Server or PC?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Big Game Hunter, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. I was wondering if anybody could attest to wether the extra amount that you pay for a high end quad core server ($2000 USD +) is worth the extra cost or whether you should just build an exact replica as a desktop and save the money. Obviously the 1U
    type servers save money but is that the only difference? If im able to replicate the exact specifications 14MB cache etc in a desktop should I rely on it being just as good or is it simply better to drop the extra $$$'s on a server type solution? Anyone know what might be better in this situation?
  2. Depends on what your use is for the processor and machine you are building.
  3. What I want it for is fairly high intensity stock scalping. What I cant get to grips with is Ive built systems for gaming that are considerably better specced and cost considerably less. However they dont take up only 1 unit of rack space which isnt really a priority anyway since it probably wont be going into Colocation so space isnt really a factor. Thus the cheapskate in me wants to save a few bucks by building it myself but then I end up with some big clunky box instead of a thin 1U blade. But if thats really all there is to it then I think Id rather just build my own and take up a little more space. I mean I can build something with 1200 watts of power, Caviar raptor hard disk and faster ram. If this seems like overkill I can only say that this is being designed as a test platform for killing dozens of stocks simultaneously so I like the idea of it being built from the ground up as a banking type unit. Hence the server. Anyway Im ranting but really I think Ill end up with some kind of dell poweredge type deal server. But I know i could build something that kills it on paper for less...
  4. ATLien


    I only put together boxes myself. If space isn't an issue, just grab a nice mid - server sized tower and put your parts in.

    If space is an issue, just buy a barebones 1U or 2U and then spec it to your needs.

    If you're not technically inclined, buy a server from a reputable manufacturer and get an appropriate support package.
  5. Although I am technically inclined I have to admit that I wasnt aware that you can build a 1U server yourself in the same way you build a desktop. I havent actually ever come accross an empty 1U box that you can spec yourself but if thats possible then I think that might be the better soultion. Im fairly certain Ill save money and get better parts with higher specs into the bargain.
  6. The Operating System you run on has a far more drastic impact on your trading software's performance relative to hardware.

    One trader moved from a clunky, 4 year old pentium 3 processor box with Win2k on it to a brand, new quad-core beasty with Windows XP.
    He could never tune the new machine or OS to be as fast as his old set-up.
    True story.
    Oh, and by the way, almost NO software takes real advantage of parallel processing with dual/quad core processors.
    Java's parallel feature support is slated to be ready in 2010.
  7. Agreed.
    The Hardware of today is TOTAL OVERKILL compared to what virtually all software platforms are able to realize.
  8. A lot of the server software now is 64 Bit. This is conceivably a big step up. Something like windows server in 64 bit for example.
    If you take the games market as a corresponding example you need an absolutely cutting edge system to run something like Crysis at full resolution and settings on high. Also at 16 GB its probably 4 times the size of something from 4 years ago. Soi its hard for me to not draw parralells when it comes to network architecture and the current state of server managment software . I agree though that software is the most important element in the equation. But i disagree that there is an element of de-evolution and that things are moving backwards. I think people like to pretend thats the case but that the reality is that its proving quite difficult to get a computer thats technically capable of processing million of instructions per second to perform the relatively simple task of process ing some several thousand or even hundred price quotes per second with a high degree of accuracy.

    One of the big challenges for me has been to get the systems I develop to accurately read all of the constantly changing data accurately so the the the data it receives accurately matches the the data that the trade server transmits. THIS is the central goal of all good traders and trading servers... To be able to accurately
    mimic the charts in the data it mines from the trading server. All Im really searching for in a trading soultion is the ability to do just that. To accurately mimc the charting information quote for quote. This is my quest and despite all of the claims and the lavish hardware and software specs I have yet to acheive perfect symbyosis between source and receptacle. Data source and data receptacle. This is what keeps me up at nights.... I cant seem to get an accurate read on the tape As soon as my solution can accurately camoflague itself as a perfect match to the chart it mimcs then ill have the solution I want. Is that to much to ask in a perfect world?
  9. As a hardware guy (Dell, HP & now some Sun) for over 18 years, I'd tell you that you would do much better getting a multi-processor machine for now. I also would tell you that you might stick with the dual core product line again, for now. For any trading products that you are probably going to be using you'll be far outstripping their capacity to exploit the hardware abilities. And that is not looking to be changing any time soon.

    Sun might provide you some interesting possibilities, but at this level you're not doing any lightweight tinkering. Here's a thought, spend $2,500 and cluster some lower end Dell rack units. This will provide you with a tested and reliable server management package too. Do this with a Windows or Linux variant and head for super-computer status. I think you can easily accomplish this ass-kickin' Dell cluster purchase through eBay also. Game? :)
  10. I believe that you can also obtain a "snapshot" of the server that you connect to for your data/execution feed via a "virtual" networking display that allows you to have (only) ONE monitor on your PC that is kind of like a "window" into the server; even though the server might be clear across the country.

    You just need a dedicated broadband line, and that would run a couple hundred bucks per month.

    This was once explained to me by a networking buddy of mine.

    It is indeed possible.
    #10     Apr 23, 2008