Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Multi-Monitor Trading Computer

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 26, 2008 4:25:01 AM

I've built a lot of computers for friends, but recently I was asked to put together a computer that would be used mainly for online stock trading (which means a lot of open windows). The person that I am building it for is convinced that they need top of the line stuff, and that they need to spend a lot of money, so I am planning to build a reasonably high end system. Every computer I have built in the past is made with gaming in mind, so this is a little different for me.

This person wants to run 4 monitors, so I will definitely need to use more than one video card. Mostly, I'm not sure what video cards to use. I'm wondering if workstation cards, such as the Nvidia Quadro NVS290 would offer any benefit over just putting in a cheap gaming card like a 9600GT or something. The Quadro NVS cards are difficult to find, and seem expensive for what they are.

Another thing I'm wondering is concerning hard drives. Capacity is not an issue, so speed is the main concern. I've been considering either going with a 10K rpm drive, or two slower, high capacity drives in RAID 0. I've also considered RAID 1 with two 10k rpm drives, because data safety is probably an issue for this setup.

Further, I'm not sure whether I should go with a higher clocked dual core processor such as an e8400 or e8500, or go for a lower clocked quad core. I suppose I could even go with dual Xeons (considering the budget), but that is getting too far into unfamiliar territory.

Keep in mind that I'm aware that stock trading software could probably run on any computer, and this computer will never run CAD or anything substantial. Stability and multi-tasking ability are the main concerns here.
June 26, 2008 4:40:10 AM

First for the video card, some x2 got 4 dvi slot, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121247

For hard drive, if money isn't a issue, I would go with Raid 1 with 2 10k RPM drive. But i don't have alot of expertise in RAID, you should wait for other opinions.

And definitly a quad if they want to have zillions of windows open.
June 26, 2008 4:58:05 AM

for HDD performance and redundancy look at raid 1,0 with 4 drives, you will get the performance of striped and some actually redundancy. if its use is for online trading take redundancy over performance. for the need of lots of apps running at once get 4-8gb ddr2 ram and vista 64bit. performance loss will be due to page file with 8gb of ram you should be able to turn page file off. graphics cards 9600gt's sound fine even a 3850, they will run higher res for the larger monitors.

monitors should be 22inc wide screen at the minimum, get 26inc if the money is there. they will give plenty of desktop for your friend.

back to drives with 8 gb ram the hdd accesses should be limited. remember hdd's store data the pc works from ram as much as possible.

for this role a qaud cpu will benifit more then dual. dual core cpu's only win out in gaming because they are not multi threaded. multiple applications can be assigned seperate cpus but this happens automatically to an extent.

price breakup should look around.

good luck
Related resources
June 26, 2008 5:33:38 AM

Talking about RAM, I see that prices on 4GB sticks aren't as high as they were. I am pretty sure sticking 16GB of RAM in there would really impress the guy. Just need to be sure to pick a motherboard with 16GB capacity.
June 26, 2008 5:40:06 AM

The only thing I'm worried about is that Vista might not be compatible with some of the trading software, so I might have to stick with XP. If it turns out a can use vista, then I will probably go for 4gb+ of ram.
a b C Monitor
June 26, 2008 2:34:59 PM

Is it so hard to confirm that the trading software runs on Vista? PCs have been shipping with Vista only for a considerable amount of time now.
Most of the trading software I know about is hosted on a remote webserver so that there is actually very little processing taking place on the local PC.
Unless you or your friend already own a copy of XP/64 I'm not sure its a good idea to bypass Vista64 unless you can confirm some software he needs won't run on Vista. A list of the "critical software" or a mention of what broker service could be helpful.

Spending a lot of money on what might be essentially a "dumb terminal" is .... well maybe you can catch my drift.
Still I understand your friend my not understand how a $1000 PC (apart from the cost of the monitors) can make him as much money trading online as a $2500 PC.
Workstation video cards are optimized to work with OpenGL software and thats not going to be the case here.

What kind of budget goal do you want to work with?

