Can anyone recommend a company to build a workstation?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by frompartsunknown, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. I've lurked and read several threads and realized that I am just not tech savvy enough to understand or build my own. I'm currently using two hand me down laptops from my kids and want to treat myself to an upgrade.

    I would like to have a set up with 4 monitors, and maybe expand to 6 later. I plead ignorance to all the tech jargon; and really don't care to learn. So, I'm really looking for a company that can just sell me a turn key system. I appreciate any recommendations!
  2. DaveV


    There are companies that specialize in building workstations specifically for traders, such as
    They will be very expensive, but they will hold your hands and explain all your options.

    I would recommend - much less expensive and come with original warranties. Besides your need for 4 to 6 monitors, post a list of your other requirements and we will be glad to give more advice.

    You are probably going to get a few responses from people who say you can easily build your own. My advice, ignore them. Unless you want to spend the next few days of your life learning about drivers and installation steps.
  3. destriero


    Outfits like are ridiculously overpriced. Buy a Dell with the extended (one-day) service plan and a four-head card. Don't build. You need the quick turnaround should you have any issues. You buy four monitors and an Ergotron quad monitor stand:

    Go with someone like if you need a "custom" build. I needed a gaming rig with an RTX 2080 Ti, so I sent Puget an email to get a reco as I was ready to buy, and I never heard from them. Anyway, I had to get an Alienware Area51 due to lead times, and now I'd probably think twice before going with a co that can't return an email regarding a $5K purchase.

    TL;DR: these are commodity goods. Buy the one with the best warranty. Buy a four-head card. Buy an Ergotron stand. Everything runs excel and front-ends. There is no such animal as a "trading computer."
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  4. Dell (Precision, my choice), HP, Lenovo.

    All have equivalent models.
    birdman likes this.
  5. Do it yourself, it isn't that hard. Start with and let them guide you to something that fits your budget. My kids and I built our computers just looking at YouTube videos.

    And before you think I'm a techie, trust me, I am a hardware noob. Just b/c I'm a plumber doesn't mean I understand how the metal for plumbing is shaped.
  6. This guy has the best idea for you. If you don't want to build, buy a commodity powerhouse.
  7. For a traveling workstation, I would recommend a DELL Xeon class laptop, maybe something like a 6-core. Most laptops and desktops will support 3-displays (including the laptop display), and for the extras, you can use an external displaylink adapter that you can add individually or as a hub to go to as many displays as you want. The only downside with a displaylink setup is that it does add extra burden on your CPU, probably in the region of 5-10%. I find a 6-core setup with 32gb ram is sufficient unless you are doing large-data algorithms, running virtual machines and multiple instances of excel or matlab, in which case you go dual-socket++ machines.

    For non-travel workstations I prefer a custom SUPERMICRO motherboard/EVGA power supply route (absolutely bulletproof), however the canned route I have had good experiences with Lenovo workstations (former IBM PC unit) as their chassis has been bullet proof and extremely quiet. The problems with DELL/Lenovo units i have found in the past is their power supply/motherboards are vendor specific, and so if either the power supply or motherboard goes, you need to replace both if you want to go aftermarket. Cant just replace one part with aftermarket. Within warranty, everything is ok.

    Same deal with workstations, they generally support at least 3 videos as standard, just add an external USB displaylink adapters and you're good to go. There is no need to crack open the case and add more power hungry video cards 24/7 if you are using only 2D trading graphs, except if you require openGL acceleration.

    Most important of all these, make sure you use ECC memory in all your setups (error code correction). Most "workstation" class machines will generally have ECC, but Ive been seeing some cheaper ones, even DELL, start to offer non-ECC so to reduce the starting price. This means all your CPUs generally MUST be either Xeons or AMD ryzen/zen/EPYC to support ECC. What ECC ensures is that no errors creep into your machines while running 24/7, especially if you dont reboot your machine alot, and avoid your machine flipping wrong order numbers ...

    I would also highly recommend a double conversion UPS so that your PC always runs on clean filtered power separate from your home.
  8. makes some of the worst machines I've ever used. I can not emphasize enough that you should not buy a computer from them.

    They make unreliable machines that break constantly. they push the hardware so far that it can't handle it because they don't understand what they are doing and the customer service is terrible.

    I have years of experience with them, and it still brings me the shivers. Life got a lot better when I just bought a top of the line mac.

    Good luck.
  9. Here's one on Dell Outlet

    $841.00. Free ship, full 3-yr warranty.

    This is a good price, already equipped with the video card to run 4x, 4K monitors and enough RAM (8GB). If you don't buy this, you can use it as a comparo of value. You can spend more $$ on faster CPU and other bells and whistles if you want, but this one is more than adequate for trading as is.

    (I'm a fan of Dell Precision workstations.... on my 3rd generation of them. Current ones... 5, in network... are 9 years old... bought used, "off lease" from DFS 6 years ago... still running like a well-oiled Swiss watch.... FWIW)
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  10. Could have saved a boatload of $$$ if you'd bought a Dell Precision from their outlet. :)
    #10     Nov 12, 2018
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