I need a new computer to run Tradestation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jaxon, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Jaxon


    My existing computer is just not up to the demands of Tradestation. It freezes up whenever the market gets active. It is a $300 Dell box with 256K RAM that I added 1GIG crucial memory and upgraded the video card to handle 2 monitors.

    I want to get a new computer that will only be used for trading (Tradestation). I will use the old computer for everything else, ie internet, spreadsheets, word processing.

    What do I need? Cost is a very high priority. I have had good luck with Dell. They have a Vostro line that I can buy with:

    Intel® Core™2 Duo Proc E6550 (2.33GHz,4MB L2Cache,1333FSB)

    Problem is, I don't know what all that crap means.

    versus, say:
    Intel® Core™2 Duo Proc E6750 (2.66GHz,4MB L2Cache,1333FSB) [add $100]

    Looks like you pay $100 to get a slightly faster clock speed processor. Shouldn't make a noticeable difference, should it?

    Operating system? My gut says, stay away fron Vista. Probably select XP Pro.

    Here is a sticky part:

    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 2DIMMs [Included in Price]

    4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 4DIMMs [add $300]

    I think I probably need 4GB RAM, but $300 extra???

    I will probably use my 2 existing monitors with the new computer, and get a new monitor with the new computer to use with the old box.

    I would like to keep it under $1000 but that seems not likely if I upgrade RAM to 4GB.

    Thoughts? And I need an economy box that works, not bells and whistles and latest biggest best (expensive) thing out there.

    Thanks! :)
  2. TOM134


  3. mekas


    Before you buy a new computer, figure out what is causing the bottleneck on the old one.

    What model Dell do you currently have?

    What processes are running on it and taking up significant CPU ? [control-alt-delete to bring up the Task Manager, then "Processes" tab].

    Do you check for spyware/adware peridically?

    And if you buy a new computer, don't buy a memory upgrade from Dell if you are at all technically competant or know someone who is.
  4. I think 2GB of RAM should be plenty for running Tradestation. If you need more, buy it from Newegg, etc. It's easy to install, you can find instructions on the web. That computer sounds plenty strong, the E6750 might be a good idea looking forward a couple of years or if you also want to run additional software.
  5. I recently bought a new Dell computer. Here's some things I learned in the process.

    1. The Dell Vostro desktops in Small Business are the same computer as the Dell Inspiron desktops in Home/Home Office. The XPS 410 is the same as the Dimension 9200. Dell offers different sets of processors, memory, and other items depending on whether you are configuring the system under Small Business or Home/Office. If you configure the system with DellCare service, you get some additional options you don't get with a la carte service. So if you're interested a Vostro desktop, also check the options for the Inspiron desktops.

    When I ordered, I bought the XPS 410 with DellCare service from Home/Home Office in order to get the specific options I wanted.

    2. I bought mine with 2GB, 800 mhz RAM. An additional 2 GB (to make 4) was an extra $250 from Dell. Direct from Crucial.com (Micron's direct sales arm), similar memory with better specs was only $150. The same Crucial memory was available from Newegg for only $70 after a $40 rebate. Of note, only 3 GB appears to be available under Vista so perhaps I should have gotten just 1 extra GB. The memory should be bought in pairs so you get either 2 x 1 GB = 2 GB or 2 X 512MB = 1 GB.

    3. I've bought several Dells over time. Know what you want and how similar systems from competitors are priced. Then order over the phone and negotiate with the sales rep - you can get a better price than with the online configurator and/or some extra's thrown in. If they see you are ready to buy on that phone call, they will deal to get the order. You can do this with both Small Business and the Home/Home Office groups.

    4. The "low-end" video card offered with the XPS 410 was an nVidia 8300. It has two ports - a DVI and a VGA. I bought two 22" flat panels with the system. I have one monitor connected to the DVI and one to the VGA port. It works fine.

    5. I took the risk and got my system with Visa Home Premium. There are a few problems but for the most part, none that have impacted my trading during the day. There are some things I like about Vista and some annoyances. Overall, it's working OK for me. The safe choice, however, is XP. I don't run TradeStation so I don't know how it works with Vista.

    6. Christmas season is the the big season for consumer sales so the best deals are after Thanksgiving. Especially if you negotiate the price as you can use competitor's and their reseller's (ex. CompUSA) holiday price promotions as a wedge to get a lower price from Dell.

    Good luck.
  6. Jaxon


    Thanks for your replies! My computer is a Dell Dimension 2400. It was very inexpensive. I am not sure exactly which Pentium chip it has. Came with 256k RAM. I added 1 GIG of RAM that I purchased from Crucial, so now have 1.25 GB total RAM. I also added a video card that runs 2 monitors. So, I have the technical competence to open the box and plug in new components. (In fact, this computer can be opened without even using a screwdriver!)

    I think it can take another GIG of RAM. I wonder if I should try upgrading this one further before buying a new one.

    Tradestation apparently uses lots of RAM. That is the program that is using most of my cpu. Others have complained of similar problems on the Tradestation support forums and they are typically told to get a new more powerful computer.
  7. I just bought a Dell Intel® Core™2 Quad Proc E9200 (2.33GHz,2MB L2Cache,1333FSB) and it runs Tradestation fine. I suspect if you are using your current computer for surfing related things you are picking up garbage that is causing your machine to lock. I used to run TS on an old Dell Dimension 4500 with 756k and a 2.33GHz processor and it ran fine because the machine was clean.

    Here's an idea.....backup everything you need on your current machine, format the hard drive and reinstall Windows. I'm willing to bet TS will run fine once you get all the garbage off there. That will save you $1000.

    Good Luck!
  8. mekas


    When you're running tradestation with all your charts up do the following:

    Bring up the Windows Task Manager with control-alt-delete
    Look at the bottom line: Processes... CPU ... Commit Charge ... - What does it say?
  9. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

  10. 1. The E6550 is a cost/performance "sweet spot". Most trading apps run in RAM with the CPU being 90% idle, 90-95% of the time. If you're SURE your apps heavily use the CPU for calculations, you might benefit by the faster one... not very likely, however. Unless you wanted to economize and get the E4400 or E4500... and they are also quite fast, the best performance step up is the E6550.

    2. 2GB of RAM is probably plenty. If you get 2x, 1GB sticks, you can always add more when you're sure you need it.... and at a significant cost savings over buying from Dell.

    3. XP Pro is the safer bet.
    #10     Oct 25, 2007