PC or MAC for Trading?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ess1096, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. ess1096


    Are there any true advantages to using either/or specifically for trading? I want to purchase a new computer and dedicate it for trading only. Therefore I don't need all the bells and whistles like Media Center, excessive storage etc..

    I don't run anything more than Scottrade Elite with Trade Ideas screening software, however, I will be wanting to run three monitors.


    account #88888
  2. CTTrader


    Just like in trading - don't fight the trend.

    I had always used PC's and tried my first Apple when I needed a laptop. The Powerbook was so much better than any PC I ever had I decided I must use a Mac for trading. Lo and behold there is very little trading/financial software for Macs. Yes a Mac will do great if you never expand beyond the few platforms that support Mac software, but if you ever want to use Tradestation, Esignal, etc etc etc you are stuck.

    If you are gettting a trading only computer get a PC. I got one through Tradingcomputers.com that supports 4 monitors and am very satisfied. It was only slightly more than a similarily configured Dell, but with Dell you can only support 2 monitors. Adding the cost of upgrading video cards put the prices almost equal. I did get 3 dell 20" monitors on sale to go with the 19" I already had.
  3. Someone gave you the old windsong... You could run 10 monitors off of a Dell if you wanted to.
  4. If all of your market stuff was web based you could probably get away with a Mac. Otherwise, like OP said, make sure the software you want to run is compatible.

    I don't know how easy it is to run more than 2 monitors on a Mac, but it's easy to do on a PC with Windows XP.
  5. dchang0


    I used both Macs and PCs in trading. In both cases, I was using the desktop version of IB's TWS (Java-based).

    The Mac was superior in terms of:

    1) easy to set up, start up, use, and maintain--cold boot to live trading took only a couple of mouseclicks and under a minute. My PC setups always involved much more hassle during the opening bell ritual.
    2) no need for lots of protective software (antivirus, anti-adware, anti-spyware) tha t slow machines down and cost $$$
    3) better overall experience and performance

    But the PC was supreme in terms of available trading software, featuring many trading apps that are Windows-only.

    With the new Intel-based Macs, it is now possible to have the best of both worlds. For instance, if you can get it to work with your specific application, you can set up DarWine to run Windows applications right in Mac OS X.

    If you want to run triple-monitor setups, you'll have to wait till the Q4 release of the Intel-based Mac Pro (replacement for the Power Mac G5), which will allow you to install multiple-monitor video cards. The Mac Pro will almost certainly support two monitors out of the box.
  6. macs are for [aging] idealistic hippies.

    WinTel for pragmatic yuppies.

    seriously, why consider a Mac today?
    [cue bill gate's laugh]
  7. dchang0


    LOL! I've been an IT consultant for 15 years on Windows, Mac, and UNIX. Believe me, there are plenty of good reasons to consider a Mac today:

    1) low Total Cost of Ownership--this is the truest benefit of owning a Mac. I am constantly billing Windows users $75/hr. to fix their crappy machines which are usually suffering from fatal OS problems or viruses/worms/spyware. The Mac owners I support rarely need repairs--they usually call only when they need upgrades.

    2) the new Intel Macs can dual-boot Windows, so you can have the best of both worlds in a single purchase. In benchmarks, the Macbook Pro actually beats other Windows-only Intel notebooks!

    3) Mac hardware is single-vendor-controlled and, like IBM's pSeries (AIX) servers, every components' drivers are certified and supported by the one vendor. That dramatically cuts down on the hassles of installing and updating device drivers. How many current-model Windows boxes can be fully-built-out with the drivers that are included on the Windows XP CD? Sure, you could use the default VGA driver, but Macs have full-featured drivers installed by default, right off the Mac OS X DVD.
  8. All very valid points. There is also the possibility of running Windows and OS X simultaneously through virtualization. This has got to be an attractive proposition for those that prefer Mac but require some 'must have' Windows only software.

    Virtualization is hardly new. I used Vmware for years to run Windows on a Linux laptop and it works very well for the 'must have' things like email through Exchange in a corporate environment.

  9. 1. What "fatal OS problems" are you fixing on Windows machines? Your total cost of ownership has really to do with people that don't know how to take care of their computes. I would guess that the average Mac user is more sophisticated than the average PC user and the problems you are fixing has more to do with that then with the hardware software.

    2. Yes it is a big step forward for Mac to be able to run Windows natively, but the bench marks still give the edge to pure windows machines which end up being more expandable. What benchmarks are you talking about? Check this out: http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_MacBo..._Core_Duo/4505-3121_7-31736778-2.html?tag=nav

    3. Single supported vendor or closed system, yes it's a double edged sword which in my book isn't worth much. Single supported vendor means less expandability, less options. With PCs you really do get the best of both worlds. You can go buy a DELL and everything is installed from the factory and will work just like a Mac, right outta the box. You don't need a CD because everything is installed already. I guess I'm not getting your statement here: "How many current-model Windows boxes can be fully-built-out with the drivers that are included on the Windows XP CD?" We're talking internet age here, if a program can't find a driver then it goes out on the net and downloads it.

    I had an Apple IIc, loved it. Then the Macintosh came out, I just didn't get it. It just seemed so unuser friendly, it had an odd user interface and the dang one button mouse. The Amiga 1000 came out, instantly loved that machine so I bought it, user interface was much more intuitive. Then Windows came out, again, immediately intuitive interface. Even the NeXT computers had a better interface than the Macs.

    I haven't tried OS X but why bother, unless you are politically motivated and really need an anti-Wintel computer, stick with the PC. Keep your options open on both the hardware and software side.
  10. Winblows sucks .......(hmmm.... interesting)

    Viva la Linux!!!
    #10     Jun 24, 2006