Centrino Laptops -- powerful enough?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by limitdown, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Centrino laptop configurations, as well as the AMD Duron mobile chipset laptops are configured for variable power management which in theory produces:
    1) lighter laptop configurations
    2) vastly longer battery life, some easily exceeding well over 4 hours duration

    At this juncture of having carried around those "luggables" that approach and exceed 8 pounds or more, the notion of having one of those less robust laptops weighing at or under 4 pounds is highly enticing.

    What have our traders experiences been with:

    1) the robustness of these laptops being used (plugged in) to handle DA (direct access) trading platforms during a normal trading day

    2) battery life and

    3) general usage experiences that would sway the audience towards one of those configurations and away from say:

    1) an AMD Athlon 64 Mobile based laptop
    2) an Intel P4 or P4E based laptop?
  2. Dion Loy

    Dion Loy eSignal

    I have a 1.6ghz Pentium M. Benchmarks for most apps usually put these 1.5x faster than the equivalent Pentium 4-M (ie, the 1.6 should be around the same app speed as a 2.2ghz Pentium 4-M).

    If you travel even just a bit, they're worth it.
  3. thanks for the comments, however the P4M's are full sized pentium chips.

    The Centrino(s) are mid-sized chipsets belonging to the pentium family made specifically for "less than robust" usage. They work well for word processing type usage, but supposedly not for heavy "signal analysis" type work, which is what almost all charting and trading applications stuff equates to.

    any other comments or answers out there?

    any one else using a Centrino or Duron type laptop to handle their direct access software upon?
  4. java5555


    I am wondering what the best brand laptop/configuration would be to run a trading platform, charting platform, but also have the mobility of the Centrino, with Wifi capability. Prefereably a 15 inch screen as well.
  5. Limitdown,

    thank you for starting this thread and it is interesting to find out the target group for the centrino, I did not know that is not designed for heavy usage. Learned something again.

    One thing which is important is to make sure that the laptop is capable of driving a second monitor.

    I am running a laptop 24 hrs / day (IBM A31) and have a second TFT screen (15") sitting above the laptop screen.

    One thing that I have done is use two rubber doorstrips from a car to raise the laptop from the surface, allowing air to move freely underneatch it. This has reduced the temperature inside and subsequently the fan is running at a lower speed and is not on as often.

    It also has a second hard disk in a bay which allows me to make a backup and throw that in a (hotel) safe so that in the case the machine does disappear I still have all my data. Unfortunately the A31 line is a discontinued line and the replacements are not having the same functionality of this machine.

    This must be my 11th or 12th laptop over the years and I have had some lightweight laptops in the past. Unfortunately the weight quoted is often a gimmick as the accesories are no longer build into the machine itself. ( They have their own external enclosure. ) In the end this means that the total weight when travelling is actually more and not less. This in addition to the fact that it becomes a lot more bulky.

    Those models that were lighter were invariably fragile and I remember one particular brand / model that broke down about once per month. It became like granddad's axe: the head had been replaced 5 times and the handle had been replaced 10 times, but it still was granddad's axe. The other leightweigth machines would not be very usefull to trading: they are minature and have a screen which is too small.

    Just my viewpoint, I may be wrong and in that case just correct me.
  6. I don't know much about computers. Last August I purchased this Toshiba Centrino powered laptop. It's been running okay, no problems yet. I have and external 19" LCD Envision monitor and keyboard connected up to it. Kinda neat. I love this huge screen.

    Application wise, I have Qcharts and Esignal...currently checking both out along with Stock Watch Pro tied into Qcharts. So far the centrino seems to be handling it fine with 512 MB of memory.

    Regarding performance with direct access broker, I don't know yet. I plan on switching over to rushtrade real soon and then I'll be able to comment more on Centrino CPU performance.
  7. hummmm..... Qcharts and eSignal

    don't know the need for duplication as eSignal is vastly superior (and might add can become highly expensive) than Qcharts.

    One thing is for us professional traders or wannabeees, we max out the usage of either a desktop or laptop no matter what the make-up

    A number of traders have significantly noticed the lag between swaps on active browser sessions and their trading application windows. These same traders who have commented have also noticed that the same highly demanding combination of applications when run under any processor that uses HT (hyper threading), whether these are the AMD64's or the Pentium4's or Pentium4EE's,
    that their load factors were improved significantly.

    This is directly attributable to:
    1) DDR - double dynamic ram -- which allows for the speedier swaping of applications

    2) the improved FSB's and other motherboard improvements that have come along (too many, too technical to list).

    Soooo, Centrinos and the thin weights....

    any experiences?

  8. I run a Compaq X1000. It has a 1.2G Pentium M in it and 512M of DDR. On the road I run Esignal and two TWS sessions, IE, Outlook Express and a few other things and haven't had any problems at all.

    In fact it's my fastest machine, my normal desktop is a 1G Athlon with 1G of DDR. It doesn't have a problem with the tasks above either.

    Frankly, I see everyone drooling over 3.2G Pentium 4's and scratch my head. While I understand it from an emotional point of view, it's hard to justify if you're just running everyday trading software.

    Now for simulations and backtesting, you might have an argument. But then again, I run my big backtests on my laptop and I have no complaints.

    That said, Battlefield Viet Nam won't run on any of my machines so I might be upgrading soon anyway! :D
  9. Centrino's on the thin foot print laptops are significantly different from the Pentium 4M's at 1.x Ghz...

    or do I have this wrong?

    it would be nice to finally loose weight and carry one of those 4lbs. notebooks
  10. dchang0


    My main trading/backtesting/optimization platform is a 1.6GHz Pentium M in a teeny tiny little IBM X31 (under 4lbs!!). And the new ultra-ultra-thin X40 (or is it X41?) is also packed with a Pentium M. (Some models are Centrinos, others aren't.)

    Currently I do ALL of my trading activities on my little X31. It has never failed to meet all of my demands. I even did some exhaustive optimization on it using the ultra-slow, CPU-hog Wealth-Lab Developer 3.0, and it hummed along with no problems.

    It's a freakin' marvel of technology. I only wish it were smaller (I've been drooling over those Pentium-M HP TC1100 tablets lately--I figure if I get a super-fast server-class box for backtesting/optimization and a little tablet for trading and remote control, my setup'll be perfect.)
    #10     Apr 6, 2004