Anyone out there using a Macintosh platform to trade?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rocket66, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. rocket66


    I have a MacBook that I use to trade equity and Fx markets and I need to upgrade so that I can use 2 or more monitors. I would like to stay with the Mac family, but seems expensive and constraining. Anyone out there been able to do it?
  2. paulxx


    I posted some comments on this here:

    The main part:

    Macs do offer 'security through obscurity' but are far from problem free. I fix (and have built on PC hardware) macs also and a major problem with a Mac is a bigger deal generally than with a PC. You will find it harder and more expensive to find help fast. You cannot run many programs. You cannot use many peripherals or upgrade hardware easily. It is harder (at least knowledge and tools are less common) to recover data.

    And at the end of the day, most trading software just won't work, or if you find one that does you are stuck with it because alternatives won't work. Forget Mac - unless you have software you are 100% certain you will use for the life of your computer.

    Here is a pretty good article on the subject:

    On the other hand, if you trade by just logging in via a Java applet through the web and everything you need is with them remotely, you may be OK.
  3. rickf


    Been trading off a Mac for over a year - I use VMWare running WinXP for my day trading stuff at OEC and to run tools like Ninjatrader. Absolutely no problems whatsoever.
  4. burn8


    I also use a MacBook pro and VMware Fusion with Win XP. No problems here.

    Platforms are TD and IB with QT.

  5. paulxx


    'No problems whatsoever' is great - but more difficult/expensive/ time consuming if one did occur.

    Plus, you are paying a premium for the mac and then, unless you can find a crack, another premium for XP on a mac. Fine only if you already have a mac.

    Check out the 'build or buy' thread on Hardware forum for some good options. Any intel 'Core2Duo' PC with at least 2GB of RAM (for vista) will do but better if you downgrade/reinstall to XP. You can add an extra PCI graphics card yourself if you must have 4 screens. You will get two monitor outputs from any computer with a separate graphics card (and some with built in/shared graphics).
  6. I trade from a MacBook Pro, most of the time hooked up to an external 24" display, running Windows-only applications (like eSignal) under VMware Fusion with Windows XP.

    Originally this was planned as an backup only for my PC (and because a wanted to try out a Mac), now the PC is the backup. It's just a matter of time when I will go 100% Mac. One thing is for sure, I will never return to a crappy Windows PC - almost get aggressive by now if I just look at one.

    XP under Fusion actually runs better than on an normal PC, because you can simply save and roll back installations when testing new software, or copy virtual machines to test different configurations and so on. This results in a much stabler system.

    Regarding the so called "mac premium": Think in total cost of ownership, not initial cost.
  7. rocket66


    Guys thanks for your advice and opinions. I decided to stick with the MAC family. Most of the stuff I trade through are java-based. It seems that VMware is hassle free should I need a virtual windows environment for other programs down the road. Cheers.
  8. geizer


    Have been trading on a MacBook Pro with external 24" monitor for 8 months. Run Vmware Fusion and Windows XP. Rock solid. Donated my PC box and can't be any happier.
  9. The new mac mini can now drive two monitors one at upto 2500x1500 and another one at 1920x1200.