Dual monitor vs. 2 PC's

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by tom_p, May 3, 2001.

  1. tom_p


    I think we're all agreed upon that one monitor is not sufficient for trading. I've been wrestling with video card, BIOS, operating system and other issues in order to configure my Compaq Presario 5000 to a dual monitor system (see my earlier post). I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that it might be better for me to just buy another PC. A second PC costs more than a monitor plus card plus extra memory, but time is also money, and I still haven't gotten anywhere in the dual monitor scenario. So, apart from the sometimes questionable cost factors, what are the pros and cons of dual monitor vs. 2 PC's for the trader?
  2. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    It is interesting to have 2 PCs. One can be a backup.

    However, the main disadvantage is data sharing.
    You must share data, at least your internet connection and eventually files between the PCs. This means install a network.
    If you are confortable with PCs and do not mind installing the network then why not.

    Another advantage beside backup is CPU. You really have twice the horse power [and probably more buying a new PC].
    so you trading software won't fight for the CPU and starve. Same with memory, you get the idea.

    I have 2 PCs also and a laptop for final backup.
    But in general I only use my main PC with dual screen. With one PC active it is easier to organize your screen. Not all software can jump from one PC to another one [because of configuration files, security etc].
    So you may end up with the wrong set of application on each PC. Reorganizing might be a pain.
    With a PC dual screen, you just move the windows around the way you want them.
    Other disadvantage is keyboard. 2 PCs, that's 2 mice and 2 keyboards. this can be a very bad idea when you want to trade, unless you don't really need to type/move things on one of the computer.

    I am not taking side.
    Both setups have pros and cons. The obvious [almost true] pro with 2 PCs, you'd be up and running quickly. And your job is not to be a computer genius but trade for profits :)

  3. Well, I suppose cost is not an issue here, since after you buy a new computer, monitor and network cards, you're well above a multiple of the cost of just a video card and extra monitor. I'm just curious, why haven't you gotten anywhere with the dual monitor scenario with your current computer? If you're using Windows 98, NT, or ME (I believe), you should be able to set up multiple monitors one way or another with relatively little problem. I don't know much regarding Windows 2000, so someone else will have to comment on that OS. On Windows 98 or ME, you can setup multiple monitors using two separate video cards, or using a single dual port card. With NT you must use a dual port card.
  4. Hoyler


    I experienced horrible performance Win ME not just with 2 monitors, but system resources would drop to critical levels then lock up. The problem was ME as operating system. Tradestation Pro runs 13 .exe's in the background, this is in additon to any other programs I would like to utilize. Being as labor intensive on the system as it is, ME just could not keep up. I believe I will always be asking more from my system, not less. The switch to Win 2000 was rock solid! 2000 is industrial strength. 6-8 securies in muliple time frames with L2 & TS, custom .ELA alert's, CyberX2, a news window, and a IM box with another trader. Has not crashed, and rarely does the system resource display raise above 40%
    Take a good look at what your going to be using and asking of your system, I would disregard any and all minimums that are offered to run particular programs. You will be asking more & more from your system not less. When it comes down to the tools that you want to buy, buy the best you can. It is certainly cheaper to have 1 pc and 2 monitors, another good point was brought up -- a single keyboard and mouse vs. 2. Let us know how it goes, Good luck.
  5. TomP (or anyone else for that matter)

    if you want I have a few extra multiple monitor cards I'll sell you cheap (and guarantee them to work). I got a deal and bought a few in bulk from a buddy of mine. They all work and I'll guarantee them. They are colorgraphics 4 monitors cards with a PCI type slot so they will work with just about any computer. (PCI is slower than ADP but not by anything noticable)

    They usually retail for over $900 but I'll sell them for about $140 including shipping. (I had to buy them too good to pass up) I'm fine using a third party Escrow service too since you only know me from the Internet. All of the ones I've got work.

    -I will soon be speaking soon for Daytraders USA though on June 9th so I do get out into the public.
    email me at robtharp@home.com