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System for Day Trading / Software Development

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January 20, 2012 2:18:15 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This weekend or shortly after
Budget Range: <1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Day trading, software development. No gaming.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers, HDD
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca
Country: Canada
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Max
Additional Comments: Support up to 6 monitors

I suspect this might take a few cracks to get right so I'm going to throw out what I have so far. All feedback is appreciated.

I'm looking to replace my current computer which is almost 6 years old. Yikes! I use it primarily for day trading with a 4 monitor setup and it's been really dragging under the load. I am also a software developer and will need a system that can handle Visual Studio 2010, SQL Server 2008R2 and MySQL. So I push some of the specs a bit higher.

Given the nature of video cards, I'm looking for a system that can accommodate 6 monitors. I use monitors of different size, resolution and rotation so I do not need eyefinity.

And I'm looking for a quiet machine. My current machine revs every time the market does something and it's annoying.

I'm not looking to break the bank but I'm willing to pay for value. This will be my first build but I've replaced every part in a PC so I have half a clue. But I'm really not into hardware. So with that, this is what I have so far::


(All prices are Canadian taken from NewEgg.ca)

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$229.99

Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$169.99

Memory: G Skill Ripjaw (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$47.99

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$199.99

HDD: None. Going to rely on SSD and wait for prices to come down before buying a 1TB drive. Have external HDDs / old computer to use in meantime.

OS: Windows 7 Pro 64 bit (OEM)
$149.99
(I need Pro to install SQL Server.)

Video Cards: TWO SAPPHIRE 100324L Radeon HD 6570 2GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$179.98 ($89.99 x 2)

Case and PSU: Antec SONATA IV Black 0.8 mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 620W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$169.99


The last two items are the items I'm most unsure about. I started the following thread to discuss my video card needs:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/340509-33-monitor-tra...

I don't want to dump a lot of money on cards when I don't game but I believe my needs are greater than just a bunch of productivity / developer tools being open. I'm leaning on the side of cards with 2GB GDDR3, more memory but slower.

As for the case/PSU, I just have no experience with either but the Sonata got good reviews for being quiet and the PSU comes with it. But I'm open to other possibilities.

I'm also a little unsure about the motherboard. I've read conflicting info about Z68 vs P67. (Latest and greatest vs no use for new features vs Ivy Bridge upgradability.) For the time being, I'm defaulting to the lower price of a P67 board but that's open for debate.

So I'm at just over 1100 CAD with OS and no HDD. I can live with that.

Any feedback?

More about : system day trading software development

January 20, 2012 3:49:19 AM

Quote:
The last two items are the items I'm most unsure about. I started the following thread to discuss my video card needs:


Definitely do not get a case with a built in PSU. The PSUs that are built-in are usually flat-out junk. And on a business PC you want no room for error. I also suggest investing in a good cooler to help circulate the air flow better and allow for fewer shut downs and things like that.

This would be a better choice for case: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
And PSU: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

It will run a little bit more but the case has far better cable management features and the PSU is less likely to explode or fizzle out on you.

Quote:
I'm also a little unsure about the motherboard. I've read conflicting info about Z68 vs P67. (Latest and greatest vs no use for new features vs Ivy Bridge upgradability.) For the time being, I'm defaulting to the lower price of a P67 board but that's open for debate.


That will definitely happen. The main differences are that Z68 allows for SSD caching, onboard video, and support for 3TB and larger HDs.

This would be a better choice (not a fan of MSI, IMO) : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Quote:
I don't want to dump a lot of money on cards when I don't game but I believe my needs are greater than just a bunch of productivity / developer tools being open. I'm leaning on the side of cards with 2GB GDDR3, more memory but slower.


Don't get dual 6570's - those are meant for low profile computers and HTPCs where you don't need high-end graphics power to begin with. Go with a stronger single card. I'd suggest a professional card like the Fire Pro or Quaddro but those are incredibly expensive for the features they offer, and if you're not going to be doing any sort of high-end rendering you probably don't need the features. Maybe check something like this (which will allow for easy multiple monitor setup):
- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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January 20, 2012 11:23:10 AM

Quote:
Definitely do not get a case with a built in PSU. The PSUs that are built-in are usually flat-out junk. And on a business PC you want no room for error. I also suggest investing in a good cooler to help circulate the air flow better and allow for fewer shut downs and things like that.

Ah, I didn't realize that the PSU was built in. I guess I assumed that it was being offered more like a combo. I like your recommendation. I also forgot to look into modular cabling system for the PSU which will be a nice to have. I hate all of the loose, unused cables.

Quote:
The main differences are that Z68 allows for SSD caching, onboard video, and support for 3TB and larger HDs.

