TradeStation and quad-core hardware blues

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bolimomo, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. On this box of mine, I only run TradeStation on it to draw charts. Nothing else. It has a i7-930 processor. Speed should be pretty good. But...

    #1) It is not a surprise but still kind of disappointing... that TradeStation doesn't support multi-core and hyperthreading architecture. Once in a while, I see the TradeStation app appeared to hang - no display update during market hours for minutes. I have many 1-minute and tick charts so when the chart update is stuck, I notice it right away. When I try using Alt-Tab to switch to a different Windows app (e.g. IE) the TradeStation windows would remain blank or "frozen". To my dismay, checking Task Manager on CPU usage, I would see something like this (enclosed image - sorry it is a simulation as I was unable to capture the screenshot at that time). One core: CPU 80% to 90% busy, while other cores and hyperthreads were almost just idling (e.g. 3% busy).

    #2) During the first 5 minutes when the market opens, everyday... TradeStation on this computer just goes through 3 to 5 minutes of calculations of some sort. No chart update. Charts are frozen as of the closing minute of the prior session. Then... after it is done with whatever it is doing, all the charts will get updated to the 5-minute past or whatever it may be. This is happening everyday.

    I called TradeStation Tech Support several times to discuss this performance issue with them. I am not getting any solid lead. Suspected cache data corruption. Suspected indicator program corruption. Suspected TS workspace corruption, desktop corruption, etc.. And virus on computer, firewall, spyware, all the possible suspects.

    The opening 5-minute chart update delay is experienced everyday. And the "frozen" chart is during market hours, may be once a day or 2 days. They might be kind of the same problem. I have reduced the number of charts to a bare-bone minimum to use at the opening but problem still persists.

    I am running out of ideas how to trouble-shoot and isolate this problem. I am wonder if any of you use your hardware mostly for TradeStation app? Have you experienced this "frozen" chart problem regularly?

    Are there any utility (besides Windows Task Manager) that you can use to monitor a particular application or process (the network I/O, disk access, CPY cycles, etc.).

    The "frozen" chart may get unfreezed after 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes longer. There is no way to tell. It is a very unpleasant experience during market hours. Many times I just opted to kill the TradeStation process and reboot the box and restart TradeStation. This is typically faster than waiting for the app to unfreeze.

    As a preventive measure, I am rebooting this box everyday. And wipe out the Cache and TCache folders used by TradeStation while I am at it.

  2. Next time it happens look at the process usage and see what is pulling it so hard.

    Don't delete the cache. Part of the reason it hangs up when you first load it is it going through all of the stocks you have on charts and in radarscreens and rebuilding the history.

    Is that 64 bit software? I assume so based on your ram. Truth is that TS is not native 64 bit and it does not run well in it. Tech support knows this but they don't talk about it. Actually the main reason I have not bought a newer computer is because I don't want to buy another 32 bit machine and I don't want to use 64 bit for TS. They discuss it on the TS forum. It's a good source of information. Perhaps you could get help over there from a user.

    Other possibility may be if you are running mcafee anti virus. I had a problem once years ago with TS and traced it to Mcafee by observing what was pegging the cpu. I got rid of it and it worked fine after that.

    At any rate, put TS as an exclusion in any anti virus, malware type program if any of those is pegging the cpu and see if that helps if that is a problem. If the anti virus or malware program still pegs after TS is exclued then you should get rid of it.
  3. I use radarscreen almost everyday. What I found was it takes about one to a few seconds per symbol for the far right of the indicator window to turn blue for each symbol after launching radarscreen. When the right side of all the boxes is blue, it is ready to go. So, I try to start up radarscreen at least around 30 minutes or so before the market opens so that all the symbols can initialize. Then, it works fine during the entire trading day. I too saw that if you start radarscreen without giving it time to initialize the symbols it may not work at first.

    I'm not sure this is exactly your issue, but this approach worked for me.
  4. Perhaps TS needs more time to load any history lookback data for your charts. If they are tick charts, this can take some time.
  5. Devlin


    Interesting, I didn't know that. Is version 9 also native 32 bit? I haven't switched to it yet but it seems like a major update.

    I'm building or buying a PC that will run TS only so this is good to know.

  6. Thanks for replying jficquette and endsongs.

    Yes I am running Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate with 6 GB RAM. I have the option to load 32-bit if it deems more useful/stable for TradeStation. I noted it as a thing to try. Thanks.

    Because I use the box only for trading and restrict to not using any Internet thing, I don't run any firewall or antivirus on it to potentially slow it down.

    I pretty much start TradeStation the evening before. Prior to having this issue, I used to have TradeStation running 24x5 and restart only once a week. Populating all the charts, though takes about 3 minutes or so, is not an issue. My box is always running with TradeStation minutes before the market opens. But once it opens, price data start coming in, I expect to see the charts populate but for some reason, the box was stuck until 3 to 5 minutes after the open before all charts are populated with new data. A surge of some sort from the opening bar.
  7. Also, make sure that your antivirus program is not doing anything in the background. Check the task manager to see which programs are utilizing the CPU. In my case, I noticed that Norton Antivirus creeps on me; I ended up suppressing 'background' tasks while TS was running...
  8. Thank you for the suggestion. No antivirus of any kind, or antispyware or the likes was running on the computer. I only use it for trading.