building a trading computer useable upgrades....

kd2029

Newbie
3 0
I'm considering having a custom system built. My computer died and I know that when building you usually get a better deal than buying a manufactured model. When building a computer what are the most significant features that will make a difference when trading. What types of technology do most brokers networks, systems/platforms use? I read somewhere that thinkorswim has maximum limits on ram usage...I don't want to spend hundreds on features that really don't make that much of a difference. Basically some guidance and opinions on what truly is necessary and what will make a drastic difference in execution speed, pattern recognition etc...in general where does speed and memory really start to differ when it comes to upgrades when day trading

1. CPU (processor)
A.Does multi-core processing really speed up the results? Most processors now a days have somewhere between 2-8 cores, the 2 and 4 core cpu's seem pretty popular. So some processors have the same GHz but multiple cores is that something significant, the tasks are spread over multiple cores meaning the higher core processor in theory should be much faster

B. Do differences in GHz speeds noticeably improve performance 2.ghz vs 3ghz vs 4ghz etc most processors fall in the mid 3 to 4 range

2.Memory (ram). I know ram is basically current task/multitasking memory.So fast reliable memory should be something to invest in and the price differences aren't really all that significant. Does ram speed make a huge difference DDR3-1600 vs DDR3-2800?

I know the amount of useable ram is crucial, but how much is really needed, 4gb,6gb,8gb,16gb? I plan on only running the operating system, the platform, internet,antivirus - no background programs. I've read that thinkorswim has limitations on the platform's ram usage. With current technology used by brokers will I ever hit a wall when using 4-8gb of ram?

3. storage
ssd- solid state drive is faster, I've read it's for sure worth the upgrade
vs typical sata hard drive- what about hybirds (msata- I think msata is hybrid between the two? ).SSD's are expensive if I'm lucky I can pick up a cheap SSD for the same price as a standard 1T 7200rpm hard drive. I'm thinking 120gb unless a 250gb goes on sale

4.graphic-video card (s)- must be capable of running multiple monitors...but the quality of the image of charts really isn't that high priority, speed more so than crispness so I think get higher video ram?
crossfire or sli if I'm using multiple cards...

5.psu power supply and cpu cooler- basically depends on what your watt and usage are, obviously I should go for quality but not overkill

6.same goes for motherboard and case go for quality but the specifics of what you need will be based on all of the above and really what the system needs-

for me the most difficult part is going to be selecting the specifications of the cpu processor and video card that I want. I think most modern processors will get the job done well, and video graphic cards as long as they work together and extend my desktop and don't lag...

so I'm thinking intel i3 series, maybe i5 after the new intel stuff comes out this week. Give or take the i3 series are about half the cost of the i5, is i5 and i7 2-4x faster because the price is if I'm not scalp trading with 10+ thousands of shares and huge lots will and upgraded processor be beneficial and worth the investment? I know I can get a much better AMD for similar prices but the computers I've had with AMD processors really seem to slow down after time and I'm pretty sure it had more to do with the processor durability than the ram and hard drive of my previous computers. My intel computers lasted longer they also did get slower with age not as noticeably so. I'm budgeting about $100-150 per major part some will be under $100 and will make up for the higher parts. My hope is to build a decent system for $500-700 I'm not sure how realistic that goal is but I do feel the computer will probably be better than what I could purchase in that price range- basically the build vs buy price difference would mostly be the presence of graphic card(s), ssd storage and ram more and/or faster ram. What you buy for $500-$700 will probably not be able to display multiple monitors-may not be able to expand ram memory, is probably going to have slightly slower ram as well as slower hard drive - lack of ssd
 

spiderbyte87

Member
70 1
Performance wise you only need to worry about two things: CPU speed and memory. The only other thing I recommend is buying an SSD, because it will provide a noticable boost.
 

Eurex

Active member
105 5
I'm considering having a custom system built. My computer died and I know that when building you usually get a better deal than buying a manufactured model. When building a computer what are the most significant features that will make a difference when trading. What types of technology do most brokers networks, systems/platforms use? I read somewhere that thinkorswim has maximum limits on ram usage...I don't want to spend hundreds on features that really don't make that much of a difference. Basically some guidance and opinions on what truly is necessary and what will make a drastic difference in execution speed, pattern recognition etc...in general where does speed and memory really start to differ when it comes to upgrades when day trading

1. CPU (processor)
A.Does multi-core processing really speed up the results? Most processors now a days have somewhere between 2-8 cores, the 2 and 4 core cpu's seem pretty popular. So some processors have the same GHz but multiple cores is that something significant, the tasks are spread over multiple cores meaning the higher core processor in theory should be much faster

B. Do differences in GHz speeds noticeably improve performance 2.ghz vs 3ghz vs 4ghz etc most processors fall in the mid 3 to 4 range

2.Memory (ram). I know ram is basically current task/multitasking memory.So fast reliable memory should be something to invest in and the price differences aren't really all that significant. Does ram speed make a huge difference DDR3-1600 vs DDR3-2800?