This would be a better choice (not a fan of MSI, IMO) : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6813128498

I guess I didn't notice the issue of support for 3tb+ HDDs. That's something I might need in the future.

The one Gigabyte mobo not in my spreadsheet. :-)

Quote:
Don't get dual 6570's - those are meant for low profile computers and HTPCs where you don't need high-end graphics power to begin with. Go with a stronger single card. I'd suggest a professional card like the Fire Pro or Quaddro but those are incredibly expensive for the features they offer, and if you're not going to be doing any sort of high-end rendering you probably don't need the features. Maybe check something like this (which will allow for easy multiple monitor setup):
- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6814102924

Still unsure about the video cards. The video card you suggested only supports 5 monitors. I'm already running four so I'd really like to be able to run 6. I have an email in to tech support for my trading platform to see if they have any insight on how important the GPU is and whether they have any recommendations.
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January 20, 2012 11:39:51 AM

I also forgot to mention one thing: I occasionally do video capture of one of my trading monitors for an hour or more so I would like that to have as little affect on the system as possible. I'm not even sure where the bottleneck is for that. I'm guessing CPU and RAM? (I currently store the video file on an external HDD so I know it's not that.)
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January 20, 2012 11:42:54 AM

sapphire hd 6970 2GB = 359.99$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

XFX 6950 2GB = 279399$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

these badboys got rebate so you should be able to get them cheaper, and they have nice amount of Vram and should be fine for 3 monitor display, but well if not try this one.

XFX HD 6770 got 5 slots 139.99$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Visiontek 6870 2GB = 344.99$ this one got 6 slots
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

hope some of these help
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January 20, 2012 11:44:44 AM

OsbourneCox said:
I also forgot to mention one thing: I occasionally do video capture of one of my trading monitors for an hour or more so I would like that to have as little affect on the system as possible. I'm not even sure where the bottleneck is for that. I'm guessing CPU and RAM? (I currently store the video file on an external HDD so I know it's not that.)



maybe you need more ram?

i don't know about what you do but with what i do working and gaming at the same time it's eating up 12-14GB ram well just maybe you do or maybe not
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January 20, 2012 3:18:05 PM

Tavo_Nova said:
sapphire hd 6970 2GB = 359.99$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

XFX 6950 2GB = 279399$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

these badboys got rebate so you should be able to get them cheaper, and they have nice amount of Vram and should be fine for 3 monitor display, but well if not try this one.

XFX HD 6770 got 5 slots 139.99$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Visiontek 6870 2GB = 344.99$ this one got 6 slots
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

hope some of these help


Thanks for the suggestions. But I think these might be a little more than I need / outside of my budget. And only the last one has 6 ports which I'm really set on.
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January 20, 2012 3:27:45 PM

OsbourneCox said:
I also forgot to mention one thing: I occasionally do video capture of one of my trading monitors for an hour or more so I would like that to have as little affect on the system as possible. I'm not even sure where the bottleneck is for that. I'm guessing CPU and RAM? (I currently store the video file on an external HDD so I know it's not that.)


On a Z68 build the CPU and RAM are definitely not the bottleneck. The main bottleneck in any given system is going to be your primary HD - especially if you use a mechanical HD. That's where SSDs come into play.
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January 20, 2012 3:41:52 PM

Whoa! To paraphrase Mousemonkey from the other thread, the bum gravy is really flowing here.
First of all, the Antec PSU included in the Sonata IV case is an EXCELLENT PSU (a Seasonic-built Neo-Eco); leagues above the generic crap that usually comes with cases. The only fault I'd find with it is that it is more powerful than you need. The very similar Sonata III comes with the Delta-built 500W EA-500D PSU, another excellent unit: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
I used that one (case and PSU) for my wife's PC. It is very solid, and very quiet.
Also, the pair of HD6570 cards will be just fine for your use. From the other thread, we're waiting to see if your software uses any GPGPU acceleration, but assuming it doesn't, these two cards are all you need.
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January 20, 2012 4:01:40 PM

Quote:

First of all, the Antec PSU included in the Sonata IV case is an EXCELLENT PSU (a Seasonic-built Neo-Eco); leagues above the generic crap that usually comes with cases. The only fault I'd find with it is that it is more powerful than you need. The very similar Sonata III comes with the Delta-built 500W EA-500D PSU, another excellent unit: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6811129024


Really? I was always under the impression that most built-in PSUs were flat-out crap. I guess this changes my idea of that, well, not completely but better.
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January 20, 2012 4:46:08 PM

Antec is the exception that proves the rule on PSUs included in cases. Other than the 430W Basiq they have in one or two of them, all their other included PSUs are among the units I'd buy on their own merits, like Earthwatts or Neo Eco.
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January 20, 2012 6:41:22 PM

Onus said:
Antec is the exception that proves the rule on PSUs included in cases. Other than the 430W Basiq they have in one or two of them, all their other included PSUs are among the units I'd buy on their own merits, like Earthwatts or Neo Eco.


