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*How To Ask For New Build Advice*

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December 17, 2012 4:28:11 PM

I’m seeking advice on building a great Trading Computer that will run 6 – 24” IPS monitors, each with resolutions no higher than 1920 x 1200. Under consideration are the HP ZR2440W’s unless you know of a better-quality alternative. I don’t game now but the option would be nice.
The focus is on speed and reliability, using upper echelon components.
Budget for the computer: $3000-4,000
Case: Should be Top of the line with all bells & whistles (superior cooling & removable SSD)
PSU: 80+ Gold with (I’m guessing) a min of 800W
MB: Capable of expansion (see video cards)
CPU: Fast, min 4-core (possibly 6-core)(will have 3-5 programs open)
Graphics: The goal is to achieve outstanding picture quality on all 6 monitors. Is the Radeon HD5870 Eyefinity 6 edition good enough or are multi-cards better?
Memory: 16 GB min of 1600 min
Primary Drive (Internal): 240 GB SSD. Is Intel 520 series best?
Secondary Drive (removable/swappable): 120 GB SSD
Bootable recovery Drive: SSD?
Optical Drive: Blu-ray capable
B/U Drive: 1TB
B/U software: Any good recommendations?
OS: Win 7 Pro, 64 bit
Software: Win Office with business
Software: Multi monitor management. This is very important. Any great suggestions?
Software: AV – what’s best?
APU: Something that can handle this configuration.
Anything else?
Many thanks for your help,
BT

More about : build advice

December 17, 2012 4:58:49 PM

Quote:
Graphics: The goal is to achieve outstanding picture quality on all 6 monitors. Is the Radeon HD5870 Eyefinity 6 edition good enough or are multi-cards better?


That card is very very out of date. Better would be to get a pair of 7970's as you can run 3 monitors off one card.

Quote:
Software: Multi monitor management. This is very important. Any great suggestions?


Never heard of anything like this. All you really need is the drivers that come with your video card.

Quote:
Software: AV – what’s best?


I'd suggest putting software in a separate budget.

Quote:
APU: Something that can handle this configuration.


An APU is a CPU with a built in GPU, you don't need it for this configuration.

Quote:
Primary Drive (Internal): 240 GB SSD. Is Intel 520 series best?


No they're not. Do not purchase a Sandforce 2.0 drive, get a controller that's much better like Indilinx or Marvell. I included OCZ's new Vector drive which is based on a new controller called Bigfoot that actually beats the Samsung 840 Pro on most tests. I don't know of any cases with removable HDs that don't cost an arm and a leg. The Corsair 800D might fit but that's rather expensive.

Here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($73.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($269.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 1050W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($211.82 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (32-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2644.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-17 13:58 EST-0500)
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December 17, 2012 8:56:02 PM

Thank you g-unit1111, very kind of you to respond so quickly. I'll start researching tonight.
All the best,
Sandpiper
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December 17, 2012 10:00:15 PM

I don't think there's a problem with the Sandforce controller itself, it's just that a lot of companies made cheap drives based on it. OCZ was the main culprit but Corsair made a few cheap nasty ones as well. The Intel 520 is fast and has a good reputation along with a nice long warranty.

I'm not saying it's necessarily the best drive out there though. The Crucial M4 is a nice tried and tested reliable option. Not the fastest drive out there but not a slouch by any means, it's still pretty quick. That OCZ suggested above is probably OK, I haven't heard a lot about it.

Just throwing it out there as another option as well, you could run 6 monitors off this if you wanted to:

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

It would bring the load power consumption from about 500-600W to about 250-300W and still be fine for the work.

It won't be much good for gaming across 6 monitors but it would probably handle 3 OK with medium settings or something, it should be good for ultra high settings on a single monitor.

EDIT: 1KW would be recommended for a 3 x HD 7970's, if you plan on sticking with 2 I'd go with this though:

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

Or one of these for a single HD 7870

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

Slightly better quality for the same price or less.

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December 17, 2012 11:08:41 PM

Many thanks jmsellars1. I very much appreciate your input and will include your recommendations in my research.

Happy Holidays,
Sandpiper
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December 28, 2012 3:31:15 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
Graphics: The goal is to achieve outstanding picture quality on all 6 monitors. Is the Radeon HD5870 Eyefinity 6 edition good enough or are multi-cards better?


That card is very very out of date. Better would be to get a pair of 7970's as you can run 3 monitors off one card.

Quote:
Software: Multi monitor management. This is very important. Any great suggestions?


Never heard of anything like this. All you really need is the drivers that come with your video card.

Quote:
Software: AV – what’s best?


I'd suggest putting software in a separate budget.

Quote:
APU: Something that can handle this configuration.


An APU is a CPU with a built in GPU, you don't need it for this configuration.

Quote:
Primary Drive (Internal): 240 GB SSD. Is Intel 520 series best?


