back to article IBM pitches overclocked Xeons to Wall Street

Big Blue has joined the ranks of server makers that are pitching servers using over-clocked processors to latency-sensitive financial services companies. IBM's new System x3650 M3 HF server is based on Intel's "Everest" Xeon 5698 variant of the "Westmere-EP" Xeon 5600 lineup, which has four of its six cores disabled and which …

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DRAM failure rates

This is interesting, especially since the MS paper "Cycles, Cells and Platters" ( http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=144888 ) provides evidence that overclocked machines are significantly more likely to show memory or HDD failures. Yes, you will get performance, but you'd better use higher end ECC memory (chip-kill/chip-spare) and plan for failures, as well as having an OS that is ready to handle the memory check reporting that comes with the Nehalem-EX architecture -the one lets the OS blacklist memory pages that are playing up.

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Hot chips

I wonder how that lot compares latency-wise to the 5.0GHz POWER6 servers?

From what I hear the serious players in that high frequency trading game are busily locating servers as close as possible to the exchanges to get shorter propagation times down the cables. It's 5ns-ish per meter down a cable you know. Being several miles away really costs!

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I don't think they need to locate as close as possible any more as a lot of exchanges offer co-location for a fee. Where I worked we used to do the old locate closest and hire Cisco engineers to tweak the switches but I believe they co-locate now.

I'm interested in how many places use overclocked CPUs versus how much is done using CUDA or similar? I see these boxes have 4 PCI slots which would enable GPU usage and/or PCI storage.

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@bazza

If speed is so crucial, then they better use POWER7. POWER7 has the most powerful threads on the market today, and it is still the fastest cpu today. I still dont like the IBM FUD, but I have never denied facts. Fact is that POWER7 is the fastest cpu today on single threaded work, and if you need the fastest then you need to buy POWER7. I would never recommend a Niagara for heavy single threaded work, as they are built for throughput. However, POWER7 is only 10% faster than newest Intel Xeons, but costs 3x more. But if 10% performance is worth it, then go for POWER7.

If you really need extreme performance, then it is better to use FPGA, which can give 10x lower latency than any computer.

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every ounce

reminds me of a CAD/CAM guy I used to know that had a saying "I need every ounce of megahertz I can get"

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a 4U mini tower

So how many W is it? Nobody measures towers in rack units. The only question is, will it fit under a desk.

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If it fits in a rack, and is 4u wide, it can't be taller than 19"...

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Anonymous Coward

Prices were available at announce...

On the IBM UK Presales advisor, the price of the tower is given as £461.00 and the rack is £577.00.

@ Steve Foster and theodore, they describe the tower unit as 4U as it can actually be rack mounted, unusual for an entry tower.

Its shown as being " Width: 180 mm (7.08 in), Depth: 480 mm (18.89 in) Height: 360 mm (14.17 in)" The tower to rack conversion kit seems to fill the "gap" in the rack as its not 19" wide when on its side.

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