Can You Use a Xeon Processor For Gaming?

Xeon processors are a beast of a CPU. With a high core count, high cache count, and a big price tag to go along with it. The Xeon CPU was manufactured to target workstation computers, but would a processor of this caliber be any good for gaming?

Xeon CPUs should not be used for gaming. They are designed for workstations and because of this have high core counts, but lower clock speeds than most gaming CPUs. Xeon is made for core-intensive tasks, meaning they don’t work very well when gaming and will cause bottlenecking issues.

Intel Xeon Processor

You should note that there are many specific things Xeon CPUs are built for, and gaming is not one of them. Throughout this article, we will go more in-depth on why you shouldn’t use a Xeon processor for gaming and what they are really used for.

What Is Xeon?

Xeon processors are Intel’s version of workstation, and server CPUs. Created back in 1998, the first Xeon processor was called Pentium II Xeon but was not targeted towards mass-consumers, but rather for people with specific needs for a workstation.

When Xeon first came out it used the same chipset as the normal consumer brand Pentium processors, but as they began to improve and become more mainstream, it ended up getting its own chipset that was much larger than a normal processors chipset because of how beefy this CPU was.

Xeon processors are known for their high core count and high amounts of cache memory, which is good for many complex tasks such as cloud computing, servers, big workstation loads, and more.

Should You Use a Xeon Processor For Gaming?

The quick answer to this question is no you should not use a Xeon processor for gaming.

The reason for this is not just because of the price, but because of the way it is built, it will actually bottleneck your computer when playing video games.

First of all, the gaming output of a Xeon series CPU is more equivalent to an Intel i5 or its AMD counterpart the Ryzen 5.

This might be surprising because the core count of the Xeon is more than triple the size of these other consumer CPUs.

However, when gaming, multi-core functionality isn’t as important as you think. The real performance enhancer is the CPUs clock speed. The one thing the Xeon processor lacks.

You should check out: “Workstation CPU vs Gaming CPU: What’s The Difference?”

A Xeon CPUs clock speed is similar to that of an Intel i5, therefore the performance will be similar.

Another thing to note is that most games are not made to work well on multiple cores. Yes, having a few cores can help increase performance, but running a normal game with 10, 20, or even 30 cores can negatively affect your gaming experience.

Having this many cores won’t let the game scale well, and will actually decrease your performance because you are making something that should be simple to run very complicated which will slow your game down.

Even if you decide to use a lower-end Xeon processor that utilizes 8 cores, you still won’t perform that is on par with an Intel i7 or Intel i5.

This is because you are still sacrificing clock speed. Most consumer brand CPUs have a core clock speed of around 5GHz, with a Xeon you are looking at something in the 2-2.4Ghz range.

Plus if you are looking at a Xeon processor with an 8-core count, then you are probably looking at an older model with outdated architecture.

Xeon CPU used for gaming

So, if you happen to have the money it is still not worth paying extra to get your hands on a Xeon CPU. Instead, if you want to purchase a high-end gaming processor, then you should opt for something like an Intel i9, or Ryzen 9 CPU.

CPUs in this category are targeted toward both gamers and workstations. they give you the accessibility to access a higher core count, but also give you the speed you get with let’s say an Intel i7 by having a really high clock speed.

The last thing to keep in mind is that Xeon processors are locked meaning they cannot be overclocked. the reason for overclocking a CPU is to increase its clock speed which increases its gaming performance.

And what is the one thing that Xeon lacks?

A high clock speed. So, if Xeon processors don’t need a higher clock speed why would Intel make them overclockable?

That’s why they don’t because they are not meant for gaming.

To understand more I have written an article about: “More Cores or Higher Clock Speed When Gaming.”

What Is a Xeon Processor Used For?

Xeon processors are used for workstations and server computers. The high-core count and high cache size allow this CPU to work and the large tasks are given at hand.

When you need to do cloud computing or have very big workloads, the high core count allows you to juggle and run multiple tasks at once. This is especially important in a server computer as well.

The large cache size allows it to store a ton of information at once without bottlenecking your system and slowing it down.

The tasks a Xeon processor was manufactured for do not fit the needs of a normal consumer and are meant for big projects.

Lucas Coulson

I first got into building my own computer when I was around 12 or 13. The first computer I had ever built didn't work. So I kept researching to figure what I did wrong. I really enjoyed researching, learning, and building computers, so I decided to turn it into an online business, and here I am.

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