Quad or Dual processor

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by pkts, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. pkts


    I'm looking to get a new desktop....looking at Dell's Vostro systems based on some good write-ups on this board.

    I'm torn between the Dual core 3.0 Ghz or the 2.4 quad. I know the Dual core is probably the better choice right now but will the quad be more future proof? I don't do automated systems or tons of backtesting so I realize that the system will probably be overkill. Plus, none of my software supports quad core.

    Also, any need for a 256 MB video card instead of the 128?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Just an FYI . . .

    I ordered a Dell Vostro last month, the 3.0 Deuo 2 Core. It was very nice, including an nVidia GeForce 8600GTS PCI-Express card.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to install a second graphics card in one of the two PCI slots ( at the bottom of the case ) to support a 3rd monitor.

    I believe that the motherboard has some sort of a "limitation" on this . . . and trust me when I tell you that I tried EVERYTHING to make this work.

    I would suggest that you take a strong look at the Dell Precision T3400 workstation.

    Much more flexibility and it comes with not one, but two PCI-Express 16x slots!
  3. pkts


    Thanks Landis. I've heard of compatibility issues if the video card isn't the same as the first one but since you said you tried everything, I imagine you tried another 8600 card in the second slot?

    I'll take a look at the Precisions.
  4. NazSpaz


    Video card won't make much of a difference at all since trading software is 2D, not 3D. Make sure you at least have one, the only thing that WILL slow you down is using integrated video (where there is no card, it is embedded on the motherboard) as that shares your system RAM.

    The Dual vs. Quad proc question comes down to the software you use, if it is calc intensive the Quad will help (backtesting even and such). If it is just a real-time point and click with less calcs then the Dual with faster clock may be a better choice, the best thing to do is call support for your software and ask them which is better for the one you use.

    One thing to make sure is that you have a TON of Ram and it is the fastest available, along with fast hard drives as many software platforms are constantly archiving quote data to the hard drive. I prefer RAID 0 (Striped) for fastest performance, just make sure you are always backing up your data (say every weekend) as this doubles your chance of hard drive failure.

    I myself waste a lot of money buying the fastest and biggest even though it realy doesn't help at this point just because I am a little psycho about running fast, so I would do the 256 video card or even a 512 if available even though it makes no difference so you know.
  5. nexx


    Something you might want to consider is this


    lets you run 3 monitors off one video card. its a bit expensive (about $300) but as you said you have tried everything, this item is more of a vary last option when all else fails.

    Also most Dell's except the high end XPS only have one PCIe x16 slot so the matrox is also a option to consider.
  6. pkts


    Thanks NazSpaz. Good point on the hard drive, I've definitely noticed a slow down on my charting software as the data has gotten bigger and bigger.

    Sounds like dual core will be the best for me.
  7. Dual cores are good (I'm waiting for an 8500 to replace my year old 6600 because I want the low power consumption).

    Lots of fast ram is good too.

    I run my charting from a ram disk because I looked at disk access and discovered most of it was my charting software ... it runs amazingly fast (and quiet and low power) from RAM.
  8. Tums


    the limitation is in the chipset.

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Schema_chipsatz.png">
  9. As I indicated earlier, the Dell T3400 Precision Workstation is the way to go due to its flexibility. It comes with two PCI-Express 16x slots and can be ordered with nVidia NVS-290 graphics cards; even dual NVS-290 PCIe cards if you wish.

  10. While I agree that RAM is important ( especially when using the memory "hog" Windows Vista platform ) you really have no need to purchase any video-card over 256mb for trading. It just isn't necessary. In fact, 256mb is more than enough, and 128mb will do you just fine. In fact, I have an old Dell Dimension 8300 that I still use and it has a couple of old GeForce MX440 graphics cards that only have 64mb and it runs just fine.

    As to hard drives, there are some pretty "thin" trading platforms out there such as the "Anvil" by Assent that place virtually ZERO demand on the hard drive, not too mention run real easy on your system's memory resources too.

    By all means, if you can swing it try and stay with Windows XP Pro. You'll be glad that you did.

    I'm pretty anal when it comes to the hardware/software platform that I run for trading . . . but at the end of the day you can really get caught up in the "overkill" and it really is of no benefit to you.

    Best of Luck with everything!

    #10     Mar 13, 2008