I know the amount of useable ram is crucial, but how much is really needed, 4gb,6gb,8gb,16gb? I plan on only running the operating system, the platform, internet,antivirus - no background programs. I've read that thinkorswim has limitations on the platform's ram usage. With current technology used by brokers will I ever hit a wall when using 4-8gb of ram?

3. storage
ssd- solid state drive is faster, I've read it's for sure worth the upgrade
vs typical sata hard drive- what about hybirds (msata- I think msata is hybrid between the two? ).SSD's are expensive if I'm lucky I can pick up a cheap SSD for the same price as a standard 1T 7200rpm hard drive. I'm thinking 120gb unless a 250gb goes on sale

4.graphic-video card (s)- must be capable of running multiple monitors...but the quality of the image of charts really isn't that high priority, speed more so than crispness so I think get higher video ram?
crossfire or sli if I'm using multiple cards...

5.psu power supply and cpu cooler- basically depends on what your watt and usage are, obviously I should go for quality but not overkill

6.same goes for motherboard and case go for quality but the specifics of what you need will be based on all of the above and really what the system needs-

for me the most difficult part is going to be selecting the specifications of the cpu processor and video card that I want. I think most modern processors will get the job done well, and video graphic cards as long as they work together and extend my desktop and don't lag...

so I'm thinking intel i3 series, maybe i5 after the new intel stuff comes out this week. Give or take the i3 series are about half the cost of the i5, is i5 and i7 2-4x faster because the price is if I'm not scalp trading with 10+ thousands of shares and huge lots will and upgraded processor be beneficial and worth the investment? I know I can get a much better AMD for similar prices but the computers I've had with AMD processors really seem to slow down after time and I'm pretty sure it had more to do with the processor durability than the ram and hard drive of my previous computers. My intel computers lasted longer they also did get slower with age not as noticeably so. I'm budgeting about $100-150 per major part some will be under $100 and will make up for the higher parts. My hope is to build a decent system for $500-700 I'm not sure how realistic that goal is but I do feel the computer will probably be better than what I could purchase in that price range- basically the build vs buy price difference would mostly be the presence of graphic card(s), ssd storage and ram more and/or faster ram. What you buy for $500-$700 will probably not be able to display multiple monitors-may not be able to expand ram memory, is probably going to have slightly slower ram as well as slower hard drive - lack of ssd


You don't need to go for consumer graphics card. they consume lot of power wil make the system noisy because of the fan.Go for professional ones. Spend here the most. graphics card i m using is ATIFirepro 2460 [- http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=ATI+FirePro+2460 which can handle Quad monitor setup.

Ive build my 4 multi monitor setup by buying parts myself and then assembling them.

You need to be care full about these things.

1. RAM should be compatible with motherboard. 8GB is enough for trading. So download motherboard manual and check for listed memory suppliers and purchase that particular memory. Check that its no matches.

2. SSD will be good only for booting for computer and used in tick data if you are using it otherwise there is not much noticeable difference.

3. Monitors should be able to handle the graphics card input. or you will have to purchase adapters. Look for LED backlit DVI monitors. which the above graphics card support. Spend in good amount here since you dont want monitors to be too bright or less in resolution which can strain your eyes. Also look if they are VESA compatible if you want to mount them in 2*2 or 3*3
 

spiderbyte87

Member
70 1
Ditto on the graphics card if you want multiple monitors.

Just get a middle of the road computer with 8gb of RAM, a graphics card that supports multiple monitors, and an SSD.

The SSD won't improve performance once a program loads, but it gets you in the game A LOT quicker.. time is money!
 

A Dashing Blade

Experienced member
1,373 170
I'm considering having a custom system built. . . . I know that when building you usually get a better deal than buying a manufactured model. . . . .

Totally incorrect. Factoring in your time, you will be unable to buy the parts, build the rig and install the O/s for less than the manufactured model.

What you DO get however, is a rig built to your exact specs. Here, for example, is the spec for the last rig I built (carrying over the mouse/keyboard/gfx card and monitors)


When building a computer what are the most significant features that will make a difference when trading. What types of technology do most brokers networks, systems/platforms use? . . .

Irrelevant to you. If you're simply displaying a few charts on 1 - 4 monitors with an order entry gui then even an old 2 core intel 5300 will be sufficiant (I know this because I've done it, this box now sits under the TV as my HTPC rig). Bottom line, if it'll play a blue ray then it'll be able to display a few wiggly lines (serious)

So, chip's pretty unimportant, bang-for-buck I'd prolly go for an AMD chip in your position tbh.

Same goes for the gfx card, do you REALLY need more than 2 monitors? If not, and going back to the wiggley line argument, any gfx card costing more than £50 should be ok, personally I'd be looking for the highest spec "passively cooled" (ie silent) card I could find . . . summat like this for example.

