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My first custom built trading/programming computer

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June 8, 2007 4:18:11 AM

Hi,

I am trying to build a decent workstation for programming & trading (mostly 2-D graphics but need to handle data burst well and work with 2-4 monitors). I went to couple custom building places but they either don't have much options or have too many options.

Here is my shot on the list from one shop(myaopen but 3 items here needs to be special ordered so it can cost more):

1. Some generic Aluminum mid tower case with 9cm front fan and 12cm back fan (their Nouveau model)
2. Intel D975XBXLKR $209 but it only supports up to 667mhz memory or Asus P5W DH $221 which supports ddr2-800
3. E6600, $236 or E6700, $335
4. 2GB or 4GB of Crucial Ballistix pc-6400 $110 (want 4GB but afraid of getting into 64 bit OS and drivers hunt and problem running old software) or Patriot Extreme performance $75
5. Ocz GameXstream 700W Powersupply $127 (I want to overclock slightly to a stable system running 3.2 Ghz but can't stand noise from loud fans so hopefully this one is quiet) or AerocCool Zerodba-s620
6. Zalman CNPS 9500 CPU cooler $50 (still debating whether to use the stock cooler)
7. Seagate 320 GB 7200rpm 16mb $92 (may get a second/third one for RAID 0/1)
8. Sapphire X1950Pro 256MB TV/2DVI, $183 or Asus Geforce 7900GS 256MB TV/2DVI, $189
9. Sony AW-Q170A DVD/r/w
10. Windows XP Pro 32 bit or 64 bit
11. May get a sound card if the onboard sound card slow things down(saw in one review on the Asus board)
12. Probably get a gigabit LAN card since onboard LAN usually have problem with data burst according to some.

It comes down to $1237 with E6600, 2GB of Ballistix and the Intel board. $220 more if E6700 & 4GB & the Asus board.

What do you think? Anything to add or subtract? Any incompatiblity here? I basically want a decent quiet workhorse that can do math and handle data burst quickly.

I haven't played game since I joined Gamers Anonymous years ago so any gaming aspect of the box probably lost on me. :wink:
June 8, 2007 9:11:09 AM

Well, by trading I'm guessing you mean stocks? I can't really help you with that, never even owned a stock, let alone traded it. I can give my .02 on the rest of the computer though.

1. Case is fine, just don't spend more than $30 on it. Get some quality fans too if it doesn't come with any. www.silentpcreview.com has recommended fan lists and can show you which are the quietest.

2. Those motherboards are likely too much for what you need. A nice 965 or P35 MB would be cheaper and provide all the power you need.

3. If you are going to overclock, look at the E4300, it will reach 3.0-3.2 easily and is half to one third the price.

4. I don't know how much RAM 2-D programming uses, or stock trading, but very little will take advantage of more than 2 GB. I'd start with that. You can always add 2 more. Look at RAM for around $80 for 2 GB.

5. Wow, going all out for the PSU huh? You don't need that kind of power unless you are running 2 high end video cards. Look for a quality PSU in the 500w range. About $60.

6. If overclocking, don't use the stock cooler. Buy the OEM chip, spend the money you save on an aftermarket cooler. The Zalman is ok, look at some recent HS reviews at anandtech and see what you can get for $50 http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=300...

7. That's a lot of money for a 320GB drive. Look around, you should be able to get one a little cheaper. $100 is 500GB territory. Make sure you get SATA.

8. If you aren't gaming you don't need cards that powerful I'm sure. Look at mid range cards from ATI and NVidia for closer to $100 (7600 and X1600).

9. Sony drives are usually too expensive. You pay for the name. I like NEC and Lite-on, should cost about $45 for one by them. Make sure it's SATA too.

10. XP is pretty standard, but check with the companies of the programs you use, see if they are working in Vista yet. Would be a shame to buy an old OS and have to buy Vista in less than a year. Waste of money.

11. Onboard sound only slows things down in gaming, and then not very much. Onboard would be fine for you unless the programming you work on has high audio quality needs or you want the Stock Exchange bell in lossless Dolby Digital HD 7.1 surround.

12. I don't know about data burst problems so someone would have to help you with that. Onboard LAN has always been fine for me, but I have different needs than you.

