Originally Posted by N0BOX
Reasons to stay away from Xeons:
- Most gaming motherboards don't support Xeons.
- Xeons don't generally focus on supporting a lot of PCI-Express lanes, which are required to get the best performance out of GPUs, especially if you expect to use SLI or CrossFireX (they generally only care about having 8 PCIE lanes so that they can make full use of a high-quality RAID controller or server-quality LAN card).
- Xeons often require ECC memory, which is capable of recovering from memory errors, but costs significantly more than consumer-grade RAM.
- Xeons are often clocked lower than similarly-priced consumer-grade CPUs. This doesn't present a problem for most server software, but for games, which are notorious for relying on single-thread performance, this can turn out to be a serious problem. The Xeons place far more importance on the integrity of data and the reliability of the system, so it doesn't make sense to push the bounds of stability to reach a higher clock rate.
Xeons generally have more cache, much higher reliability, and more advanced floating point capabilities. They are rock-solid and they support amazing peripherals to make datacenters amazing places. They just don't focus on playing games or playing back full HD pornography... they make sure that they can continuously stream that fantastic porn to as many people as possible without dropping packets, failing because of a worn out hard drive, or crashing because of a random bit getting flipped because of an errant burst of cosmic radiation bombarding that stick of RAM.
Xeons support the same number of PCIe lanes as the consumer parts of the same socket (i.e. 16 for 1155 and 40 for 2011). SLI and crossfire are motherboard dependent and can be run on a xeon if the motherboard supports it.
Xeons don't require ECC, but they can use it (again depending on board support).
Xeons do not have advanced floating point capabilities. While they do support AVX, so do the core i5 and i7 processors.
Many X79 boards support xeon chips with SLI/crossfire but not ECC.