Ram . . . 4gb is fine, in practice you can't tell the difference in speed (even 1600 vs 2300)


Monitors . . . .now THAT's where I'd spend the money, I've got two Dell 2711's displaying at 2560 x 1440. They'll last several years and give me 50%+ more screen space than something displaying at 1920*1200 (so two of them is the same as 3 lower-res screens ifswim)

Just my 2p's worth . . .
 
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YouAreNotFree

Experienced member
1,295 225
I would echo was was said above. Four monitors can run fine on a 2 core cpu. I did that until recently.

I'm now on 6 monitors and my system is struggling at 85-90% CPU usuage on average and most of my 3gb memory.

Oh well, 8 cores and 32gb here we come. May aswell go to town on it.
 

YouAreNotFree

Experienced member
1,295 225
Alrighty.

I just bought a brand new off the shelf system.

AMD 8 core cpu
8gb ram
500gb HDD
Decent Asus MB
etc
etc etc

It cost me in total £260 all-in. The cpu alone retais at £140.

I figure this was supposed to be a hundred quid more expensive at least. I worked out the price of the individual components they're just about £400.

Now it's a case of waiting to see if it sneaks through the system. Fingers crossed:LOL:

I wanted a better spec MB, but i'm a sucker for a bargain. This should more than suffice anyways. I do have my own high rated PSU/ gfx card to go in it and will buy extra ram.
 
Last edited:

YouAreNotFree

Experienced member
1,295 225
it cost me in total £260 all-in. The cpu alone retais at £140.

I figure this was supposed to be a hundred quid more expensive at least. I worked out the price of the individual components they're just about £400.

Now it's a case of waiting to see if it sneaks through the system. Fingers crossed:LOL:



pc.PNG

(y)
 

YouAreNotFree

Experienced member
1,295 225
Thought I'd post the difference between the two systems running the same OS, same 6 monitors, same applications etc. Although it's obvious the difference will be large :

Intel 2 core 2GHz 3gb ram, was at 95-100% CPU and 75% memory

AMD 8 core 4GHz 16gb ram, is at 9% CPU and 21% memory

This will be good for a bit of gaming too.

It was indeed incorrectly priced btw. It's now a hundred quid more expensive. Result.
 
Last edited:

Blister

Newbie
7 0
Trading is a very simple and undemanding computational process. I run a win 7 virtual machine on my dual core macbook pro and 3 screens with ZERO issues. The vm gets 1 core and 4 gigs of ram.

Sent from mobile phone
 

YouAreNotFree

Experienced member
1,295 225
The point is people run alot more than platforms. I didn't have a dual core maxed out running NT and workstation that's for sure.

In fact, it's the two of six screens I have which are not showing charts etc which I would estimate demands 80% odd of whatever CPU power is being used.
 
Last edited:

Solas0077

Active member
236 14
Trading is a very simple and undemanding computational process. I run a win 7 virtual machine on my dual core macbook pro and 3 screens with ZERO issues. The vm gets 1 core and 4 gigs of ram.

Sent from mobile phone

It depends on what you do. The vm cannot use 2 cores?
 

gle101

Veteren member
3,717 84
Thought I'd post the difference between the two systems running the same OS, same 6 monitors, same applications etc. Although it's obvious the difference will be large :

Intel 2 core 2GHz 3gb ram, was at 95-100% CPU and 75% memory

AMD 8 core 4GHz 16gb ram, is at 9% CPU and 21% memory

This will be good for a bit of gaming too.

It was indeed incorrectly priced btw. It's now a hundred quid more expensive. Result.
Yes I agree completely, I have a AMD Phenom II 965BE 4 core processor with 16GB fast internal computer RAM memory, but I still have got problems in occasional freezing. On the other hand I run a lot of things on my trading computer like CNBC and Bloomberg TV streaming, and some other stuff as well besides the trading platforms. So I am considering upgrading to a AMD FX-8350 8 core processor. The best thing would probably be to get a separate computer for the heavy TV streaming and some additional charts that I am planning to add on a separate new monitor. For your information I use two graphic cards Nvidia NVS 300 and 4 monitors. I have read that some traders even have a separate "clean" computer for execution purpose only. I guess it also depends what kind of security one wants in reference to the amount of money that is invested.

How is your AMD 8 core computer performing as you had it for quite some time now? Also, is anyone here uses a 40" 4k monitor as the main trading monitor?
 

tradespreads

Member
76 0
Plenty of ready made off the shelf systems to choose from. Rather than building your own. Problem with custom builds is the question of reliability. Most custom builds allow you to tweak hardware settings (eg, overclocking) and there you lose the semblance of reliability.

Are most people running multiple copies of MT4 at a time say?
The actual trading is occurring outside of your machines. Your machines are simply functioning a gopher sending messages to and fro to the exchange etc.
 
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