How do I keep my trading computer running well?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Thug_Life, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. I just bought a Dell Dimension, dual cpu @ 2.13 ghz, 2 gb of ram. I had a guy strip the hard drive of all unnecessary programs. It's faster than anything I've ever used.

    Almost every computer I've used recently has been infected with pop-up generating spyware. My last pc died when I clicked on a googled site that claimed to be reviews of a broker.

    On this new computer, I am not visiting any web sites that are not very well-known URLs. No myspace, porn, or file-sharing. I am also not installing any software that I don't have to have.

    What else can I do to keep my machine clean and fast?
  2. (1) Overclock your dual core CPU(assuming intel). You can easily overclock those intel E6400 series chips easily without using a new cooling fan or anything fancy like that while still maintaining complete stability. If you want to get hardcore, you can add a better cooling fan/system, and kick it up in the 3Ghz range easy as pie.

    Consult: or just google ur <CPU name> and "overclock."

    (2) Use two harddrives or partitions, one with Windows XP/Vista installed in and ur programs, and a second with all your data. That whenever ur computer slows down again you can delete everything off one hardrive, reinstall, and not worry about always backing up on CD/DVD or something. It saves tons of time.

    (3) Get a firewall program like ZoneAlarm or Comodo so you can monitor for spyware easily. Cuz spyware happens.... no matter what precautions you take.
  3. ticktack



    when I read your post, I heard myself speaking :)
    I've just bought a Dell Precision myself ( still waiting to be delivered ) and aim to do as you do : keep this computer clean and just for work.

    I'll listen carefully to every advise here.

    But I would also suggest to install windows Xp. as far as I understood, Vista is using a lot of Ram and Cpu for nothing. Besides, all the soft you might use right now must be working very well now on Xp. While on Vista, one might experience some bugs on all the first Vista compatible version of the softwares. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  4. When it comes to my computers, I never mix business and pleasure.. the cost of an second system for general use, internet browsing, email etc is far less costly than having my ‘production’ or business system down on the open while I’m trying to remove the virus or spyware that’s bringing it to its knees.

    Here are a few items to ‘consider’ and if you have time to read on, a very basic introduction to a few common pitfalls.

    Use a personal firewall and actually configure it to block all traffic except that required by your business application and tools you actually use. Many default to a ‘home network’ and sometimes assume you have a router with a firewall, and do things like allow broadcasting of windows network names… always better safe than sorry.

    Use an adware / spyware tool that at least attempts to prevent them from being downloaded to your system. There are many tools that simply scan your system after the fact, and when you are already having performance problems…. Not one tool will catch or remove them all; Panda, Norton, McAfee etc are all good ‘complete’ solutions (anti-virus, adware, spyware, firewall, email scanning) but when it comes to adware and spyware, each will find and remove some percentage that the others missed. We actually use two; Norton Internet Security Suite complimented with webroot. If your tool of choice has ‘automated scheduled scans’ make sure you set it up to run when you don’t need to do any work..

    They ALL carry a footprint, and will consume memory and CPU cycles; Some more than others. To minimize impact to your system, limit activity to your business apps; if you are not downloading email or surfing the web, the tools are not working to scan, thus less impact. Also make sure that you define ‘trusted’ sites and ports. Generally speaking, if you define your market data service providers as ‘safe’, the tools will have less work to do.

    Disk Defragmentation can make a difference as well, especially if you are sharing the OS and DATA on the same physical drive (a disk I/O does not care about a partition) and a fragmented disk can slow I/O’s in general because read operations on fragmented files require the drive to reposition the head and wait on platter rotations to ‘gather’ all the pieces of the file. These slower operations can cause other read / write operations to ‘queue’ up, and under a bit of load, you now have a bottle neck on the disk, which is already the slowest operation on your computer.

    Regarding Vista; The footprint (memory and CPU consumption) Depend on the release (Basic, Professional, Ultimate, Business etc). They are all ‘Vista’ but load different components and options; Ultimate for example, Chews up an amazing 7-800MB or so and Professional about 6-700MB. (With Norton loaded to be fair) On a system with 2 GB memory, almost half is already gone the OS. Launch a dozen or so charts, and you will quickly see the rest diminish to the point your system will start paging, a very bad thing when it comes to performance. In short (very short) the OS starts using the paging file on your hard disk as memory; continually moving chunks of memory in and out of this file to meet the demand of your applications. The ‘snow ball’ effect here is that the more paging going on, the more work required by the OS, which means higher CPU utilization; Throw a fragmented disk into the picture and well; if you’ve read this, you get the picture. (Note that this concept applies to XP as well – it is not only a Vista thing). Point being, even with XP, Memory is inexpensive; load it up with 3 GB, more if you are running a 64 BIT version of the OS (32 bit OS will not recognize much over 2.9 or so).
  5. hcour

    hcour Guest

    I run AVG anti-virus once a nite (scheduled), and Ad-aware, Spybot, CCleaner, and Windows Defrag once a week. I use Firefox as my browser. All these are free. I haven't had a spyware/adware/virus problem for yrs. Very rarely see popups (maybe once a month). Can't remember the last time I saw a BSOD.

  6. No disrespect intended – but overclocking your C2D (or any other) processor is not always as simple as following xbit lab articles and should approached with caution, especially if you have not gone through this process a few hundred time and have a very good understanding of what parameters you are changing, why and what the impact to other timings may be.

    First - Not all silicon chips the identical. There are in fact “micronic” variations between all chips manufactured, including the CPU’s, that effect the tolerance for over clocking. An E6600 rating of 2.4 GHZ is established by Intel as the standard to which all of these chips will perform. Some will perform with great stability at much higher clock speeds, some will not. I find that the E6600 for example, is generally stable up to between 3.0 and 3.2 GHZ, without increasing core voltage, something you should avoid on you ‘business’ system. Depending on he motherboard chipset and capabilities, on occasion, even 3.0 with this CPU can prove unstable. So approach with caution, and if your motherboard is not loaded with features specifically for overclocking, allocate lots of additional time for clearing the CMOS when you find your system won’t even post to the bios and going at it again..
  7. .. Just to be safe you'll want to coordinate a software install with your clergyman: "..his laptop is equipped with software that alerts his church pastor if he surfs porn sites."
  8. Use it for trading only

    Don't use it for anything else. Buy a laptop for average daily use.

    I overclocked my 2.13 -> 3.2. That's a 50% increase. You probably couldnt do that on a dell.

    I use AOL virus scanner + zonealarm. I also do development on the same computer.

  9. Especialy, NAMBLA :D
  10. Do a fresh re-install of XP Pro OS, which if you don't have can be purchased off of ebay for $25. Any Dell OEM disk will work in a Dell motherboard with Dell Bios, atleast it should as I just did it a few months back. Then keep it only for trading and you should be fine.
    #10     Jun 7, 2007