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Stock Trading Computer - 4 monitors

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February 8, 2006 9:49:14 PM

I currently have:

ABIT IC7 G Max 2 MOBO.
Intel P4 3.0 GHz 478 CPU w/ 512 L2 Cache.
Hyperthreading enabled.
2 GB Crucial DDR 400 PC3200 RAM.
4 19" CRT monitors.
2 Dual Head Video Cards w/ 32 RAM each
- AGP Matrox G400/G450
- PCI Matrox Millennium G450.
I usually have ~100 real time charts open on screen.

This system is about 2.5 yrs old and can't handle the data &/or 2D graphics. It maxes out the CPU & freezes completely several times a day, especially at the opening bell when volume is so high.

Would it help to boost the RAM up to 3 GB, or do I need to upgrade the Video cards, CPU or MOBO. Or all 3?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Losing your platform with 5-6 open trades in the balance is NOT acceptable.

Thanks.
February 8, 2006 10:32:41 PM

It sounds like to me this machine doesn't fit the bill for what you are trying to do.

It sounds like the processor is the main problem along with the older graphics cards probably aren't helping too much either.

With all you got going on 100 charts with real time data movement and any other activities you are doing is choking the machine.

You already have alot of memory for your current rig, so adding more memory is unlikely to do anything.

If your trading platform or charting software would benefit by any by being 64bit you might want to look into this avenue. If it does support it then you would need to get the Win64 OS to take advantage of it, just make sure all the components that you put in the machine has 64bit drivers, other wise you'll be pulling the rest of whatever hair you have left out.

In the Video card arena go with the parhelia or p750 at the least. Try to make the shift to pci-e on one of those cards. The parhelia should be able to run three of those monitors if I'm not mistaken and I'm pretty sure the p750 can run at least 2.

So with that kind of rig you could add another monitor. :roll:

At the very least get a dual core cpu. If your charting or trading station software is not 64bit then don't worry about it, just go with the regular Winxp or pro version. Get at least as much memory as you have with your current rig, just to be safe.

From what all you have going on, it's in your best interest to get the fastest cpu you can afford. I would venture to say this will would be an Amd x2 or Opteron the fastest you can afford. It might even be more beneficial to go with 2 P750 vid cards and a faster processor if the choice comes down to that.

Intel wouldn't be a bad choice either but really the only advantage intel has over Amd is encoding video files and such, but intel costs more, not only the proc but typically the mobo too.
Related resources
February 8, 2006 10:35:29 PM

if he got that he would have to upgrade to pci-express sp hed need a new mobo, cpu, and likely ram. it depends how much you want to spend and the stability you want, 200 or 20,000. your choice.
February 9, 2006 1:14:29 AM

Thanks Hey You. I will look at the Nvidia cards.

Pip seeker, I will check with my software vendor (Tradestation) & see if 64 bit is supported. I was thinking that more RAM might not help here, and you seem to agree.

Tenaciously. Point well taken. I want to spend less rather than more (don't we all), but I definately need some more horsepower. I could replace the MOBO, RAM, CPU & Video cards. Then move the ABIT to my wife's computer, Then move her MSI to my daugeter's, then my daughter's Dell P166 (dinosaur) to my OLD P200 (paperweight). I only use that one for chat room anyway, so speed & power don't matter.

That' been my typical upgrade path for some years now. Buy one state of the art system, then move everyone else up a notch.

Thanks again all. That's much to think about.
February 11, 2006 2:53:23 AM

Interesting. I'm in the planning phase of building myself a computer for online trading. I'm planning on using an ASUS A8N5X mobo with an AMD 64X2 3800 dual core CPU. I'm only going to be using 2 monitors, which is a step up for me from my Fujitsu laptop. My CPU is easily maxed out also with the graphics and charts.

From what I've learned you don't need 3D gaming cards for trading. Most of the good cards for trading are 2D.

