To be honest the choice of Haswell based 24 thread processor as a budget gamer’s CPU is a very questionable choice. It is hot, operates at a relatively low frequency and consumes a lot of power. This entails buying a very expensive, reliable motherboard with a quality power system on powerful mosfet, as well as an effective cooling system that is able to dissipate the hot temper of 12-core monster. This imposes additional costs on the potential consumer, with what, as a result, not everyone wants to mess with.

Nevertheless, as practice shows (namely the sales of such chips), the demand for 24-thread processors is not very small, so we decided to analyze a performance of one of the cheapest, 12-core Intel Xeon chips, namely E5-2670 v3.


Here is a 12-core, 24-core processor based on the relatively actual Intel Haswell-EP architecture, codenamed Xeon E5-2670 v3. Let’s take a look at the chip itself:

The marking of our test sample is SR1XS; it is made in Malaysia, its rated frequency is 2300MHz, and TDP is set at 120 watts. This is not a small figure, so if you still decide to buy such a hot CPU, try to equip it with the appropriate cooling system.

At the heart of the E5-2670 v3 processor is a 22nm, 12-core, 24-thread variation of the Haswell-EP die. This chip is designed for installation in LGA 2011 v3 socket motherboards, its nominal frequency is 2300MHz, but with Turbo Boost 2.0 technology it can increase significantly: 3100MHz for one core and 2700MHz for all 12 cores, 24 threads.

Xeon E5-2670 v3 is provided with 256KB of L2 cache per core and a total, truly gigantic for its time, L3 cache of 30MB. Built-in CPU memory controller speed of E5-2670 v3 is fixed at 3000MHz, L3 cache functions at the same speed. Maximum RAM frequency is limited by four-channel DDR4-2133MHz controller.

Besides all the features mentioned above, it should be noted that the 12-core Haswell has SSE4.2, AVX and AVX2 instructions, so necessary in the realities of 2022. This feature will help hardcore gamers to run practically any novelty of this year without any problems, and, as practice shows, even with activated ray tracing.

Test setup, software and CPU settings

Test setup

  • Intel CPU — Xeon X3470, Core i7-2600, Xeon X5660, Xeon E5-2667, Xeon E5-2620 v3, Xeon E5-2630 v3, Xeon E5-2660 v3 и Xeon E5-2670 v3;
  • AMD CPU — FX-8350, FX-6350;
  • CPU cooling — Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition (RR-212S-20PK-R1);
  • LGA 1155/1156 RAM — 4 x 8GB HyperX Genesis Na’Vi Edition (KHX16C9C2K2/8);
  • LGA 1366 RAM — 3 x 8GB HyperX Genesis Na’Vi Edition (KHX16C9C2K2/8);
  • LGA 2011 RAM — 4 x 8GB Micron MT36JSF1G72PZ-1G4M1HF;
  • LGA 2011 v3 RAM — 4 x 4GB G.SKILL DDR4 F4-2400C15S-4GNT;
  • AM3+ RAM — 4 x 8GB HyperX Genesis Na’Vi Edition (KHX16C9C2K2/8);
  • LGA 1156 Motherboard — DELL OptiPlex 980 (0D441T, mod-BIOS);
  • LGA 1155 Motherboard — Gigabyte GA-Z68P-DS3 (rev. 2.0);
  • LGA 1366 Motherboard — DELL T3500 (09KPNV);
  • LGA 2011 Motherboard — DELL T3610 (09M8Y8);
  • LGA 2011 v3 Motherboard — Qiyida X99-H9 with modified BIOS from Huananzhi x99-8m-f (Unlock Turbo Boost, also unlocked the ability to control the timings);
  • AM3+ Motherboard — ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0;
  • Videocard — KFA2 GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB (~1950/14816MHz, Power Limit 112%);
  • SSD — KINGSTON SUV400S37240G 240,0 GB (Windows 10 + Games) + KINGSTON SUV400S37400G 400,0 GB (Games);
  • PSU — Chieftec GPS-1250C.


  • Operating system: Windows 10 x64 with the latest updates as of August 2022;
  • Videocard drivers: NVIDIA GeForce 516.94 WHQL;
  • Additional software for FPS measuring: MSI Afterburner 4.6.4;
  • Games: Testing was performed on actual game versions as of August 2022;
  • Game settings: testing was performed at the highest possible graphics settings at 720p resolution.