Hope this helps.
June 8, 2007 4:56:48 PM

Thank you very much nvalhalla.

Yes, by trading I mean stocks/futures. It usually requires fast CPU because there is a lot of calculations, a decent graphics card(it is mostly 2D charts, some with transparency but there are hundreds of charts and thousands of plotlines are updated every second). With my current applications and XP Pro, my old system P4-3Ghz uses about 1.2GB and I may need more on data analysis stuff.

This is what a custom trading computer looks like from couple of the specialized shops:

http://www.tradersworld.com/computers/index.htm
http://tradingcomputers.com/2cpu.html

The 2nd shop uses scsi drives/server grade 10K SATA, and moderately overclocking but they are expensive.



1. I 'll check on the quiet fans. A friend of mine is thinking to get liquid cooling. Is it quiet with the pump etc? I saw the price on liquid cooling case.. they are expensive.. We both have about $1500 budget.

2. Yep, 965 is probably enough. Most of the stuff I read was on 975 which was part of the reason why I picked 975. Plus on MyAopen.com, they only have either Intel or Asus boards. The only ones with RAID are the high end stuff. And I was looking for boards that have multiple PCI x16 slots (though they run at x8 when plug in 2 cards)I have never built a computer before but have replaced pretty much everything under the hood except the mobo. Wonder if I can do it myself..

3. I 'll probably start with the E6320 since it has a faster fsb and more cache at $178. How far do you think the E6320 can go in stable operation?The E6600 is about $236 (and they get the retail version so it comes with stock cooler etc). The premium over E6700 doesn't seem to worth it if I just need to speed up moderately. BTW, where do I find the stable range for a processor/mobo?

4. I thought about getting 2GB as starter especially I still haven't decided to jump on the 64 bit wagon and memory tend to get cheaper over time.

5. Yep, I did a quick estimate on one of those power calculators. It came back with 737W(I didn't quite know what to put in with the overclocking parameters so it can be wrong). I did plan to put in additional cards since I usually have 2-4 monitors on display(that is very common with trading computers). In my old system, I have a matrox Quad card and they were very expensive ($400+ and slow with 128MB). And I am planning to do RAID 0/1 to get both speed and redundancy. So, 1 more video card and 2 more drives on the future list, plus more memory & overclocking, can add up pretty quickly. I was thinking about Antec 500W or one of the Purepower silent 480W at a bit below $100. I have an old Antec 450W on my older computer.. that noise drive me nuts.

6. I need to check with MyaOpen to see if they can use the OEM version and add a different cooler. I picked the Zalman mostly because tomshardware review said it is quiet. After reading this article, I probably pick Thermalright Ultra 120/Extreme since it is very quiet even on high.

7. Their parts are about 15% above market and the memory is particularly bad $384 for 4G of regular Crucial memory. I am thinking whether to just buy the parts and build it myself. I saw some horror story where people put everything together and machine won't boot.. Is there a built a cool computer for dummies guide?


8. Yep, I know I don't need the most powerful cards (SLI/CrossFire etc..) but I am not sure how slow the appl can tolerate. (They told me to get the fastest card I can buy) So, I was thinking to get X1650 XT or 7600 GT for a bit above $110. Then, I thought the 256MB bit bus on the X1950 Pro and 7900 GS looks better.. (guess I am tech. enthusiast at heart) and it is about $40 difference. So, I was thinking to try the X1950 Pro after reading so many reviews. (I probably need 2 eventually.. but currently, I only need 1 to drive 2 monitors)

The main reason for me to upgrade is performance issue with one of the main trading software. They blame my hardware so I have to get something decent to shut them up.

9. That Sony drive was $39, not bad but I like the Litescribe which myAopen don't have.

10. Vista is too new. I ususally wait till SP1 to upgrade. Some software and drivers are not there yet. I know it is a pain to pay another $200 for the Business Edition upgrade. MyOpen charges $139 for the XP Pro OEM and since I want to try and move to the 64 bit version, I probably should get the retail version which has both.

11. I don't need high quality audio but audio alert usually happens when there is data burst, high activity in data and calculations so system are usually stressed when the sound is needed. I didn't know Onboard sound can slow things down at all. I 'll probably get a cheap but decent sound card to get the load off the mobo.

