To build or rent....and what to get?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SideShowBob, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. I need to replace my "trading" PC (which I leave running automated trading systems during the day currently but I plan to run 24x7). When I got it hyperthreading was the latest thing, now it's quad CPUs.

    The PC will need to be able to handle concurrently:

    - Running a SQL Server "Express" database (local access only -- used to store price ticks)
    - Tradestation with about 10 charts
    - IB's TWS
    - an app to store ticks
    - 1 or 2 trading apps
    - remote access via terminal services

    Currently the CPU is a ~2 GHZ Intel chip with hyperthreading. It's usually fine but I've had times where I needed to run a huge update query during the day and the lights dimmed :( I want a machine that can handle that without going over 50% CPU utilization.

    Some questions I hope people can weigh in on (I'm looking for opinions):

    - is it worth the added cost to get a quad core? I'd go with the AMD version which is really two dual core CPUs, I wouldn't pay double for a "true" quad core from Intel

    - I also see "server" motherboards that will support two dual core opterons -- should they be considered?

    - although I've built my share of PCs I would consider a place that builds it from components I select, and they deal with DOA components before I get it. Can anyone recommend a place that does this?

    - Right now all the programs I run are 32bit -- but I plan to move to some of my own programs which could be compiled for a 64 bit OS. Should I consider getting the 64 bit version of XP assuming I won't be writing these apps for another year or two?

    - Would it be worth "renting" a server from a company and installing my trading software there? From a cost perspective I don't think it would as it would be $200 per month to just get a decent machine versus a max of $2000 to build it.

    Thanks for any suggestions, tips, or "avoid this like the plague" comments anyone can offer....

  2. just buy an Alienware PC..that should solve your problems. :D

    On the downside, I hear that you can build the same PC at a fraction of the cost. But if money is not an issue, then go for it.
  3. PCs are cheap enough that you don't need to rent anything. Scrap together a couple grand and buy a decent core 2 duo machine. It'll last you a good 5 or 6 years.

  4. By "rent" I meant a hosted server with an ISP. Then they worry about uptime, not me. But it's not competitive.....
  5. I've had great success with

    I would avoid renting your own server for trading purposes. I assume you have everything automated and applications/scripts running to parse data and execute orders based on the results? I assume all/most of this is custom programmed?

    Get a SOHO (home / office) broadband connection and stick it in your finished basement. You'll have the best of both worlds there. Immediate access and a server/pc you built/customized yourself.

    I've leased dedicated servers for web sites hosted by a number of different hosting companies over the years. Building your own is much better, unless all you are doing is hosting some sites with database access. Really, the more I think of it, I can't imagine why you would want to put your proprietary stuff out there.