Intel i7-10700k or e5-2697 v3 upgrade?

I am considering upgrading my current PC and it’s been weighing on my mind. I don’t upgrade offen and money is HARD earned so here is my dilemma. I am currently running a MSI X99S-SLI-PLUS with an I7-5820k. Do I buy the i7-10700k at Microcenter and a motherboard? Do I get an e5-2697 v3? I can hack the bios so I can run all 14 cores at 3.6Ghz. I could definitely use the ability to buy 32gb ddr4 ECC RDIMMs and more cores for virtualization. But am I being foolish in thinking the e5-2697 v3 will last me 4-5 years. I would greatly appreciate your 2 cents to help me come to a decision. Thank you in advance.

Depends entirely on what you’re doing with it, and how much the Xeon is going to cost you. You seem to desperately need the cores enough to look at the Xeon, but not enough to be pushing for the i9 12900k, or even Ryzen that doesn’t require bios hacks to run at very respectable clock speeds.

What is your estimate of how long a CPU will last based on? I would presume the i9 or a 16 core Ryzen would last longer because they have more cores and higher clock speed. Like they’re better in every capacity, but if you can get the ancient Xeon at a really cheap price then that’ll outweigh the benefits of everything else.

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Cost friendly would of course be, to chase down a good condition 2697v3 + appropriate RAM
From raw hardware numbers, 14C/28T and plenty of RAM [a 128GB ceiling] be non-issues

… Should anything be a sore point, would be between OS and software requiring “newer” equipment

If pure virtualization is your main concern, then a second hand E5-2697 v3 works well. I use this as my daily driver for virtualization and software development, and only very occasionally do I want just a bit more single-threaded performance.

Having said this, I also work with a i7-10700 and it is wicked fast for lightly-threaded applications in comparison. So it does very much depend on what you are going to do.

One last thing - I looked up the specifications for your current motherboard and it does not appear to support ECC RAM, even when running a Xeon.

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For a general purpose workstation go for the I7.

Xeons come into their own with many users/threads and large data sets and in a light vm lab environment for yourself, that probably doesn’t exist and clock speed and more modern IPC and instruction feature set will probably win out.

It only needs some media encoding or crypto that doesn’t have acceleration instructions on the Xeon due to age and you’re looking at order of magnitude or more performance differences on such code even at the same clock. And the Xeon in question really is quite old now. They also do not have GPU and therefore lack quick sync for a start.

Also. Running multiple VMs loves storage bandwidth. An old E5-2xxx probably won’t have NVME.


First and foremost thank you all for your input. I see it basically boils down to the age old cost comparison and single core vs multicore. As for cost, the E5-2697 v3 will run me 100 dollars. I don’t need to buy anything else right away if I go this route. I have brought home some 32gb ddr4 Reg DIMMs and e5 v3 CPUs to try in the motherboard tomorrow. I am too tired tonight after work to try them out. If it works, I can buy 2 sticks of memory at a time every two months. I already have 8x8gb on the board. As for the i7-10700k as of tonight it costs 220 at microcenter. Then 130 for a motherboard. 350 vs 120. That is why I am stuck. The thought of large amounts of memory also appeals to me.
For what I am doing. I want to be able to run three or more os at a single time. I have a server that I can run them on but I don’t want to be rebooting it all the time. So I have been running one or two at a time on my main machine. I am going to support 3 different OS soon for our remote staff and I really want to be able to run Mac, linux, and Windows all at the same time. I do some video editing here and there. I do not do much gaming anymore because working and studying takes up all my time.

Thats a good point about software. I might need to go to windows 11 and 2011v3 is not supported.

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I can run mvme 3.0 on the 2011v3 platform but 4 would be much nicer with an upgrade path.

I would love to get the 16 core amd cpus but just outside the budget for the foreseeable future.

There is no way you’ll get anything close to that new for that price: I say do it.

Yeah I am thinking if the testing goes well tomorrow I will. It can always be another server to play with :stuck_out_tongue:.

Put another way…

14x3.6 = 50.4 (cores x ghz)
8x5.1x1.25 = 51 (cores x ghz x rough IPC improvement - ivy bridge is a long time ago…)

Never mind the improvement to lightly/non-threaded apps due to the higher clock and significantly better IPC.

May as well go for the newer system with less likelihood of failure, newer ram, NVME, later AVX and media instructions, etc.

So I could not get the board to boot with 32gb ddr4 reg memory. So that puts it out for me. I will have to go with the I7-10700k. I will just watch stock at my local microcenter and pounce when it drops some more. It has dropped to 220 from 250 but they still have 25+. I am hoping it will hit 200 soon.

Your next closest option [in a relative budget], would be likes of OG Threadrippers
I’ve seen the base 1900 and 1920 under 200… Them x399 boards are getting bit more difficult to nab
Again like with the 2011v3, W11 will not play nice [since Zen Gen1 got shafted]

A 1920 is another good option but now that I have heard back from you fine gentlemen I am going to go with a 10700k and new motherboard. I go with the philosophy of “update or die” with my software…Especially in the IT industry I feel like it is important to keep up with everything current. I bought my last system at close out pricing at a microcenter and it’s time to do that again. I can alway pick up the e5-2697 v3 for fun to try the all core hack later in the second half of 2022. I am going to sell my I7-5820k and keep the mobo around for now.

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