What is your Xeon experience?

Im in preparation for a new rig that will last me for the next 4 years and really need to up the cpu cores.
What im looking at is the e5 2690v4 (2.6ghz 14core)/e5-2687w v4 (3ghz 12 core )and the i7 6950x(3ghz 10 core).

This will be for intense rendering(and photogrammetry) and UDK.Later it will be used with UE4.Here is the thing.I like the e5 2690v4 but im litle scared if those 2.6ghz will perform good in udk.I know it has a turbo boost up to 3.5ghz but im not sure if in the udk editor the cores will boost to more than the base speed.(in theory they shoud).On the other hand if it doesnt boost to more that 2.6ghz, i suspect it will be bottlenecked by a more powerful gpu.

The e5-2687w v4 sound to me litle risky with those 160w tdp,and the i7 6950x is the last option,but since it has allmost the same price as a e5 2690v4 im tempted by the 4 extra cores and the ability for more ram as i will use it.

So how is your experince with a xeon in ue4,UDK,rendering?

Generally, Xeons are more expensive for the power but they’re more reliable. Some operations though aren’t multi-threaded, so usually you’d want to go with a higher clock speed before more cores. Also, the way the light baking system works, it can only use one thread on an object so it could get slow if it has large objects where multiple threads can’t work together to build it.

Thanks darthviper.Loud love/need to hear more first hand experiences.


As far as I’m aware, UDK doesn’t really take advantage of multithreading at all. The situation in UE4 is vastly better insofar as a lot of its subsystems have been multithreaded, but generally, you’re not going to see much performance benefit after six physical cores maximum. The only time you’re feasibly going to see any performance benefit from systems with more cores than that will basically just be offline rendering tasks. Even Zbrush can only utilise six physical cores max IIRC.

TL;DR version:
UDK - No, stick with less physical cores, higher clockspeeds.
UE4 - Possible benefit to lightmass render times, otherwise complete overkill, will still benefit from higher clockspeeds.
Rendering - Yes.

But honestly, if you’re looking to futureproof your desktop rig for general purpose use, you’d be far better off going for something like one of the newer i7 Extreme CPUs, or one of the older generation Xeons that had less cores but could clock higher. Not saying that new Xeons are bad CPUs by any stretch, but their usefulness outside of enterprise computing is pretty limited.

I agree with Beaucephal, because there’s so many applications are only single, dual, quad, or hex threaded, it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice clock speeds for more than 6 cores.

Cheers guys.

The only reason i was looking at a xeon is because of the ammount of ram and core count.

I am going to build only one machine so im trying to make the best of it now and for the future.For example i will mainly use 3 softwares- keyshot( that one uses every core),i use agisoft photoscan and than one uses every core too+gpu/s+insane ammounts of ram(depending on the project) and third is main app for now is udk.I know that udk wont use all of the cores so i was just hesitating between the e5 2690v4 or the e5-2687w v4.

The e5 2690v4 has a base speed of 2.6ghz and a good 135W TDP,but im not sure if the 2.6ghz will be enough for advanced UDK stuff or if the first core/s will boost to the promissed 3.3-3.4ghz when working on my game in the UDK editor?

The second one is a brute force one but with a tdp of 160w im not sure if the best air cooler will satisfy its needs(water is not a option).

I’m not sure how much it applies to Photoscan or Keyshot, but there was a fascinating video over on Linus Tech Tips where they tested a 22-core Xeon vs a recent high-end Core i7 (the models of both elude me, but both are more or less at the top end of their respective categories), and surprisingly, the Core i7 actually beat the Xeon in Cinebench. It’s a bit of a misconception that computing power scales up evenly over cores.

Don’t get me wrong, a Xeon system would still rock, but in terms of how much effective processing speed you get for your money, there are much better investments. I really doubt you’re ever going to need more than a six-core CPU and 64gb RAM for… well… anything really. Again, unless you’re running an enterprise solution, those Xeons are a terrible investment.

According to this comparison the CPU’s does compete on a kind of similar level, despite the Ghz property. Look at both the single- and the multi threaded results. Overclocking is bad for the CPU’s health, and i7 is already a “weaker” construction compared to the Xeon durability under long heavy loads. Xeons also run in dual mode where two cpu’s can work together (software pry supports this) on one board, which is a great extensibility option.

While you are absolutely right about the Xeon’s RAM properties. the newer i7 is also worth to consider with the 128gb ram limit (which already is quite an investment to purchase all this stuff). But, of course this chart will clearly explains the softwares demands under numerous circumstances, where the RAM requirement can make your decision very simple.

Air cooling can be sufficient (chasing have to have a good air flow property), but you have to set the room’s temperature and humidity to low (with an air conditioner perhaps) where your workstation will operate.

After 3 or 4 years you will likely to look for a newer system (to double the performance), so you should consider your current investment as such.

I actually forgot to say that this will be invested in a more ¨¨portable¨¨ pc,so a micro atx mother board will be used(4 ram slots).Sadly, i dont think there are any 32gb ram sticks NONE ecc(on the market) to use for that i7.On the other hand i coud get a good deal on 4x32gb rdimm ddr4 2133 stick.(in photoscan i will be shoting 16/18mgpx raws).Based on your info guys i will investigate for the next month,find the right balance and will make a decision then.

Meanwhile, everyone who have made use of a xeons(even the engineering samples) coud share info for the rest.

Overclocking isn’t really bad for your CPU’s health, it may shorten the life of the processor, but so does poor cooling or rapid heating and cooling. Really as long as it’s stable and the temperature and voltages are reasonable, there’s no reason not to overclock. And there’s plenty of motherboards that basically overclock themselves these days.