International Computer Concepts (ICC) yesterday announced the release of a new line of overclocked servers marketed as the ICC Alpha series. The systems are designed specifically for the purpose of high-frequency trading (HFT) applications, that mythical area where overclocked systems give customers the edge.
Back in the old days when games like Doom 3 and Crysis could prove to be too much for most hardware to handle, overclocking became a popular way to boost frame rates and negate problematic bottle necks in performance. Today of course, very few games actually stress the system enough to truly warrant overclocking the system. Outside of gaming we can point to creative tasks like video editing and rendering as modern examples of applications being starved of the necessary performance, but beyond that there actually aren’t too many others.
One area which has traditionally craved bleeding edge sequential processing speed is that of high-speed trading. It’s not however a market segment that we hear about too often. ICC’s new Alpha Series of servers actually feature consumer grade processors including the top Broadwell E SKU, the Core i7 6950X. According to this article the company is now offering an AlphaTM R-818v4 product that features a Core i7-6950X at 4.7 GHz (+56%) with up to 32GB of DDR4 at 3,200MHz.
It’s also interesting to hear that ICC has their own overclocking team:
“ICC Alpha was designed from the ground up by a dedicated in-house overclocking team. The systems were uncompromisingly built for speed: pure processing power. Multiple memory kits were tested and then selected to deliver the highest bandwidth and lowest latency possible. In addition, many changes have been implemented in the BIOS, OS, and hardware for minimum jitter and maximum performance. The ICC Alpha is able to achieve these unparalleled speeds with the utilization of a custom cooling solution in each node, developed with the consultation of thermal engineers.”