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4 monitor workstation used for trading and financial modelling

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September 19, 2009 8:14:54 PM

I'm looking to put together a workstation. Cost is not a concern although cheaper is obviously better and I'm not looking to throw away money for insignificant performance gains.

General usage includes all of the following simultaneously on a daily basis.
- Real time trading applications
- Computational intensive financial modeling and simulations(unfortunately the main model is currently single threaded)
- streaming video, web surfing, outlook, very large excel worksheets, word, !ACT, local SQL server, XP in windows 7 virtual machine, ect

I have 4 monitors, three 24 inch and one 30 inch(I will likely swap out a 24 and add a 30). I'm currently running an NVS 450(seems slow? but maybe maybe system?) Do I need to replace with a better graphics card?
I would like to upgrade the CPU to the i9 when it comes out so I'm thinking pairing a i7 920 with a top of the line motherboard. I have no problem OCing.

I need applications and data files to be extremely responsive without any load times. In my business speed is essential and even the loss of a couple of seconds could be critical. I either want to go with SSDs in RAID O(new intels MLC or the vertex MLC) or go with the new OCZ Z drive as the main drive. I already own 2 WD Raptors 300s I can use as storage drives.
I also want something that is extremely quiet.

Other than than the video card and WD drives, my hardware is old and needs to be replaced. Complete system build ideas would be a tremendous help and would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advanced for your help.

Jeff

More about : monitor workstation trading financial modelling

September 19, 2009 8:28:34 PM

Just some suggestions:

i7 920

ASUS P6T or Gigabyte EX58-UD4p

Cogage True Spirit, Scythe Mugen 2, Xigmatek S1283, Coolermaster V8

6GB of DDR3-1600 or -2000, something with good timings (CL7). OCZ has good value in this segment

You have the hard drives covered.

Case: Personal preference, I don't know much about quiet cases, others will have their thoughts.

PSU: 750W PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, Seasonic

I recommend that because of the following

you say you want 4 monitors, well some of the new ATI cards launching 58xx are capable of running 6 monitors off of one card. I would look for one of these, just in case you want to add another pair of displays.
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September 19, 2009 9:02:05 PM

jabaccounts said:

I would like to upgrade the CPU to the i9 when it comes out so I'm thinking pairing a i7 920 with a top of the line motherboard. I have no problem OCing.



You probably won't need to OC, but I agree with the cores. 4 minimum and 6 would be great. You don't need a top-end MB, as far as X58 goes, just a decent one.

Raptors are old tech and not that fast. Just grab a 640GB Caviar Black to replace them... get a retail one with the full warranty.

SSD is still pretty new. Here is what I am seeing. I know you want a "G2" version of the Intel drive for maximum performance and less degradation.

I see two versions for sale, and the only difference I am seeing is the retail box and some mounting hardware.... and a $220 price jump.

Retail box at newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Barebones drive at zipzoomfly:
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Intel product description:
http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/asmo-na/eng/pr...

Anand's one-page comparison of G1 and G2:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...

(I'm not just researching for you, no need to get all grateful ;)  )

As to your MB:
This Asus P6T has 8 SATA ports
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This Gigabyte UD5 has 10 ports and may be the best choice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


As to video card... wait a few weeks. The next gen ATI cards will support up to 6 monitors all on the same desktop.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3635
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September 19, 2009 11:21:30 PM

Thank you for taking the time to write such thorough response. I'm sure I'm going to have some follow up questions.
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September 20, 2009 12:34:47 PM

Is there any benefit going with a super high end mother board? I want this machine to last for a long time and I don't have a problem upgrading CPUs which I intend to do to the i9 when it comes out. Something like this ?

EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 Extended ATX SLI Classified Hydro Copper Intel Motherboard - Retail

I'm also completely lost in terms of cases. Does anyone have an idea of something of reasonable size and extremely quiet with good airflow. I'm going to want OC whatever I have but only with heatsink + air.

Also seems like super high end PSU is worth it. Is there a specific one that is the best ? Thanks again for your time and help.
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September 20, 2009 7:59:52 PM

The board you refer to is designed for water cooling.

If you want something to last a long time, keep it simple. The more complex a system, the more likely it is to fail at any given time.

This would also be true for RAID 0, where you have double the chance of failure over a single drive solution.

"Super high end PSU" does not mean super high wattage. You have absolutely no need for a 1200W PSU that will be inefficient because the load on it is only 260W.

Antec Signature 650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Signature 650 review
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Case... Hard to get all three. You'll have to sacrifice size to get quiet and air.

