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-   -   Dell Precision T3400 or T5400? (http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?t=142069)

icarus618 Oct 21st, 2008 03:02 PM

Dell Precision T3400 or T5400?
 
I'm seeking input from the hardware buffs here regarding the T3400 versus the T5400 as a replacement for my primary trading box which has served me flawlessly for 7+ years. Recently my CPU has hit 100% usage a few times during the trading day, slowing things down noticeably. Price is no object but I would like to make an efficient purchase.

I've read the threads recommending the T3400 and was ready to purchase it but the Dell sales rep made me think about moving up to one of the higher Precision lines, the T5400 with the Xeon chip. I have no idea what the differences in chips are.

I trade only stock index futures with my primary account at IB and a backup account at PFG; I usually have both TWS and Best Direct execution platforms running. I use Ensign for about 10 charts with datafeed from IB and e-signal as backup; only one feed is running at one time. I also run Outlook Express and have a couple of Internet Explorers open during the day.

My current trading box is a Pentium III (not positive though) using Windows 2000, 1 GB RAM, and I have 4 monitors hooked up using the Appian Jeronimo Pro quad video card. The monitors are Samsung SyncMaster1200NF's (CRTs) which I do not want to replace. I'm not sure if I can use my current quad video card in a newer computer. I have in mind getting the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 440 from another vendor but need to know if I can hook up my CRTs to this card.

I have some questions:

Do I get anything out of upgrading to a T5400 in terms of the Xeon chip?

Can I run my CRT's on 2 NVS 290 cards (Dell's quad configuration for the T5400)?

How much RAM is optimal for Windows XP?

Thanks for any help.

gnome Oct 21st, 2008 03:17 PM

Re: Dell Precision T3400 or T5400?
 
Quote:

Quote from icarus618:

I'm seeking input from the hardware buffs here regarding the T3400 versus the T5400 as a replacement for my primary trading box which has served me flawlessly for 7+ years. Recently my CPU has hit 100% usage a few times during the trading day, slowing things down noticeably. Price is no object but I would like to make an efficient purchase.

I've read the threads recommending the T3400 and was ready to purchase it but the Dell sales rep made me think about moving up to one of the higher Precision lines, the T5400 with the Xeon chip. I have no idea what the differences in chips are.

I trade only stock index futures with my primary account at IB and a backup account at PFG; I usually have both TWS and Best Direct execution platforms running. I use Ensign for about 10 charts with datafeed from IB and e-signal as backup; only one feed is running at one time. I also run Outlook Express and have a couple of Internet Explorers open during the day.

My current trading box is a Pentium III (not positive though) using Windows 2000, 1 GB RAM, and I have 4 monitors hooked up using the Appian Jeronimo Pro quad video card. The monitors are Samsung SyncMaster1200NF's (CRTs) which I do not want to replace. I'm not sure if I can use my current quad video card in a newer computer. I have in mind getting the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 440 from another vendor but need to know if I can hook up my CRTs to this card.

I have some questions:

Do I get anything out of upgrading to a T5400 in terms of the Xeon chip?

Can I run my CRT's on 2 NVS 290 cards (Dell's quad configuration for the T5400)?

How much RAM is optimal for Windows XP?

Thanks for any help.

I don't know about the T5400 Xeon CPU and the mobo... it's different from the T3400, so you want to verify that whichever you get has proper PCIEx and PCI slots for whatever you want to run. However, I can't imagine a common or routine trading task the T3400 couldn't handle.

Yes, you can run your CRTs on the 290 NVS cards... 2 of those are less costly than a 440 quad.

Optimal for WinXP 32-bit is probably 2G RAM. Regardless of how much you install, XP will only use about 3G, maximum.

Aurum Oct 22nd, 2008 11:56 AM

Most Quad core's have more L2 cache and a faster front side bus (FSB). Bigger is better here. The fact that it has 4 cores versus 2 (or 1) doesn't mean much currently, because most software isn't optimized to take advantage of the extra cores. That will change eventually.

Windows XP and Vista32 are limited to recognizing 4GB of RAM. They will both use less than that, as gnome commented on. Vista64 will make use of more than 4GB, but you might have problems with your trading and brokerage software running correctly on it.

Your current monitors should work fine with any video cards. The rub will be getting a video card configuration which lets you use all 4 as one desktop. From what I've heard, nVidia cards in SLI mode only let you use 2 monitors at a time - but don't quote me on that.

Is there a particular reason why you want to keep the CRT's? Flatpanel's have improved a lot over the past 5 years, have a smaller heat and power footprint, and (my favorite) weigh nothing compared to the same sized CRT.

-Au

edit: I wanted to point out - by using your CRT's you will most likely need to get adapter's for the video card connectors. The newer cards primarily use DVI instead of VGA connectors.

gnome Oct 22nd, 2008 12:01 PM

Quote:

Quote from Aurum:

Most Quad core's have more L2 cache and a faster front side bus (FSB). Bigger is better here.

The rub will be getting a video card configuration which lets you use all 4 as one desktop.

I

Tests have shown that > 4MB or 6MB of L2 is not used, so having 12MB doesn't do anything.

"Extended Desktop" is a Windows function (since W98). It's easy to set up for 2-8 monitors...

Aurum Oct 22nd, 2008 12:33 PM

Quote:

Quote from gnome:

Tests have shown that > 4MB or 6MB of L2 is not used, so having 12MB doesn't do anything.

"Extended Desktop" is a Windows function (since W98). It's easy to set up for 2-8 monitors...


IIRC quad cores have 2 pairs of 2 cores sharing 6mb. If most software doesn't take advantage of the second pair, which I pointed out, then it would appear to not "do anything."

I haven't seen any reviews which substantiate your comment - and Tom's Hardware articles would apparently contradict your statement. Do you have a link or two which backs up what you are saying?

Re the extended desktop - I wasn't talking about what windows could or couldn't do. I was referring to the configuration of the graphics cards. My comment had SLI primarily in mind, as most businesses would be pushing that as a feature, and I am uncertain that you can hook up 4 monitors to 2 cards with SLI enabled.

-Au

gnome Oct 22nd, 2008 12:36 PM

Quote:

Quote from Aurum:

IIRC quad cores have 2 pairs of 2 cores sharing 6mb. If most software doesn't take advantage of the second pair, which I pointed out, then it would appear to not "do anything."

I haven't seen any reviews which substantiate your comment - and Tom's Hardware articles would apparently contradict your statement. Do you have a link or two which backs up what you are saying?

Re the extended desktop - I wasn't talking about what windows could or couldn't do. I was referring to the configuration of the graphics cards. My comment had SLI primarily in mind, as most businesses would be pushing that as a feature, and I am uncertain that you can hook up 4 monitors to 2 cards with SLI enabled.

-Au

I don't have a link, but I remember reading a comparo from some site like Tom's.. and they concluded that the larger amounts of L2 did not improve performance.

For trading and multi-monitor, SLI isn't really a consideration for most. SLI, as you know, is a gaming concept.... not necessary nor beneficial to trading.

Businesses would "push" SLI to a trading computer customer only if the business understood that the customer was not knowledgeable about computers.


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