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Dual 2D monitor system for financial trading stocks

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February 1, 2006 2:53:37 PM

I want to build a dual monitor system for trading stocks and currencies. I'm not a gamer and I'm an older guy not totally hip about the latest mobo's and graphics cards so I'd like you young whipersnappers advice and opinions about building a system.

I'm thinking of going with an AMD dual core like the Athlon X2 3800. Since I'm not a gamer, I don't necessarily need the fastest board in town, but I would like good speed, but not at the expense of reliability or ease of use. I don't want to tinker and tweak.

I've thought of the ASUS A8N SLI premium but have read that there may be fan problems with some of these boards. Is that true? Are there other good, quick boards that are reliable?

Since stock trading is mostly 2D instead of 3D, I don't think I need a fast gaming kind of video card. I've read that there some special video or GPU's that are mostly for financial multi monitor setups like Matrox or the ATI Fire MV 2200 and some Color Graphic cards. Any advice or opinions about multi monitor video cards? Is a GPU just another name for a video or graphic card?

Financial trading mostly involves a good high speed internet connection and multiple 2D charts rather than action or 3D.

Also, I don't know much about the latest CD-DVD players etc. What do I need there.

Thanks for your sharing advice, opinions and knowledge.
February 1, 2006 3:29:17 PM

What type of monitors will you use, do you want to set up a Blooberg type workstation? Budget?
February 1, 2006 4:11:56 PM

I was thinking of a couple of 17 or 19 inch Samsung LCD's.

I'm not exactly sure what a "Bloomberg" workstation is, but I think that may be what I'm thinking of.

Thanks for the reply.
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February 1, 2006 4:40:53 PM

The Athlon 3800+ would definitely be able to handle anything 2D or multi-task related. Getting a SLI motherboard doesn't make sense if you won't use SLI or play games though. A nForce 4 ultra board would be fine.

You won't need a smokin' GPU either, any of the ATI or nVidia GPUs out the last couple of years will support dual monitors. I have used both and I prefer nVidias implementation, a little more user friendly and straight forward I think. GPU = graphics processing unit, fancy acronym for video card.

Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Videocard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

DVD reader/CD writer combo drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
February 1, 2006 4:43:56 PM

Hi, I'm a gamer and a daytrader myself. I personally love my Dell 24"LCD monitor. I use QuoteTracker and love having all my windows open at once, CNBC TV feed playing in the picture-in-picture feature.

For trading you really don't need much of a computer at all. For about $1000 for the computer and another $1000 for the monitor and you'll be set. Of course get two 24" LCDs and you'll really be set. Then you can have iHUB, stockhideout and you're fav pump/dum board like RB all open along side your quote program. That would be sweet.

Graphic cards around $100 support dual monitors. If you don't game you don't need a SLI board.

Here's a link to my setup. But for just stocks you hardly need half this. You'de be better off spening the money on fast internet, Level II and bigger monitors.
http://www.proactivedesign.net/eric/loves/computers/01-...
February 1, 2006 4:53:48 PM

I would actually advise a Pentium D 920 paired with an Intel MoBo for best stability.
And keep the system simple otherwise the stability MIGHT suffer. I mean you dont need Quad SLi or phase change cooling for stock trading but you do need the latest deals and prices which requires a system that doesnt crash every 5 hours or so =)
February 1, 2006 4:57:46 PM

I'm an Intel guy myself for that reason. I've always felt AMD chips were less stable....and I've owned both over the years.

But I know AMD fans will argue that passionately.
February 1, 2006 6:06:16 PM

Quote:
I'm an Intel guy myself for that reason. I've always felt AMD chips were less stable....and I've owned both over the years.

But I know AMD fans will argue that passionately.


Damn skippy I'll argue! I've owned both over the years myself. I will say that early AMD adopters (including current 939 and nForce4) have had some stability issues but not they're rock solid. If you know enough to build a machine you should know enough to Google any potential problems. Get a Pentium D if you want a glued hack job of a heater.
February 1, 2006 6:06:47 PM

No offense, I think you're both smoking crack.

I have been building computers for about 6 years now. Like everyone, I started off with Intel because it was beating the pants off of AMD. About two years ago, I went with my first AMD processor and I have never looked back. I am currently using an X2 (dual core) and it is about as rock solid as it gets. They are quality processors.

I honestly do not know how someone can state that one mfg's processors are less stable than anothers. None, and I repeat NONE, of the professional reviews or mag. articles have EVER stated that either AMD or Intel was more stable than the other (except during the mid-90s when the first Intel 586 processors couldn't divide numbers properly).
February 1, 2006 6:26:15 PM

The first 1Ghz PIII and subsequent Tualatin cores definitely had some stability issues. The first Athlon 64s had some stability issues with 4 dimms populated.

That's all I can remember right off. You are right though, 98% of current solutions from both have no stability issues barring the usual off brand problems and such.
February 1, 2006 8:08:21 PM

Well, it was just my optinion...that's all. I'm sure AMD puts out fine chips or they'd be out of business by now. Could anyone tell the difference trying to guess which was in a system on blind test? No one could ever tell. Same as no one could tell whether it's ATI or nVidia. Both good.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2006 8:16:30 PM

"I've always felt AMD chips were less stable...."

LOL!!

Many have "felt" that, but few have witnessed it! :-)

My vanilla NF4/3500+ rig used to run 24/7 for months on end...; onloy reason I power it off is to save the 130 watts of wasted electricity, SETI processing notwithstanding!

My old SLot A/650 also runs for months on end, as did the K6-2/350 and K6-3/450 before it....

(My 815E/P3-800 rig went thru 3 ATX power supplies in 3 years before finally the mb gave out, but I don't really blame the cpu for that, but, I rather blame Asus!)
February 1, 2006 10:42:10 PM

Bloomberg stations are registered multi monitor trading computers, usually used trade in hedge funds. But the idea is that like scott trade or other home drading systems is that you will heavly multi task. In my company we usually build two systems for each trader, one for the inital tading data (2-4 screens) and another for productivity.
February 3, 2006 4:08:44 PM

Thanks all for your suggestions about a dual monitor computer for trading stocks, etc.

I haven't decided on a mobo yet, it sounds like an SLI board is overkill for what I want or need.

I've sorta narrowed the video card down to 3 possibles, an ATI Fire MV 2200, a Matrox Millenium P650 PCIE or an Nvdia (PNY) Quadro NVS 280 or 285. They all seemed to be dedicated to multi montior 2D rather than gaming.

Any suggestions for good reliable mobo's for an AMD 64 X2 3800 or so?

Thanks again.
February 3, 2006 4:14:11 PM

If you're really serious about stability, go with the Tyan Tomcat. Tyan is a first rate mfg and normally makes MBs for servers. They are more expensive, but rock solid.
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