Xeon vs Pentium, Workstation vs PC?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by a529612, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Is there any compelling reason why one should buy a Workstation with Xeon (or dual Xeon) over a usually cheaper mainstream PC with Core 2 Duo chip and a lot more bells and whistles?

  2. Only if you have software which requires heavy duty number crunching. Most trading platforms and apps do not.
  3. bluud


    if you can easily afford it, why not?!
  4. What's the difference between a workstation and a PC anyway? I've noticed a lot of entry-level workstations are nothing more than a barebone mainstream PC.
  5. GTS


    There is no difference, its a marketing term. See Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workstation

    The label workstation is usually given to higher-end PC configurations but there is nothing specific that you can point to that makes a PC a workstation or not.

    At least with servers there tend to be some specific features that you wouldn't want on your desktop but even there the line can get blurred, especially on the low-end servers. I say this as I type on my Dell 400SC PowerEdge "server" which makes a great desktop, errr, I mean workstation.

    With regard to your original question, I would go with the Core 2 Duo.
  6. I think a workstation with two xeon processors (dual core or not) can utilize both physical processors for applications whether or not the program is designed to be multithreaded (can run on multiple cores/processors). This is because the load balancing between the two xeon processors is handled on the motherboard.

    Both cores of a desktop grade dual core processor may not be able to be used if the program isn't multithreaded.

    general examples:
    Non-Multithreaded programs on a core 2 duo vs two single core xeons will be faster on the xeons, since 2 processors can be used.
    Non-Multithreaded program program on a core 2 duo vs dual core xeon (single processor), will have the same performance, each using 1 core.


    Multithreaded program on a core 2 duo vs two single core xeons of the same speed will have similar results. xeons will have a slight edge since they are actually two separate processors.
    Multithreaded program on a quad core 2 duo vs two quad core xeons. the desktop will use 4 processors, while the workstation will use 8 processors.

    That's the other advantage of the xeons is that you can have two quad core xeons. They dont make desktop motherboards to use two quad core 2 duo. So you can generally have more processors if you're willing to pay the money. They also make 64 bit xeon processors (itanium) while they dont have 64 bit desktop processors yet. Therefore if you can load up on a buttload of ram versus the 4gigs max of your typical 32 bit windows xp desktop.

    Most trading programs aren't super number crunching intensive unless you have many windows/charts open with a bunch of strategies. Strategy optimization processes can be greatly sped up with multiple cores/processors.

    sorry for the rambling. hope that helps more and doesn't add to the confusion. Bottom line, if you arent willing to pay the money for the extra physical processor and/or more ram, buy the regular desktop instead of hte workstation.
  7. just21


    I have a dual 2.8ghz xeon which I trade options at Ib with. I had problems with IB TWS today when the market was busy as I had bookrader and charts open in tws. After closing these and looking at optiontrader I was getting 47% cpu usage in task manager. I am going to get a seperate machine for charts so i can avoid problems in tws when the market is busy.
  8. dinoman


    I have a dell workstation and a Dell Dimension 8400. The Dimension runs fine in normal markets with 4 big flat panels. If you have volume like the last few days the Dimension chokes big time, but the Workstation is a champ. If you have the money go with the Workstation. You can get one for under 2G's that will fit you well. Instead of getting dual chips just get one good chip. Most platforms don't utilize hyper threading right now.

    If you are only using it mainly for trading I would recommend the following.

    3.0 XEON or higher should suit you plenty.
    If using more than 4 monitors get a really nice mother board and a power supply bigger than 800. For video cards I just get the cheapo from the factory and get either the Geforce FX cards 128 or if using more than 4 monitors look at the Nvidia NVS Quadro cards.
  9. GTS


    I would be very surprised if that was true.
  10. Okay, i think i screwed up in that explanation, google is my friend. Youre right, the program needs to be multithreaded still.

    I was thinking two separate core 2 duos vs two separate dual core xeons. In a multithreaded program, the program will only see 2 processors in a core 2 duo setup, while it can use all 4 in the xeon setup since the motherboard has a separate controller to utilize hyperthreading.

    mah bad :p
    #10     Mar 1, 2007