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  1. Xeon: Dual Core Intel Xeon W3503 2.40 GHz, 4M L3, 4.8GT/s
  2. Intel® Core2 Duo E8400 (6MB, 3.0 GHz, 1333FSB),

USES: Virtual PC (and doing software development within Virtual PC)
A little bit of video editing
Desktop software (like Outlook, Quickbooks, etc.)

I think #1 is faster, but wanted feedback from other folks here.

Which is faster and why?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

SPEC is always a good reference for this kind of thing. Here are their data for those two CPUs.

SPEC's result numbers are a ratio of the performance of the system to that of a Sun Ultra Enterprise 2. Roughly, the computer tested is "result" times faster than a UE2. Since all computers are referenced from that one benchmark, you can divide the results from two different computers and find their relative performances.

The CINT benchmark is integer-math based and the CFP benchmark is floating-point based. The "Rate" benchmarks test a fully loaded system and the non-"Rate", "Speed", benchmarks test a single process. That is, how fast can it do one thing versus how fast can it do a bunch of things at once.

You can find more data about SPEC's benchmarks on their web site, including information on the CPU2006 benchmark.

The Xeon is slightly faster, despite its slower clock speed. This is probably due to the Xeon's on-die memory controller, and the fact that it has HyperThreading, as shown by the fact that its "Rate" benchmarks show a greater improvement over the Core2 than the "Speed" benchmarks.

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Any idea what "Result" is measured in? The Xeon (admittedly the slightly faster 2.5 Ghz) was 50% higher in "Result". (Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, 3 Ghz) 30.9 29.5 2 1 CELSIUS M470, Intel Xeon W3505 (2.5 Ghz) 47.4 45.9 2 1 –  Clay Nichols Sep 25 '09 at 0:12
    
I've updated my answer to flesh out what the SPEC results mean. –  wfaulk Sep 25 '09 at 14:31
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Ehh, probably the Xeon... the Xeons that start with a 3 are basically not that much better than a standard desktop version with a similar clock speed (but sometimes support additional features, motherboard permitting).

I would have to say the Xeon as it looks like that you are basically comparing a Core I7 against a Core 2 Duo.

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