12. The software company said many mobo used a popular Reitek(sp?) chip for LAN which cause computer to freeze during data burst(when mkt suddenly has a lot of activities - hundreds and even thousands of transactions in a second) If the software don't throw away or compress the data(which it doesn't), the computer would have a backlog of data to process and temporarily push the CPU to peak since it can't process all that data in time. (My CPU peak at 100% very often during data burst. It is a P4-3Ghz HT)

After getting the computer freezed so many times, I stopped arguing and just went out to get a $25 D-Link LAN card. Sure enough, it still freezed..
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June 9, 2007 5:07:57 AM

1. liquid cooling is great, but it only cools the CPU, and GPU if you put it in the loop. You'll still need a fan or two to keep everything else cooled down. For noise, I've never run a water cooling set up, TOO enthusiast for me, but I'd bet that the water pump is louder than quiet 120 fans. If you are looking for more extreme overclocking, water is the best bet, but if a modest bump, about 60% over stock, is your goal, then air will be fine.

2. I'm not sure where you are buying your parts, but look around. Did I read your post right, are you having this built? It sounds like you are, and that that is why you are limited on retailers. Get a MB with SLI (or X-fire), sounds like you will really need the GPU power. Can't help you much with recommends on that, someone with more experience with that stuff will have to help you with that. All MBs should have 1, 0, 1+0, 5 RAID options, but look into an add-on card if the data integrity is that important. Once the RAID is built on one MB, it can't be easily moved to another. An add-on card will let you take your RAID to a new computer in the future without having to rebuild the array.

3. That is a good CPU, but if you are overclocking be aware that it will be more expensive. The higher FSB is nice for stock, but to increase the processing power you need to increase the FSB, which gets hard over 1600, as the RAM will need to keep up with it. The E4300 is popular because it has a high multiplier and low FSB, allowing a bump from 800 to 1333 to raise the processor to 3.0GHz while keeping RAM at 667, nice and cheap. Just something to think about

4. 2 GB is a good start!

5. 737w!?! Wow, I guess you do need that kind of power... Ok, I guess the one you listed is good enough. I underestimated the processing requirements of stock trading!

6. The ultra 120 is very good! It's quiet because of the fan they put on it. It doesn't come with one, so you can make it as powerful and/or quiet as you need. The s-flex they used is what I have, 2 in fact, and they are very quiet.

7. Building yourself is always a bit of a risk, but that's what we're here for! I've never had a computer not boot after I put it together, so not everyone has problems. Building it yourself is the cheapest, but you inherit a little risk at the same time. I say go for it, building your own is fun!

8. Wow, I didn't realize the kind of power you needed! Yes, the x1950pro/7900gs are good, the X1950XT is also a good choice, very powerful and about $60 more than those. Shop around, you might find a good deal on one of the 3. Just get card that matches your MB (NVidia for SLI MB, ATI for X-fire)

9. As I was, that's a good price for a DVD drive. I guess I'll have to take a look at Sony more often.

10. I understand Vista is too new, I wouldn't risk it either I suppose. An idea though, if the programs say they SHOULD work in Vista, grab someone's copy and demo it for a month for free. If there are bugs you'll know before you waste your money. Just food for thought...

11. I guess a few bucks on an add-on sound card wouldn't hurt. Just don't get the newest most expensive ones if you don't need the features. An older Audigy should be pretty cheap and off load what little sound you have.

12. Yeah, that chip sounds familiar :) . I don't have experience in this field, so someone with more knowledge will have to help you decide that better. They have some nice gaming cards, the KIllerNIC comes to mind, that are supposed to prioritize packets and ensure low latency during high loads. Hopefully someone else here can tell you more about that.
June 9, 2007 6:04:54 PM

1. Yep, I think air cool should be fine. Where do find some nice quiet case fans? How many of these fans do I need? Some of the cases have 2 fans on the side or on the top in addition to the typical front and back 90 & 120 fans. I used to open up the case when it is too hot inside.

2. I was thinking to have a custom shop built it but their options are limited, not to the mention the price. Yes, I thought about SLI/X-fire. i) these cards are built for 3-Ds and they are expensive ii) They are hot which usually mean they have fan(noise). iii) I need multiple displays. Does it mean I need double the amount of cards?