The video cards I've found that seem to be for financial markets are the ATI (Color Graphic) Fire MV2200 (128 RAM) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=EN...

the PNY Quadro NVS 280 (64 RAM) and 285 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=EN...

and the Matrox Millinium PCIe 650 (64 RAM) or 750. Matrox also makes some Parhelia cards that are more expensive, but everybody seems to say that they are really the best and great for sharp 2D work. Here's the Matrox site for quad monitors:

http://www.matrox.com/mga/corp/financial/home.cfm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=EN...

The ATI card is around $150-160, the PNY NVS 280 is around $160 and the Matrox P650 around $249.

Do you know about these computer builders for trading:

http://www.tradingcomputers.com/# and

http://www.tradersworld.com/computers/index.htm

http://www.digitaltigers.com/zenview_us1-multiplemonito...

Do you trade for yourself or at a firm or brokerage?

Good luck with your computer.

Gary
February 11, 2006 3:40:32 AM

You must be trading for a company in house, otherwise you are one savy trader. In any case, my opinion for what it's worth, is that you are in need of more memory. Multitasking is what sucks up the memory, yours is not the fastest type on the market and is also limited in that you are using 32-bit OS. If you upgrade to the 64-bit OS, you will have the capabilites to "address" more usable ram. The 64-bit OS has substantial more memory capabilites, which is needed for all those open windows.

Matrox has always been a leader in 2-D Graphics, that is what you are using and that is what has been suggested.

The Windows 64-bit OS is limited in the types of drivers that are written for it. However, the 64-bit OS also has WOW-32 which will allow you to run 32-bit OS programs just fine. Working for a company means you are connecting to other componants that you would want to make sure you have drivers to handle, talk with your system administrator and see what can be worked out there.
February 11, 2006 11:33:19 AM

gary

Thanks for the site references. I've seen those setups and they look fine except for the huge cost. I've built my own systems for much less money.

BTW, I have decided on 2 Matrox Millennium P650 PCIe 128 cards. This will give me 4 monitor capability with MUCH FASTER graphics than I have now. I found the cards on eBay for $165. Check it out at  S:US:28" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8760... or do your own search.

I'm getting the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe (120-150) on eBay. with AMD 64 x2 4400+ CPU.

Will keep my 2GB memory and 32 bit OS Win XP Pro to save money. Everything else should be fine without upgrades. Bottom line, I will spend 950 to 1,000 for the upgrade. My wife will get the ABIT IC7 G Max2 for her own nice upgrade. I'll just have to get her 1 stick of 512 DDR 3200 memory. Then I will get her MSI board to replace the ancient unit I use for chat rooms. That computer will suddenly be useful again for other tasks. (Currently a Win 98 slow poke with an ancient mobo & CPU).

I trade my own account from home. No brokers.
February 11, 2006 11:44:38 AM

dafaad

The 64 bit os and faster memory sound great. However, I'm going to try the upgrade (see above post to gary) and see if that will hold me for now. Just trying so save few bucks. If it's not woking, I plan to so exactly what you suggest. I'm sure it will be a huge improvement over my current system, so if it doesn't bog down I'll be fine for a while.

I use Tradestation for trading & it seems that every new release adds more cool features, but also increases system use.

I work at home so the system admin is your truly. 8) So any driver updates, I'll have to do on my own in advance if I switch to 64-bit.

Thanks for the post.
February 11, 2006 11:45:58 AM

gary

BTW, I like your choice of mobo & cpu.

I can't imagine that you would have any problems with that combo.
February 11, 2006 2:06:25 PM

edog,

Looks to me like some good picks, I've been seriously considering the same Mobo as you. [Asus A8N SLi]

once you get your new rig set up please let us know how it's performing for you.
February 11, 2006 2:34:58 PM

will do pip.

BTW. I went ahead & ordered GEIL Ulta XL PC3200 RAM. It's extreme memory for overclocking and very low latency. 2-3-2-5 for the 1 GB sticks at 400 MHz. I plan to overclock to at least 466 MHz (PC3500) and possibly up to 533 MHz (PC4200). This memory gets good reviews everywhere I've looked. Very stable and easy to overclock. Good review at http://www.overclockercafe.com/Reviews/memory/Ultra_XL_...