Setting up the processors under test

  • Intel CPUs:
    • Core i7-2600@3400MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@1866MHz (DDR3 timings 10-11-11-26, DDR3 voltage 1.550v);
    • Xeon X3470@3200MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@1333MHz;
    • Xeon X5660@3066MHz, Triple-Channel DDR3@1333MHz;
    • Xeon E5-2667@3200MHz, Quad-Channel DDR3@1333MHz;
    • Xeon E5-2620 v3@3200MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@1866MHz (DDR4 timings 10-10-10-24);
    • Xeon E5-2630 v3@3200MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@1866MHz (DDR4 timings 10-10-10-24);
    • Xeon E5-2660 v3@3300MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@2133MHz (DDR4 timings 12-12-12-32);
    • Xeon E5-2670 v3@3100MHz, Quad-Channel DDR4@2133MHz (DDR4 timings 12-12-12-35).
  • AMD CPUs:
    • FX-6350@4200MHz, CPU-NB@2200MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@1866MHz;

    • FX-6350@4595MHz, CPU-NB@2608MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@2086MHz (CPU Core voltage — 1.440v, CPU-NB voltage — 1.375v, DDR3 voltage — 1.660v);

    • FX-8350@4200MHz, CPU-NB@2200MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@1866MHz;

    • FX-8350@4434MHz, CPU-NB@2608MHz, Dual-Channel DDR3@2086MHz (DDR3 timings 11-12-12-30, CPU Core voltage — 1.416v, CPU-NB voltage — 1.375v, DDR3 voltage — 1.660v).

You can find out more about almost all tested processors from our full-fledged materials, or by checking out our blogs section, where small articles are posted.

Separately, let us remind the methodology of CPU testing: each game was run five times, then the average frame rate among the five runs was chosen and it was written in the final results. All games were installed on SSDs.

Test results

A few words about peculiarities of this material: apart from the results of E5-2670 v3 chip in basic mode with unlocked Turbo Boost frequency, we decided to test the processor with Hyper Threading technology disabled and add these results to the diagram. So, there will be two versions of CPU mentioned above on the charts: “Xeon E5-2670 v3 12/24” – 12 cores, 24 threads and “Xeon E5-2670 12/12”. – 12 cores without virtual threads.

The reason for this decision is quite trivial: during the experiments it turned out that 24 threads does not engage any game from the test list, so often more than half of the processor cores are idle and due to power-saving technologies reduce their frequency to 1200MHz. This, of course, led to numerous performance drops in under-optimized games such as Far Cry 6, and as a result, significantly lagging behind slower CPUs like E5-2630 v3.

In fact, in order to find out whether such a multi-threaded processor can increase its productivity in games by turning off virtual threads, we decided to do an additional experiment. And you can find out what came out of it below.

Assassins Creed Valhalla

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

In the actual “Assassins Creed” franchise titled “Valhalla”, the 12-core, 24-threaded Haswell shows very little performance advantage over its 10-core, 20-threaded sibling, and when Hyper Threading is deactivated it loses slightly.

Exactly as in the 2660 v3 review, conclusion on “Valhalla” is clear: even if not significantly, but 12 extra threads harm the final performance and on “pure” 12 cores game works slightly more stable. Nevertheless, it is quite difficult to notice by eye the difference in FPS between the version with HT technology and without it.

Battlefield 2042

Max graphics settings, 1080p resolution. EXPOSURE map.

Ray Tracing – ON

“Battlefield 2042” with ray tracing activated could not reveal a clear leader between 12-core and 10-core CPUs. The game has no built-in benchmark, so it is extremely difficult to get “lab” results. So the difference between such multi-threaded processors can be written off as an error. However, it is impossible not to note that with RT BF2042 runs a bit better just on processors without Hyper Threading technology.

Ray Tracing – OFF

With “ray-tracing” deactivated, the difference between E5-2670 v3 and E5-2660 v3 disappeared at all. Both CPUs show virtually identical framerate and surprisingly handle extremely heavy and poorly optimized DICE studio project very well.

Что до противостояния двух версий 2670 v3, то здесь вышел паритет: что 24-поточный процессор, что 12-ядерный, демонстрируют идентичные результаты, а разница в редких событиях находится на уровне погрешности.

Cyberpunk 2077

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

Ray Tracing – ON

Cyberpunk 2077 with activated ray tracing does not actually need the additional four Xeon E5-2670 v3 threads. At the same time, disabling HT in the 12-core has a negative impact on performance in the CDPR creation, but it is noticeable only on the overlay graphics. In real gameplay the difference in frame rate is extremely difficult to catch.

Ray Tracing – OFF

Disabling the notorious ray tracing makes some adjustments: the E5-2670 v3 is now much more seriously entrenched in its positions. Especially it concerns the version with deactivated HT. But to be as objective as possible, difference between the full-fledged 2660 v3 and 2670 v3 is so minor, that it does not seem possible to talk about any “victory” of the 12-core.

Destiny 2

Maximum settings, 720p resolution. “Deep Six” map from “Gambit” mode.

Multiplayer session shooter Destiny 2 actively uses up to 8 threads, which makes it almost impossible to get advantage from extra cores in this game. Thus, both 12-core and 10-core chips show mirror FPS, and the difference between them is invested in the margin of error.

