Any point in upgrading my hardware

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Xspurt, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. I have a couple of quad PC's that are now antiques as technology has migrated into a new generation. My Pentium 4 3.4 dual core HT with 2Gb ram and SATA HD was the Ferrari when I bought it so I thought ok, the new kids on the block blow this system away so it's time to upgrade to the i7.

    I was thinking about how much faster it would be and then I stopped in my tracks and thought, faster at what? All the benchmarks are great for gamers but is my ancient Farrari system still too hot for my software?

    As it is my CPU and ram both run at about 60% so am I going to see any change. All my software runs fast and I'm scratching my head to figure out what benefit I can get out of faster hardware.

    These are just trading rigs so there are no downloads or games or anything demanding for the CPU, Ram or HD to do so it seems to be cruising easily under the current load.

    So is there any point in upgrading?
  2. You don't need to upgrade, unless you're experimenting or adding new stuff to your trading setup (charting, data, backtesting, other software, etc.).

    If your current pc run everything you need while trading live at about 60% usage, upgrading to let's say i7 2600k with 8gb of ram, the usage will go down to less than 15%, everything will load faster and run smoother. Other than that, it doesn't make much difference.
  3. Yeah I thought so Rebate. When things are ticking over the load is much less than 60%.

    Many thanks.
  4. With all your trading skills and ability to catch massive swings with miniscule stops I'm surprised you are even debating the upgrade of your antique hardware.

    You must be seriously undercapitalized.
  5. If it's no money problem for you (and it sounds like it isn't), then definitely go for it. I really would suggest building your own. It's such a waste and pain to be buying the POS from Dell these days.

    I'm not suggesting you should be blowing money right and left, but don't be cheap.

    No, it is not nessessary to upgrade if you are running just fine, however there are some other things to consider besides outrunning your hardware with your heavy software. Processors have a limited life, around 5-10 years on heavy use. Intel does not guarantee processors beyond a couple of years. They just burn out like kitchen lights, and there isn't much in preventing this besides proper maintenance. It is more ideal to be switching while things are still working, rather than spending 3-7 days rushing things together while your trading is down.

    If you do not have a backup computer system of any kind, you should upgrade just for this. I would keep your current equipement, maybe in another room, as a full backup.

    A 16gb i7 SSD would run under $2k including multipule 1080p monitors, bluray, etc. Equipment is cheaper than ever, and obviously this will continue to happen. The real benchmark in computer power is floating operations per second (gigaflops)- 20-30gflops is plenty for anything that would be run on a workstation. Real heavy tasks, like huge video encoding (hours or days of HD), or opto in Ninja trader, could go faster on more power. If you are doing this on a daily basis, then consider something bigger like a dual 6 core.

    Some other things I'll add in....if you are not running an SSD or have no backup disk, IMO you really should look into fresh options.

    There isn't allot you need to do, even if it means a whole new system....newer processors, more RAM, and an SSD are the only new things on the block. SSD is more important IMO, followed by RAM and a fresh CPU that won't have trouble. Take care of things before hand, that's my view.

    Btw, you have Windows 7, right? ;) if you are still running xp...gtfo
  6. Thanks for praising my performance. Allow me give you a tip: trading is all about doing whatever makes a difference when it counts and ignoring the noise that looks great but gives zero rewards. Once you learn that you'll apply it in every area of life ;)
  7. I'm sure your charts and order entry system will respond much better if you upgrade the dinosaurs. Go for it.
  8. Thanks for your thoughts tenthousandmen. I set up with triple full rig and Internet redundancy and then spares so even 2 CPU failures isn't a problem and I could probably manage with 3 systems down. All I am interested in is performance improvement but it looks like there is no mileage there.

    My two main charting packages had a rewrite so they are more compact and faster plus the ISP has increased the line speed since I built the systems so there is even less demands than when I set it up. Most of the time the CPU idles at 2 - 5%.

    Looks like my old Ferrari is doing the school run rather than visiting the race track. I'll wait until Windows 8 is stable and then replace everything as I will want a complete redesign then for bigger monitors and hydraulic desk lifts so I can get an exercise track under the desk to walk on as I trade. Maintaining my waist performance is a lot harder than that of a trading rig!
  9. Seriously, I'd jump at it if a techie can tell me anywhere I can improve the system.

    I use a separate switch plus a dual wan router and NIC cards rather than the mobo as Winston suggested to push the Intet.

    I can't see any way to shave a millisecond anywhere by upgrading the rig at this time so now is not the right time.
  10. ocean5


    No one using Falcon here?
    #10     Mar 26, 2012