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Which CPU for gaming, if you had to choose? socket 1366

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Jul 14, 2003
So a while back i cobbled together a 1366 xeon build on the super cheap for my brother, so he can be somewhat caught up and gameable again. Ended up with a Xeon w3550 which is the same as an i7-950 basically. Ebay has alot of Xeons for this socket that are basically identical to their i7 counterparts that will work with this board. Anyways, looking at his upgrade path, i've settled on two processors that stand out and can be had for under $100 on ebay, even. Even as low as $70 depending as which.

-Xeon w3680 6-core hyperthreading 3.33ghz/3.6ghz turbo. Basically the same as the i7-980x.
-Xeon x5687 4-core hyperthreading 3.6ghz/3.9ghz turbo. No i7 equivalent though it wouldn't be far off to claim its a faster i7-990x but with only 4 cores instead of 6.

im torn as to which to suggest as the common conception is that for gaming, higher clockspeed is better (assuming there are enough cores of course). The w3680 seems to hit higher marks in most benchmarks but i cant find much that addresses one vs the other in gaming. The closest thing is finding the model under the x5687 on firestrike results pages and seeing its physics score, which is in the range of 12k to 17k depending on the configuration. The w3680 in the same results pages i see scores in the same range. Passmark scores on cpubenchmark.net have the w3680 ranked about as highly as my i7-3770k, meanwhile the x5687 scores 2000 points less.

My gut is telling me the w3680 but my brain is telling me "clockspeeeeeeed, this is a gaming/general use machine not a rendering station" and brings me back to the x5687.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance, my friends.
No brainer here to me... x5687.

Hex cores don't help gaming, a quad with HT is plenty there. Since the 5687 has faster clocks, which old arse chips need, pretty straightforward what the answer is. :)
best apples to apples comparison i can find is passmark single thread score. Which is pretty close. The x5687 scores 1577 while the w3680 scores 1527. The x5687 barely edges out the w3680 in this regard. Makes me wonder if the extra clockspeed is all that worth it if the scores are that close but one has two extra cores. But i imagine for gaming its still better as passmark is probably not the best benchmark to go by for this judging by the processor grouping these get put in (apparently near mobile processors and i3s. I know the old i7s on 1366 were more powerful than that....but i guess thats the beauty of multi-core).

Thx all for confirming my brain's feeling on this though lol. Clockspeeeeed
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