You can also search Google for more reviews. There is faster memory availabe but at a premium cost. I got 2 GB at TigerDirect for 281 including shipping.

I expect this rig to be a screamin' sumbeesh. 8)
February 11, 2006 2:51:49 PM

Sounds like you've already made your choices, but would agree that it's the processor and video cards holding you back. My opinion is that with the X2 and new cards you'll be flying again. 2Gb of ram is pretty hefty still these days.
February 11, 2006 2:57:33 PM

tenacious

How do you like your Maxtor DiamondMax SATA ?
February 11, 2006 2:59:29 PM

thanks kitchen. I hope so. Stay tuned. 8)
March 4, 2006 2:27:21 AM

eDog,

Just wondering if you got your new system built?

I, too, am thinking of going 4 monitors for trading purposes and am trying to find out if I can go w/ 2 video cards that have dual monitor outputs or if I need a quad output video card. Due to cost, I'm hoping the 2 card route is possible.

Thanks,
KBeast
March 4, 2006 3:00:06 AM

KB:

I've got all the hardware sitting in my office. Haven't had time yet to do the upgrade yet. Maybe next weekend ... or the one after that ... 8)

I went with ASUS A8N32SLI, Athlon X2 4400 chip, 2 GB XL memory and 2 Matrox P650 128 cards.

Probably overkill, but I always upgrade near the top of the line for 2 reasons.
1: I do this for a living and the cost is small compared to the big picture. (net cost ~ 1,300)
2: My upgrades get handed down to 2 other computers so I want my components to last through several generations.

Looking at it this way, I've upgraded all 3 computers for only $1,300. Not too bad.

By the way, you can definately use 2 video cards for 4 monitors. I've been doing it for a few years, and that's what I'm doing again. This time my cards each have 128MG video memory so that should be a plus.

Just be sure you get the right cards for your slots. My current system uses 1 AGP card + 1 PCI card. Both Matrox. I never had any problems until recently, and I think I just kept cramming more & more data into the space until my system could no longer handle it all.

I should also tell you that I just upgraded my earthlink service to 3 MB/s DSL speed (from 1.5MB/s) and that has solved a lot of the problems. So if you have a fast broadband connection + a fast CPU + plenty of RAM (minimum 1GB but I use 2GB) then you should be fine. I still have SOME problems with bogging down, but like I said in the original post, I have a ton of charts open all the time. So even with the faster connection, it strains my system from time to time.

I'll post again when it's all up and running. I'm definately lookig forward to it.

eDog
March 24, 2006 8:44:57 PM

hey edog curious to see if you got your rig together and how everything is working. Really interested to hear if those Matrox cards sped up your displays any?

TIA.
March 25, 2006 2:38:43 AM

Hiya Pip:

Some good news, some bad. First the bad:

I have not been able to install the 2 Matrox p650 PCIe cards. When I put them both in, this MOBO (ASUS A8N32 SLI x16) crashes & burns. It either locks up and all monitors go blank, or it trys to restart and windows XP pro hangs & freezes. I've had to reinstall windows several times = major hassle.

ASUS techs have ordered the same board and are trying to find a fix for me. That was about a week ago, and I havn't called them back yet.

Now the good:

I put 1 Matrox p650 PCIe in the PCIe x16 slot. Then I put a Matrox G450 dual head (from my previous rig) in a PCI slot. With that combo, all is well.

Super fast. No glitches. Not even a blink. I can run 100+ charts at the open with volume surging & still run other apps without a hitch.

However, I do have a new p650 on hand, so I'm looking forward to ASUS finding me a fix for the compatability problem. It should increase my speed even more with the 128 MB memory vs 32 MB for the G450.

Other specs:

CPU: AMD 64 x2 4400

Memory: GEIL Ultra XL PC3200 DDR 400 CAS 2-3-2-5 (very nice) - (2) 1GB sticks = 2 GB total

4 new monitors: DCL 19" LCDs from Tiger Direct. Much easier on the eyes vs my old CRTs. They were old & getting blurry.