Antec P193
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master Cosmos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 21, 2009 2:45:55 PM

Thanks again for your help. Do you think this makes sense + is everything compatible? Would you change anything here?

Case: COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

PSU: Antec Signature SG650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply - Retail

Heatsink: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

MB: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail

Primary HD Option 1: 2 x Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2C1 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - OEM

Primary HD Option 2: OCZ TECHNOLOGY OCZSSDPCIE-1ZDRV250G Z-Drive PCI-Express SSD

Seconary HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Graphics Card: New 70xx 6 Monitor Radian Card.
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September 21, 2009 2:54:31 PM

I would go with 2 of these in RAID 1 for data redundancy;

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

That Z-drive is supposedly very fast, but it comes with one hell of a price tag...
I think 2 of those new Intel X25-M SSD in RAID 0 will be plenty fast for your needs.

+1 on waiting for the new ATI cards
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September 21, 2009 7:49:42 PM

Thanks. Is there any real benefit to going to 12gb of RAM? What's going to be the botleneck on this machine? Thanks again.
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September 21, 2009 7:58:28 PM

12 gigs ram will just allow faster loading ect but nothing major for your needs and the bottleneck will be the i7 920 at anything under 3ghz i'd say and the graphics gard thereafter
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September 21, 2009 8:17:14 PM

Great. Thanks everyone. I'm going to go ahead and order everything except the video card and hard drive as I intend to get the new ATI card and an OCZ PCI Zdrive as my main HD. I'll use my raptors and NVS 450 in until they are available. Anything I'm missing or doing incorrectly here? Thanks.
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September 21, 2009 11:19:09 PM

Sounds good. I'll look forward to your subjective impressions of noise levels once it's all together.
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September 21, 2009 11:44:27 PM

If you really do get the ZDrive PLEASE post the benchmarks for it. Overall, good build. Also DO NOT go RAID0. Go RAID 01/10. If one drive fails on a RAID0 array you're sunk. Also consider a RAID5 array + a good backup plan for your DATA (assuming this is a mission critical build/data). It's fine to just go RAID1/01 for your OS/programs. If you want a quiet system, it may be worth it to consider these fans: YateLoon, Scythe Slipstream, Scythe SFlex, Noctua.
Check out reviews here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article63-page2.html and http://www.silentpcreview.com/article739-page1.html
(Note: They don't mention the YateLoons but they are popular with the WCing arena due to a good noise to CFM ratio. ). Also investing in a good fan controller may be a good idea.
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September 22, 2009 2:31:31 AM

Thank you everyone for your help. I will let you know how it goes. Best Regards, Jeff
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September 24, 2009 7:05:28 PM

Thanks again for the help everyone. I got everything put together and have been running the computer all day.Very quiet! It runs at about 43C under normal conditions (all my apps running). Is this okay? As for the graphics card, will this support 4 graphics cards?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks.
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September 24, 2009 7:21:59 PM

You mean monitors. It will support 3, but not 4.

43C idle would be a bit warm, but 43C would be fine for a normal load. RealTemp will track you minimum and maximum temps, and is very compact...
Real Temp

That will take only a couple seconds to DL and run. Let me know what it says.
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September 24, 2009 7:27:31 PM

its reading about 42-43 with real time trading apps running, outlook, excel, word, streaming video and some random apps. What do you think the best option is for 4 monitors. Currently 3 24 and 1 30. This NVS 450 is horrible. Thanks.
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September 24, 2009 7:57:08 PM

42-43C under normal load is fine. As for monitors, I have no idea. Never used more than 2 on a build.
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September 24, 2009 7:57:12 PM

SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($239.99)

Has 4 DVI connectors

Cheaper option;

(2) HIS Hightech H467QT512P Radeon HD 4670 IceQ Turbo 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($149.98)
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September 24, 2009 8:13:57 PM

We don't want to dump unneeded heat into your case anyway. You are not gaming at all on this, correct?

Hard to say on your temps, because I don't know the stress on the CPU currently.

If you were to run Prime95 it would max out your cores (use small FFTs) and so tell us if your CPU is adequately cooled.
http://www.playtool.com/pages/prime95/prime95.html

I'm thinking two of these Sapphire 4650s, because they run fairly cool and are sure to be enough for your needs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
However I still need to confirm that the 30" will run off the DVI port and still allow the 24".

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September 24, 2009 9:40:01 PM

Correct that I am not gaming.

Unfortunately 30" takes either 2 DVIs or a displayport(which I am currently utilizing with the NVS 450).

I ran prime95 for a half hour earlier and it average around 60C.
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