Very interesting. There's always exceptions to every rule. That's good to know.
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January 21, 2012 1:47:40 PM

I'm starting to rethink my Mobo choice. I took g-unit1111's suggestion to heart and started to look at Gigabyte boards. But after reading the reviews, I'm seeing a lot of issues with possible rebooting. Also a decent number of DOA reviews. So now I'm considering:

Intel BOXDZ68BC LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
$214.99 (Price just came down $15 in the past day or two)

It's a bit pricier but has solid reviews across the board. And the only technical downside I see to it is RAM speed maxes out at 1600 instead of 2133.

Anyone have insight into the reboot issues with Gigabyte boards?
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January 21, 2012 3:23:33 PM

Intel is supposedly a top quality board, but some options may be limited, such as for overclocking; you may not care.
Asus is probably the most consistently well-regarded brand on these forums. Even the #2 choice gets debated constantly, but I can't recall anyone arguing that Asus is not top quality.
Personally, I'm not enamored of Gigabyte; I've had a couple of glitchy boards. To be honest, in only one case (which had to be RMA'd) am I certain the board was at fault, so take this for what it's worth, one reasonably experienced but possibly malformed opinion.
I'm not sure I'm ready to trust MSI; I've never owned one, but a coworker some ten years ago who had owned a computer shop said they were the most often back for replacement of anything he had. I've heard similar stories here, but I've also heard comments from people who love them. If it weren't for Asus and ASRock (the other brand I prefer), I'd consider MSI.
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January 21, 2012 4:10:35 PM

Onus said:
Intel is supposedly a top quality board, but some options may be limited, such as for overclocking; you may not care.
Asus is probably the most consistently well-regarded brand on these forums. Even the #2 choice gets debated constantly, but I can't recall anyone arguing that Asus is not top quality.
Personally, I'm not enamored of Gigabyte; I've had a couple of glitchy boards. To be honest, in only one case (which had to be RMA'd) am I certain the board was at fault, so take this for what it's worth, one reasonably experienced but possibly malformed opinion.
I'm not sure I'm ready to trust MSI; I've never owned one, but a coworker some ten years ago who had owned a computer shop said they were the most often back for replacement of anything he had. I've heard similar stories here, but I've also heard comments from people who love them. If it weren't for Asus and ASRock (the other brand I prefer), I'd consider MSI.


All good information. Thanks. And yea, I don't see myself looking to overclock.

I'm a little stuck because I sort of want more than 2 SATA 6GB connectors. With some of the database work I do, I can see a situation where I would want to span a database across more than 1 HDD and I would ideally want the throughput to be as fast as possible. (Remember, I'm also going to include an SSD OS drive.)

So that narrows down the field considerably, mostly Gigabyte.
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January 21, 2012 6:35:31 PM

Onboard RAID5 doesn't perform all that well. You are probably looking at getting an add-in controller if you want to do RAID5. RAID0 or RAID1 on a couple of disks shouldn't be a problem.
The AMD chipsets offer lots of SATA 6Gb/s connections (I have 6), but like I said, RAID-5 performance with the onboard controller is not good.
Some of the ASRock boards have up to six SATA 6 Gb/s connectors: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... They seem to be the only one who has that many, and there may be other limitations on them. Quite a few more from many manufacturers have four SATA 6 Gb/s connectors.
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January 22, 2012 12:18:08 AM

Onus said:
I'm not sure I'm ready to trust MSI; I've never owned one, but a coworker some ten years ago who had owned a computer shop said they were the most often back for replacement of anything he had. I've heard similar stories here, but I've also heard comments from people who love them. If it weren't for Asus and ASRock (the other brand I prefer), I'd consider MSI.


I originally bought a MSI 870-G45 board and it died on me not even after three days of owning it. I haven't had any problems with Gigabyte, Intel, or Asus (except the one Asus AMD board I bough I had tons of problems with).

Quote:
Intel is supposedly a top quality board, but some options may be limited, such as for overclocking; you may not care.


Intel boards are good only if you don't make any modifications to your PC or run your RAM at slow speeds (although there's actually a good reason for that now).
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January 22, 2012 1:48:45 AM

Best answer selected by OsbourneCox.
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January 22, 2012 3:09:07 AM

Thanks. Good luck with your build, and with your trading.
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January 22, 2012 8:33:12 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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