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Trading PC (Budget $1600-$2000)

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November 7, 2012 5:23:07 PM

Hello everyone.

My uncle has asked me to build him a very high-end computer for trading. This must be a rig that is flawless and runs very fast, but is sustainable for the next 4-6 years. He is needing 6 monitors currently, but will probably need up to 10 at some point in time. He does a TON of trading and this is why he needs so many displays. The budget is for the PC itself, not including the displays.

My guess the build would be an i7-2600k or similar, mid-range mobo, 950W+ PSU, 12GB+ of RAM, 3 SSDs running RAID, 3 SLI/x-fire GPU's or the AMD FirePro W600 2GB with 6 mini-HDMI plugs, etc.


I have built regular gaming PC's, but never did a SLI/x-fire build or RAID with SSD. This is why I am coming to you for help. I know you guys are the best out there. Can you guys please help me pick the best parts for this build? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!!
November 7, 2012 6:50:45 PM

A trading workstation does not need/use SLI/CrossFire or NV surround/Eyefinity.
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November 7, 2012 7:32:31 PM

ko888 said:
A trading workstation does not need/use SLI/CrossFire or NV surround/Eyefinity.


How else would I run more than 2 monitors without it though?
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November 7, 2012 7:51:18 PM

I might suggest that Uncle look into using fewer 2560 x 1600 or 2560 x 1440 displays.
They will each hold about the equivalent of two 1080P displays.
These monitors are high quality and have higher viewing angles(178/178) that is useful if you are sitting in front of a wide span of displays.
Yes, they will be expensive, $700-$1100 each.

To attach any displays, you need only minimal capability graphics cards.
Something like these GT610 cards. Each card will drive two displays up to 2560 x 1600.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


You will want a workstation motherboard with lots of X16 graphics slots.
Here is a ASUS P8Z77 WS with 4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I see no need a terribly strong multi core cpu.
But for the best, look at a 3770K

To keep all that data active and refreshed, you will want lots of ram.
16gb in a 2 x 8gb kit should be fine, but ram is so cheap, that I would consider 32gb in a 4 x 8gb kit.
You will need windows 7 pro or ultimate to address more than 16gb.

SLI is not appropriate.
sli combines the graphics power of multiple gpu's so they can be directed at a single display that needs to render fast gaming movement.

On the ssd, bigger is better for performance
I might look at a samsung 500gb 840 pro.
Is more than 500gb needed for storage? If so, how much more?
Raid for SSD's is useless. A SSD is great for random I/o and raid is useless there. It would take a special sequential oriented app to get anything more our of raid-0.

For backup, I would rely on external backup which covers more failures than just raid-1 or similar approaches.

Include a UPS to enable continuous operation if power should fail or become flaky.
APC makes excellent units.

Post a list of parts and links after you think about this a bit more, and have a budget
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January 11, 2013 3:13:04 PM

Hey, i need the exactly same thing for my trading setup and would very much appreciate to see a good/stable setup. Money is not so much an issue, as a crashing computer could easily make me loose the 2-3k difference in one shot!

I need to handle 6, possibly 8 screens.

Here's what I am thinking:

Processor: Intel core i7 3770k 3.5g/8m/s1155
Motherboard: s1155 asus sabertooth z77 z77
RAM: g.skill ares 1866mhz ddr3 16go
Graphics Card: asus pcie rad hd7970 directcuii 925mhz 3072m (can handle only 6 screens i think)
SSD: ???
Hard Drive: sata3 1.0to w.d 7200 64m wd1002faex
Case: ???
Power Supply: 750w atx cooler master gx???
BD Burner: ???
Operating system: Win 7 home premium
Screens: 6 to 8 ... what do u recommand? acl 23in asus pb238q 16:9

Highest priority is: STABILITY
Second one is: FAST

Thanks a lot in advance!
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January 11, 2013 4:07:45 PM

greendave12345 said:
Hey, i need the exactly same thing for my trading setup and would very much appreciate to see a good/stable setup. Money is not so much an issue, as a crashing computer could easily make me loose the 2-3k difference in one shot!

I need to handle 6, possibly 8 screens.

