance per watt 3.05 pt/W 6.79 pt/W
Typical power consumption 77.19W 112.55W


Architecture DMI DMI
Number of links 1 1
Transfer rate 5,000 MT/s 5,000 MT/s


Xeon E3-1290  vs
Core i5 2500K 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 8 4
L2 cache 1 MB 1 MB
L2 cache per core 0.25 MB/core 0.25 MB/core
L3 cache 8 MB 6 MB
L3 cache per core 2 MB/core 1.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm 32 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Clock multiplier 36 33
Operating temperature Unknown - 56.7°C 5 - 72.6°C

integrated graphics

Label N/A Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Latest DirectX N/A 10.1
Number of displays supported N/A 2
GPU clock speed N/A 850 MHz
Turbo clock speed N/A 1,100 MHz
3DMark06 N/A 5,275

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in Built-in
Memory type
Channels Dual Channel Dual Channel
Supports ECC Yes No
Maximum bandwidth 21,333.32 MB/s 21,333.32 MB/s
Maximum memory size 32,768 MB 32,768 MB
Intel Xeon E3-1290
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Intel Core i5 2500K
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