Hardware Upgrade Advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by smalltrader35, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Hi Traders,

    I have been running the same hardware set up since 2001 and I am now looking to upgrade. My current set up is listed below. I use PC 1 soley for trading purposes (Nasdaq Equities and Eminis).
    I use PC 2 for a back up, news vendors, web pages & email. What type of modern day hardware set up would the pro's on this board advise? Should I be looking to just update the Processor's, Ram, Hard Drive or should I go for a complete overhaul. I use ZoneAlarm Pro on both machine with a Zyxel Router that uses SUA, (Single User Account) Zyxel's own form of NAT. I do not use a hardware firewall. I use the usual Anti Virus
    and Sypware Software plus Prevx Pro 2005 Intrusion Detection software on both machines. I here of guys using Dual Core Processors, DDR 2 Ram, Hard Drives running at 10,000 rpm, Radeon Express Cards etc so can the traders here on Elite
    advice on what they would do from here. Should I upgrade to a Hardware Firewall in conjuction with the hardware upgrade. If so what recommendations do you guys have? Finally I need to purchase a new copy of Windows XP Pro SP2. Where on the net can I purchase a genuine copy without the 400Euro plus price I have to pay where I live. I would be gratefull for any help on this upgrade.

    PC Number 1

    1 Advent P4 1.7G
    1G RAM
    2*AppianX Quad Cards
    2*40G Hard Drives
    Windows XP Pro SP2

    PC Number 2
    1 Advent P4 1.7G
    512 MB RAM
    1 AppianX Quad Card
    1 40G Hard Drive
    Windows XP Pro SP2
  2. gnome


    Stay with what you have.... You already have enough RAM, fast enough CPU, and the correct OS.

    You can't upgrade all of your present system to the new stuff... most is not compatible with your systemboard, so you'd need to replace everything but the video cards.... and even if you did that, the increase in speed would be minimal. If you *really* feel the need to spend some $$$, get newer/faster/better LCD displays.

    Try eBay for a copy of Win XP....

    One more thing.... get into the practice of having 2 or 3 hard drive backups (cloned).... insurance against several evils. (I run 3 PCs... 4 HDs including backups for each PC)
  3. TGregg


    Careful on that. I sold some MS OSes, and buyers were extremely concerned about which version I had, even though my auction explicitly stated what it was. Apparently there are some dishonest folks selling it there. Get the various code numbers and ask the sellers to send the codes they have on their boxes, then compare them.

    It might be worthwhile to RAID your drives, if you haven't already. I hear that an add-in card RAIDs better (faster w/ more options) than mainboard RAIDs. A CPU upgrade might be helpful as well. And check your monitors - especially if you are still running CRTs. Staring at LCDs all day is easier.

    And as far as firewalls, you should (and probably do) have a switched router between your LAN and the net. That's a great first line of defense.

    Also, get a UPS. They are cheap these days, provide some decent surge protection (you should still use a surge protector) and will allow you to at least gracefully shut down during a power failure instead of crashing. Plus if you get a momentary drop in power, you won't even notice it (other than your UPS beeping at you, darn things are loud).
  4. I agree with gnome on his recommendation. It seems like your systems should be able to keep up with your needs as currently configured. It sounds like you are itching to upgrade because you want something new rather than for the benefits of the upgrade. Dual core processors, 10k RPM HDD's and higher end video cards do not really yield a good cost/benefit ratio for trading. Trading does not really put that much stress on your hardware unless you are running a large number of charts with many studies on each or are running multiple autospreaders on your trading machine.

    Like TGregg says, I would spend some money on really good LCD displays, power backup, good quality nics and Logitech MX mice instead.

    As far as the firewall is concerned, I would turn off any 3rd party firewalls once you get WinXP Pro SP2. I would also disable the firewall from scanning my trading and charting directories to minimize the load on the CPU and prevent delays. Those directories will not likely be infected by anything.

    I don't know much about your Zyxel router, but this is a great area to upgrade if you think you have an old one. A router with a built in switch by Linksys can improve the flow of traffic on your network.

    Finally, make sure that your trading machine (probably PC2 because less ram is needed there) has a partitioned drive with a clean install backup on it. Keep this machine without a browser or email client. Make sure Auto-updates is turned on for this machine but only allow it to notify you before downloading updates. Don't let it download updates automatically and install because it can interfere with your trading.

    I replied to your PM here so that others who disagree may give you better info than I have. I hope this helps. Good luck.