I use a Promise Raid card in the Dell right now. It wasn't that great last time I had a disk crashed. I still need to reinstall the OS on both Raid 1 disks. (tip: do the opposite of the Micrsoft/Dell/Promise instructions on installing XP on Raid, then you should be fine. - took me 7 hours and 6 phone calls to figure out they are wrong)

3. Do you know any good overclocking articles/guides? I haven't never done overclocking before but I can see why you pick the E4300 for its high multiplier. And the 667 memory is a bonus (u do need to pick one that can handle the higher speed though?)

5. Discretionary stock trading (manual) usually doesn't need a lot of processing power because people typically have a few charts with a few indicators on it. But then, things get complicated when you start doing client side scanning on the market and system trading based on programs. It also depnds on which market(s) you trade, the heaviest volume market is very taxing on the computer and network due to huge amount of information coming within a very short period. Also, there is often the need to optimize in system trading which typically peaks the CPU for hours and even days/weeks.

Those are the reasons why some of the traders spend a lot of money to get top server grade components, scsi drives etc..

6. What do you mean it doesn't come with one? you mean I have to buy the fan separately for the Ultra120 cooler?

7. That is encouraging. I hope I am as good as some of the guys out there :wink:

10. Vista can be run in emulation mode(not sure how good it is) so you can test it first before using it. I found out XP x64 also has a 120 days trial version downloadable on Microsoft. That is enough time to find out if you have everything working. Since this is going to be my first built, I 'll take the 32 bit XP first to reduce trouble the first time. I am wondering if I can use my old Dell XP disc to install on the new computer or I need to get another copy of XP. And it doesn't look like Microsoft pack the 32 bit and 64 bit version together.. for XP.

11. Yep, I was thinking about the Audigy, good inexpensive card.

12. Saw this review on KillerNic http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2865&p=11 In many ways, stocks trading is like a real time application. At $250 & the type of problem with installation, I think I 'll wait for someone to try it first :) 
June 10, 2007 6:04:05 AM

1. If you need to open the case, somethiing is wrong! The number and placement of fans depends on the case. 120mm (or larger) is the best, as they move lots of air at slower speed, making them cool and quiet. Get a case with 120mm in front, maybe 1 120 on the side, 1 120 on the back, and if you can manage it, 1 120 on the top. The front and side blow air in, the back and top blow it out. Smaller will work, but they have to be loud to move sufficient amounts of air. Look around at cases and see which you like and compare the fan size/location/number to see which will best suit your needs. I buy most of my stuff at newegg.com, it's pretty popular. Zipzoomfly.com, mwave.com, frys.com, ewiz.com, frozencpu.com and tigerdirect.com are also good. price around, see who's the cheapest. Use the recommended list from silentpcreview.com to decide which fans you want, they have a nice CFM/noise chart that will help you decide which will work best for you.

2. I'm not sure if you can run more than 2 monitors with only 1 card. I know Matrix does some specialty stuff like that, 3 monitor cards and an adapter that splits 1 plug into 2 or 3 so you can hook multiple monitors to a single output. Matrix cards aren't all that great however, and for the price of one of those splitters you could probably get another card. While ATI/Nvidia cards excel at 3D, they can do a lot of 2D pixel pushing too. There are some nice mid level cards that in SLI/X-fire should be powerful enough for your applications and provide for 4 monitor support. I've never run a multi-monitor set-up myself and have heard about some problems people have had with drivers at various times, so hopefully some one can give better advice with that. (speaking of which, where is everyone?)

3. Overclocking guides can be found to some degree in the stickies here in the forums, check out Wusy's for example. I would recommend some decent 800 MHz RAM for overclocking, just in case you want to go higher than 333 FSB, which it sounds like you might. 800 RAM will get you to 3.6 GHz with an E4300, a scary high 100% overclock! 800 RAM is only a little more expensive than 667, it's worth the extra headroom. If you need more help with the overclock, we're always here to help (at least I'm here... I don't know where everyone else is)

5. I understand why you would need a lot of processing power. Do you use more than 1 program at a time, and if not is it multi-threaded? Dual cores are certainly the way to go, just curious if you will be able to take advantage of the 2nd core. A 3.2ish C2D should give you the most processing power you can get this side of $500. Incidentally, when will you be building this? Intel will be dropping the price of their CPUs next month. If you can wait till then you will supposedly be able to get a quad core Q6600 for around $250. That would probably be worth the wait for you.