Elden Ring

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. Running on a horse through the open world.

Situation in Elden Ring has not changed much since our last review of E5-2660 v3: Souls-like action is very poorly optimized, so even on 24-thread E5-2670 v3 with big 30-megabyte L3 cache small freezes often happen and framerate is extremely unstable. However, it should be noted that the main hero of this review shows the best performance with Xeon E5-2660 v3.

But that’s not what’s most interesting here. Disabling Hyper Threading significantly reduces the performance of the E5-2670 v3, causing the 12-core to lose to the 16-threaded E5-2630 v3.

Far Cry 6

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

Ray Tracing — ON

Far Cry 6 does not know how to work with multi-threaded CPUs, so increasing the execution units may have a negative impact on the final performance. And this is clearly demonstrated by the graph above: with HT technology enabled, E5-2670 v3 is only slightly ahead of E5-2660 v3, but once it is disabled, the “pure” 12-core does not leave a single chance to its little brother and reaches 60 fps in ray tracing mode. However, disabling the same HT for the 10-core puts it in the lead.

Ray Tracing — OFF

With deactivated ray tracing situation practically has not changed. The only exception was Xeon E5-2660 v3 10/10, which increased its advantage over E5-2670 v3 12/12 to 5%. Looking at the graph, it is quite obvious – Hyper Threading has an extremely negative effect on performance in Far Cry 6. Especially, it is noticeable by the rare event rate. Microfreezes are much more common on multi-core processors with Hyper Threading.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. Flying through the city on the web.

Ray Tracing — ON

Chips without AVX2 are not capable of running a game with RT.

A similar situation occurs in Spider-Man Remastered with activated ray tracing. Here Hyper Threading technology also plays a cruel joke on the E5-2670 v3 chip. Without it, the 12-core CPU is able to provide 12% more performance and come as close as possible to the comfortable 60 FPS bar. Nevertheless, the 2660 v3 10/10 and here much faster than its big brother. Still, we should not forget that the clock speed also has its own weight.

Ray Tracing — OFF

With RT disabled, essentially nothing has changed: the E5-2670 v3 without Hyper Threading is still significantly ahead of the 12/24 version and behind the 2660 v3 10/10.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

Ray Tracing — ON

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy with raytracing activated is much better optimized for multithreaded processors, but even here, extra threads hurt the final performance and on rare events, 2670 v3 loses even to E5-2660 v3 10/10. At the same time, the 2670 v3 12/12 shows a solid win and beats both versions of the Xeon E5-2660 v3 in terms of minimum FPS.

Ray Tracing — OFF

Without ray tracing, the frame rate increases on all processors without exception. The power balance and the gap do not change significantly at all.

Saints Row [2022]

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. Driving around the city.

Ray Tracing — ON

In the “Saints Row” series reboot with ray tracing activated, the full E5-2670 v3 has a tiny edge in frame rate over the E5-2660 v3, while at the same time, the 10-core chip pulls ahead when Hyper Threading is disabled. In essence, however, both CPUs here are about on the same level.

Ray Tracing — OFF

With RT deactivated, events repeat themselves: both versions of the E5-2670 v3 are still slightly inferior to the 2660 v3 10/10, while slightly outperforming 10/20.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

Unfortunately, even in 720p resolution RTX 2060 SUPER graphics card is no longer enough to adequately test the processors in the second part of the legendary franchise Red Dead Redemption at maximum settings. Both 2660 v3 and 2670 v3 show identical FPS.

Watch Dogs Legion

Maximum graphics settings, 720p resolution. In-game benchmark.

Ray Tracing — ON

Finally we got to the heaviest game in our test pack – Watch Dogs Legion. The third part of the popular Ubisoft series responds pretty well to the increase in CPU execution units, but this only lasts up to 8 cores, 16 threads: 24-core E5-2660 v3 managed to outperform E5-2660 v3 by only 3.5%, and disabling HT in this game is the opposite: though not significantly, but it reduces the performance of 12-core.

Ray Tracing — OFF

In less heavy mode, without ray tracing, the difference between E5-2670 v3 and E5-2660 v3 is almost blurred and no longer makes much sense to the end user. Nevertheless, we can’t help but note that the 12-core, 24-core chip is ahead by a modest 4%.


Actually, looking at all the graphs above, there is only one conclusion to be drawn here: gamers should not look at such multi-threaded CPUs. It’s much more logical to pay your attention to higher frequency 8-core, or 10-core processors like 2640 v3, 2660 v3. Other chips are either too expensive or extremely hot and, accordingly, have higher demands on the quality of the motherboard.

But if you have still purchased a 12-core 2670 v3 and you sometimes experience unpleasant microfreezes in some games, we recommend you to experiment with disabling Hyper Threading technology. As practice shows, in some projects, deactivating HT allows you to get higher performance from this CPU.

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