Here's what I am thinking:

Processor: Intel core i7 3770k 3.5g/8m/s1155
Motherboard: s1155 asus sabertooth z77 z77
RAM: g.skill ares 1866mhz ddr3 16go
Graphics Card: asus pcie rad hd7970 directcuii 925mhz 3072m (can handle only 6 screens i think)
SSD: ???
Hard Drive: sata3 1.0to w.d 7200 64m wd1002faex
Case: ???
Power Supply: 750w atx cooler master gx???
BD Burner: ???
Operating system: Win 7 home premium
Screens: 6 to 8 ... what do u recommand? acl 23in asus pb238q 16:9

Highest priority is: STABILITY
Second one is: FAST

Thanks a lot in advance!

My thoughts:
You might want to start your own thread instead of hijacking this old one.

1. I tend to think the sabretooth is a bit overpriced, but since money is not important, go for it.
2. There is no real speed advantage of ram faster than 1600.
3. 7970 is for gamers and fast action shooters. To get 6 monitors, they will need displayport adapters, I think.
The 7970 is a $400-$600 unit. As an alternative, you could use several inexpensive pcie discrete graphics adapters. They will cost $20-$40, depending. All will support two monitors, some will support three.
The sabretooth has 7 pcie slots of varying capabilities, each of which are plenty capable for your use.
Add in the possibility of attaching two or three monitors to thew motherboard, and you should have more than enough connectors.
4. Think about the physical size and arrangement of the monitors you want. If you can see small ones, then you can get more windows. Larger monitors display the same amount of data, just that the pixels are smaller.
Make a mockup of your display area to see what you need/want.
5. 2560 x 1600 30" monitors are expensive, about $1000 each. They can display the same amount of data as a typical 1080P monitor. One big advantage is that they have superior quality displays with wider viewing angles. I think that would be important to you sitting inn front of a big array of data. With lesser monitors, the data not directly in front of your eyes will look washed out.
6. For performance and reliability, use a SSD, the larger the better. Put storage and backup on a conventional 1tb hard drive.
Samsung and Intel are my first choices.

7. Really, most cases that will hold a normal ATX sized motherboard will do. If you want quiet, there are some good options.

8. Coolermaster 750w is a tier 4 unit on this list. Not very good.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Look to Seasonic or other tier 1 or 2 units.

9. Normally, a dvd burner is sufficient. It can be used to boot windows 7 for install and recovery. Get bluray only if you plan on using bluray materials.

10. Plan onsome sort of EXTERNAL backup for your important data.

11. Buy a UPS. It need not be a big one, but it will condition power and ride you through monentary glitches.
If power availability is an issue, you can probably buy one that will last an hour or two. That would be expensive.
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January 11, 2013 4:52:01 PM

Wow! That was a quick and full answer. Thanks geofelt.

2. There is no real speed advantage of ram faster than 1600.

... even for a 5$ price difference?

3. 7970 is for gamers and fast action shooters. To get 6 monitors, they will need displayport adapters, I think.
The 7970 is a $400-$600 unit. As an alternative, you could use several inexpensive pcie discrete graphics adapters. They will cost $20-$40, depending. All will support two monitors, some will support three.
The sabretooth has 7 pcie slots of varying capabilities, each of which are plenty capable for your use.
Add in the possibility of attaching two or three monitors to thew motherboard, and you should have more than enough connectors.

ok ... i didn't know that at all. So using 7 slots in the motherboard, i could possibly have up to 7*3=21 monitors? Is there is any advantage of having one video card versus multiple ones? Can i still run the same program on all screens at once as easily/smoothly? As i understand it, no need for a video card, only pcie discrete graphics adapters?

Any need for a CPU cooler you think for such a setup?

Here is the current setup:

CPU : Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: needed ???
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Video Card: 3 double monitor pcie discrete graphics adapters????
Sound Card:
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus BW-14D1XT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Monitors: 6 x Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)



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Best solution

January 11, 2013 5:30:41 PM

You do not NEED a cpu cooler. But, I would buy one anyway.
A cm hyper212 evo will cost about $30. It will be much quieter than the stock intel cooler, and it will be easier to install than the stock pushpin type.

The real app performance difference with ram faster than 1600 is 1-3%.
Synthetic benchmarks will show up faster but not real app performance.
Read this article, it applies to ivy bridge too:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

All monitors will have a VESA mount capability. You will need a stand, or a series of wall mounts to set up an array of 6 monitors, probably arranged in two rows of 3 each.
That is rather large, probably about 63" wide, bu 32" tall. Each monitor can display about 2m pixels, or 12m pixels in total.
Each of those monitors has a viewing angle if 160/160.
Looking at the more distant parts may look a bit washed out. But, it is doable.

