Need Help choosing Processor

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by qqq, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. DaveV


    Until recently I felt the exact same way. My primary computer is a 3-year old Dell T7610 workstation with a Xeon E5-2687W v2 processor, 64GB RAM, 4 x 500GB SATA SSD drives. Cost more than $4,000.

    3 months ago I bought a second computer to use as a backup and to test software before installing on the main system. A really tiny, Dell 7050 micro system, i7-7700 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 500GB of M.2 PCIe SSD storage. Cost, less than $800 on DellOutlet.

    I installed my trading system on the new tiny Dell 7050 PC, and it ran, no problem. CPU barely broke a sweat.

    So I decided to benchmark both systems using a script that I use to backup my SQL database. The database is over 44GB and includes 9 years worth of quotes, news headlines/text, earnings, etc. The script usually takes about an hour to run, and uses heavy disk activity to extract all records from the database into CSV text files, followed by heavy CPU usage with 7Z to compress to a single Zip file.

    The results:
    - Xeon workstation: CPU-heavy tasks 23.3 minutes, disk-heavy tasks 32.9 minues, total 56.2 minutes;
    - Tiny PC: CPU-heavy tasks 36.4 minutes, disk-heavy tasks 10.8 minues, total 47.2 minutes;

    I was so surprised, that I rebooted both systems, and reran the test. Same results.
    Yes I could spend another $900 and upgrade my Xeon workstation to use M.2 PCIe SSDs instead of the current SATA SSDs, then it would handily beat the PC. But what I am trying to point out is that longevity of workstations needs to be weighed against the performance increases gained by simply buying new technology every few years.
    #11     Feb 21, 2018
    jtrader33, truetype and tommcginnis like this.
  2. Seems you're trying to compare "massive data massage something" as a justification for hardware choice.

    Not relevant to real-time usage in a trading rig.
    #12     Feb 21, 2018
  3. tommcginnis


    W-2123 on eBay for $335
    Socket R4 LGA-2066

    Intel Xeon Silver 4110 eBay for $550
    Socket 3647

    $200 between them, and different MOBO sockets, so you can't just change 'em out later.
    The eBay urls give a summary of specs -- whether the differences are worth $200 -- that's for you to choose.

    But DaveV's point that there are more impactful ways to garner reliability and/or performance than simply choosing between CPUs is an important one. $200 getting a devoted outlet from your circuit box to your trading room would be a better idea. Or, $200 on a new UPS would be a good idea. Or, $200 on an SSD! Or, $200 on.......:wtf:

    You get the idea.:rolleyes:
    #13     Feb 21, 2018
  4. Computers are like cars...generally should buy the best/latest one you can afford.

    edit: Buy the newest/latest used version. Don't buy 100% brand new new...let some other sucker take that instant depreciation hit.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    #14     Feb 21, 2018
  5. Disagree. I'd advise buying 3-yr old workstation for 25% the cost of originally new.
    #15     Feb 21, 2018
    lylec305 likes this.
  6. Your advantage is that you know how you want to use your new computer: run the same software and applications as on your current computer.
    The question thus becomes on whether you need a more powerful CPU in your new computer than in your current one. Are you already experiencing that your current computer is slow at times, caused by the CPU? If the answer to this question is "no", then it doesn't really matter what new CPU you select, as long as it has equal or better performance than your current one.
    #16     Feb 21, 2018
  7. qqq


    My headaches are hardware related like I lost 2 video cards, PSU & now GPU Fan. Being the rig out of warranty it is even bigger headache getting parts from Dell.

    Questions :
    (1) Which software gadget will give me an idea of how much CPU power I am using with the current rig.
    (2) What matters most for trading purpose (A) Clock speed (B) No of cores (C) HT etc ? What difference a 6 or 8 core make compared to 4 core ?
    (3) Is 16 GB RAM enough ?

    I am not using the rig for gaming. But yes, playing videos, running word app & other minor apps & web surfing etc.
    #17     Feb 21, 2018
  8. (1) Use Window's Task Manager to see the CPU % being used.
    (2) Depends on your trading system. Especially on the amount of computations your computer needs to do. My computer uses a 2 core CPU.
    (3) Depends on the number of applications you run in parallel and the size of each of them. You could check what your current system on your current computer is using. Task Manager might give you an indication.
    #18     Feb 22, 2018
    tommcginnis likes this.
  9. TDMA


    In 2011 I bought a £2,500 T520, a month ago I decided to replace it with a top of the range HP Spectre, couldn't understand why the new system was running algos at the same speed. On checking the passmark the T520 was basically the same speed as the Spectre, desktops are no different. For the monitors, buy widescreen, and not cheap graphics cards, they work fine on normal days but in volatility they cannot keep up. Just like with strategies, everyone can advise, but in the end you're on your own as to what works and what doesn't.
    #19     Feb 22, 2018
    DaveV likes this.
  10. 1. Windows Task Manager... check it when running all of the apps you usually do. See what percentage of CPU is being used and how much RAM.

    2. What matters most? NONE OF THE ABOVE... unless you're running tic charts or custom indicators. And if that's the case... the more power the better.

    3. 16G RAM enough? See #1.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    #20     Feb 22, 2018