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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Xeon Processor E5420
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord 74% 366%
Doom Eternal 54% 311%
Half-Life: Alyx 39% 270%
Cyberpunk 2077 10% 194%
Grand Theft Auto VI 88% 402%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 21% 223%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 39% 270%
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 27% 238%
Ori and the Will of the Wisps 3% 175%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered 74% 32%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz is massively better than the Intel Xeon Processor E5420 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 Core i5-4460 3.2GHz was released over three years more recently than the Xeon Processor E5420, and so the Core i5-4460 3.2GHz is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Xeon Processor E5420 when running the latest games.

The Core i5-4460 3.2GHz and the Xeon Processor E5420 both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

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 Core i5-4460 3.2GHz and Xeon Processor E5420 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 i5-4460 3.2GHz has a 0.7 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 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 Xeon Processor E5420 has a 11264 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i5-4460 3.2GHz, and although the Xeon Processor E5420 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 Xeon Processor E5420 has a 4 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-4460 3.2GHz. However, the Core i5-4460 3.2GHz was created with a 23 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i5-4460 3.2GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by quite a wide margin.

The Core i5-4460 3.2GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Xeon Processor E5420, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 4600 Desktop, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameHaswellHarpertown
MoBo SocketLGA 1150LGA 771/Socket J
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date14 May 201412 Nov 2007
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads4vs-
Clock Speed3.2 GHzvs2.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.4 GHzvs-
Max TDP84 Wvs80 W
Lithography22 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs-
Max Temperature100°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs12288 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600 Desktopno
Base GPU Frequency400 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1250 MHzvs-
DirectX11.1vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-4460 3.2GHz is a performance CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 3.2GHz, which may go up to 3.4GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4600, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 84W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for extreme gaming.
Xeon Processor E5420 is a Server CPU based on the 45nm, Harpertown architecture.
With most of its features activated, it offers 4 Cores (4 Logical as well), clocked at 2.5GHz, and offers 12MB of L2 Cache.
Obviously not meant for gaming purposes, though its introduction price was not very high, its performance is only average, considering today's standards.