Xeon E5-2690 V3 vs Core i5-10400F | 20 Games | 1080p | AMD RX 6800XT

Xeon E5-2690 V3 vs Core i5-10400F

Today I am comparing a modern 6 cores CPU against an aging 12 cores beast. The compared CPUs are Intel Core i5-10400F and Intel Xeon E5-2690 V3. To make this comparison a bit more interesting, I also add AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and LGA 1151 mutant Core i9-9900k QQLS into the mix. Please note that Ryzen 5 5600X was tested on a B450 motherboard that does not support PCI-E 4.0, on a PCI-E 4.0 motherboard 5600X would yield slightly better results.

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Intel Core i5-10400F

One of the best budget gaming CPUs on the market. The F version does not have iGPU, while the non-F comes with integrated graphics, other than that there are no differences between the two models.

  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads, up to 4.3 GHz.
  • Game clock is ~3.9-4.1 GHz.
  • Tested with MSI Z590-A Pro and 32 GB DDR4-3466 CL14.
  • Any semi-decent B560 motherboard can reach the same level of performance.
  • All power consumption limits were removed.
  • The stock Intel garbage cooler is enough to keep the CPU cool during gaming.

Intel Xeon E5-2690 V3

One of the most attractive AliExpress / eBay Xeon options at the moment. The CPU costs about 100 Euros, but LGA 2011-3 motherboards are hard to find. Semi-decent Chinese X99 motherboards on AliExpress cost about 80-120 Euros, which makes the two combos very similarly priced. When Turbo-Boost Unlocked the CPU maintains its maximum turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz on all cores.

  • 12 Cores / 24 Threads, 3.5 GHz during gaming with TU -70/50/50 MV voltage reduction.
  • Tested with JingSha X99-D8 and 32 GB DDR4-2133 CL11.
  • An LGA 2011-3 motherboard with a decent VRM is required.
  • At least a semi-decent CPU cooler is required.

Test bench configuration

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT.
  • Drivers: AMD Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.6.1.
  • RAM: 4 x 8 GB G.Skill DDR4-3200 CL14.
  • LGA 1151: AsRock B365 Pro4.
  • LGA 1200: MSI Z590A-Pro.
  • LGA 2011-3: JingSha X99-D8.
  • AM4: MSI B450 Tomahawk Max II.
  • System SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 256 GB.
  • Games SSD: Samsung 860 Evo 2 TB.
  • PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 P2.
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-D15.
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 19043.

Battlefield 5

  • i5-10400: 85 FPS 1% Low, 159 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 50 FPS 1% Low, 149 FPS Average.
  • Even though the average FPS is very similar Xeon E5-2690 V3 can’t match i5-10400 in 1% lows: 50 vs 85 FPS.

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • i5-10400: 33 FPS Minimum, 103 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 31 FPS Minimum, 116 FPS Average.
  • Red Dead is a very GPU-demanding game, in the built-in benchmark, Xeon E5 is often about 10 FPS faster than Core i5-10400.
  • Minimal FPS is slightly better with Core i5-10400.

GTA 5

  • i5-10400: 58 FPS Minimum, 166 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 49 FPS Minimum, 147 FPS Average.
  • GTA 5 is an old unoptimized game, there is no surprise that Xeon E5-2690 V3 is not able to compete with i5-10400, it lags by ~25 FPS.

Far Cry New Dawn

  • i5-10400: 72 FPS Minimum, 100 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 60 FPS Minimum, 83 FPS Average.
  • This is a typical single-threaded game, Xeon E5-2690 V3 is again ~25 FPS behind Core i5-10400.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

  • i5-10400: 26 FPS Minimum, 72 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 24 FPS Minimum, 63 FPS Average.
  • One more unoptimized game with stutters, according to the in-game benchmark, Xeon E5-2690 V3 loses about 10 FPS to Core i5-10400.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

  • i5-10400: 65 FPS 1% Low, 105 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 76 FPS 1% Low, 118 FPS Average.
  • ACV is a very CPU-demanding game with good multi-core optimization. Here E5-2690 V3 outpaces i5-10400 by ~10-15 FPS.

Watch Dogs Legion

  • i5-10400: 58 FPS 1% Low, 90 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 72 FPS 1% Low, 101 FPS Average.
  • WDL is very similar to ACV in performance and optimization, thus E5-2690 V3 again comes on top of i5-10400 by ~10-15 FPS.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

  • i5-10400: 243 FPS Minimum, 351 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 318 FPS Minimum, 386 FPS Average.
  • Much to my surprise, Rainbow Six Siege prefers Xeon E5 over Core i5, according to the in-game benchmark, E5-2690 V3 is about ~30 FPS faster on average, but there are a few scenes where Core i5 is better.

