Advice On New Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Eldredge, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. DT-waw


    HP e-pc computers are really cool. They're very small and reliable ( according to HP website ). I would by an e-pc c10.

    256 MB SDRAM and 1 GHz processor are satisfactory for a trader. I use Celeron 333 MHz with 128 RAM on Win2k. I have no problems with running TWS and eSignal.

    Plus one or two 17'' 1280x1024 LCD panels... And of course Win2k. I think the most important thing in the hardware issue now, is your comfort. Computer must be reliable, and monitors should be eye-friendly - don't buy CRT monitors invest in good LCDs. It doesn't matter of course if you trade fully automatically, software enters your orders, and you are doing what you really want... ( this is FREEDOM through electronic day trading! ) :p :D :p

    #21     Nov 19, 2001
  2. DT-waw


    Compare e-pc prices to TriKinetic...

    You're right qwiktrade, TriKinetic people are all driving Ferrari's with a big smile - they sell something for $3,000 when others sell the same thing for $1,000! They're "doing the impossible" ooh yeaaah... :D
    #22     Nov 19, 2001
  3. qwiktrade -

    I'd suggest starting with the Dell box of your choice (I've always had great results with Dell) - get their 3yr on-site service plan (you can get on-site installation too if you need it). The trade off between CPU, memory, disk speed/capacity is based on your particular needs.

    Buying a 2GHz CPU and then only running enough stuff to use 10% of the CPU is a waste. You'd be better to step down on the CPU speed and use the cash to upgrade other parts of the configuration that are more important to your needs (e.g., more memory if you run some very thick apps or faster or larger disks or better monitors or an upgraded internet connection or ...).

    Memory's cheap, so get a bunch - don't know if you'll actually use a gig of it though, depends on your usage pattern. Get a machine with some memory upgrade space at least though in case later you need more memory.

    Chances are that you'll find yourself disk or network bound more than memory bound. So the difference between 512MB and 1GB of RAM will be negligible. If you're running memory hog apps or you've got a slow Inet connection and/or a primative or non-existant LAN, you can consider trading off the latest (and most expensive) CPU speeds for memory and/or faster/better networking.

    If you plan to run a lot of high CPU demand apps though, you might want to look at a dual processor workstation (or at least one that's dual processor capable that you can add a second CPU to later if you need it). In many cases, especially some quotefeed/charting apps you can find better overall performance using slower speed dual CPUs rather than a single higher speed CPU - so you'll want to clearly understand the mix of apps you're planning on using. But in most cases, the average trader won't come anywhere near exhausting even a 750 MHz CPU.

    You should be able to use the latest Matrox Gxxx card for an easy dual monitor config or two of them if you want a 3-4 monitor config.

    Use W2K - forget about using W9x or Wme and personally I'd go with W2K over Wxp right now unless there's one of the handful of new features in Xp that you absolutely need.

    If you go the CRT route, check out the Hitachi SuperScan's - they're better than the Sony's at high resolution and they have a smaller physical footprint.

    If you want to go the LCD route, check out the CNET website and you can compare features and best prices for the various LCD panels. Lots of choices out there - compare resolution, brightness, etc. for your particular needs (i.e., no sense buying a 17" 1280x1024 panel if you're planning on running it at 1024x768 because you find the higher resolution too hard to read - also, don't go to a 1280x1024 panel and then run it with a large fonts setting - that's defeating the purpose - you might as well run at 1024x768 with small fonts and save yourself some cash). There should also be an LCD panel thread somewhere in the Hardware section on this site.

    The final config will be based on your specific needs/preferences and a trade off between them. But you should be able to easily build a very slick config for a fraction of what those guys were quoting you.
    #23     Nov 19, 2001
  4. their ads are obviously paying off..