6. Yes, the Ultra 120 and 120 Extreme do not come with a fan. It's a good thing. It allows you to get a slow silent fan, fast quiet fan, or really fast loud fan, depending on your needs. I recommend the S-Flex SFF21F, I have 2 and they produce a hardly noticeable low hum on max speed. With the case closed and a few feet away it will be silent.

10 I don't know about "emulation mode" but it can be installed without registering it for 30 days, allowing for a full featured trial period. I've seen some perfectly legal tricks around that can push that trial over 6 months. (I don't know if that's what you meant by emulation mode) XP would be the safe bet, I just don't want to be like the other "Vista Bashers" and let you think it's a trash OS. I have it and like it, haven't had a problem yet. It is certainly a better launch than XP had. I had a ton of problems when I migrated to that. My needs are certainly different from yours, I understand, I just wanted to give you my experience with it. It's worth a look at least, wont cost you anything.

12. I wasn't specifically recommending the KillerNIC, I know I've heard it's pretty worthless from a lot of people, I just wanted to give an example of a specialized NIC. Look at what some of these "Trading PC" sites are including in their rigs. If they use them in their's they must be suitable, right?
June 11, 2007 6:45:20 AM

Thanks again for the tips and detailed response.

I am going to build my first computer :D  after this useful info and encouragement from you.

1. There is a big range in price on cases. The only thing I can think of is Aluminum conducts heat better(than steel) so a case made of mostly or all aluminum probably is best for heat transfer. I wonder if one of those heavy Armor case is good at dissipating heat. I don't particularly like the window on the side case(I don't mind the fan) cos cables and dust aren't usually neat things to display :D  Many cases uses plastic in moveable parts which makes them vulnerable to breakage. (I opened up my Dell plastic front flip for vacuuming and I can't close it cos the hook fell out of the hinge. Later, I realized I was not the only one with that flip problem) I think I saw an Antec case which has AL housing and then plastic and then AL shell. I hope I read it wrong but that plastic in between defeats the efficient heat transfer process. Never bought my own case before so I guess I have some read up to do.. The big fans make sense.. I wonder why they don't make them all 120.. The top fan also make sense. I am going to look for something with big fans and plenty of vent. What 's wrong with just opening up the case? I did that before in heat wave with A/C broke down.

2. I thought the way SLI/X-fire work is to use 2 cards to speed up the processing on 1 display. If not, I probably need to read more on SLI/X-fire. So, if you have 4 displays, you probably need 4 2x SLI cards. Those cards are expensive. With PCI-E, bus is no longer the bottleneck. And many boards should work fine with 2 PCI-E cards (each supporting 2 displays). In the past, to get 4 displays working, you need to use combo of AGP and dual display PCI cards or multiple regular compatible PCI cards. Quad cards are too specialized so I think that is why they are usually lagging behind in chips & other technologies.

I had driver problem with older Matrox cards but mostly because they were orgiinally developed for Win 2000, not XP. The "newer" driver was in beta so it was not as stable as the original relese. Newer matrox cards designed for XP didn't have much problem(except they are expensive, use custom chips so their cycle is longer than the mass mkt stuff and they lack in RAM or u have to pay a lot for them)

Multiple display is something I am so used to .. I almost don't know how to function without them :D  Same thing with trackball mouse.

3. I haven't read up on overclocking yet but I kind of guess that getting the faster RAM would help if it is pushing up there. I was thinking to get either the Crucial eXtreme or the PDP Patriot (saw something about xms2)..

5. I do use more than 1 program at a time. The main application I use is not very multi-threaded and users are pushing the developers to get into it as more dual core, quad core machines become available. I don't think they are vista ready yet cos they were not when I checked last week. Fully multi-threaded is gonna be more complicated than vista ready. Is Q6600 a true quad core or 2 dual core merge together? Someone mentioned to wait for the true quad core as it is gonna be more efficient than the current quad core technology.

