Single quad-core or dual Xeons for Blocks rig?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mad_badger, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. I'm looking to build a rig to run Blocks (StockFinder) from Worden. Worden staff had this to say about Blocks:

    I have a separate dedicated trading machine, so my platform would not have to be run on this Blocks machine. I might, however, run Firefox.

    I use Blocks to run real-time scans of written conditions on dedicated symbol-lists during market hours.

    Would I be better off building a system with the fastest single quad/dual-core cpu I can buy? Or would I be better of with two quad-cores (like two Xeons) in a server-like system, given what Worden staff has said about how Blocks works?
  2. If you are already using the software, then your first step should be to look at the CPU utilization in your current setup. If it is reasonable, then for the upgraded machine, choose the cheaper option, which will undoubtedly be a quad.

    These sort of questions are very difficult to answer without running actual benchmarks with the software on the different hardware. I would take with a grain of salt any claims to provide a definitve choice between the two options from anybody who hasn't actually benchmarked the software.
  3. Do you mean a single quad core dcraig, or dual quad-cores?

    This is not during market hours, but I just did a small test on my current setup (an AMD Athlon 3400 single core cpu with 1GB ram):

  4. Tums


    Based on your TM, you don't need a new computer, LOL.
  5. TM means......"total memory"?
    Keep in mind that is during non-market gets BAD during market hours.
  6. Yes, I meant a single quad.

    The current CPU utilization is certainly not locked on 100%, which suggests that a single quad might well do the job. A modern Core 2 Duo quad will have a LOT more grunt than any single core Athlon. An Intel Q9550 or even lower spec CPU, would possibly be quite sufficient.

    No guarantees of course and it would be advisable to monitor CPU usage during normal trading conditions. Also make sure you have plently of memory.

    You should also monitor disk activity. If it's disk I/O that's holding things up, no CPU will make a big difference. If disk I/O is a bottleneck, then multiple striped disks aka Raid 0 should help and is pretty inexpensive.
  7. Thanks dcraig. I'll keep an eye on that tomorrow and try to grab another screenshot during normal use.
  8. Tums


    TM = Task Manager

    At the moment (after market), you are hardly reaching your computer's limit.

    Please do another check during market hours.

    If the CPU usage hits 100% often, then a faster CPU would be beneficial. The slowest Quad CPU on the market is going to be way faster than yours.

    Your Peak Memory usage went over 100% briefly, but it is not an issue. The only time you need more memory is if your current memory usage goes over the physical amount during critical times.
  9. Here is a quick screenshot from today with just Blocks running:

  10. Tums


    What do you think? ;-)

    How would you read the graphs?
    #10     Nov 3, 2008