Need help with finding a reasonably-priced custom PC build

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by jmiles301, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Hello all,

    Long story short...

    I've been trading for awhile, but have been working as an analyst at a firm for the past 6 years (and using their equipment and resources while doing so) but have just left them and am now in need of a strong, relatively fast, and most certainly reliable machine...

    I've personally had 4 monitors hooked up to a Dell T3400 for the past 2 years at this point (quad 2.4, dual 1TB drives, 6GB RAM, running esignal... was originally running Vista, but just recently switched 1 of my TB drives to XP-32 bit and the other to XP64-bit -- one of my quad cards is only compatible with 32-bit). I'm now in the process of upgrading to a 6 or 8 monitor setup, but I've been having trouble so far....

    My computer seems to work OK for most of the time, but then it essentially forces me to eventually restart after about a 1.5-3 hrs of usage or so...

    I'm not really sure what's going on but I need this fixed in order to trade effectively.

    My question is: I know that there are sites out there that put together trading systems, but they seem high-priced...

    I have a system that seems to work OK most of the time, so forking over $1500 or so minimum is relatively hard to swallow, so I was just wondering what some of you else thought about my situation out there and how I might go about either getting my system to work more efficiently as is (already seems to be a pretty decent system to me from a hardware standpoint, but acting funky otherwise) or looking in to purchasing a new build at a decent price?

    Appreciate all feedback.

    Thank you.
  2. Reinstall, upgrade BIOS; ugprade drivers, install as little as posible. See whether the problem persists. If yes = Hardware issue. If no - well, happens.
  3. I reformatted my drives from Vista to XP 3 days ago and this is now just happening...

    Granted, I was only running 4 monitors on the Vista (and it still had minor efficiency issues every once in a while) and am now running 6 on the XP, but in terms of cleaning out your OS and doing a reinstall, I think I just did that...

    Or should I try it again?
  4. This should probably be in the hardware section but...

    I think you are way off the mark. The T3500 is an amazing platform to start with and I think you probably have it set up poorly.

    You are having issues with either too little RAM or possibly too slow of a CPU or maybe hard drives that are full and therefore very slow to read/write. (or could be all of the above)

    XP32 is also hurting you. XP 32-bit can only address 3.2GB of RAM because XP32's kernel is only 3.2gb in size. To make matters worse you probably have a video card that has 256 or 512 or maybe even 1gb of onboard RAM... well your system addresses hardware RAM before the motherboard RAM so if you have a 1gb video card it is limiting your system to only use 2.2gb out of your 6GB of RAM that you have installed.

    Do the following and your T3500 will be a night & day difference and you will love it for the next 3-5 years.

    #1 - spend the $100 on Windows 7, 64-bit OS

    #2 - go out on eBay or Newegg and buy two 128gb SSD's. Google or search for a bracket that allows you to put two SSD's in a single 3.5" bay. ($100 each so $200 for the SSD's and the bracket is $10 shipped)

    #3 - buy more RAM. Upgrade the box to 9-12GB of RAM. It's DDR3 so keep things in pairs. Either buy 3x 2GB sticks so you have 6GB on the white RAM slots and then keep 3x 1GB for the black giving you a total of 9GB of RAM or just buy 3x 4GB or 6x 2GB of RAM for a total of 12GB. (should be no more than $200)

    Configuration - either ditch one of the 1TB HDD's or move one up to the lower slot below the floppy or flash card reader (you need screws for that). In the BIOS run the two SSD's in a RAID0 (striped) so you have 265GB of space on your primary HDD. Choose to either run the 1TB HDD's individually or as one giant 2TB space (raid0 or JBOD) or for backup so they are redundant (raid1).

    Next, Install Windows 7 64-bit. If you want antivirus use Microsoft Security Essentials but nothing else. Opt out of the MAPS program.

    You will notice a major, massive difference.

    The T3500 is a great platform to trade on. Many hedge funds in NYC are currently using those for 4-8 monitor setups running Bloomberg plus an order entry front end, web browsing and excel and many other applications.

    To take things further you could easily purchase an upgraded 2.66, 3.0 or 3.2ghz CPU. You can sell the used slower one on eBay to offset the cost so your upgrade price will be pretty cheap.

    You can also optimize W7x64 for performance oriented features as well as remove some bloated software and turn off some system processes that tend to be memory and CPU hogs... but running stock W7x64 is going to be better than XP32 hands down.

    Happy to help if you have other questions but going out and spending $1,200+++ on a "trading computer" isn't going to solve your problems. A few basic changes to your T3500 and it will be as fast or faster than a lot of the garbage out there selling for thousands.
  5. Just saw Winstons post, good advice

    I had written a post regarding building a system, which may not be needed...
    "it was titled help finding a reasonably priced custom build PC"

    but will post here anyway for reference... the tweakhound link may be of use to you.... FYI

    Moderators should probably move this thread to hardware


    There are many threads on this in the hardware section, two most recent...

    You will find people in two camps

    #1, Buy prebuilt [Dell direct to order or from outlet for savings]

    #2, Build your own

    I personally prefer to build my own, for multiple reasons... primarily I get exactly what I need for a reasonable price, but more importantly I obtain an eduction, it isn't rocket science... and you obtain a better understanding of your system, which aids in future trouble shooting

    A solid motherboard, SSD drive for op system, quiet reliable pwr supply, sufficient memory [16gb is good], i5 or i7 processor, Win7 64 bit, Video Cards to drive monitors, I drive 4 ea 30" 2560x1600, not a gaming system so mid level card is fine 1GB memory 256 bit reasonably priced

    Cases are personal, I prefer Lian-Li as they are no nonsense, clean, light high quality

    Newegg is a fine one stop source for components
    for bargains

    Recent build I chose the Samsung 128GB SSD, but usually use Intel's, for Drives I use Western Digital Green drives

    You should be able to build a nice system for approximately $1,200 or less...

    With the links in the previous threads and referencing you should be able to build, configure a system in a week end...
  6. Easiest thing to try is to put an ice pack under it. Works like a charm for me.
  7. Price not what you're looking for but when I factored in the reliability and excellence of their systems along with their support (you can actually get someone on the phone or have them respond to email right away) and company rep and considered that one of their systems will last me just fine for many years, the cost per year didn't seem as expensive as say Dell (try working with their support some time.) I recommend:

    Though I'm using ThinkorSwim now for everything and all of their stuff runs on a MAC which is what I actually prefer (price is another story).
  8. Vista to XP? Go buy Windows 7 dude.
  9. Thanks for all of the responses... I appreciate it.

    I went from Vista to XP because I was never a huge fan of Vista to begin with and one of my quad cards (an ATI Firemv 2400 PCI) is only compatible on XP-32 so in order for me to upgrade from 4 to 6 monitors (and eventually 8) I needed to be on that OS.

    I was just trying it out. Was hoping it would run smoothly, but that's not the case after a few days of testing it out. It still runs OK for a while, but it essentially forces a restart every few hours, so it's clearly not working properly.

    My other drive is running XP 64-bit... Would it make sense to just find a different video card that I can run on there and see if increasing the RAM solves this issue by itself?

    Or would it make more sense to go up to Win7-64 and start looking for other video cards and/or other hardware upgrades?

    I'm currently running 1 ATI Firemv 2400, 1 Nvidia Quadro NVS 290, and 1 Nvidia Quadro FX 570.
    #10     Jul 5, 2012