You could use three cards like this GT610 @$44 each. There are some less expensive units, but I like EVGA for their US based support.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you will be looking at this all day, consider using better quality monitors.
Something like this 2560 x 1440 27" monitor. Yes, it is more expensive $670.
But it has a 178/178 viewing angle, and a superior quality display. The monitor will display 3.8m pixels, so you would need only 4 of them to display 14.7m pixels in total.
The display space with 4 would be 50" wide, by42" tall.

Regardless, do some shopping, you might find a quantity discount on monitors.

No sound card is needed, motherboard sound will be fine. You might want to get an inexpensive set of speakers regardless.
the speakers on the asus will be very poor quality.

Seasonic gold 750w is as good as it gets. I use one, and the fan never needs to run.
In truth, a 550-650w unit would be more than enough.

Nothing wrong with the cm690. It is for gamers with high fan capacity which you don't need.
I might suggest a quiet case like the Antec soloII.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is a review from spcr, a quiet computing web site: http://www.silentpcreview.com/antec-solo2
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January 14, 2013 7:16:53 PM

Ok. So here's my updated setup, following your recommandations:

CPU : Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Backup Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: 3 x Asus GeForce GT 610 2GB
Sound Card: None
Case: Antec SOLO II ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus BW-14D1XT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Monitors: 6 x to determine later
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)
Basic speakers, keyboard and mouse
UPS: ???

The remainding questions:

1- Is 2GB needed for the video card, as each cards will handle 2 monitors with lots of graphics updating in real time. Or 1GB is more than enough? In the specifications of the motherboard, i see a maximum shared memory of 1696 MB. Would that pose problems with 6 screens?

2- The motherboard sabertooth z77 seems to only have 2 ports 3.0 and 1 port 2.0. So the limits of screens would be 6 i guess. Am i correct? Could i upgrade to 8 at a later time. What ports would i be using?

http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/SA...

3- Any special pick for the UPS? At my former job, we had it and this is a MUST!

Thanks! I'll repost in a couple of months after assembling to keep you posted on how it performs.

Also lunatyck, can you post the final trading setup of your uncle?
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January 14, 2013 7:43:08 PM

greendave12345 said:
Ok. So here's my updated setup, following your recommandations:

CPU : Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Backup Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: 3 x Asus GeForce GT 610 2GB
Sound Card: None
Case: Antec SOLO II ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus BW-14D1XT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Monitors: 6 x to determine later
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)
Basic speakers, keyboard and mouse
UPS: ???

The remainding questions:

1- Is 2GB needed for the video card, as each cards will handle 2 monitors with lots of graphics updating in real time. Or 1GB is more than enough? In the specifications of the motherboard, i see a maximum shared memory of 1696 MB. Would that pose problems with 6 screens?

2- The motherboard sabertooth z77 seems to only have 2 ports 3.0 and 1 port 2.0. So the limits of screens would be 6 i guess. Am i correct? Could i upgrade to 8 at a later time. What ports would i be using?

http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/SA...

3- Any special pick for the UPS? At my former job, we had it and this is a MUST!

Thanks! I'll repost in a couple of months after assembling to keep you posted on how it performs.

Also lunatyck, can you post the final trading setup of your uncle?


1. Each video card will have it's own video ram. It will be sufficient for the purpose. The motherboard maximum shared memory is applicable to the use of the integrated adapters, and does not apply to any discrete cards.

2. I think you are talking about USB3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. They have no connection to the discrete video cards or displays. The USB ports are commonly used to attach your keyboard, mouse. USB2.0 is fine for that. USB 3.0 is 10x faster than 2.0 so you should use a usb3.0 attached backup device for your external backup. Do plan on external backup. In the event of a virus, or fire, you will need external backup.

3. Definitely buy a UPS. I have had good luck with APC. The larger and more expensive units will have more batteries and a longer run time in the event of loss of electricity. APC has a free software app to test your unit and monitor events. I am using the back-ups pro 1500. I only need about 5 minutes to shut down gracefully. It will last longer, but I have not bothered with installing the software. You might want the auxiliary battery pack for longer uptime if you need to power 6 displays for any length of time. Perhaps powering only one in an emergency would be better.
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