Hardware questions

moa

Junior member
15 0
Hi, would really appreciate some thoughts on this as my technical knowledge is a bit lacking.

Looking for setup with two monitors, expandable to four at a future date should I decide to. Have been checking out Dell who've told me the Vostro series are not expandable in this way. Apparently only their Precision range are however these seem a bit over-powered/expensive for my initial purposes although they do have the nice 2D nVidia NVS 295 graphics cards. Most other sites seem gaming-driven (again over-powered for me in the wrong ways) and the trading specialists too expensive (am trying to bring it in around the £1000 mark, give or take).

So I'm also considering building my own. It would be my first but is apparently fairly straightforward. However how much of a saving over Dell could I realistically expect? 10%? 20%? The VERY rough costing I've done doesn't really show any saving but maybe it's too rough to be meaningful.

Can I buy/build
4Gb RAM
500Gb HDD
1x nVidia NVS 290 or 295 (with room for another)
2 monitors (22" or 23")
for circa £1000??

Another crux is the processor. Quad, i7, Xeon (in the Precision). While something like an i7 is more then enough now what sort of built-in obsolesence will I have with a lesser processor, particularly if I start integrating system testing? I really don't know what I want/need here so pointers would be most welcome.

Apologies for the wordy post. Somewhat confused by all the options as you can probably tell.
 

A Dashing Blade

Experienced member
1,373 170
1) You can't build a box cheaper than you can buy it (exactly the same spec). I bought from these guys http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/ for my last gaming rig.

2) November hardware buyers guide here . . ."Affordable All-Rounder " catagory is prolly what you want.

3) My self-build trading rig (running eSignal and ProSpreads interface) is a mini-itx system built around an Antec Mini Skeleton case, Zotac's GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi Mini ITX Motherboard (integrated gfx powering one 26" and a 21" screen), 4gb ram, 128 gb SSD and a 5300 duel core.

Prolly around £450 excluding the screens. Building a pc these days really is a case of "blue plug into blue socket". Plenty of internet guides tho' YouTube vids are prolly the most useful.

Bottom line . . . i7 and even quad-core is a bit overkill unless your doing some heavy real-time processing in which case build a rig based around an overclocked quad 9550.
 
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dcraig1

Experienced member
1,604 243
If you want to save a bit of money you could buy your NVS graphics card (s) off eBay.

NVS 285 (slightly older than 290) will do the job very well. All of these cards have a special DMS-59 splitter cable. If you buy off eBay make sure they are supplying the cable.

These are all dual head cards, so if you want 4 monitors you should get a motherboard with two PCI-E X 16 slots. They are readily available.

I really don't think CPU etc is very important, unless you have some special performance requirements. Just about anything will do the job for charting. You certainly don't need an i7 or Xeon. If you want to keep in a tight budget you are not going to miss out on much. i5 or one of the AMD processors would be fine. AMD have recently announced a quad core CPU for less than USD 100. Their low to mid range CPUs have good price/performance.

It is a mistake to worry too much about future upgrade paths. Get what you need now and replace it in 3 years or so. It ends up cheaper that way.
 
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moa

Junior member
15 0
1) You can't build a box cheaper than you can buy it (exactly the same spec).
Thanks ADB, this suits my intrinsically lazy demeanor. Spoke to cyberpowersystem and they seem flexible although I do have some reservations buying from smaller outfits, probably unjustifiably. Will see how it goes. Did you buy your monitors from them too?
 

moa

Junior member
15 0
It is a mistake to worry too much about future upgrade paths. Get what you need now and replace it in 3 years or so. It ends up cheaper that way.
Good tip, thanks!
 

salvadorveiga

Active member
228 5
just get any normal desktop with Windows 7 and use Matrox TripleHead2Go to extend more monitors.
that thing is freakishly expensive... damn 300+ USD for the triple one?

Don't bother... just buy the new ATI HD card, it's one of the lower-medium end costs around 60€, it handles up to 4 monitors... if you're not into gaming and just normal user.. or for working/trading only it's the way to go
 

A Dashing Blade

Experienced member
1,373 170
Thanks ADB, this suits my intrinsically lazy demeanor. Spoke to cyberpowersystem and they seem flexible although I do have some reservations buying from smaller outfits, probably unjustifiably. Will see how it goes. Did you buy your monitors from them too?
Nope.
Search that bit-tech site for monitor reviews, note a decent large screen (which you do need if your at the desk all day) is gonna be in the £400 area
 

Markus1

Newbie
6 0
that thing is freakishly expensive... damn 300+ USD for the triple one?

Don't bother... just buy the new ATI HD card, it's one of the lower-medium end costs around 60€, it handles up to 4 monitors... if you're not into gaming and just normal user.. or for working/trading only it's the way to go
Got any model number on that ATI card? Cant seem to find any for around 60€?
 

Bint_Crusher

Established member
728 33
moa, I don't know where you live but I work in the industry so here goes:
Any dual core processor with around 2gb of ram will run all the charting platforms that I know of.
Any motherboard with pci-x expansion slots can run multiple graphics adapters, they cost about £20 each if you shop around.
Dont worry about hdd size, you only have to run windows 7/xp pro , ie/mozilla. A trading computer should be just that, not a gamer, or a porn viewer.
Monitors can be purchased from office outlets like staples for around £70.
Mounting bracket can be purchased/ adapted from B&Q
I have set up many systems for people who want to have a go at trading, like the losing trader they have all the answers but leave out the common sense, so if they want to spend money on the latest nvidia I can sort this out for them. If anyone asks me as a consultant I give them the answer out lined above. Try to keep things simple stupid.
Hope this helps.
 
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