I am thinking to build it this month but if they drop the price big next month, I can probably wait.

6. Ah, I see.. I didn't know on top of the cooler, u can pick the fan as well to suit your needs. That is pretty customerized.. but for good reason

10. I have talked to people who are happy with vista even on machine with minimal resources(well, they were using it to check email and web browsing) For me, it is simply better to wait out the first SP, because things this complicated bound to have bugs the first time. It probably takes 2-3 rounds before they clear out all the major bugs. But from I understand, Vista isn't that far from XP so bugs can be less problematic. The other issue is with address space on 32bit Vista and its own size. Between the two, the applications are left with very limited space to play with. So, when I move to vista, I am likely to load the 64bit version so the applications can use more of the physical memory.

If u go to microsoft vista's site, they offer a few ways for users to "try" out vista. One way is to run it in some emulation mode in XP so that you can see what it is like and whether you have all the drivers(it is a step above the usual compatiblity checklist but I have tried it myself) Another path is to download the trial version. Yep, I am going to try it as soon as I have a stable machine.

12. It is good you bring up the KillerNic. The TCP/IP offload stuff makes sense, at least on paper. It would be interesting to see if they can pull it off cos they need to bypass Windows. It s not easy to measure the response or improvement though. And the price tag is high. I have looked at those trading pc sites. None of them use KillerNic yet. I also asked the application people to see if they think the appl would get better response if using the KillerNic.

There aren't that many people with attention span long enough to read through these long posts :D  If you manage to read all the way down here, you are one of the few who has the preservance to overcome many things down your path or you are a true enthusiast..

Well, I wrote this long post originally to i) help myself organize on a todo list ii) to list out some of the pros and cons I have read so more experienced member can comment on them. iii) for people who are interested in building their own trading computer to have a place to start with. Again, I appreciate very much for nvalhalla's help and any others who may share their experience.
June 11, 2007 9:05:22 AM

1. Aluminum cases are supposed to be a little cooler, yes. Lighter too! They also can be a little more expensive, and tend to have more flex to them, so unless they are well constructed they aren't as sturdy. I would worry more about the fan size/location/number before aluminum/steel construction. Once you have a list of cases that meet those needs, then look at the construction material and appearance. At least, that's how I pick cases. I'm also not too picky about what my computer looks like, I hardly ever see it. There isn't anything inherently bad about opening a case, you just shouldn't need to to cool it. If you need to open the case, you're not getting enough airflow!

2. You can't have more than 2 cards. Not yet anyway. There are 2 chips on 1 card, allowing for SLI in a single PCIe slot, but those are pretty pricey and 2 of them (quad SLI) don't work well together. As far as combining their processing power across multiple programs, you are right, they don't. BUT, 2 cards in SLI will give support for 4 monitors. I think technically SLI means that the cards are combining their power for a single monitor, so the proper term for 2 cards running 4 monitors probably isn't SLI. The processing power of the dual cards won't be combined, but the 2 cards should be able to handle the tasks on their monitors without much trouble. We are getting into some pretty unfamiliar territory here for me, so I can't say how the processing load will spread. Most people do SLI for games, so that's the limit of my experience with it.

3. Those are good RAM, just don't spend more than $100 on RAM. The enthusiast stuff for high speed and low latency is only for high overclocking, FSB over 1600, which I doubt you'll get into. Use RAM that uses the Micron D9 chips, whatever you get. Here's a list of RAM and the chips they use. The D9 stuff OCs well, should you need to go over FSB 1600. http://ramlist.infinityx.nl/ddr2/

5. Yeah, supposed to be a big price drop next month on the 22nd. Quad 6600 down to $266, the E4300 will drop a bit too, plus they'll launch a few new CPUs then. FSB 1333 versions of the 1066 CPUs already out mainly. The quads won't help you now, not in those single threaded applications, but running more than 2 apps at a time will be better on a quad than a dual.

12. I don't know if the KillerNIC would help you, not sure if it's the kind of hardware acceleration you need, I was just using it as an example. What NIC cards are the Trading Computers the pros build using? I would use those.

Thanks for keeping up with your own thread! I have posted help for people before and never heard from them again. I guess they solved their own problem...

