New puter

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by illiquid, May 15, 2005.

  1. Finally time to dump my ancient WinME setup for a decent machine. :)

    Few questions just to get started -- what's new that I should make sure to get (so I don't need another upgrade in say 18 months)? Is hyperthreading or dual processors even worth looking into? I am looking into possibly subscribing to Bloomberg platform in the future -- I called their help desk and it didn't sound like you needed anything fancy, but any current users recommend the practical necessities?

    And 1 gig RAM enough? Or should I go for 2 or a machine at least capable of 2? Are USB keys useful?

    You can probably guess I'm just going down the dell menu, I'm pretty dumb about this so throw me a bone someone.
     
  2. Usually depends on your budget and whether you'll have critical stuff/applications that need 99.9% uptime. Is RAID important? What numbers of monitors are you planning. What programs do you run? Details like that.

    Also, don't get rid of your current machine. Add it as part of your network. More productivity that way.
     
  3. How good are you at adding parts to a computer? Ever pop the hood off one? If so, you might go with the Dell 4700, 3.0 GHz+ CPU w/HT, minimal memory, 40GB+ HDD and the rest is standard issue.

    I would then get the following:

    2 512MB RAM cards
    1 nVidia Quadro NVS card (dual head) will give you capability for 3 monitors (the onboard video port built into the 4700 is VGA). The Quadro's can be VGA or DVI depending on your monitor.
    1 Logitech MX-510 mouse if you want wired or MX-1000 for wireless
    I would recommend Dell's 1905FP LCD's if you want 19" (you can get one for around $300 delivered).

    This setup assumes that you are a regular trader and don't require anything exotic. This also assumes that you will use the same machine for trading and charts.

    I hope that helps and I can help you with specifics if you need it.
     
  4. How old is the machine you have now? Some upgrades may be all you need, such as additional ram and Windows XP. A video card to add additional monitors. Even if you get a new machine I like to have a machine for a backup.
     
  5. I would agree that keeping the old machine for backup would be wise. However, it is best to buy a new one if you will be going to XP or Win2K.
     
  6. It's good to be reminded of the general specs for an basic+ trading computer.


    From Dell.com for the Dimension 4700 (from $699 w/free 80GB hard drive upgrade, 17" monitor, after 20% rebate):
    Key Features
    Enhanced Performance

    Designed for the home and home office user who needs a functional PC with vibrant multimedia performance.

    Processor: Offers The New Intel® Pentium® 4 processors with HT Technology - 500 sequence processors - Up to 3.4-GHz speed. The processors include Hyper-Threading Technology which can handle multiple productivity and multimedia applications simultaneously including productivity, gaming, music and movies.

    Operating System: Comes standard with Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition.
    Upgradeable to - Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
    - or Microsoft® Windows® Media Center Edition 2005.

    Memory: The Dimension 4700 offers DDR2 Memory (256MB up to 2GB) that enables clock speeds at 400MHz for exceptional PC performance.

    Graphics: The new 128MB PCI ExpressTATI RadeonT X300 SE graphics card for a true to life video and game experience.

    Multimedia: The Dimension 4700 offers Two 5.25 Optical Drive bay to support: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-Burner, CD-RW/DVD Combo, DVD+RW/+R3 w/ CD-RW for burning DVDs or CDs from your system files.

    Chassis: A new chassis design features side venting for improved component cooling.

    Services: The Dimension 4700 comes standard with 90 day Limited Warranty1, 90 day At-Home Service4, and 90 day Tech Support, but for greater peace of mind, upgrade to a 1, 2, 3, or 4 year term.



    Points/Questions:

    1. Pentium 4 Processor: Go for the 540 3.2 over the stock 520 2.8? No 3.0 available here.

    2. Hyperthreading: Does this come in to play by keeping trading execution speed separate/unhindered by charting, alerts, or web browsing? Or, does it work that way? (In this regard, any benefit to partitioning?)

    3. O/S: XP-Pro may be required by more than one broker (if one is so associated) for its enhanced connectivity benefits over XP-Home... (Either way, a must for a notebook, IMO). In addition, does XP-Pro support a TV tuner w/o additional media software?

    4. Memory: Instead of the 256 stock, two 512 sticks @ 400 Mhz are plenty/more than enough for now?
    (Random Access Memory (RAM) is the workhorse behind the performance of your computer. RAM temporarily stores information from your operating system, applications, and data in current use. This gives your processor easy access to the critical information that makes your programs run. The amount of RAM you have determines how many programs can be executed at one time and how much data can be readily available to a program. It also determines how quickly your applications perform and how many applications you can easily toggle between at one time. Simply put, the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run smoothly and simultaneously.

    If you plan to: Purchase:

    Run only 1 or 2 basic programs at once. 256MB
    Run several programs at once or plan to edit photos. 512MB - 1GB
    Plan to do intensive gaming or complex video editing, or want headroom for the future. 2GB - 4GB

    When your computer is in use, RAM temporarily stores information from the operating system and software programs giving your processor easy access to the critical information that makes your programs run.

    More RAM:
    -Improves the speed of your computer
    -Lets you run more software programs at the same time
    -Enhances your video gaming experience
    -Allows you to perform video editing with ease

    With more RAM, you can browse the Internet, look at pictures, and listen to music effortlessly and simultaneously).


    5. Graphics: The nVidia Quadro NVS card (for the 3 monitors) in place of, or in addition to the stock ATI Radeon X300? Also, enough here to support a TV tuner, OR, go with, say, an ATI Radeon 9800 (@ $200) to do ALL of the above if tuner capability desired...? AND, since he now has an 80GB HD, combined with the 9800, his TV can also act as a DVR...! Right?


    6. Warranty: In illiquid's case, pay additional for 2 year (or best deal) over the 90 day?

    7. Applications: Continue to run Excel, Word, etc., on his current computer? Or, transfer or buy to new computer?

    8. Run current computer in tandem: What hardware/software to effect this? Or, keep separate?

    Thanks, guys!
     
  7. Thanks for the quick input.

    I'll definitely be getting a new machine, I can probably get by upgrading on this one but it's almost 5 yrs old now and ready to serve as backup.

    I would definitely want to install 2 dvi monitors, so the Nvidia card sounds good. I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep the integrated card for a spare browsing screen.
     
  8. Can I add a second ATI 9800 radeon vid card to my computer and add 2 more monitors and bring my RAM up to 1gig(or more if necesary) to handle the load of charting and trading platform, or am I asking for too much of the computer? Its a Dell 2.6ghz P-4 with 512 ram currently and 1 ATI radeon 9800 vid card with a couple monitors. Am running Win XP with SP1 on it also.
     
  9. No, can't add another 9800. It only comes in AGP and you only have one AGP slot which is already filled. However, you can add Radeon dualhead... 7000 and 7500, if I recall. Or single head ATIs, one monitor for each PCI slot.

    Your computer is plenty adequate... might need more RAM if programs require, but 512 is usually enough to run significant multi-tasking.
     
  10. I have a quote for a new tower from a local box maker which includes an ATI Radeon All in Wonder 9700 PRO with 128MB Radeon9600AIW to run up to 4 monitors and act as a dual TV tuner and DVR recorder. I don't own or rent a DVR recorder yet, so this way seems cost effective; we'll see.

    Processor: Athlon 64 3200+
    Hard Drive: 200GB SATA
    RAM: Two 512MB DDR 400MHZ
    , etc.


    In my earlier post above, I meant to say ATI 9700 instead of the 9800...
     
    #10     May 15, 2005