Core i7-3930K vs Xeon E5-2630 For Long-duration Financial Calculations

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dima777, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. dima777



    I wonder if you can help me to build the perfect PC setup for the following task:

    I am going to perform daily financial market analysis on multiple instruments using Excel (large workbooks around 300 and 500 mbs), Matlab and Automation software. The price will be loaded into Excel, the results would be fed into Matlab to create charts (this sequence will be repeated many times). I plan to sell the resultant analysis at my website for a set monthly subscription – so this can be considered a production workstation. The total process would take 5-7 hours daily. I need this process to run as error-free as possible – absolutely predictably on autopilot. So I am not planning to over-clock the CPU.

    I am deciding between a workstation built on Intel Core i7-3930K or the one built on single Intel Xeon E5-2630. These CPUs are roughly the same in price (same number of cores, different speed though) with the I7 being much faster one. But I am more concerned with reliability and stability of this setup. Do you think the ECC memory can help eliminate system crashes when the analysis job is running? I need to be able to connect this PC remotely to initiate the analysis jobs as well. I am also thinking of Intel Core i7-3930K which is very fast but not sure about its stability for long-duration number crunching sessions (it can overheat if run at full speed for many hours?).

    Please let me know what you think,
  2. vicirek


    I am using older i7 -2600K running 8 logical cores at 80-95% utilization for hours at the time and did not notice any system instability or overheating (using a little bigger fan and heat sink)
  3. dima777


    thank you for your reply...I am still concerned with system reliability as I might need to remotely control the server and to initial batch jobs from think which type of machine beats the other in this regard?
  4. I faced this exact same (well, very similar) decision in April of this year. I actually went for the i7-3930k, and I paired it with 64GB of ram and 6TB of diskspace to do what you're talking about. I built the system myself. I did not skimp on power supply (1200 watt) or high quality memory. For the dollar, I felt like I got a good, working setup out of the i7-3930k.

    Many of my colleagues were adamant about getting server-class hardware, but I actually went with hardware suitable for gaming instead (i.e., overclockable, etc.) I saved money, and for my application, I have not been disappointed. If you have downstream customers, however, your priorities may lie more with ensuring absolute reliability.
  5. vicirek


    If you are using motherboard with single processor then there is no reason to use xeon plus more expensive ecc memory and motherboard.

    i7 and xeon have very similar architecture and performance.

    Xeon is more suited for servers with steady workload 24/7 and i7 are geared toward retail gamer market with better peak performance and are priced more competitevely.

    I personally would go with i7.

    Sytem stability depends on many factors including operating system and software. Most of the crashes are due to low quality memory or incorrectly matched memory with motherboard, next would come hard drive errors and in networked environment network hardware as well. I do not think xeon would eliminate any of those entirely and for application like this you have to factor that in.
  6. dima777


    glad to hear you face the same question....I woudl go with the i7 if I were perfectly sure it can perform absolutely stably each day doing continuous number crunching for months to come - even if years.....I plan to offer the analysis on a continuous basis - daily updates on thousands f parameters - you think i7 is as stable as xeon in this regard?
  7. dima777


    yes system stability is what I am aiming for..the system wil be doing large amount of price data processing continuously - for most of the day.......peak performance can be traded for more stability in xeon ..not sure if i7 can match that
  8. dima777


    I am just concerned if i7 will be able to run the continuous number crunchinh session lasting MONTHS ? I might not power-off the computer for months! you think XEON can handle such workload? and I7?
  9. Processors are generally not your biggest risk in terms of stability.

    Your chipset, motherboard, memory, power supply, etc. All those other things generally have a large part in determining stability as well. If, for example, your chipset is consumer grade and happens to have very shoddy device drivers to manage its devices, you will have stability problems.

    The reason people buy the enterprise grade hardware from a big-box vendor is because, usually, someone vouches for stability of all of the components interacting together.
  10. The one you can afford at least two of.
    #10     Nov 24, 2012