What I Have & What I Need

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by wonkietonk, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Two years ago, I used to trade U.S. E-mini futures with eSignal as my charting platform and MB Trading as my trading platform. My current computer system was sufficient for the task.

    Beginning this coming January of 2009, I will be trading again. I am planning to trade Asian index futures with eSignal as my charting platform and Interactive Brokers as my trading platform. I plan to have 5 interval charts open on eSignal and IB TWS running simultaneously.

    This is my current computer system setup:

    Dell Dimension 2350
    Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
    1 GB DDR SDRAM (Max 1 GB)
    30 GB Hard Drive
    PNY GeForce 5200 256 MB PCI Graphics Card
    Cable Service
    Samsung SyncMaster 213T 21.3" LCD
    Samsung SyncMaster 710N 17" LCD

    This is eSignal's current recemmendations:


    Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz or faster
    17" or larger dual monitors with 1024x768 resolution
    2 GB RAM
    40 MB available disk space
    DSL or cable modem
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

    Power User*:

    Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista
    Intel® Core™ 2 Q6600 Quad-Core, 2.4 GHz or faster
    2 or more 19" or larger monitors with 1024x768 resolution
    3 GB RAM
    40 MB available hard disk space
    DSL, cable modem, T1 or T3 Internet connectivity
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

    *A power user is someone who uses 1 or more of the following:
    - 5 or more tick charts
    - 10 or more interval charts
    - 15 or more drawn objects on a chart (either through EFS or the line toolbar)
    - CPU-intensive EFS or back testing studies (using multiple loops, global variables, etc.)
    - Tracking of a high number of active symbols
    - Tracking of E-Minis in a chart or in a Market Depth window

    My questions are:

    1. Is my current computer system sufficient for my current trading needs or should I invest in a new computer?

    2. If I should invest in a new computer, where should I purchase it from and what setup do you recommend? Note the following:

    - I do not want to build it myself. I will most likely get it from Dell, unless someone else has another recommendation (AVA Direct?)
    - My primary focus is value, powerful specs for my current needs, high reliability, and purchasing convenience.
    - I will continue to use my current monitors and will not purchase any new monitors.
    - I will have 4GB of RAM, either through the manufacturer or upgrading it myself.
    - More specifically, I want to know what specific processor and what specific video card (high-performing, for dual monitors, & QUIET) I would get.
    - Any other recommendations and suggestions will be greatly appreciated as well.
  2. This topic has been covered to death. Use search for specific details. Here's the jist:

    1) You should upgrade but you certainly don't NEED it. It's a good time to upgrade, parts are cheap.

    Where - Doesn't matter. You'd get a better deal if you bought a "barebone kit"(google it) and then buy the other parts separately. Dell will screw you over for upgrades(especially on RAM and hard drives). The marginal cost for upgrades when you customize your computer with Dell is sometimes more than the value of what you're upgrading to. Don't believe me? Check out www.newegg.com and then check out how much Dell charges.

    What- You don't need a super computer to trade. Most trading software is lagging behind in support for scalable multi-threading(multicores) and GPU technology. Most trading programs are not that CPU intensive on multiple threads(yes even backtesting, stockfinders, ect..) and most charting programs don't even use the GPU at all.

    Follow the guidelines below and you'll be fine.

    • Maximize cores and memory for min. $$$.
    • 4GB RAM + 32 bit OS = STUPID. You need a 64 bit OS to use 4GB RAM but 64 bit OS has problems w/ some drivers and some trading software.
    • Two harddrives(SATA):
      1= fast, small(OS, programs, critical data).
      1= large, slow(store data, backup, ect.)
    • Gigabit ethernet.
    • Graphics card for multimonitors, NOT FOR GAMING.
    • If Intel - Core i7 motherboard & processor (future proofing).
    • HIGH QUALITY power supply is a must (this is where your stability will mostly come from assuming your RAM passes Memtest86(google it)).