two CPU's?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by biologymajor, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Why would a trader require 2 CPU's in their computer? I hear that some traders have two CPU's in their one computer? Why?
  2. I'm no expert in computers but the dual core computers are faster than computers with a single CPU. The new Intel Core 2 Duo CPU's are really flying.

    I am upgrading to a Core 2 Duo computer (if they ever hit the market) and all I do is trade. No gaming. When I try to start a second stock program on my computer it slows to a crawl and often locks-up. I feel like my computer is telling me: "You want me to do what?! Hey, I'm having my coffee and donuts right now. I'll open your program when I get around to it. You just hold your shirt on, buster!" Nothing is more irritating than to have to shut down everything and restart to get back what peddly RAM I had in the first place and iron out whatever kinks the programs created.

    I am going with a faster computer next time. When you trade for a living you can't afford to have a slow system.

    -1bigsteve (o:
  3. gnome


    The problem you describe is almost certainly software related. Until you get that sorted out, getting a computer with more horsepower will do you little good.

  4. My computer is running OK. No software problems. My stock charting programs require a minimum of 512MB of RAM and a 1.8GHz minimum CPU. My computer has 256MB of RAM with a 1.47 GHz CPU. My system is just too old for the modern software.

    -1bigsteve (o:
  5. DannoXYZ


    A single CPU can only handle one instruction at a time and the OS has to feed it in a single stream. With dual-CPU/cores, mulitple programs can be run without the slow-down associated with multitasking (switching) between them. It can then execute two streams of instructions simultaneously. It could be two different apps, or it could be a single app that has pieces running at the same time (multi-threading).

    So, it depends upon the types of applications and numbers of them you're running. If you've got a P4-5.5ghz, you can pretty much run anything you want. Then again, an AMD-64x2 3.8ghz will be faster.

    Trading software isn't even that CPU intensive anyway. The main benefit of having dual-CPU/cores is to run multiple programs simultaneously without them affecting the overall speed as much. So you can have one program running your trading software and when you open up the TV-app or run a DVD-viewer, it will get assigned to the 2nd CPU and your original app won't be slowed down at all.
  6. You might consider setting up a system that will take next gen duo chips (say to buy 1 year from now) but put a current gen (slightly under bleeding edge and thus cost effective) single processor chip into the pc. Put in a gig of ram now and u can add another gig if it needs it later (man that would be one tough trading app though).

    That will certainly (i hope, lol) give u enough grunt for now. And a very cost effective step up in a year or so when u "need" the much cheaper and even faster duo chips.
  7. Gustaf


    Having written a few planning solvers i must say before going dual the first thing to do is to get a healthy amount of RAM in the computer.
  8. Good answer.
  9. Tums


    it all depends on what you do in your "trading".

    If you trade options, or swing trade stocks, you will do fine with a 3 yr old computer.

    If you day trade, either futures or forex, or scalp stocks, you will need the fastest computer with max RAM you can get.

    Most traders described above will be running multiple charting windows, with multiple realtime indicators, on multiple LCDs.

    What you are looking for is not the doubling of raw processing power, but the ability for the CPU to handle multiple small tasks quickly.

    When you need to send an order fast, you just can't afford to have the computer stuck processing in another thread.
  10. Holmes


    There are (trading) applications that need a fast CPU. Same as that there are tasks that can only be done by a Mack truck and not by a Honda Civic.

    And without measurements no sensible advice can be given.

    (E.G. You can have too much RAM too so just putting in as much as your machine will take is not always the solution.

    There is a lot that can be done by tailoring the software before starting on the hardware. Most machines are a "generic compromise for Joe BLoggs down the street" and may not be very suitable for trading.

    Sometimes your existing machine can be improved to an acceptable standard by replacing selected components, sometimes a new & custom build machine will be required.)

    #10     Aug 2, 2006