June 26, 2008 3:54:48 PM

Now I know day trading is a bit different from trading in a business environment, but I'm guessing there's still going to be a ton of multi-tasking going on. I'd go for a quad core, Vista 64, and 8GB of ram. For video you can probably go cheap and go with something like 2x 3850s (or even less). For our traders here we use 2x Quadro NVS440 cards but they wanted the ability to go go to 8 monitors from the 5 they're currently running, plus they have more demanding apps than a day trader would have.

I agree with RAID 10 being an ideal solution since it provides decent speed as well as redundancy.

I'd definitely have your friend pick out the monitors. If he's going to have 4 monitors in front of him all day then he'll have to judge what size he wants. I think 22" or 24" might be so large that he'd have trouble sitting in front of them without having to swivel his head back and forth all day.
June 26, 2008 4:44:01 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I'm still going to have to talk to the person to find out the exact budget, but this is giving me some good fodder to explain some things.

So far you've convinced me on the following:
Quad core, likely a q9450
Raid 1+0, probably with 250GB 7200RPM drives
Vista 64bit
~8gb ram, pc6400?

Things I'm still shaky on:
If I could get an NVS290 for the same price as a 9600GT or 3850, which is best to go with?
Does anyone have a specific motherboard they recommend? I'm not really sure what chipset is best to go with these days.
I'm also looking for a nice functional, minimalist case. I'm thinking a P180, but I'd kind of like to try something new if you have any suggestions.

I think they're going to go with 4x19" monitors, uguv, you make a good point on the head swiveling.

You guys are all super helpful. Thank you for the advice so far. Sorry I'm being so vague on the requirements. I'm working on finding out more specifics, this person is just very busy.

Just as a side note, I'm in Canada, so unfortunately can't use newegg. ncix.com is the place to go up here.
a b C Monitor
June 26, 2008 6:20:18 PM

galt said:

I'm also looking for a nice functional, minimalist case. I'm thinking a P180, but I'd kind of like to try something new if you have any suggestions.

How about something like the Silverstone LC17 HTPC case? http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=16626 Review @ http://www.silentpcreview.com/article772-page1.html

That case will take full size ATX parts like a P45 motherboard; Asus P5Q Deluxe http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30297&vpn=P5...

Maybe a couple passive cooled HD 3650 video cards to keep the noise down: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29093 Review @ http://www.silentpcreview.com/article848-page1.html
August 7, 2008 2:25:42 PM

Firstly, I have to say the difference between a custom built trading computer from an custom builder such as http://www.multiplexpc.com and a store bought brand or even a Dell is that most of the smaller companies burn-in the components they use for the computer build for 24-48 hours. This insures that your system arrives optimized with the hardware and OS you selected to run without any hiccups. It also insures that you receive a system with 0 defective parts, because they stress test each component before sending it to you. Also, the expertise that a system builder like Multiplex PC has is going to be tantamount in helping you select the correct specifications that you need, if you're unsure as to what you need exactly. Going into a retail store or calling a large company is going to get you John Doe on the phone trying to upgrade everything on the computer so his sales commission increases. It's like the difference between buying a Toyota and a Mercedes - they're both cars and they both get you from point A to point B, but the craftsmanship and warranty on the Mercedes is going to go the extra mile to insure you don't break down on the way and if you do that you get up and running with minimal downtime. And of course, the Mercedes is more expensive.

Also, there's no real difference in the gaming graphics cards and the Quadro (except for price) when it comes to running trading software. Now, if you were talking AutoCAD software differences, a workstation card is what you want to get.
August 7, 2008 5:09:59 PM

jgreyorl said:
Firstly, I have to say the difference between a custom built trading computer from an custom builder such as http://www.multiplexpc.com and a store bought brand or even a Dell is that most of the smaller companies burn-in the components they use for the computer build for 24-48 hours. This insures that your system arrives optimized with the hardware and OS you selected to run without any hiccups. It also insures that you receive a system with 0 defective parts, because they stress test each component before sending it to you. Also, the expertise that a system builder like Multiplex PC has is going to be tantamount in helping you select the correct specifications that you need, if you're unsure as to what you need exactly. Going into a retail store or calling a large company is going to get you John Doe on the phone trying to upgrade everything on the computer so his sales commission increases. It's like the difference between buying a Toyota and a Mercedes - they're both cars and they both get you from point A to point B, but the craftsmanship and warranty on the Mercedes is going to go the extra mile to insure you don't break down on the way and if you do that you get up and running with minimal downtime. And of course, the Mercedes is more expensive.


