Of the group,
The i7-4770k and E3-1230V3 are easier to compare because they are effectively, the exact same chip. With a few "key" differences that won't really effect most builders....
- All E3 series chips ending in "0" have no active iGPU so the list of integrated features associated with the iGPU is null.
- E3 series chips ending in "0" have a TDP envelope of 80W instead of 84W, likely due to the lack of iGPU.
- The E3 series supports ECC memory (optional) (if used on a supporting motherboard).
- The E3-1230V3 is clocked 6% slower than the i7-4770K, and as such, is 6% slower in all cpu bound comparisons.
The E3 series, consists of Sandy Bridge (E3-12XX), Ivy Bridge (E3-12XX V2), and Haswell (E3-12XX V3) family chips.
The i5 can not be so simply compared because while clock speed lands right in the middle of the 4770k and E3-1230V3, and the architecture is the same, there is a slightly smaller L3 cache, and no hyperthreading. So under most lightly threaded loads (up to 4 threads), the i5 will perform on par with the E3/i7 class chips, or similar enough that it doesn't matter. When the load goes *more* parallel than 4 threads, the E3/i7 chips overtake the i5 in performance as hyperthreading allows the chips to scale performance out another ~30% or so beyond.
If I had my pick of an i5-4670k or an E3-1230V3, for about the same price, I would opt for the i5-4670K if I were planning
to overclock, but I would have to accept the reality that I would likely never be able to overclock the i5 enough to overtake the E3 performance in parallel workloads by enough to really be worth the enormous increase in power consumption and cost to implement the overclock stemmed from motherboard quality, HSF, etc. (4.3ghz would offer a ~15% improvement in single threaded performance, and roughly equal performance in parallel workloads, to the E3-1230V3)
If I were not
planning to overclock, the E3-1230V3 would be an obvious winner, as it would offer me i7-like performance scaling in parallel workloads and basically no difference in single threaded performance compared to the i5, (clock speed in lightly threaded loads would be 2-3% lower with the E3, but the improved cache performance and size would often offset this).
PS: Most people on this forum have major misconceptions about what Xeon chips are, and how they perform. You'd get the impression from most people here that the Xeon series is a backwater series of old slow chips that nobody uses. I assure you, this is a misguided notion. The Xeon series contains many chips that would be at home in gaming/workstation/business/productivity machines and perform similarly to CORE series chips. The Xeon E3 series is physically the same chip as an i7, probably coming off the same assembly line and simply being "flashed" to a different ID.