New video card or new computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by street carp, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. For trading I use Scottrade's streaming Java charts (4 are open) and Scottrade Elite, and like some people here I have slowdowns and freezes when trading gets very fast, such as market opens and the recent collapse of the shipping stocks like DRYS on 7/31/07. Basically I have to cover or minimize the Elite screen quotes to get things back to normal.

    Here's the specs...not a new computer, but seems it should be adequate: Athlon XP 3200+/2GB CL2 Patriot memory/IDE Seagate and Maxtor.
    Video Card: ATI Radeon X850XT AGP 520/1080 MHz 256MB GDDR3/256-bit, and monitor: Samsung 204B 20" LCD 5ms response.

    In addition I have a PCI card running another 19" Samsung monitor, but all my trading goes on in the 20".

    Note that the problems occur on two identical XP Pro computers I built...identical specs but different part manufacturers and I remove spyware, defrag, antivirus, disc cleanup, etc. weekly. Java and all drivers are up to date. I have traded with or without that 2nd card with the same results. (I have also used an nVidia FX5900XT with lesser specs than the ATI with the same results as well.)

    And here's the biggest note of all. The problem is worse on the 1600x1200 screen than when I switch them and use the 1280x1024 smaller one, which makes sense that the card would have more difficulty with a higher res. If I go 1280x1024 nonnative on the 20" it's also a little better.

    I'm leaning towards this 7900GS AGP card:
    This seems like a step up being that the 7900GS has a max resolution of 2560 x 1600 and most here seem to favor nVidia. But given my computer specs and AGP do you expect this card to fix the problem?

    I'm due for a new computer anyway and I'm just being cheap, but if I felt I could spend under $200 to solve this problem I'd rather do that instead. What do you think waste of time or it should help? (BTW great forum. I read 11 pages of this Hardware one last night. I've been trading for 5 years, but didn't really come here until yesterday.)
  2. ...or go with a QuadroFX3000/4000 that still come in AGP. It just seems that the 1600x1200 resolution is the problem, but will any AGP card be able to overcome this problem?
  3. just get a PCI card from matrox.
  4. java sucks, id buy a new comp
  5. So Java is CPU intensive and the CPU is the bottleneck? It is the Scottrade Elite program that freezes up first appearing to cause Java to freeze as well.
  6. So it's your belief the video card is the bottleneck then? Which matrox card would you recommend? Wouldn't it be better to get one that is AGP if I went that route?

    Thanks for both of your replies and everyone else please keep them coming.
  7. gnome


    1. I've got Java apps... they're not CPU hogs, but they are memory hogs.

    2. Sounds like either the software is a problem or you're overtaxing "resources".

    Try running both computers at the same time so you can divide the workload.

    At this point, I doubt a better video card will help much.
  8. gnome


    Video requirements to display trading data and charts are always minimal (the cards are redrawing only what has changed... unlike a game where the entire screen is continuously redrawn). Just about any video card will be OK and a high-powered one won't help perceived lags appreciably. (Years ago, I ran 4 monitors, each with 4MB RAM and nothing ever lagged.)
  9. get a new computer... your computer was probably priced at 500-600$ in late 2005... time for an upgrade
  10. gnome


    Personally, I'd try running 2 computers and dividing the workload before buying a new one. If the issue is software or resources, a new computer won't help much either. (My trading computers are P4's from '03, and they have no problems.... however, I did have to divide the workload between 2, because of inadequate "resources". That's a Windows function, and one of my apps is a known resources hog.)
    #10     Nov 2, 2007