Hardware upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by vanilla2, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. Folks,

    I realize this question as been asked a gazillion times, but I was hoping to get a difinitive all-time best reccomendation from anybody willing.

    To those of you who've been through many boxes, cards and monitors.... I'm getting ready to do my first major hardware upgrade. I want to get 1 new box maxed out on pretty much everything, a dual monitor card, and two large lcd's. I'll be running TS, Excel and TWS. Scalability, reliability, performance and value are my priorities. (I'm also hoping to get something that doesn't look like it came out of an alien spaceship if you know what i mean - like the retail Dell stuff out now). I'll be running XP pro.

    What is your favorite brand/model pc, dual video card, and lcd?

  2. are you building or buying?
  3. i would love to build, but since this is actually my first pc purchase (current pc was a hand-me-down), i think i'm better off buying. ..so, buying.
  4. will be MORE than ample for your needs.

    Furthermore, it will be a lot cheaper BUYING a box rather than trying to build one yourself, especially if you go to Dell's Refurbished Site and buy one of the 8300's listed in inventory for about $750-850.

    I did this with my current Dell 8300, and it comes with the same one year warranty as the new ones. You can add an additional year of warranty for $79.00 and you have up to 30 days from the purchase date to decide. I added XP Pro to the XP Home that the unit came with, and I also added another 512mb of RAM to get myself up to a full Gig.

    Dell had a 15% promo deal and I was able to get the 512mb of RAM ( 400 megaherz PC3200 ) for only $118.00

    I run this system via a Cable Modem and Belkin Router and it is super FAAAAAAST!

    I also have a Western Digital Serial ATA "Raptor" Drive that I saved 15% off on via the Dell Site ( $133 ) that I will be installing shortly as my primary drive. At 10,000RPM it runs super fast, and very cool as well, with an 8mb buffer and data-transfer rates on par with SCSI Drives, yet at a much lesser cost.

    The motherboard on the Dell 8300 supports integrated Serial ATA drives so you don't even have to buy a controller card to support the Serial ATA drive. I would have installed the Raptor by now, but the regular 7200 drive that came with my 8300 runs pretty well.
  5. Hey, thanks a ton for the replies.

    I went through the "build your own" options on the top models at the dell, hp, compaq and ibm sites today. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm somewhat daunted by all the options. Doing this right is a major research project since it's looking like the final setup might come to 5-6K. I know that for my low level needs, the stock models souped up with more RAM will probably do great, but there are many considerations.

    For instance, IB says they only support TWS for one specific NIC card. Do I have to worry that I could set the whole thing up with a stock NIC card and TWS won't run?

    Is it safe to assume that dual processors are overkill for most trading apps?

    Is the P4 800mhz better than xeon?

    Is there a performance defecit if you get your RAM configured in 4 slots instead of 2 to save a little?

    When I plug my DSL modem into the NIC, can I assume that no "modem" is required inside the PC? (IBM seemed to come stock without a "soft" modem).

    Here's a serious layperson's question.... what's the difference between the "desktops" and "workstations" each manufacturer offers? My perception is that their institutional "workstation" products are better somehow, but what's the real difference?

    Is a SCSI HD preferable if I can afford it? (it sounds like you pretty much answered this one).

    Does one do better on cost and quality to buy the LCDs from somewhere else, not the pc manufacturer?

    Another thick question here, does a standard cdrw also function as a cd-rom drive? It looked like IBM wanted to sell both.

    Are the stock dual monitor cards that the major manufacturers offer probably fine, or should I scout out a better one and put it in myself? I've noticed a lot of talk about cards on ET in the past which leads me to think they're not necessarily plug and play with all lcds.

    I should really be popping these questions to the manufacturers and start getting up to speed on all the choices. I was just hoping if anyone had recently gone through this, or has been through like five or six different pc's they could maybe shed some light on their view of the absolute best scalable off-the-shelf trader's pc... though I can see how it's a very personal decision with no right answer. What really differentiates Dell, HP, Compaq and IBM hardware besides price, warranty and support?

    Thanks and good computing.
  6. In answer to your questions:

    1.) A stock networking card should be fine for your needs.

    2.) Dual-Processors are indeed OVERKILL!!!

    3.) P4 800 mhz front side bus is more than enough performance.
    Xeon is for servers/workstations, which you don't need.

    4.) No performance deficit configuring your RAM in 4 slots instead
    of two. Just make sure you follow the manufacturers instruct-
    ions when adding the memory to the "appropriate" slots.

    5.) Yes, the NIC is THE modem for your DSL line.

    6.) You do not need a workstation for trading.

    7.) SCSI is only needed if you have very intensive software apps.
    And even if you need the extra performance, Serial ATA is just
    as fast and a helluva lot cheaper, and also supported by most
    motherboards, hence no need for a controller card in your PCI
    slot. Again, don't go overboard with OVERKILL.

    8.) Find an LCD at www.newegg.com or the Dell Site when they
    are offering 10-15% off in a promotion. Samsung and Dell
    make some nice units.

    9.) Yes, the CDRW stands for CD-READ and CD-WRITE.

    10.) Dual Monitor graphics cards with 64mb of RAM are fine.
    Remember, you are not using the computer to play games.
    You are using it for simple charting graphics.
    Don't get bogged-down in OVERKILL!

    Do yourself a favor and take a look at some of the articles in PC World to educate yourself on the basics of desktop computer systems. No, on second thought do not do that because it will simply confuse you further and you will creap back into the OVERKILL category.

    Just get yourself a Dell 8300 or 4600 and as long as you have a Cable Modem High Speed Connection with atleast 512mb of RAM, you will be fine.

    Happy Trails!
  7. Hey Waggie, thanks a lot for taking the time to help me out. It's the kind of stuff I should know and never took the time to find out. In any case I know a lot more now. Thanks a lot dude.
  8. 2 gig Ram will be overkill?
  9. TGregg


    Yeppers. 1 gig is a bit more than most will need. For now, anyways.
    #10     Jul 20, 2003