No Advertising here.

jgreyorl said:

Also, there's no real difference in the gaming graphics cards and the Quadro (except for price) when it comes to running trading software. Now, if you were talking AutoCAD software differences, a workstation card is what you want to get.


Hes going for 4x19" Monitors from what I've noticed. I already assembled those kind of machines for traders. They are frantic multi-taskers. Quadros or FireGL are optimized for OpenGL use. I have yet to see heavy openGL use on financial software. GPU is of low consequence for now, most financial software doesn't even know what GPGPU is. So no CUDA here aswell.

My 2 cents is....think out of the Box and check this solution,Matrox Triple Head to Go 2 :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/

I guess it will fit perfectly.I know it is just 3 Monitor, but think of the potencial.
a b C Monitor
August 8, 2008 12:45:50 PM

I was also thinking of the Matrox TH2G. Using both GPU outputs would get you four monitors. No longer a need for a second graphics card or a dual-GPU slot motherboard.

-Wolf sends
August 25, 2008 9:36:54 PM

I am a Day Trader and I have a SUPER PC with four monitors just like this video:

Multiple Monitor Computer Video

You should check them out at: http://Multi-Monitors.com

I haven't had a single problem with my multiple monitor computer
and it just has a pair of ATI 2600XT cards in it. There's really not much
use for workstation graphics for day trading. However, there is a big
difference in Quadro cards and commercial graphics cards.
Since you won't be doing CAD, 3D imaging and editing, you won't need them.
November 18, 2008 3:28:50 AM

Here is a really great post I found from a bulletin I posted. I was really
impressed so I thought I would repost here. I think it will really help you out:

Here is a great article section I found at Multi-Screens.com (A beginners introduction to Multiple Monitors)

The Three main ways to Setup Multiple Monitors

1) You can buy a pre-manufactured multiple monitor computer. The best place to purchase a multiple monitor computer is at:
Multi-Monitors.com. They carry a multi-monitor computer line called SUPER-PC that can support from 2 to 12 monitors.

Multi-Screen Computer Systems

Multiple Monitor LCD Displays

2) You can get a USB to VGA Adapter, or USB to DVI Adapter that will allow you to add an extra monitor to your computer
via any USB2.0 Port. You can also add multiple extra monitors by using multiple adapters. This is a great option for viewing
documents, surfing the web, using Microsoft Office and many other business tasks. This is not a good option for intense
graphical situations such as HDTV, Blu-ray, Gaming and 3D / CAD Workstation applications. For those types of scenarios,
it is highly recommended that you purchase a high-powered multi-monitor workstation or a Matrox Dual or Triple Head2Go.

Multiple Monitor Adapters

3) You can replace or add an extra video card to your existing computer, depending on how many monitors you wish to support.
Although this sounds easy enough, this is a rather complex solution for a beginner, especially when trying to find a compatible
graphics card. For this reason, I am going to write an entirely seperate post on that topic and will link to it here, very soon.

Multi-Monitor Graphics Cards

Once you have your multiple monitor system set up and ready to use, you will need to enable all of your monitors in
your “Display Properties” Control Panel. Here is a great link to a complete and animated walkthrough of how to enable
your multiple monitors in Windows.

How to Setup Multiple Monitors (Instructions)

This is what it will look like when you are done:

Multi-Monitor Video Demo 1
Multi-Monitor Video Demo 2
March 15, 2009 4:53:36 PM

As someone in the trading technology business, and having spent years in a trading position at the New York Mercantile Exchange, I can say with certainty that www.TradingComputers.com has by far the best line of computers in the market. If anyone in this forum actually took the time to compare the specs of TradingCompuers.com PCs with those found on the other aforementioned websites they would see that while some TradingComputers.com PCs are more expensive, they are also more powerful. For comparable power, you pay a comparable price. I own a computer from this company and have spoken extensively with their sales people. They will never upsell a customer, and recommend what is best for each trader's individual needs.