Overall very pleased with the setup, but I'll definately be glad to have the loose ends tied.

edog
March 25, 2006 4:05:56 AM

thanks alot for your reply, I think I'll be looking for a matrox p650 for my next upgrade then. Your set up sounds really good now.

Cheers. :) 
March 25, 2006 3:19:17 PM

Pip:

The setup is really nice, but if doing it over, I might use Nvidia or ATI cards with this board to avoid any compatablity issues.

After you decide on the board you want, you might call the tech support number at that manufacturer and ask what video card they recommend. Just a thought, because I expect to eventually get the (2) p650s to work together. But this ASUS board uses Nvidia onboard chips, so compatability with Nvidia video cards is a no brainer.

I asked one of the ASUS techs if they had seem these problems before with the Matrox card and she told me most people use Nvidia or ATI with this board, so she really hadn't seen this before.

Good luck to you .

BTW, I earlier told you something wrong. It is the Matrox tech working on a solution for me, not the ASUS tech as posted earlier.

edog
March 25, 2006 3:36:32 PM

Quote:
Pip:

The setup is really nice, but if doing it over, I might use Nvidia or ATI cards with this board to avoid any compatablity issues.



yeah the only problem with that is that Nvidia and Ati are more geared towards 3D type stuff. I have an Nvidia card now [a cheap one] but still we are only talking 2d stuff here. [I think it's the fx5200]. Right now I have two monitors and I flip between terminals and when volume ticks up like you said in your original post I am not able to flip to terminals with alot of activity on them. [they don't come up on the screen when I try to flip to them.]

I had this same problem before I upgraded, but my processor on that machine was at 100%... now I have a dual core X2 3800 and I spike to 100% on occasion but typically hover just under 80%.

I don't run as many charts as you do and I only have two monitors so I strongly feel it is the video card that is the problem. I have 1GB ram but I never use more than about 400MB of that so I know that isn't the problem either.

Quote:

After you decide on the board you want, you might call the tech support number at that manufacturer and ask what video card they recommend. Just a thought, because I expect to eventually get the (2) p650s to work together. But this ASUS board uses Nvidia onboard chips, so compatability with Nvidia video cards is a no brainer.


yeah I got a cheap via mobo and that could be part of the problem, but the system is very stable. I had some bad memory a week or two ago, and after I changed that out all was good again. It's just when activity spikes up is when I have the problem. So I really think Ati / Nividia isn't the proper card for this kind of work. On my other machine I had a Gforce4 TI 4200. That card is no slouch, but in 2D on 2 monitors I can make it cry uncle. :p 

Quote:

I asked one of the ASUS techs if they had seem these problems before with the Matrox card and she told me most people use Nvidia or ATI with this board, so she really hadn't seen this before.

Good luck to you .

BTW, I earlier told you something wrong. It is the Matrox tech working on a solution for me, not the ASUS tech as posted earlier.

edog


Ah ok... and of course they're going to say Ati or Nvidia they want you to buy their video card. If any one is doing this with alot of charts with non Matrox card tell us what card you're using.

thanks.
March 26, 2006 9:47:42 PM

Pip:

That's a good point. They all want to promote their own stuff.

I will say this. The Matrox combo I have now is working just fine. I don't get any slowdowns or glitches (that I know of). So assuming Matrox fixes the 2 card problem, which I feel sure they will, then I highly recommend them.

After all, I've been using the Matrox G450 for several years, so I obviously like their cards.

With only 2 monitors, you won't have the problem I have anyway, so go with the P650 PCIe & enjoy. :) 

edog
March 27, 2006 12:26:52 AM

Quote:
I currently have:

ABIT IC7 G Max 2 MOBO.
Intel P4 3.0 GHz 478 CPU w/ 512 L2 Cache.
Hyperthreading enabled.
2 GB Crucial DDR 400 PC3200 RAM.
4 19" CRT monitors.
2 Dual Head Video Cards w/ 32 RAM each
- AGP Matrox G400/G450
- PCI Matrox Millennium G450.
I usually have ~100 real time charts open on screen.

This system is about 2.5 yrs old and can't handle the data &/or 2D graphics. It maxes out the CPU & freezes completely several times a day, especially at the opening bell when volume is so high.

