Unique Build?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Dark Overlord, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Hey Guys/Gals,

    So i've got a client of mine that has a pretty massive trading setup - and have a few questions to those that might have tried what he is doing as well..

    I have built him a custom workstation that has 6 x 30" Monitors (another 2 - 30"s) will be installed this week as well so a total of 8 x 30" Monitors...

    the probem he is running into now is system stability issues, more from the Tradestation side than anything else, ive tried to tell him that a 32bit app will max out no around 2gb per .exe...

    and from what ive read Tradestation will not take advantage of a 64bit system? or am i wrong?

    the setup is a

    mobo: Intel Skulltrail
    Procs: 2 x 3.2Ghz Quad Core (12MB cache)
    Memory: 1gb x 4 = 4gb Dual Ranked
    HD: 4 x 146GB 15K SAS (RAID 10)
    Video: Dual Quadro FX 4700 X2 (Quad D-DVI Ports) (supports 8 - 30" LCD"S @ 2560x1600 each port)
    SAS Raid Controller
    1200watt PSU

    on another note, do you guys know if a /3gb /userva2560 switch will help things or hurt things in terms of performance, keep in mind this client of mine is pushing some big time data, typically on his setup hes running around 20% sustained CPU ... so he really does work it..

    ive attached a pic of the setup too... its pretty cool looking in my opinion.. :cool:
  2. I built a similar system for myself about a year ago and had a similar experience. Mine is not a skultrail (it came out a little later). What I do not like about Intel mobo's is that they never keep up the ram speed with the FSB; to me that does not make sense. I don't claim to be the most qualified person to critique the subject, but I just don't get it whey they're always behind on that.

    Mine is a 1333fsb mobo with a quad Core2 Extreme QX6850 (1333 fsb) and 4GB DDR3 1333 ram. I was told by OCZ presale (prebuild) that if I had slower ram then my fsb it would be a potential for bottlenecks. Not knowing any better I bought 8800 ultra GPU's. If I knew then what I know now I would have bought quadro's. I run 42" lcd televisions as monitors @ 1920x1080 using DVI to HDMI adapters with HDMI cables going to the tv's - yeah I know it's weird but it's what I like. I get to sit back/ stand back and see the big picture instead of burying my face in screens all day. And on Sunday we have an awesome sports theatre. I have 4x PCIeX16 slots for plenty of future expansion. The mobo is a Asus P5K64WS.

    My system at first would freeze just like you're describing.

    Here's my advice:
    Check your bios and see what the memory timings are. They don't always default to factory timings. My memory is OCZ DDR3 Platinum (4x1GB = 4GB) and OCZ was very helpful when I called them after the sale. My timings were way off and that's what was causing the system to freeze. I just changed them to 7-7-7-20 and it has worked great ever since.

    If there are no problems with memory timings, I would take it down to one monitor at some medium resolution and run Prime95 and stress the system. Assuming it runs good for 45 minutes on Prime95, plug in half of the monitors and take the resolution all the way up and run Prime95 again for 45 minutes while pushing some video (DVD or Tradestation if you can work on it during market hours?) to those monitors. Assuming it runs good, plug in all of the monitors and run Prime 95 again for 45 minutes while pusing video to those monitors. This will tell you if your monitor demand is stressing the system. If this is the case, lowering resolution or different GPU's may be your solution, but even if this is the case, I would still try playing with the BIOS timings some more.

    FYI: I run WinXP Pro X64. Even if you have an application which will not run in X64, WinXP Pro X64 has an X32 Program Files folder and runs all WinXP X32 compatible programs just fine. You can't screw up having WinXP Pro X64 even if programs are not made for it. I have never used Tradestation and I can't speak for it.


    That skultrail has a 1600 fsb speed if I recall accurately. And I would assume you used 1600 fsb processors as well. What is the clock speed on the RAM you bought? I"m sure you paid good money for it; don't hesitate to call that manufacturer and ask them about timings and compatibility with your mobo and CPU's.

    Do you have everything running on one core or spread out among the 8 cores?

    If spread out, how are you spreading out the demand among the cores and do you have to reset this demand every time you boot the system?

    Are all 8 cores running at 20% or just one core? Or are you seeing 20% demand of total capacity?
  3. Thanks for the re:

    now when you say your system "froze" where you referring to the etire system or just an application, in my case just "tradestation" will freak out and crash... but everything else on the system is stable, ie: outlook, firefox, etc.. etc...

    and on the memory, that was the only downside to using the skulltrail motherboard, was you had to use FB-DIMMS.. but in all honesty.. i didnt think it would really cause tradestation performance issues...

    i'll look into the memory timings in the bios next....

    - cpu, ill have to remote on his workstation when the market is active to check on that, ill look to see if one core is working, or if tis all.. im pretty sure its just a single core...
  4. On mine everything, including the mouse, froze. I had to do a hard reboot with the power button. It happened about 2x/ day for about the first 3 days, only while trading of course. Correcting those memory timings was the instant fix.

    Prime95 is what confirmed to me that it was fixed. It's never missed a heartbeat since.

    Prime95 is a free download and will stress test any system to a higher degree (max degree) then any trading will impose on it. It runs all cores full bore 100%. I'll never build another trading system again without testing it with Prime95.

    It seems odd you are saying just the one application freezes. Maybe try uninstalling and reinstalling that application or roll back to a previous version. That really sounds software related. If your Prime95 test comes out good I would call Tradestation or whoever supports the application.

  5. Do you have any special boot.ini settings? ie: /3GB? /userva?

    i know you said you were not running tradestation.. but just shooting in the dark here...

  6. No, I don't have any special boot.ini settings.
  7. so since the build the system it self seems stable.. however every now and then tradestatoin seems to freak out and simply crash -

    I think he is just running out of memory - he crunches a ton of data...

    all 6 monitors have charts and what-not going on....

    and this is on a 32bit system with 4GB of ram...

    do any of you guys run Tradestation on Xp64? im curious if the system just doesnt have enough memory to go around for everyhting, ie: all the video cards etc, loading kernel memory and then fighting TS for the rest of the available memory..

    just ideas anyway, im sorta clueless at this point.