In response to those people who think that they do not need a fancy multi-monitor PC for their trading activities, you are probably right. But that does not mean that there are not other breeds of traders who thrive off of modern technology. Have any of you ever tried optimizing a technical trading system? It can take some computers a very long time. A better PC can make those calculations much faster, expediting the rate at which you can implement new strategies. Do you run multiple indicators based off of tick charts? I doubt it, otherwise you'd realize the need for a more powerful PC. Minimum requirements for trading software are just that, MINIMUMS. If you want to use advanced chart functionality, run multiple programs at once, or guarantee you are the first to execute a trade according to an automated strategy, a high end computer is definitely necessary. I have crashed the highest end Dell computers by overloading them with trading software. This has never happened to me with my TradingComputers PC.

And BTW, isn't it obvious that Multi-Monitors employees posting here would have a biased opinion...
May 21, 2009 10:56:32 PM

I have been more than pleased with Custom Trading Computers. Their services are outstanding and their products are geared for high demand trading applications. I agree with the above poster that some products are not designed for all types of traders. Many newbie traders will not be able to take advantage of such extreme products. This is true in just about any industry or profession.

What one ultimately has to ask themselves is if they are a trader of a tech geek. I for one am a tech geek but I also trade. I wanted the best solution while also knowing what I am getting. That is why I went the route I went.

I know that Custom Trading Computers works directly with TradeStation, NinjaTrader and CQG for their trading computers product development. Instead of taking any "online voice" word for it, go ahead and call each company. You'll find which ones are professionals and which ones are just trying to make a quick buck. Do your own due diligence.
a b C Monitor
May 22, 2009 12:42:17 PM

Quote:
The person that I am building it for is convinced that they need top of the line stuff, and that they need to spend a lot of money, so I am planning to build a reasonably high end system. Every computer I have built in the past is made with gaming in mind, so this is a little different for me.

This person wants to run 4 monitors, so I will definitely need to use more than one video card.



Well surprisingly many are unaware that our very own forum tested a quad monitors set up on far simpler hardware in the past. All one needs is a cheapo IGP mobo and a HD3450!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-780g-chipset,17...
So based on that this would be a suggested configuration ^^
October 29, 2011 12:28:56 AM

galt said:
I've built a lot of computers for friends, but recently I was asked to put together a computer that would be used mainly for online stock trading (which means a lot of open windows). The person that I am building it for is convinced that they need top of the line stuff, and that they need to spend a lot of money, so I am planning to build a reasonably high end system. Every computer I have built in the past is made with gaming in mind, so this is a little different for me.

This person wants to run 4 monitors, so I will definitely need to use more than one video card. Mostly, I'm not sure what video cards to use. I'm wondering if workstation cards, such as the Nvidia Quadro NVS290 would offer any benefit over just putting in a cheap gaming card like a 9600GT or something. The Quadro NVS cards are difficult to find, and seem expensive for what they are.

Another thing I'm wondering is concerning hard drives. Capacity is not an issue, so speed is the main concern. I've been considering either going with a 10K rpm drive, or two slower, high capacity drives in RAID 0. I've also considered RAID 1 with two 10k rpm drives, because data safety is probably an issue for this setup.

Further, I'm not sure whether I should go with a higher clocked dual core processor such as an e8400 or e8500, or go for a lower clocked quad core. I suppose I could even go with dual Xeons (considering the budget), but that is getting too far into unfamiliar territory.

Keep in mind that I'm aware that stock trading software could probably run on any computer, and this computer will never run CAD or anything substantial. Stability and multi-tasking ability are the main concerns here.


Hi Galt,

Just came across your request. are you still in need of info regarding a trading PC? I'm a Currency trader running a 10-monitor capacity system with three Nvidia cards (1-Quadro NVS 295, and 2-Quadro NVS 440). If you still have a need, or update, you can contact me at yess5200@gmail.com. ty
!