Need recommendation for setting up multiple monitors on one PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by imnew, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. imnew


    Hello Everyone,
    I'm new to this site, so please forgive me if I don't know all the etiquette here. :)

    I just started doing active trading (towards day trading) but right now my trading is not heavy as I'm still learning. I am looking for setting up three monitors on one PC. The reason is that I'm using QuoteTracker and I have to click every time when I open up a chart or switch in between. So I am wondering if anybody here could recommend a hardware system for me. I'm not computer illiterate but not really familiar with the hardware either.

    I'll be mainly using the computer and the monitors for charts and trading. So, no gaming, no heavy video/entertainment stuff. For this purpose, I did some research and found that, to set up a three-monitor system, a cost-effective way would be install two dual-head PCI video cards (that's if my computer has two PCI slots) and uninstall the built-in one. Am I correct here? Also, I am thinking about buy three of this monitor here:

    Are these monitors good?

    Anything else I should know about hardware before I go out and buy all the equipment?

    Thank you so much! Your advice would be very much appreciated. :)

  2. I can tell you my experience. I have a non-professional trading room with 20+ monitors spread over 4 desktops.

    Your computer bus type is the deciding factor. PCI or PCIx16? And how many. Older computer probably have PCI. You can google the pictures of the bus slots to tell what you have.

    I use 2 makes: EVGA and PNY Technologies. I used to like PNY Technologies but now like EVGA. Both are off the shelf. Work about the same. Price about the same. I picked up my display cards from the local Fry's Electronics (or whatever equivalent in your area).

    The latest EVGA on PCI bus: model 6200. The label is kind of confusing. I suppose they use nVidia GeForce 6200 chip? Don't know. I am not deep into hardware. Price as of 2 weeks ago: USD$59 or so. Sometimes they have sales/rebates sometimes don't. I never bother to bargain for 10 bucks.

    It is important for you to pick the card that has the right bus type (PCI or PCIx16 or something else). And make sure the card has dual outlets (2 x VGA, or 1 x VGA and 1 x DVI, or 2 x DVI). With an adapter you can connect a DVI outlet to a VGA cable. Or your monitor may support DVI and VGA (most new monitors do).

    From my experience: definitely keep both cards from the same manufacturer. One time I tried to mix PNY Technologies cards with EVGA cards. Didn't work. Driver software from one vendor cannot see the other vendor's card, etc..

    It should be fairly simple. Plug and play. You most likely cannot re-use your onboard VGA (that comes with the mother board). It will be disabled once you have the new PCI-based card installed and the driver software installed.

    As for the monitor: I love the 23" Samsung 2343BWX. Got it at about USD$190 each. Few weeks ago. ViewSonic is my second favorite. But like they said: All a matter of who makes the panel.
  3. imnew


    Thank you so much for the advice. I'll definitely keep it in mind. BTW, are your PCs high end? From the research I did, if I only use the PC for charts and trading, it won't use a lot of CPU and RAM, right? So, I guess a brand new PC from Dell (like the one for $199, the lowest end, on their site) probably might be an overkill. Am I off here?

    Thanks again!

  4. I am sure I have a low-end model:

    Compaq SR5710F desktop PC (Windows Vista)

    Processor type
    AMD Athlon™ X2 4450e+ Dual-Core
    • 2.30 GHz, 1 MB L2 Cache, 2000 MT/s FSB

    Operating system installed
    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Service Pack 1

    nVIDIA nForce 430

    Standard memory
    3 GB (1 x 2048 MB, 1 x 1024 MB)

    Memory slots
    2 DIMM


    Picked up from Fry's at about USD350 (on sale). I have 3 other similar boxes. They are the workhorses in my trading room. I rather spent $2500 (to include the display cards) and have 4 PCs to spread the load than spending $8000 on one high end box like XView. I don't do back-testing so no number crunching stuff for me. Just getting data and plotting the charts. Works very well for what I need.

    Each PC: 3 x PCI based (or 2 x PCI and 1 x PCIe x16) display cards to drive 6 LCD monitors. Each monitor: about 4 to 6 charts (TradeStation) with custom indicators and all that. So about 20-30 or so charts on each PC. Works okay.
  5. imnew


    Again, thank you so much, Bolimono!
  6. RedSun


    Depend on what you trade. If you trade stocks, you may need quite a few displays.

    But if you trade only certain sector, I do not see you need more than 4 displays.

    This applies to energy, metal, agriculture, and other sectors. May be FX also.

    I can't manage 20 displays all at once :p