Anno 1800

  • i5-10400: 130 FPS Minimum Average, 146 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 131 FPS Minimum Average, 149 FPS Average.
  • The game benchmark does not provide min values, only avg per section, thus I picked min average and total average.
  • Overall i5 and E5 provide very similar performance, in some sections, i5-10400 is better, in others E5-2690 V3 is better.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

  • i5-10400: 23 FPS Minimum, 75 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 16 FPS Minimum, 64 FPS Average.
  • IFR is a horribly optimized game, all CPU cores are doing something, but the framerate is rather bad.
  • E5-2690 V3 loses ~10 FPS to i5-10400.

F1 2021

  • i5-10400: 230 FPS Minimum, 282 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 209 FPS Minimum, 267 FPS Average.
  • Both CPUs render more than 200 FPS at all times, but i5-10400 is ~25 FPS faster when compared to E5-2690 V3.

Forza Horizon 4

  • i5-10400: 160 FPS Minimum, 178 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 152 FPS Minimum, 175 FPS Average.
  • Overall i5 and E5 provide very similar performance, but Xeon is slightly slower.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • i5-10400: 99 FPS Minimum, 141 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 79 FPS Minimum, 127 FPS Average.
  • Even though Shadow of the Tomb Raider is known for its multi-core optimization, E5-2690 V3 is not able to match the i5-10400 level of performance, the gap is ~10-20 FPS.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

  • i5-10400: 94 FPS Minimum, 117 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 93 FPS Minimum, 119 FPS Average.
  • Again we see very similar performance between the two CPUs.
  • In some scenes, Xeon is better, in others Core i5 is better.

Horizon Zero Dawn

  • i5-10400: 63 FPS Minimum, 127 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 70 FPS Minimum, 142 FPS Average.
  • HZD is another very CPU-demanding game, E5-2690 V3 manages to beat i5-10400 by ~5-15 FPS.

Hitman 2

  • i5-10400: 48 FPS Minimum, 138 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 41 FPS Minimum, 119 FPS Average.
  • Hitman 2 requires a stong CPU for higher FPS, but even though the performance is very similar, i5-10400 is faster by ~5-15 FPS.

Metro Exodus

  • i5-10400: 62 FPS Minimum, 119 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 67 FPS Minimum, 117 FPS Average.
  • Another game where i5 and E5 are providing very similar performance.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

  • i5-10400: 16 FPS 1% Low, 56 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 18 FPS 1% Low, 45 FPS Average.
  • Age of Empires is a very old game with horrible optimization, here the lower clocked E5-2690 V3 lags by ~10-15 FPS.

DCS World

  • i5-10400: 78 FPS 1% Low, 145 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 58 FPS 1% Low, 142 FPS Average.
  • Yet another poorly optimized game, the average performance is very similar, but 1% lows are ~20 FPS better with Core i5-10400.

Gears 5

  • i5-10400: 90 FPS 5% Low, 143 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 62 FPS 5% Low, 124 FPS Average.
  • In Gears 5 Xeon E5-2690 V3 struggles to catch up with i5-10400, the difference of ~35 FPS is rather significant.

20 Games average

  • i5-10400: 87 FPS Min / 1% Low, 141 FPS Average.
  • E5-2690 V3: 84 FPS Min / 1% Low, 138 FPS Average.
  • The average result across all 20 games is very similar between E5-2690 V3 and i5-10400F, which is a great result for the old Xeon. Nevertheless, the modern Core i5-10400 with faster 6 cores is a better gaming CPU.

Power consumption during ACV

  • i5-10400: 310 Watts.
  • E5-2690 V3: 360 Watts.
  • Xeon E5-2690 V3 managed to almost match the Core i5-10400 gaming performance but to achieve this result it consumed extra 50 Watts of electricity.

Conclusion

Xeon E5-2690 V3 with its 12 cores running at 3.5 GHz is a strong performer. Overall the gaming performance is very similar to the modern Core i5-10400F, in some games E5 is slightly faster, in other i5 comes on top. Unfortunately, with the current E5-2690 V3 and X99 motherboard prices, this option makes little sense when compared to i5-10400F + B560 motherboard.

Xeon E5-2690 V3 setup

  • Motherboard: Huananzhi X99AD4 / BD4 ~€80.
  • CPU: Xeon E5-2690 V3 ~€100.
  • Cooler: Anything at least semi-decent ~€30.
  • RAM: 4 x 4 GB DDR4 ~€80E
  • Total without VAT: ~€290.
  • Total with Swedish VAT (25%): ~€365E.

Core i5-10400F setup

  • Motherboard: AsRock B560M Pro4 ~€100.
  • CPU: Core i5-10400F ~€150.
  • RAM: 2 x 8 GB DDR4 ~€90.
  • Total with Swedish VAT (25%): ~€340.

For gaming, Xeon E5-2690 V3 makes sense only if you can get cheap ECC REG DDR4 RAM and avoid paying VAT tax. On the other hand, Xeon E5-2690 V3 is an obvious choice if you need lots of RAM and/or PCI-E lanes.

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