Quad core for trading?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by pcvix, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. pcvix



    With Intel rolling out new i5 and i7 CPUs, would anyone care to say a few words on which retail trading programs (execution front-end, charting, backtesting, etc) can take advantage of these quad core processors?

    Is it true that many (most?) trading software applications have yet to be optimized for multi-threaded operation, and this situation seems unlikely to change in the near future?

  2. True. And most trading setups barely use the CPU during the trading session... mostly just during boot, shutdown, launching and terminating programs.

    No need to go overboard on CPU if machine is used primarily for trading.

    If you go for a quad, a good budget choice would be Q9400-9550. A step up would be i5 750. (Top performance for mainstream use is Xeon W5590)
  3. Regarding multi-threaded Quad core processors and any software application Intel says: "Even if the applications are not multi-threaded, multi-tasking environments will benefit from multi-core processors." (Source: Intel Software Solutions Group)

    It is true that a single threaded software application will not utilize multi threading. However, Windows XP and Windows Vista both support multi-threading so your overall system performance will benefit substantially with multi-threading speed. Also, if you are using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook etc) applications on the same computer as your trading software, these applications are fully multi-thread capable.

    These guys have a pretty good document on the i7 processors http://www.naplestech.com/shopcart/intel_i7_processors.asp
  4. kinar


    in addition to bluebird's comments, even if the applications you run are not built to take advantage of multi-threading (and thus multi-core processors), if you run multiple different apps at the same time, you will benefit from a multi core processor since each app is going to have its own processing thread.

    And of course, don't forget that all the newer technology goes into the quad core processors. A 3Ghz single-core processor today will deliver FAR less performance than even a single core of a 3ghz multi-core processor. If you are buying a new PC today, no matter what activities you are purchasing it to accomplish, Quad-Core is the way to go.
  5. In a trading environment, you won't notice nearly as big a difference as you hope/expect between a dual and quad core machine... in fact, you might not notice any difference at all. Two cores is usually plenty of grunt to make multi-tasking a breeze. The biggest differnce would be seen in running multiple "CPU intensive" apps at once... say for example, running a virus scan while burning a DVD. That would be unusual enough... but how often would you run 3 or 4 CPU intensive applications at one time?

    A few years back, there was a significant difference in cost, but the quads came down in price. Still, the quads have waaayyyy greater capacity than is currently being used in most cases.
  6. Nexen


    The hardware is way ahead of the software, particularly in the windows environment.
  7. dc101


  8. When is NT 7.0 coming out, I am hearing early 2014!

  9. dc101


    Just in case OP did not get a chance to check that link: Beta 2 is getting out to beta testers tomorrow (Oct 20, 2009 ), while final release will most likely be before the end of this year.
  10. A developer I know of is using it now and says it works well, but they didn't fix the real time volume issue!:mad: They don't seem to have any plans to fix it either.
    #10     Oct 19, 2009