Power Trade Station

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by EllisWyatt, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Power Trade Station

    For most traders, purchasing a Dell PC is a solid business decision. Dells are well designed, competitively priced, and come with multi-year warranties and same-day on-site support as an option.

    Having said that, this post is not intended for most traders. This post is for the minority of traders with the technology expertise to build a PC to better meet certain requirements. For such traders, the following configuration meets the stated requirements very well.

    If you decide to build a system to meet similar requirements, I’d be happy to share my experience and interested to hear of any improvements you may have to suggest.


    - High processing power
    - Very low noise
    - Reliable
    - Secure
    - Best-in-class components

    Core System:

    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750, 2.66GHz, 1333MHz FSB, MPN: BX80557E6750
    Motherboard: Asus P5W64 WS Professional 975X Chipset, MPN: P5W64WSPRO
    Video card: XFX nVidia GeForce 7600GS 256MB 2xDVI fanless PCIe x16, MPN: PV-T73P-UDJ3
    Memory: Corsair 2GB(2 x 1GB) matched pair PC2-6400/DDR2-800, MPN: TWIN2X2048-6400C4
    Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB 7,200RPM SATA-300, MPN: WD5000AAKS
    Optical writer: Samsung DVD±RW DL 20x 2MB SATA, Black, MPN: SH-S203N
    Power supply: Corsair HX520W, MPN: CMPSU-520HX
    Floppy drive: NEC 1.44MB 3.5in Internal, Black, MPN: FD1231H-302
    Case fan: Nexus 120mm Real Silent, Black and White, MPN: D12SL-12
    Case: Antec Solo quiet mini tower, black, MPN: 761345-18500-4
    Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC 24-inch 1920x1200 Black LCD, MPN: GM504
    Keyboard: Logitech Media, MPN: 967560-0403
    Mouse: Logitech MX400 Performance Laser, MPN: 931638-0403
    Speakers: Dell AS501 Sound Bar, MPN: XH839
    Thermal Material Remover: ArctiClean Surface Purifier, 2-PC-SET, MPN: ACN-60ML
    Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Premium, 3.5-gram tube, MPN: AS5-3.5G
    UPS: APC Back-UPS RS 1500VA/900W LCD 120V, MPN: BR1500LCD
    Surge suppressor: APC Performance SurgeArrest Tel and Coax Protection, MPN: PF11VT3
    Patch cable: Belkin Category 6 UTP, 20 feet, Blue, MPN: A3L980-20-BLU-S
    Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, MPN: ZAT-00008-cd
    Productivity suite: Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student, MPN: 79G-00007
    Anti-virus: ESET NOD32
    Drive optimizer: PerfectDisk
    OS optimizer: Tune-up Utilities


    About $1,500 not including the monitor. The Dell 24” LCD is about $600.

    Enhanced system options:

    additional Dell monitors with XFX 2xDVI video cards
    Ergotron monitor stand
    Iomega REV removable disk backup
    APC Smart-UPS
    Scythe Ninja CPU cooling
    Juniper Networks NetScreen hardware firewall.


    The processor is several levels below the highest end at a price/performance sweet spot. For most applications, a Duo with higher clock speed will be higher performing than a Quad with lower clock speed. This is why the 2.40GHz Quad was not selected. Traders doing extreme real time analysis or back testing might consider a higher end processor -- Core 2 Quad Q6700 or any of the Intel ‘Extreme’ processors.

    The video card is fanless and therefore quiet. It has ample power for trading applications and future Vista requirements. A higher end MSI nVidia 8600GTS fanless video card is available, but it is rather thick, draws more power, throws off more heat, and would not benefit a trader.

    The memory is sized at 2GB. Upgrading to 4GB or more is an option to consider, but not needed by most. Using two memory sticks instead of four is slightly higher performing.

    The hard drive is fast, very quiet and reliable. A higher performing Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM 150GB hard drive is available, but it is rather loud.

    The monitor is 24” and could be upgraded to a Dell 30” LCD if the benefit exceeds the cost – about twice the cost.

    The keyboard and mouse are wired, which is more reliable for trading than wireless.

    The operating system could be upgraded to Vista 64-bit. However, it’s better to wait 24 months after a major operating system release for the bugs to get worked out in the real world by the public. Not all applications run well on Vista at this time. For example, Trading Technologies X_Trader won’t be available for Vista until the first quarter of 2008. Look to migrate to Vista around December 2008.

    If you decide to build your own system, hopefully this helps as a starting point to consider.
  2. and how long have you worked for Mikee :D
  3. Probably as long as you have worked for HP or IBM.
  4. I just bought a Dell Vostro 400 with the E6550 processor, 2 gigs ram, 8600 GTS video card and the small 80 gig hard drive, which is way more then you need. Windows XP Professional.

    It came out to right at $1k without the monitor and it runs like a top.

    I use the two dvi ports on the card to run two Samsung 22 inch monitors that I got at Best Buy for around $329 each.

  5. Thanks for your comment John, and yes, buying a Dell is a good decision for the majority of traders -- because of the ease of a pre-built machine and Dell support.

    The original post is focused on advantages that Dell does not offer. For example, it's not possible to order a Dell with low noise characteristics or with certain best-of-breed components. As I say, this is only a requirement for a minority of traders.

    Configuring a Vostro as close to apples-to-apples as Dell's web site allows, actually costs about $1,800 (see attached) with tax without the monitor. A good deal because of the support....but saving money on hardware is not the focus of the original post.
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