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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles January 25, 2012
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CPU Reviews & Articles

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Intel Xeon X5365 V8 Performance Review

By Vince Freeman :  October 2, 2007

Real-World Performance and Usage

Before and after the benchmark phase, we gave the Xeon X5365 V8 a serious workout as a primary desktop workstation, specializing in media encoding and other high-end jobs. At first, the lack of Windows XP support was disheartening, as this remains our favorite operating system, and the Pro version does support multiple CPUs. But after getting over that disappointment, we selected Windows Vista Business as the optimal operating system, and the install went incredibly smooth, first on the initial load, and then later when we needed to flush it for a fresh benchmark install.

Sometimes, brand new hardware really benefits from the latest software, and in the case of the Intel Xeon X5365 V8, this seemed to be the case. Overall Vista Business performance was quite snappy, and Vista does seem to make better use of quad core processors than XP. We toyed around with both 32-bit and 64-bit installs, but finally settled on Vista Business 32-bit to provide the best comparisons and software compatibility. This was the environment where we spent the majority of our real-world testing phase, although we did utilize a 64-bit environment as well.

Naturally, performance was exceptional and we have never used such an incredibly fast desktop system. The media creation benchmarks only told part of the tale, and encoding large video segments or processing a large image file was significantly faster on the Xeon X5365 V8 setup, even when compared to a 3.0 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6800. Encoding a video file several hours in length can yield serious results, cutting the time almost in half. Even standard desktop performance improved, as multi-tasking was silky smooth, and the sheer number of high CPU-utilization programs you can load is unbelievable. As a performance desktop, this is by far the fastest we've ever tested.

Of course, it's not all wine and roses, and the Xeon X5365 V8 does come with some definite caveats. The boot time is one, and in direct contrast to its incredibly fast performance, the Xeon X5365 V8 system took a long time to boot. This is due to its mission-critical workstation target market, and the myriad system checks and confirmations needed, but it is still quite annoying in a desktop configuration. The high power consumption and extra processor heat are both concerns, especially in a home office environment, but there is very little in the way of ambient noise added by the second CPU fan.

Value

A dual-CPU, high-end Xeon workstation is certainly not for bargain hunters, and the Xeon X5365 processors are right up there with the Core 2 Extreme quad core models, and sport prices well above $1,000. When you double that amount, just the processors alone become a very expensive proposition. The price of a single Xeon X5365 processor is in the $1200-$1300 range, which compares to the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 and QX6800 ($1,000-$1,050) and Core 2 Extreme X6800 and QX6700 ($950-$1,000). The Intel S5000XVN workstation board is also quite pricey, checking in at around $500, and well above the $200 range most enthusiast buyers set for a single-CPU, desktop board.

Of course, much of this conversation becomes extraneous, as the market this type of ultra high-end setup is targeted at, simply doesn't count the dollars and cents that way. To a business or SOHO operation in the media creation field, time is money, and shaving a few hours on a processing job could put money back in your pocket, not to mention being able to compete for work that a standard desktop could not handle.

* Please note that these prices were taken at the time of review and are not meant to reflect long-term trends.

Conclusion

The 8-core Xeon X5365 V8 platform represents one of the top media creation workstations you can buy, and it offers exceptional performance with multi-threaded applications. No single processor, even the vaunted Intel Core 2-based quad core processors, can compete with an 8-core Xeon system, and at 3.0 GHz, even single-threaded games don't suffer. Power consumption is also high, but certainly on par with expectations for a dual-CPU system. The majority of desktop users will likely get a major case of sticker shock, but for related businesses, where time is money, this type of investment can really pay off.

Pros:

  • Exceptional Multi-threaded Performance
  • Dual 3.0 GHz Xeon X5365 Processors
  • Media Creation Dream Machine

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Power-hungry
  • Dual-CPU Operating System Required

Ratings:



Page 1

Under the Xeon X5365 V8 Hood

Page 2

Test Setup and Benchmark Software

Page 3

PCMark05 Pro Performance

Page 4

SiSoft SANDRA XI Memory and Multi-Core Performance

Page 5

CINEBENCH 9.5 and SANDRA XI CPU Performance

Page 6

MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and WinRAR Performance

Page 7

3DMark06 Pro, F.E.A.R. and Company of Heroes Performance

Page 8

Benchmark Analysis and Power Consumption

  • Page 9

    Real-World Performance & Usage, Value and Conclusion