No they're not. Do not purchase a Sandforce 2.0 drive, get a controller that's much better like Indilinx or Marvell. I included OCZ's new Vector drive which is based on a new controller called Bigfoot that actually beats the Samsung 840 Pro on most tests. I don't know of any cases with removable HDs that don't cost an arm and a leg. The Corsair 800D might fit but that's rather expensive.

Here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($73.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($269.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 1050W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($211.82 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (32-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2644.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-17 13:58 EST-0500)




Well, I've completed a lot of research and still have a few questions, if you'd be kind enough to weigh-in on them.

1. Would it be suitable to substitute the 7970's with 1 Fire Pro W600 or 1 FirePro 7000?
2. Would it be suitable to substitute the Gigabyte MB with either a ASUS P8 Z77-V DELUXE or ASUS P8 Z77-V-WS?
3. Would it be suitable to substitute the 800D case with a CM Cosmos II?
4. Finally, how about adding 2 more sticks of memory to total 32GB?

Thanks again for your help....

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December 28, 2012 3:51:43 PM

1. I don't know much about pro cards I'm afraid.
2. Any Z77 board is fine.
3. Yeah, no problem.
4. So long as the motherboard has 4 DIMM slots, you're OK. Make sure to get 2 dual channel kits instead of a quad channel kit.
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Best solution

December 28, 2012 4:52:09 PM

i would look into the socket 2011 cpu's with their 6 core cpu's. I'm guessing that the trading software would benefit from the 6 core/12 threads. also the quad channel memory could be useful but again it really depends on what software you are running. are watching/trading stocks or are you running some crazy prediction algorithms?

according to anand the W600 is similiar to the Radeon HD 7750. you are always going to pay more for the professional version of the cards.

i would do something like this. the 6 core 3930K and 32GB of quad channel memory. the msi 7970 lightning can support 6 monitors. the only problem is i don't see any reasonably priced 24"+ IPS monitors that have mini display ports. you would need to buy mini display port adapters depending on what monitors you bought. maybe someone else can find a monitor that has mini display ports.

the 650D has good cable management. the H100i is a closed loop water cooler. you could replace this with a air cooler if you want. the 840 pro is one of the top ssd's. an 850 watt gold modular seasonic psu. you cold definitely save some money and get a cheaper psu. six 27" IPS monitors. don't expect that video card to run AAA games on 6 monitors but it should be fine with productivity software.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($216.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($489.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.93 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.60 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Monitor: ViewSonic VX2770Smh-LED 27.0" Monitor ($273.42 @ B&H)
Total: $3770.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-28 13:29 EST-0500)
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December 28, 2012 6:01:41 PM

You don't need a 7970 for day trading, WTF guys? He needs a sensible option for running 6 screens, not playing BF3 on 6 screens.
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December 29, 2012 9:57:32 AM

FinneousPJ said:
You don't need a 7970 for day trading, WTF guys? He needs a sensible option for running 6 screens, not playing BF3 on 6 screens.


He said 'I don't game now but the option would be nice.'
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December 29, 2012 12:37:54 PM

jmsellars1 said:
He said 'I don't game now but the option would be nice.'

And you really think $800 for a pair of 7970s is what he should pay for that? Wow, well it's easy to spend other people's money...
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December 29, 2012 5:13:09 PM

I'm not spending anything, he is asking for suggestions and he is getting them. I didn't even suggest the HD 7970 anyway, I was the one to say that 6 monitor version of the HD 7870 would be fine so long as he doesn't want to game over 6 monitors. If he does want to game across 6 monitors (and he said he wants the option), it would be wise to use dual HD 7970's.
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December 29, 2012 5:20:31 PM

My interpretation is he wants an option to game, not to game across 6 screens.
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December 29, 2012 7:23:44 PM

I suppose that isn't clear. Lets make it clear to the OP then, if you want 6 monitors and the option to game on one (or 3 at lowered settings) then the HD 7870 is fine. If you want to game over 6 with high settings, I'd get a minimum of dual HD 7970's.
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December 29, 2012 8:19:02 PM

Apparently I wasn't clear about the monitors and their intended use(s), so please allow me to clarify. The primary function for this setup will be for Actively Trading the Markets. With six screens, I'll be able to display a lot of information simultaneously. With live data feeds, number crunching, charting and having several open applications, the computer will certainly be working for a living. For that reason, I'm considering using the six core i7-3930. It's also sounding like dual HD7970s would allow EVERYTHING to work well, thus avoiding any system shortcomings.

A second use of the machine will be for running Autodesk Revit Architecture which is new generation CAD software, probably on one screen.

As I said, gaming would be a "nice" (third) option, but never having done that, I don't even know what it entails. I'm sure I wouldn't need six screens for it though. I would guess 3 max, but I don't know.

Thanks again, gents, for all your input. You're all very generous sharing your knowledge.

Sandpiper
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December 31, 2012 9:47:27 AM

Best answer selected by Sandpiper.
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