Please Recommend a PC Configuration for Heavy Excel Calculations

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dima777, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. dima777


    I have recently ran into a productivity wall with my Pentium M 1,7 GHz Sony laptop, that I bought 3 years ago. I am working on a model of one process in Excel and the current version of the file is 200 Mbs comprised of 10 sheets filled to the brim with interrelated formulas (the final version is going to be close to 500 Mbs). Understandably my laptop is refusing to show any speed at all and takes minutes – and sometimes tens of minutes – to recalculate the workbook. I wonder if someone here is a power user of the Excel and can recommend to me a work station that can handle such files with ease? I am working in Excel 2003.
    Here are the specs of one PC that the local computer firm is offering to me:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 / MB Intel DG41RQ / DDRII 2048Mb PC6400 Kingston / HDD 250Gb Seagate 7200 rpm SATA / Card Reader (CF, MMC, SD, MS) / Video on board / DVD.RW Pioneer / Sound / АТX YY 400w

    Toshiba Qosmio F50-127 Intel CoreDuo P8600 2.4

    Please let me know what you think!)

  2. Go for the desktop. It'll be about 3x faster than your current laptop and about 40-50% faster than the Toshiba laptop. One big advantage of the desktop is its faster HD, which makes a big difference when you've got large files being loaded from the disk.
  3. Thanks!

    The desktop should not be considered as a "workstation", though it could suffice. It has a budget mobo.

    How much do you plan to spend?

    How many monitors to run?
  4. dima777


  5. If what you really want is a laptop, you'll have to pay up for lesser performance. And for spreadsheets, don't you want to display more info at one time? This notebook shows SXGA resolution, 1680x1050. You could get one with UXGA.. 1920x1200.

    If you want the most bang for your buck, desktop.

    What makes a machine a "gamer" is mostly a hot graphics card and at least an adequate CPU. But for trading and analysis, no sense in spending money on a hot graphics card.
  6. Your laptop is clearly out of date and a new system, especially a desktop, would help a lot, but you can try a few things in Excel. Do you need everything calculated all the time, or just once in awhile? Do you know simple visual basic?
    I ask because I spent a long time recreating an option analysis spreadsheet in Excel 2003 to make it take a reasonable amount of time to calculate, but I used Excel’s visual basic. Don’t know if trying something like that would help you.
  7. I agree.

    You should continue your work in excel Dima77, while also beginning a entry level course in visual basic, and progressing on in your programming knowledge from there.

    You're already analytically inclined, so I will even go so far as to say that it shouldn't take you more than six months (18 months tops), to get totally up to speed and rewriting your []entire program[/u] in a programming language.

    While you definitely can get a more highly powered PC, the truth of the matter is that your programming needs and quantitative abilities have outgrown excel.

    Best-O-Luck to you.
  8. And another idea is porting your model over to Access (MS Database) in whole or at least part to deal with the massive data manipulation that your program has to do.


    But I still "much" prefer the idea of you getting up to speed with programming and taking it from there.
  9. Are you using DDE data in this workbook?
  10. dima777


    Thanks! What you mean by "budget mobo"? I think to spend up to 1000$ on the new setup - this desktop is sold at close to 500$ but without the monitor - the 19" or 20" monitors here are sold at 150$
    #10     Jul 10, 2009