Would it help to boost the RAM up to 3 GB, or do I need to upgrade the Video cards, CPU or MOBO. Or all 3?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Losing your platform with 5-6 open trades in the balance is NOT acceptable.

Thanks.


sounds like u need to invest in a new system completely.. something prety hardcore.. maybe u should consider a dual .. or more core system, and get a more modern graohics card.. dual core should def help with what ur trying to do
March 27, 2006 12:32:22 AM

You need a new workstation (not a desktop).
March 27, 2006 3:21:52 AM

Too late for that now. Maybe next time. :) 
October 14, 2008 7:31:28 AM

Basically, your system is still decent for secretarial type work and internet surfing,
but is too old to do complex computing, such as the newer Day trading charts and software.
You need a proper Day Trading Computer with PCI Express16 and an inexspensive 2.4Ghz Quadcore.
You are basically going to need a whole new computer since none of the new technology
is compatable with your MOBO or CPU. Also, your video cards are too weak for todays
applications. Here are some links to some awsome quad monitor Trading Computers.

Multiple Monitor Trading Computers

Design your own Trading Computer

Multi-Monitor LCD Displays

Check out this video. I think this might be what you are trying to do:

Multiple Monitor Computer & Quad Display Video

If you build your own computer, you might just want to use one
Quadro NVS video card, to get four monitors with workstation graphics.

Have you been looking at any Multi-Monitor Displays?
I have a Quad Monitor System and I love it.
I make a lot more money trading stocks and forex.



April 8, 2010 10:02:38 PM

Found these guys a few days ago. Got a great monitor stand for 2 of my monitors with adjustable arms so I can move my monitors around when I need to. Got a trading system a few months ago from them - a 4 monitor system that I just upgraded to a 6. Really good guys. www.emcworkstations.com
April 10, 2010 9:42:08 PM

I do daytrading, and my setup originally (with just 1 videocard was just over 1,000). Microcenter built it for me. They are great, but they tend to make you think you need to buy top notch products.

As a daytrader myself, i feel it is more important to spend the extra money on more screen real estate.So - it may be a better idea to get a matrox card that supports 4-8 monitors, than to buy a custom build lto have more pcie x 16 slots to have 3 - 4 graphics cards. (like i did)

If i were to do it again - I think a quad processor would have been fine, which would have saved on the motherboard and the i7 processor which is still too expensive for our needs.

As a daytrader, you really only need a quad processor with 4-6 gb or ddr3 ram. (intel or amd makes no difference).

I myself, probably should have gotten a matrox card instead of spending so much on a premium motherboard in order to have so many pcie slots, but i went a bit overboard.

I now find myself focusing on improving my computer components instead of improving my trading.

As a side note - my setup is considered top of the line (to an extent).
My trading software does not run any faster than the dual core setups i've used in my education seminars.

If you want to simplify things, get something thru dell or hp and purchase a matrox card that will support many monitors (some support 8 now). The cards are expensive. I believe they may cost 800 dollars, but if you think about it, it may be worth it instead of going so crazy trying to hunt down components and getting involved.

The monitor stands can be cheaper than what i've seen posted.

Do your homework on ebay regarding monitor stands and you can do a lot better. I bought a 6 monitor stand thru a company on ebay stand can hold monitors up to 26 inches. Stand t is very high quality and i paid under 200.

Buy monitors when they are on sale locally wherever you live.
There is no need to buy through a company that specializes in "day trading computers".

They are making at least 1,000 on you and you dont even have the assurances that you would if you bought a dell or hp.



