Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Xeon E5-2603 v2 Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 143% 147%
Hitman 3 228% 232%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 228% 232%
Resident Evil 8 170% 174%
FIFA 21 128% 131%
Grand Theft Auto VI 300% 306%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 136% 139%
The Medium 318% 324%
Genshin Impact 84% 87%
Far Cry 6 284% 290%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Xeon E5-2603 v2 is marginally better than the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Xeon E5-2603 v2 was released over three years more recently than the Core 2 Duo, and so the Xeon E5-2603 v2 is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core 2 Duo when running the latest games.

The Xeon E5-2603 v2 has 2 more cores than the Core 2 Duo. With 4 cores, the Xeon E5-2603 v2 is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Xeon E5-2603 v2 has 2 more threads than the Core 2 Duo. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Xeon E5-2603 v2 and Core 2 Duo are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core 2 Duo has a 1.36 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the Xeon E5-2603 v2 is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core 2 Duo has a 5888 KB bigger L2 cache than the Xeon E5-2603 v2, and although the Core 2 Duo does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core 2 Duo has a 15 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Xeon E5-2603 v2. However, the Xeon E5-2603 v2 was created with a 23 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Xeon E5-2603 v2 is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeWolfdale
MoBo SocketLGA 2011/Socket RLGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date10 Sep 201310 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs2
Clock Speed1.8 GHzvs3.16 GHz
Turbo Frequency1.8 GHzvs-
System Bus -vs1333 MHz
Max TDP80 Wvs65 W
Lithography22 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature71°Cvs72°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs128 KB
L2 Cache Size256 KBvs6144 KB
L3 Cache Size10 MBvs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphicsno
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size52.5mm x 45mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Xeon E5-2603 v2 is a quad-core server processor in the Xeon E5 v2 family and, like all processors in the family, does not support integrated graphics. It is an upgraded version of the Xeon E5-2603.
The Xeon E5-2603 v2 has a clock speed of 1.8GHz with no turbo boost available. It is a low-mid range processor.
Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz is a middle-class Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.16GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 65W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.