    "'re gettin'a dell dude" dell with sys... no brainer.
    #24     Nov 19, 2001
  5. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    Superb, well measured advice. Obviously you've been around the hardware block once or twice...
    #25     Nov 19, 2001
  6. Doug -

    The Dell recommendation has nothing to do with their ads and everything to do with having architected and deployed large scale systems using over a thousand desktops and servers for clients using Dell, Compaq, HP, Gateway, various custom box builders, etc. at one time or another and I simply found the Dells to be the best engineered, the most reliable, by far the least trouble, worked out of the box everytime, and the easiest to get support for on the very rare occassion they needed it.

    There are lots of boutique custom box builders - but depending on what you value your time at, you quickly draw the line as to whether it's worth the risk of using other than a primary source just to save a few hundred bucks.

    BTW, for anyone looking at laptops/notebooks - Dell would not be my first recommendation. Of all the Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, HP, and IBM notebooks I've used - I've found Toshibas to be the most reliable.

    Everyone to there own poison though.:)
    #26     Nov 19, 2001
  7. qwik - a quick thought when/if you compare boxes - be sure to compare apples and apples when comparing the components.

    Example - PC133 memory is very cheap but also a lot slower than PC800 memory. So be sure you're comparing not just memory size but also memory type/speed.

    Same with disk drives. Disk drive space is only one specification. Drive rotational speed and transfer speed are also important to note to be sure you're comparing things correctly.

    If you want, either post here or email me with info about your expected usage vis a vis my earlier post and I'll try to offer a more specific config suggestion.
    #27     Nov 19, 2001
  8. qwik,

    there are plenty of mass production box makers out there that will gladly stamp one out for you....

    if 'black boxes' are what you prefer.


    i like more choice in designing my systems and getting more bang for my hard earned buck.

    it essentially comes down to component quality.

    what are you getting for your money.

    paying "only a few hundred dollars more" can equate to paying 30% more for less.

    compare component to component....

    get your monies worth.

    large ad budgets ("primary sources") is not reason to buy.

    #28     Nov 19, 2001
  9. Doug and DT.. thanks for the recommendations.. i took a look at both of the sites..


    thank you for taking the time to post in such detail.. its a tremendous help.. i bought a Dell laptop about 2 years ago and i love it.. my concern with Dell is that they dont offer a couple of the features that i want.. for instance, i cant get it with a matrox video card, it has to be ATI.. and they dont offer but a couple of choices of cd drives etc.. do you think its a bad idea to buy a motherboard, processor, memory,case etc, and plug it all together? i was checking and its actually not that much cheaper than going with Dell but i would get to choose the exact features that i want.. and i checked the difference between SYS and DELL and they are actually very close in price if you configure them with the same stuff.. about 200 dollars is all..

    expected usage.. during the trading day i have IB, Qcharts and Ravenquote open on my PII 350.. ive noticed that when the market volume picks up, my quotes tend to lag a bit.. and then when i click on a new symbol, it takes forever to pull up a chart.. i dont have this problem nearly as much when im trading on my laptop which is a PIII 500.. im assuming that my processor gets bogged down with all of the incoming data and doesnt handle the request for chart data properly.. since wont allow me to log into qcharts from both computers anymore, im down to trading on just one 19" monitor.. what i want to do is have one computer and 4 monitors.. 3 with qcharts and one ravenquote.. so, i dont really use anything fancy.. i just want something that doesnt get bogged down, is reliable and gives me enough screenspace to watch several charts, t&s and LII's at a time..

    as for monitors.. i think i want to go with CRT's.. i know they are bulky but i dont want to spend the money on LCD screens.. ive heard that flat screen CRT's are better, but on some of the reviews on cnet people complain alot about flat screens having geometry problems.. does it make that much difference?

    one last question.. i have my laptop and my PII on a simple network with a cable modem but each machine has its own IP address.. if i buy a cable router and use one IP address for both machines, would still be able to tell that im using their data on two machines?

    thanks =)

    #29     Nov 19, 2001
  10. pretty close eh... what motherboard r u getinn? hahahahahahahaha

    arch...u da man...hhahahahahahahaha!]

    good post...just buy off the shelf...hahahahahahha
    #30     Nov 19, 2001