June 4, 2010 9:30:21 AM

Good discussion. Basically, your system is still decent for secretarial type work and internet surfing, but is too old to do complex computing, such as the newer Day trading charts and software. Buy monitors when they are on sale locally wherever you live. There is no need to buy through a company that specializes in "day trading computers".
June 28, 2010 9:20:17 AM

I believe in penny stocks investing for making money and huge profit.....And i got all the information from www.pennyinvest.com
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
July 7, 2010 7:37:53 PM

OK, I know this is an old thread but I see no mention of the fact that 100+ realtime charts open on the screen will need a *really* fast internet connection. I know the hardware may not me enough but I would say the likely culprit for the poor performance and freezing is the network connection....
September 21, 2010 9:23:30 AM

Good performance of stocks. Usually being traded for $5 or less than that per share over the counter (OTC) through quotation services, these penny stocks have limited liquidity and can sharply change.
January 8, 2011 10:21:59 AM

I want to invest in penny stocks and mainstream stocks but some major
online brokers don't offer penny stock trading.What do you use / think
is the best?
February 9, 2011 5:48:00 AM

edog said:
I currently have:

ABIT IC7 G Max 2 MOBO.
Intel P4 3.0 GHz 478 CPU w/ 512 L2 Cache.
Hyperthreading enabled.
2 GB Crucial DDR 400 PC3200 RAM.
4 19" CRT monitors.
2 Dual Head Video Cards w/ 32 RAM each
- AGP Matrox G400/G450
- PCI Matrox Millennium G450.
I usually have ~100 real time charts open on screen.

This system is about 2.5 yrs old and can't handle the data &/or 2D graphics. It maxes out the CPU & freezes completely several times a day, especially at the opening bell when volume is so high.

Would it help to boost the RAM up to 3 GB, or do I need to upgrade the Video cards, CPU or MOBO. Or all 3?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Losing your platform with 5-6 open trades in the balance is NOT acceptable.

Thanks.



Hi edog,

As i m new one in this field, i don't have as much knowledge. But i get my pc configured from tradingcomputersnow.com easily. You can also get help from them regarding pc configuration.

Hope it'll help you!
March 19, 2011 7:33:31 AM

Quote:
OK, I know this is an old thread but I see no mention of the fact that 100+ realtime charts open on the screen will need a *really* fast internet connection. I know the hardware may not me enough but I would say the likely culprit for the poor performance and freezing is the network connection....
Actually, even 100 real-time stock charts don't need a lot of bandwidth. It's basically 100 times (at most) 200 bytes per second or about 20,000 bytes per second. I am assuming his charting software doesn't download the entire chart every tick, just the latest tick. A standard resolution Hulu video takes more than 100,000 bytes/sec. The most bandwidth bytes would be used opening the charts. That's when the charts must be populated with historical tick data, if desired.

I've read about this problem on other forums, charting software freezing on opening bell. With a new computer system, not the 2006 system mentioned here, I would:
1. Use a minimum 4 GB RAM since it's so cheap now.

2. Use a commercially available MTU optimizer. Most people don't know this or have even heard of MTU, but EVERY Windows system has an MTU and other internet-related settings. These settings affect your Internet performance, no matter what connection you're paying for. The best I have ever heard of is called TweakMASTER Pro:
http://www.rosecitysoftware.com/tweakmaster/

If that didn't work, it could be a number of other factors. It could be the software is poorly optimized and cannot handle a large amount of data. I doubt it's the video cards, even these old AGP and PCI cards. Remember, we're dealing with 2D and not 3D images.

If the above failed to fix the problem, I would completely erase the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and ONLY install the minimum, required trading data and nothing else. It could be something is interfering with his charting software.

I have read that even the latest Intel i7, 6 GB, 64-bit Windows 7 systems are experiencing freezing problems with TradeStation at opening bell. I have also read that TradeStation is NOT a native 64-bit program and can NOT handle multi-cores. Although I would have to confirm this with their website.

......
After looking over TradeStation's Platform pages, it appears that their TradeStation charting program is NOT multi-core enabled but their RadarScreen is. TradeStation does not allow non-members to even view their forum pages:
http://www.tradestation.com/strategy_testing/st_evaluat...
April 7, 2011 6:16:20 PM

I know I'm bumping an old thread but I have a similar issue and need a computer that can handle all the charts from trading penny stocks. Since these are low priced volatile type of stocks, I need super quick charts and be able to fly through screeners. I'm assuming at least dual core processing but any help would be appreciated.


Thanks,

Keith
!