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Intel Core i7-3930K vs Xeon E5-2630 For Long-duration Financial Calcul


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#1 daverty

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

Hello,

I wonder if you can help me to build the perfect PC setup for the following task:

I am going to perform daily financial market analysis on multiple instruments using Excel (large workbooks around 300 and 500 mbs), Matlab and Automation software. The price will be loaded into Excel, the results would be fed into Matlab to create charts (this sequence will be repeated many times). I plan to sell the resultant analysis at my website for a set monthly subscription – so this can be considered a production workstation. The total process would take 5-7 hours daily. I need this process to run as error-free as possible – absolutely predictably on autopilot. So I am not planning to over-clock the CPU.

I am deciding between a workstation built on Intel Core i7-3930K or the one built on single Intel Xeon E5-2630. These CPUs are roughly the same in price (same number of cores, different speed though) with the I7 being much faster one. But I am more concerned with reliability and stability of this setup. Do you think the ECC memory can help eliminate system crashes when the analysis job is running? I need to be able to connect this PC remotely to initiate the analysis jobs as well. I am also thinking of Intel Core i7-3930K which is very fast but not sure about its stability for long-duration number crunching sessions (it can overheat if run at full speed for many hours?).

Please let me know what you think,

Dave

#2 cjloki

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

Hello,

I wonder if you can help me to build the perfect PC setup for the following task:

I am going to perform daily financial market analysis on multiple instruments using Excel (large workbooks around 300 and 500 mbs), Matlab and Automation software. The price will be loaded into Excel, the results would be fed into Matlab to create charts (this sequence will be repeated many times). I plan to sell the resultant analysis at my website for a set monthly subscription – so this can be considered a production workstation. The total process would take 5-7 hours daily. I need this process to run as error-free as possible – absolutely predictably on autopilot. So I am not planning to over-clock the CPU.

I am deciding between a workstation built on Intel Core i7-3930K or the one built on single Intel Xeon E5-2630. These CPUs are roughly the same in price (same number of cores, different speed though) with the I7 being much faster one. But I am more concerned with reliability and stability of this setup. Do you think the ECC memory can help eliminate system crashes when the analysis job is running? I need to be able to connect this PC remotely to initiate the analysis jobs as well. I am also thinking of Intel Core i7-3930K which is very fast but not sure about its stability for long-duration number crunching sessions (it can overheat if run at full speed for many hours?).

Please let me know what you think,

Dave

intuitively speaking, i can't see where there would be a problem with the 3930 ?...not overclocked, fully stock, the 3930 should perform marvelously, not overheat, and complete the desired operations a bit faster than the xeon...

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#3 El_Capitan

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:14 AM

Even a 3930K overclocked with non-ECC memory also overclocked, would still be stable (though it may take a good bit of while to get there). Though watercooling for long term, probably not a good idea.

Many people fold using their machines, which is also a good indicator of whether there are errors or not. There are advantages of Xeon CPU's and motherboards, but they are overpriced for the benefits, imo.

#4 cjloki

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:21 AM

Even a 3930K overclocked with non-ECC memory also overclocked, would still be stable (though it may take a good bit of while to get there). Though watercooling for long term, probably not a good idea.

Many people fold using their machines, which is also a good indicator of whether there are errors or not. There are advantages of Xeon CPU's and motherboards, but they are overpriced for the benefits, imo.

+1,...so inevitably i guess it comes down to money...

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#5 Waco

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

ECC is a MUST on any long-running server.

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#6 boinker

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

watercooling for long term use would be a bad idea for the five nine up time. I would suggest a prolimatech megahalems for the Cooler with a pair of scythe kaza pwm 120-25s so long as its not going in a server slot that isn't space restrictive.

ECC memory would be the only option for something that has alot of gravity to the calculations being right on every time. If you have to move to the server chip to do it then do that.

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#7 hornybluecow

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

You want 100% error free . You need ecc ram which requires a Xeon . Now you don't need a super fast one because the same chip as the 3930k in Xeon form is $1500 . But if you need those extra 2 cores of speed I think you can afford it .

Simple put , don't let people to try to convince you that you can run a long term server without ecc ram . You may want to look into registered ram also .

