I read the first time here at futures.io (formerly BMT) about xeon cpus which Fat Tails mentioned in another thread and saw these cpus are sold with a lot of workstations (Dell/ Lenovo). Can someone explain the advantages of xeon cpus perhaps compared against intels new sandy bridge cpus Intel Core i7-2600K or Intel Core i5-2500K?
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My PC has indeed a Xeon CPU, but this was secondary for me. I basically looked, what the technology leaders offered as a solution for financial markets, and found that all HP, Dell and Lenovo (ex-IBM) offered workstations with Xeon processors. So it was not my decision, as it was not my goal to build my own PC.
Compared to desktop/consumer CPUs, the Xeon CPUs are designed for multiprocessing. Typically the workstations can be equipped with two or more CPUs, depending on the motherboard. Also they are supposed to have a larger cache.
However, in the end it comes down to value for money. If you look at the comparison below, you might find that an Intel i7 can do as well for less money.
The Xeon W3530 with a CPU mark 4,975 is listed for $ 332.50. That money can also buy you an i7 970-2600K with a CPU mark of 9,608. Now, who knows how much the large manufacturers really pay for those processors, and who knows whether these one-dimensional CPU marks really reflect the potential of the CPUs.
Looking at the back of my comp (T3500, roughly two years old, Xeon 3520) Dell installed my two '295s one space apart. I also got the free modem card (never used it) and the dual FW card (for when/if I repurpose it) so I'm out of PCI slots unless the '295s can be stacked next to each other in the slots. I don't know if that is a best practice or not as they are passively cooled.
If I didn't have the modem and FW cards a third '295 could be installed with the same spacing.
I'm guessing there a limited number of Dell customers that want 6 displays so they limited the factory build choice to only four
The selected option reads "Dual NVS 295". This means 2 cards to connect 4 monitors. If you need more than 4 monitors, you would have to select "Dual NVS 420". This should allow you to connect up to 8 monitors.
Large manufacturers never offer the newest CPUs, because they first have to design their workstations and because the newest CPU has not been sufficiently tested. Reliability is more important than performance, if you are not a gamer.
Easiest is to buy a HP Z400. You can buy them at a competitive price without any graphics adapter and then fit the adapters of your need.
I attach the technical guides / information for the Dell, HP and Lenovo machines. The guides may have not be up-to-date, when you read this, so please check for updated guides on the website of the manufacturer.
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It actually depends what you want to use it for. For gaming - impressing your buddies and driving around girls - the Ferrari might work better. If you need the car every day to drive to your trading desk, you may be better off with the Porsche, if you don't want to come late for the market open *).
') This statement is based on your preconceptions, not on mine.
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