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building a trading computer....

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June 2, 2013 7:31:05 PM

I'm considering having a custom system built. My computer died and I know that when building you usually get a better deal than buying a manufactured model. When building a computer what are the most significant features that will make a difference when trading stocks. What types of technology do most online brokers networks, systems/platforms use? I read somewhere that thinkorswim has maximum limits on ram usage...I don't want to spend hundreds on features that really don't make that much of a difference. Basically some guidance and opinions on what truly is necessary and what will make a drastic difference in execution speed, pattern recognition etc...in general where does speed and memory really start to differ when it comes to standards/upgrades when day trading
these are general questions that I am trying to sort out any help is appreciated
1. CPU (processor)
A.Does multi-core processing really speed up the results? Most processors now a days have somewhere between 2-8 cores, the 2 and 4 core cpu's seem pretty popular. So some processors have the same GHz but multiple cores is that something significant, the tasks are spread over multiple cores meaning the higher core processor in theory should be much faster at completing the same task?

B. Do differences in GHz speeds noticeably improve performance 2.ghz vs 3ghz vs 4ghz etc most processors fall in the mid 3 to 4 range, will 3.5ghz really be all that different than 4.0ghz?

2.Memory (ram). I know ram is basically current task/multitasking memory.So fast reliable memory should be something to invest in and the price differences aren't really all that significant. Does ram speed make a huge difference DDR3-1600 vs DDR3-2800?

I know the amount of useable ram is crucial, but how much is really needed, 4gb,6gb,8gb,16gb? I plan on only running the operating system, the platform, internet,antivirus - no background programs. Is it likely with just running charts and a broker's online platform that I will I ever hit a wall when using 4-8gb of ram?

3. storage
ssd- solid state drive is faster, I've read it's for sure worth the upgrade
vs typical sata hard drive- what about hybirds (msata- I think msata is hybrid between the two? ).SSD's are expensive if I'm lucky I can pick up a cheap SSD for the same price as a standard 1T 7200rpm hard drive. I'm thinking 120gb ssd unless a 250gb goes on sale

4.graphic-video card (s)- must be capable of running multiple monitors...but the quality of the image of charts really isn't that high priority, speed more so than crispness or image quality so I think try to get highest video ram possible? and get something crossfire or sli capable if I'm using multiple cards...

5.psu power supply and cpu cooler- basically depends on what your watt and usage are, obviously I should go for quality but not overkill

6.same goes for motherboard and case go for quality but the specifics of what I need will be based on all of the above and really what the system needs-

for me the most difficult part is going to be selecting the specifications of the cpu processor and video card that I want. I will need minium a system that can run 3 monitors and possibly based on price difference something that can run up to 6. I think most modern processors will get the job done well, and a decent video graphic card(s) with necessary adapters as long as they work together and extend my desktop and don't lag...

so I'm thinking intel i3 series cpu, maybe i5. Give or take the i3 series are about half the cost of the i5, is i5 and i7 2-4x faster because the price give or take 2x more. If I'm not scalp trading with 10+ thousands of shares and huge lots will an upgraded processor be beneficial and worth the investment? I know I can get a much better AMD for similar prices but the computers I've had with AMD processors really seem to slow down after time and I'm pretty sure it had more to do with the processor durability than the ram and hard drive of my previous computers. My intel computers lasted longer they also did get slower with age not as noticeably so. I'm budgeting about $100-150 per major part some will be under $100 and will make up for the slightly more expensive parts. My hope is to build a decent system for $500-700 I'm not sure how realistic that goal is but I do feel the computer will probably be better than what I could purchase in that price range- basically the build vs buy price difference would mostly be the presence of graphic card(s), ssd storage and ram more and/or faster ram. What you buy for $500-$700 will probably not be able to display multiple monitors-may not be able to expand ram memory, is probably going to have slightly slower ram as well as slower storage/hard drive
June 2, 2013 7:48:49 PM

In your current day trading scenario, which parts of the PC interface do you find lacking?

Fix that.
!