Edit : a little fun fact is that consumer chips like the 3930k and the rest of the chips do not support ecc ram . The memory controller is on the CPU , not the motherboard

Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz) (Link to Intel Website) ECC Support No

Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2630 (15M Cache, 2.30 GHz, 7.20 GT/s Intel® QPI) (Link to Intel Website) ECC Support Yes

Edited by hornybluecow, 24 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.

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#8 daverty

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Even a 3930K overclocked with non-ECC memory also overclocked, would still be stable (though it may take a good bit of while to get there). Though watercooling for long term, probably not a good idea.

Many people fold using their machines, which is also a good indicator of whether there are errors or not. There are advantages of Xeon CPU's and motherboards, but they are overpriced for the benefits, imo.




thank you....I am just concerned if i7 will be able to run the continuous number crunchinh session lasting MONTHS ? I might not power-off the computer for months! you think XEON can handle such workload? and I7?

#9 daverty

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

You want 100% error free . You need ecc ram which requires a Xeon . Now you don't need a super fast one because the same chip as the 3930k in Xeon form is $1500 . But if you need those extra 2 cores of speed I think you can afford it .

Simple put , don't let people to try to convince you that you can run a long term server without ecc ram . You may want to look into registered ram also .

Edit : a little fun fact is that consumer chips like the 3930k and the rest of the chips do not support ecc ram . The memory controller is on the CPU , not the motherboard

Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz) (Link to Intel Website) ECC Support No

Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2630 (15M Cache, 2.30 GHz, 7.20 GT/s Intel® QPI) (Link to Intel Website) ECC Support Yes



yes I am more gravitating toward the ECC solution - I will be providing financial analysis that might affect peoples trading.....I would be absolutely sure there are no errors whatsoever....as I said earlier I am more interested if i7 can handle continuoys monthly number crunching session? I presume xeon CAN WORK continuously for months?

#10 hornybluecow

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

the most i ever stressed my 3930k was a 24 hour render and in that a few frames came back bad. Somewhere between the cpu number crunching, ram as cache data and writing it out the hard drive a few bits has been misplaced leading to a corrupted image. Not a problem for me since I can just re-render those bad frames. My guess is it was the memory since it was being written out to a SSD.

Like I said before Xeon are needed for ECC so even if the cpu could stay on for days (I'm sure it could) the errors built up in the memory would crash the system. The way ECC memory works I believe is it checks each bit and if too many bad "bits" come back the memory cell is turned off to avoid being written to. This keeps the system running for very long periods of time.

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#11 El_Capitan

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

If you want to be on the safe side, go with the XEON and ECC memory. At least ECC memory's gotten cheaper. I'm about to add another 16GB's to mine. Memory errors are usually very rare, and I've never had issues with my main systems (both 3930K's, now with 58GB and 32GB memory). I still have dual XEON's on my server with 24GB registered ECC memory. One of the main reasons I would say memory errors occur on non-ECC memory is that most "overclockers" don't stress test the memory enough and account for higher VCore to adjust for the tighter timings and higher overclock speeds.

Another theory I've always wanted to test and put on my blog, but I've got too many projects as it is. :P

#12 daverty

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

the most i ever stressed my 3930k was a 24 hour render and in that a few frames came back bad. Somewhere between the cpu number crunching, ram as cache data and writing it out the hard drive a few bits has been misplaced leading to a corrupted image. Not a problem for me since I can just re-render those bad frames. My guess is it was the memory since it was being written out to a SSD.

Like I said before Xeon are needed for ECC so even if the cpu could stay on for days (I'm sure it could) the errors built up in the memory would crash the system. The way ECC memory works I believe is it checks each bit and if too many bad "bits" come back the memory cell is turned off to avoid being written to. This keeps the system running for very long periods of time.



I remmebr my old days of doing render jobs on a slow pentium)))

yes running for very long periods of time - on a long bach analysis job if what I am looking for....I will be doing price analysis in excel using large model files - 200 mbs, 300 mbs and over 500 mbs each -many of these files will need to be processed for each time frame of each currency pair....I need a very fast and very reliable system for this project...- around 1500$ - I am thinking of i7 but intrigued by stability and ECC support of the XEON 2600 family......which processors do you think might suit this task the best??? I need to reanalyze longs ot market data daily - to present fresh analysis for the clients each morning...so I need a super reliable system....