Looking for a middle of the road build...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bobznew, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. bobznew


    I am looking to build my own system that will run 3-4 monitors (1920x1080). I have never built before. I don't anticipate needing to use any other capabilities other than my trading platform (TOS) and internet browser.

    I'm wanting to do the home build just as much for fulfilling a personal goal as I am for having a trading workstation. I know I could probably get a decent system at Dell Outlet, but part of the fun will be doing something all on my own.

    Would love to get some feedback on recommendations for hardware, parts, etc. Thanks in advance.
  2. Hardware requirements for trading are not demanding at all for all but a few traders. W7 with 4G RAM for 32-bit or 6-8GB RAM for 64-bit will be plenty.

    Any new CPU will be just fine for running 3-4 monitors in a trading environment. All other new components will be fine also, except suggest getting a motherboard with 2 or more PCIEx16 slots for video cards. I like Nvidia Quadro NVS 295 video cards... Nvidia GeForce 8400s are OK too (both are fanless)... the ATI Fire Pro line has equivalent cards.
  3. just21


    An nvidia nvs450 will give you four screens from one slot. passively cooled so noise free.
  4. 2 cautions... (1) the cost of the 450, and (2) the tendency to buy a mobo with only 1, PCIEx16 slot. Not all mobos with 1 x16 slot will run a 450 (or perhaps any quad card), and mobos with only 1 x16 slot tend to be "too cheap". A mobo with 2 or more x16 slots is almost always better quality, has better features, and less restrictions from the BIOS.
  5. I agree with Scata. I think it is prudent to look for motherboard that offers more than 1 PCIe X16. Many of the ready-made boxes from Dell, HP, e-machine, etc. that you can pick up from a store... from what I have seen, typically give you 1 PCIe X16 slot. It is too limiting. Many of the motherboards sold for DIY people, from what I have seen, have 3 PCIe X16 slots plus a mix of the old PCI and PCIe X1.

    I think you can start with the processor. Get an Intel i5 second generation. It will be a decent speed. Then a motherboard with the right socket. Then the memory (8GB), chassis, power supply, DVD-RW, hard disk or SSD, etc (those would become trivial).

    RE: Video cards... I am in the camp who believes in multiple, inexpensive cards instead of 1 quad card or 1 hex card. Those are expensive to purchase, as well as to replace. If these monolith card goes out, all your monitors are black. If you, say, use 3 el cheapo 8400 GS (each drives 2 monitors)... if one of those goes out, only 2 of your 6 monitors are black. You can continue to work until the market is closed to deal with the repair. Buy a spare. Only $30.
  6. I'm still not a big fan of building your own (custom) system but I can say that an i5 and DDR3 paired with an SSD is a pretty awesome computer.

    Everyone talks about i7's but the recent trend has been for the i7 to go from 4 cores to 6 so do you really need 6 (12 with hyper thread) cores on a standard trading rig that worked on a dual-core just two years ago?

    If you need cores pay up and get a dual Xeon machine where you can get 12-20 logical cores. If not just get an i5 and 6-8GB of RAM. I don't really see that much difference between operating on a SSD vs. a HDD so I get the cheap SSD's. Expensive ones where they are needed (like in a server to be used as system cache for VMware with 8 virtual machines running on that server) but outside that the difference between a HDD and an SSD is still boot time and time to load files - a disk of any kind does not make your operating system faster or slower. (to the end user)

    I don't trade anymore but I bought a Dell barebones box on eBay that I will put an i3 into with 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and an NVS 420 card that I run 3x 19" square monitors from.

    I'm coming from a desktop with dual Xeon w5580 CPUs (8 cores, 16 with HT) and 24GB of RAM running the same video card. I honestly don't notice a difference when I load my E*Trade platform on my desktop or my netbook. I assume the i3 will do just fine and it will lower my power bill by almost $7 a month.
  7. bobznew


    Thank you all so much for the replies. I am figuring I won't be needing anything really fancy, as I do my trading from ThinkorSwim. It would just be nice to have a little more screen real estate. And a new computer too, as the one I'm working on now is 3.5 years old, and starting to show a few wrinkles and liver spots.

    Thank you all again.
  8. Yes, ThinkorSwim unfortunately uses a real crappy "snap-shot" data-feed that isn't worth a rat's ass for active scalping/trading.

    And for what it's worth, Nvidia no longer supports their FREE Desk Top Manager "NVIEW" software to run multiple monitors for the likes of Windows 7 operating systems if you use a GeForce card. "NVIEW" is only supported in Windows 7 for NVS-Quadro cards.

    I recently bought a Dell XPS-8300 computer from the Dell Outlet site (as a back up for only $700) that came with Windows 7 Ultimate and an i7-2600 CPU, 1 Terabyte HD and a Blu-Ray combo-player and love it!

    I piled 16 Gigs of Pc-6400 Non-ECC unbuffered RAM into it from Crucial Memory ($86.00+tax) and installed a PNY NVS-300 (Nvidia Quadro) graphics card for $110.00 that supports dual-monitors and am good to go!

    The XPS-8300 has been discontinued in lieu of the newer XPS-8500 that comes with the 3rd generation i7 CPU with Turbo Boost, so the 8300 is literally gone from the Outlet inventory. The inventory is now showing some 8500's.

    I LOVE the Dell Outlet Site!
  9. bobznew


    Options scalping is what I do. Would you recommend another platform for that?