Dell has introduced a self-installable firmware upgrade to its PowerEdge servers that boosts their CPU performance by 13% to 31%, while also reducing jitter. The Dell Processor Acceleration Technology (DPAT) upgrade has already been tested by firms engaged in algorithmic trading with significant results. Oh, and the upgrade is free.
The upgrade consists of a download of the latest BIOS code for Dell’s PowerEdge R620, R720 or R720xd servers, powered by the Intel E5-2690 (Sandy Bridge) CPU. The upgrade works with all operating systems supported on those servers, and also Dell’s OpenManage Essentials monitoring offering.
Dell specifically worked with algo and HFT firms to develop DPAT, says Brian Payne, executive director for PowerEdge servers at Dell.
According to Payne, DPAT works by controlling the Turbo Boost functionality of the Intel chips and locks in a continuous higher processing frequency by setting the number of active cores, but allowing them to use the entire local cache, even that set aside for the inactive cores. Jitter is reduced because the processor frequency is consistent, unlike the usual usage of Turbo Boost.
For trading firms with existing deployments of those servers, or those looking to purchase them, the firmware upgrade represents a very simple, low cost and quick to implement route to higher performance – without the need for hardware upgrades and testing, or application software code changes.