Recommend a 6-8 monitor setup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JimCreamer, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Hello,

    I've come to the point where I want to invest in a real solution instead of rigging together components, like I have been doing the past two years.

    I'm fairly adept with technology, and have in the past just built my own workstations, mainly for entertainment and price/performance ratio. These days, at least imho, it doesn't pay to build, unless you need total customization.

    What I need is a 6-8 monitor workstation with a good quad core processor and plenty of ram. The box will mainly be used for a proprietary charting program that can also do some real-time scanning. I've thought about just putting together an i7 box and throwing in 4x NVIDIA 9600 GSOs, but the power/heat/space/noise/compatability issues will probably overwhelming.

    To complement that, I also need a new desk, and I may drive to Ikea to see if the Jerker will suit my space requirements.

    Whose got recommendations?
  2. Do you really need an i7? Wouldn't a C2D quad suffice? The i7 CPU runs 135 watts alone... a C2D quad runs 95 watts.

    And for video cards, Nvidia NVS dualheads or quads have passive cooling.

    I'm sure you could run 6 monitors on a Dell T3400, with 2 NVS 290 PCIEx16 dualheads, and 1 NVS 290x1.

    For 8 monitors, you might be able to run an additional PCI dualhead card, or use a quad.
  3. No I don't. I'll just move the scanning to a different box, will probably be better anyways.

    So you'd recommend a T3400 with 3 NVS290s? I just talked to Dell and they quoted me $8750 for a T7400 that can do 8 monitors.

    I'm also just considering two boxes and just hooking up 4 on each, though space will now become an issue.
  4. That sounds good (and thanks for all of the information that you and Landis82 - among others - have been giving in the hardware section of the site, you've educated quite a few of us on the issues at hand when putting together a good trading computer), but I think the OP is coming up with all of these hardware requisites just as the beginning of what he wants.

    IOW, the software and performance issues that he is going to need from the machine probably require something that far outstripes your run-of-the-mill "trading rig".
  5. That Dell quote is R-I-D-I-C-U-LUS!

    Personally, I like the idea of running 2 computers through a router so you can "divide the load". Check out the Quads on Dell's outlet website. You should be able to get 2 computers with enough video cards for $1600, easy... + monitors, of course.

    Addendum... I just checked Dell's Outlet... you could get 2, T3400 quads for $1450... add a couple more video cards, and Voila!
  6. If you're looking at those kind of numbers and the potential combersome issue of having two machines to field 8 monitors, Falcon can put something together for you, for one-half the price and much more economical in terms of physical space.

    Falcon Trading Computers
  7. ... :D
  8. At that point I believe it'll be more advantageous for me to do it myself.

    My current situation is this. I have an older box with a C2D, rigged with 3 different video cards powering 5 monitors for charting and order entry. I have a second P4 box which runs a pseudo-ticker plant and archives my data. I have a 3rd box which is doing the scanning and running some gray box systems.

    When I was saying that I need a overall solution, I meant that I want to get my entire tool set in some kind of order. Right now, the boxes are loud, slow, huge, and take up space. So what I was hoping for was that I could get a somewhat standard box to hook up 8 monitors for charting, and then I'd buy a rack cabinet and mount any other hardware (servers, router, etc) in that.

    The only thing I'm having trouble deciding on are the components for the charting box.
  9. You could run 8 monitors off of one T3400 if your want. Proper mobo, proper video cards, no problemo... so long as you're not running sooooo much stuff you overtax it.

    When the T3400 first came out, x38 mobos were $225-ish. At that time, you couldn't BIY with parts from Newegg and save any money... in fact, the T3400 was about $100 less. Maybe you could BIY now and save a few shekels, but not many.
  10. Thank you for all the great responses.

    Do you know anything about the vista compatibility of running 4x NVS 290s?

    If Dell had a good deal running right now, I'd definitely just pick up a T3400 and add another NVS 290, but it doesn't seem like they are. So, this is the build plan:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail - $164
    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $114
    Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $70
    4x PNY VCQ290NVS-PCIEX1-PB Quadro4 NVS290 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 (and x1) Low Profile Workstation Video Card - Retail - $450
    2x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - $80

    This comes out to around $878 without peripherals, case, HD, all of which I already have.
    #10     Mar 18, 2009