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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Xeon E5540

Reasons to consider the
Intel Xeon E5540

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Much lower typical power consumption 65W vs 112.55W More than 40% lower typical power consumption
Supports more CPUs in SMP configuration 2 vs 1 Twice as many CPUs in SMP configuration
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
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 19.27 $/year vs 41.29 $/year 2.1x lower annual home energy cost
Much lower annual commercial energy cost 70.08 $/year vs 110.03 $/year More than 35% lower annual commercial energy cost
Supports more RAM 147,456 MB vs 32,768 MB Supports 4.5x more RAM
Slightly higher Maximum operating temperature 76 °C vs 72.6 °C Around 5% higher Maximum operating temperature
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 0.23 pt/$ More than 17.8x better performance per dollar
Significantly higher turbo clock speed 3.7 GHz vs 2.8 GHz More than 30% higher turbo clock speed
Significantly higher clock speed 3.3 GHz vs 2.53 GHz More than 30% higher clock speed
Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Much newer manufacturing process 32 nm vs 45 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Significantly better PassMark (Single core) score 1,863 vs 1,141 Around 65% better PassMark (Single core) score
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.98 GHz vs 3.57 GHz Around 40% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Significantly better performance per watt 6.79 pt/W vs 2.24 pt/W More than 3x better performance per watt
Better PassMark score 6,383 vs 4,857 More than 30% better PassMark score
Newer Jan, 2011 vs Mar, 2009 Release date over 1 years later
Better overclocked clock speed (Water) 4.88 GHz vs 4.45 GHz Around 10% better overclocked clock speed (Water)

Benchmarks Real world tests of Xeon E5540 vs Core i5 2500K

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Xeon E5540
112,700 MB/s
Core i5 2500K
2,530,000 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Xeon E5540
7,362
Core i5 2500K
10,319

GeekBench

Xeon E5540
8,085
Core i5 2500K
13,624

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Xeon E5540  vs
Core i5 2500K 
Clock speed 2.53 GHz 3.3 GHz
Turbo clock speed 2.8 GHz 3.7 GHz
Cores Quad core Quad core
Socket type
LGA 1366
LGA 1155

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing No No
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE2
MMX
SSE4
AVX
SSE3
EM64T
SSE
SSE4.1
SSE4.2
Supplemental SSE3
AES
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

integrated graphics

GPU None GPU
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

bus

Architecture QPI DMI
Number of links 2 1
Transfer rate 5,860 MT/s 5,000 MT/s

details

Xeon E5540  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 45 nm 32 nm
Transistor count 731,000,000 1,160,000,000
Max CPUs 2 1
Clock multiplier 19 33
Voltage range 0.75 - 1.35V 1.2 - 1.5V
Operating temperature Unknown - 76°C 5 - 72.6°C

overclocking

Overclock popularity 0 3,179
Overclocked clock speed 3.57 GHz 4.98 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 4.45 GHz 4.88 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 3.57 GHz 4.98 GHz

power consumption

TDP 80W 95W
Annual home energy cost 19.27 $/year 41.29 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 70.08 $/year 110.03 $/year
Performance per watt 2.24 pt/W 6.79 pt/W
Typical power consumption 65W 112.55W

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in Built-in
Memory type
DDR3-1333
DDR3-1066
DDR3-800
DDR3
Channels Triple Channel Dual Channel
Supports ECC Yes No
Maximum bandwidth 25,599.99 MB/s 21,333.32 MB/s
Maximum memory size 147,456 MB 32,768 MB
Intel Xeon E5540
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Intel Core i5 2500K
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