Of course, now that I've sweet talked you into building your own everything is going to go terribly wrong and you'll blame me!
June 11, 2007 10:10:01 PM

1. You are right about the design of the case comes first, then construction. Do I still use the $30 budget? Many of them are in $100 range.. I look at some Thermaltake & Lian Li cases, some of them are very pricey. I like the silvery, metallic look though but air flow comes first.

2. I knew I miss something with the SLI. I think there are SLI cards supporting 2 displays, not cheap. Not sure 2 cards work well together but would be interesting to find out.

3. hmm, there is quite a few things to learn with overclocking. Oc trickles down from CPU to the rest of the systems. Then, there are all these nbrs - still trying to learn why the FSB nbrs don't match with the memory speed nbrs..

One can tune up CPU frequency or the multiplier. Then, FSB speed and bus/core ratio multiplier. Then, memory should keep up with FSB, which makes sense. FSB 1600 wow..

5. I am all for lower prices :D  Wonder why they don't run a 4th of July sale?!

12. Pros are using the regular stuff Intel Pro or D-Link 53*+ Interestingly, that isn't one of the things they marketed.. I have seen them push CPU overclocking, cooler, quietness, scsi drives.. but they don't say much about the NIC.

One of the things I learnt being a trader is to always take my own responsiblity. Blame and fear noone but respect everyone 8)
June 13, 2007 8:14:08 AM

Quote:
...

2. I knew I miss something with the SLI. I think there are SLI cards supporting 2 displays, not cheap. Not sure 2 cards work well together but would be interesting to find out.


java_ed, forget about SLI support for 2 displays. If you need more power for your 2 monitors, get a a more powerful gpu with 2 DVI outputs. cheaper and better.

I am finishing my 1st build. In my situation I need to run 3 monitors, so I have 2 XFX 7600GT XXXs. The cool thing about this, it that it can support my 3 monitors, and if I want to run a game, just go to the control panel, and enable SLI, so that it enables faster gaming in 1 monitor.

2 7600GTs should be more than enough power (more like overkill) for your stock trading. And later if you want so run 4 monitors, you are all set. No SLI needed, but you have the option if you want to play a game ;-)

BTW, the XFXs I have overclock really well, past 700MHz.

Good luck
June 13, 2007 8:26:15 AM

yes, you need a MB with SLI or Xfire as in 2 slots, but they won't run together, you can run 4 monitors that way.
Not sure of the need for fast NIC but onboard GB should be plenty as you don't run HD on the ethernet.
June 13, 2007 2:56:00 PM

SpeedyVV,

Is there any difference between the different brand of 7600GT? I thought the graphics card are already overclocked by mfters.

So, this card is SLI ready, you just need a SLI mobo to enable them?
June 13, 2007 3:02:26 PM

Alcattle,

HD is mostly high bandwidth application. With stock trading, you need low latency (kind of like playing online games), and sometimes, high bandwidth when market is moving fast and in volume. It also depends on how many markets one tracks. There are a few thousands stocks/futures/options markets - the more you track, and the higher volume they are, the more bandwidth and low latency you need. It does you no good if you are just a second behind everyone else :)  (and in some cases, I have seen 15-20 seconds behind)

Onboard NIC is usually scaled back to keep the price down for the mobo. So, for $20-30 investment, I don't mind getting a NIC card for the job. However, the KillerNic is significantly more expensive and complex which requires more tests and confirmation for its role in stock trading.
June 16, 2007 4:55:39 AM

Quote:
SpeedyVV,

Is there any difference between the different brand of 7600GT? I thought the graphics card are already overclocked by mfters.

So, this card is SLI ready, you just need a SLI mobo to enable them?

java_ed, sorry for the late reply, but I was travelling on biz.

The only real diff of brands from my perspective is the logo (not important to some), and support (important). I have had a couple of support requests from XFX and I found them excellent, so that is why I bought the 2nd card from them.

And yes, the 7600GT is SLI ready. But just to remind you, only get 2 7600GTs if you need to run 3 or more monitors. If you want t run 2 or less, you are better off buying 1 8800GTS, or even a 7900series.

Unless you are a sucker for silly things, which I am. I love seing the 2 card running in SLI on my clear computer case. ;-)
Good luck
!