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(1) Fast read and write (random or sequential) -- gets anywhere from roughly 100-300 MB/s read/write.
(2) Boots windows in roughly 8 seconds or faster
(3) Boots programs installed on it faster compared to an HDD (although not by a lot).
Other Thoughts: I am able to fit Windows 7 + recent updates along with 2 30+GB games and I still have about 90GBs of free space.
An SSD will not give you more FPS when gaming, but it will, depending on the game, give you better load times. EX: NBA2k15 and DayZ: SA still takes a while to load/still has the same load time even with an SSD but BF4 and Skyrim loads significantly faster
Pros: 1. Runs cool (never went above 51°C) even with the stock Intel heat sink when gaming; however I used Arctic Silver 5 instead of the pre-applied thermal paste Intel uses, and I never did a Prime95 stress test. But I have heard of these things hitting 80°C (apparently 80°C is not harmful to the CPU) easily w/Intel stock heat sinks on Prime95.
2. Low wattage and lower heat output. It's meant to be on 24/7. Heck of a lot better than my 125W Phenom II X4 965BE. The Phenom never got over 65°C, but it needed a better heat sink and fan to even stay at that temperature because it outputted more heat.
2. The time it takes to compress/decompress a zip file using 7-Zip significantly decreased. It's insanely fast when using HT to compress or decompress zip files. I was able to compress 6GB of data into 1GB (your millage may very depending on the type of data) in under 3 minutes. My old AMD processor use to take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to do that.
3. Entry level i7 (aka Hyper Threading) performance for a bit more than i5 price, and because I will never get to overclock the Xeon E3-1231v3 I don't have to spend extra on high-end motherboards or cooling solutions. I'm running this on a budget H81 board and it's doing fine.
4. NO MORE GAME BOTTLENECKS! Well for the most part at least. All my games except Battlefield 4 runs smoothly with the processor, and the processor does not bottleneck the GPU even at 1440p resolutions with the settings cranked to maximum or near maximum.
Cons: 1. I'm not sure if it's just the server I play on or it's normal with BF4, but even with this cpu BF4 spikes constantly. The spikes cause micro-stutters at 1080p, but they are honestly negligible; however they still exist and if you really pay attention close enough you can notice the spikes causing minor fps dips. I still get ~60+fps average on 1080p with the Ultra preset. At 1440p the spikes becomes more noticeable, and I don't have a 4K monitor but I can only imagine what the spikes would look like with a 4K monitor.
Still the Xeon E3-1231 is way better than what I had before, which was an AMD Phenom II X4 965BE (my spikes were atrocious with that thing unless I set a 45fps cap), and the processor runs every other game I have flawlessly, but so did the Phenom.
Other Thoughts: 1. You can't OC the CPU. If you wanna OC the cpu get an i5-4690k instead. I've read an OC i5-4690K @4.5+GHz will perform the same, if not better than the Xeon E3-1231 w/HT enabled on multi-threaded applications, but do know you will need to buy higher end motherboards and an aftermarket heat sink/cooler. I think i5-4690Ks OC to 4.5GHz rather well with aftermarket parts and a high end motherboard.
2. Honestly, HT does little to benefit gaming if that is all you care about. You'd be much better getting an i5 if all you care about is gaming. I use the Xeon for CPU video encoding and solid works in addition to gaming so I need all the benefits I can.
3. Lower single core performance than an i5-4690k by about 3%. Not noticeable in real-world performance but it's still there. If you can get the E3-1241v3 then you'll get slightly better single core performance compared to the i5-4690k.
4. It has no iGPU, but that is not a problem for me because I prefer having a dGPU, and I have two spare dGPUs around in the event my main dGPU fails.
Pros: 1. The ram sticks simply does what they say they will do and
2. That is provide 8GBs of dual-channel support at 1600MHz. The life time warranty is also great.
3. I like how the heat sinks are not overly large.
Other Thoughts: You have to go into your BIOS to enable the ram sticks to run at 1600MHz. If you set the speed to auto or w/e your BIOS' default settings are for the dram they will only run at 1333MHz.READ FULL REVIEW