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 Post subject: Very High System Requirements
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:40 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I am considering getting a new pc to increase my performance in one of the programs I use - Tradestation 8. Below are the recommended system requirements.

Recommended:
Processor: Fastest Available. TradeStation also takes full advantage of multiple CPUs and hyperthreading
RAM: As much as possible. We recommend upgrading existing machines to the maximum memory supported by your computer.
Hard Drive: As large as possible. TradeStation utilizes approximately 100MB of hard drive space, but will use more if available. We do not recommend upgrading your hard drive on existing machines.
Video Card(s): Fastest Available
Monitor(s): 1280 x 1024 monitor resolution or higher. TradeStation also supports multiple monitors.
Power Supply: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to protect against lightning and power outages. Attach computer, monitor and modem to UPS.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what components to use to get the best performance, based on their recommended hardware requirements? I plan to use watercooling for this particular pc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:48 am 
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Hm, without knowing what this Tradestation 8 application actually DOES, I'll venture a guess that it's NOT a CAD/3D program, therefore the suggestion to get "the fastest video card available" seems a bit suspicious to me.
Maybe you can be a bit more specific about what this program actually does, so that we can be more helpful?;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:11 am 
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Location: NY
I'm wary of any application that fails to list actual system requirements. In fact, even if listed, most are overblown.

My 2.4c with 512mb and a cheap Volari video card runs Doom 3 just fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:51 am 
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Tradestaion - as I guessed easily from its name - turned out to be a equities broker tool. As such, nearly all specs are overblown.

Now, as I understand it, it continually analizes incoming stock data and makes comparisons, predictions, etc. As it's continuous and I know there are gazillions of possible analyses & data to track, I can understand the need for a powerful processor.

In fact, this might be among the few areas where Intel's Hyperthreading *might* be of advantage. Further research is required though.

Again a lot of RAM would be useful depending on how many securities you'll be tracking simultaneously. Still I doubt anything you do will ever need more than 1GB, possibly less.

Harddrive. Now, just about any modern harddrive has both the capacity and the speed to handle anything Tradestation can throw at it. *As large as possible* yet the program uses 100 MB (nothing, in todays storage capacities). I severely doubt that data will grow so fast that your disk will fill up quickly. Just go ahead and buy any 7200 rpm hdd in any flavor - preferably a quiet one :)

Just about any graphics card (even the lousiest) can output any number of 2D graphics on multiple monitors. You definitely don't need an especially fast one. You might want to look at the Matrox line if you intend to use more than two displays.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:00 am 
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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
It’s no secret. As an active trader, emotions—specifically fear and greed—
are your greatest obstacles to trading success. That’s why many professionals believe one of the keys to long term success is to develop objective rules for when to buy and when to sell. Until now, the ability to create, test and automate this kind of objective rule-based trading plan was only available to select institutions that could afford huge research staffs. But no more.

TradeStation is the first trading platform that gives you the power to create, test and fully automate your own rule-based trading strategies. TradeStation puts up to 20 years of in-depth market history at your command with the power to instantly back-test any trading strategy you design, before risking one cent of trading capital. When you’re ready to trade, TradeStation can automatically monitor your trading rules and even execute your trades. That’s why TradeStation has become the fastest growing and most highly awarded trading platform available today.




I'm guessing this is the app you mean?

http://www.tradestation.com/default_2.shtm

If that is the software, then I would say you can safely ignore it's comment about gfx cards - just get something decent and passive (barring the possibility of the app having some funky 3d visualisations of the market? Even so, check if they support Direct 3d or Open GL before adding a high end gfx card to improve performance).

CPU wise I would grab a mid range Athlon 64, and ram wise maybe 1 gig - I doubt it will actually stretch much beyond that (but I may be wrong).

Artag

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Last edited by Artagra on Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:46 am 
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1) How much money are you willing to spend?
2) Are you willing to accept the fact that this system may not play games well?

Assuming you can afford to spend a crapload of money, I can recommend a system that will be overkill for this program.

Start by getting a Tyan Thunder K8W motherboard and 2 Opteron 250 processors. This particular setup has gives each processor it's own dedicated memory path. Load it up with as much registered memory as you can afford. Suprisingly, 2 Zalman 7000-AlCUs can cool this beast.

For a video card, I would seriously examine the Matrox line. The P650 is a great passive Dual-DVI card. The P750 and Parhelia give you triple head support, though you get active cooling in the process. The G200 & G450 MMS series can give you quad head support, though. The G200 appears to be passive and the G450 appears to be active, though it's not clear if that's across the board.

(Interesting note: If you decide to spring for the G200 MMS, you can probably save money on the motherboard by going with a Thunder K8S, which doesn't actually have an AGP port).

For monitors, I would examine 9x Media, though Viewsonic has some respectable offerings as well.

The power supply can be done by any decent 400W PSU. A decent 300W PSU can probably take care of the above listed system, but I wouldn't push it too far. A Samsung 160GB hard drive is probably more than plenty for your needs as well. Though if you really need size, it's my understanding that Hitachi is currently reigning as size king with their 400GB hard drive.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:16 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanks for all your replies.

Currently it is run on my P4 2.53 with 1gb Ram. I find at the moment around 350mb Ram is free with the program running. That is without a lot of my stock lists running. The program could do with running a little (lot) faster!!!

It definitely doesn't use up much HD space, probably around 500mb, and it has no 3d graphics at all. I think a large amount of ram on the graphics card would help it though.

Having a think about it after all your comments I have come up with the following:

nForce 4 Ultra with Athlon 64 - 3800+ or an FX
Ram 2GB Ultra low latency (May as well have enough)
ATI FireMV 2400 - Quad output card (No idea on pricing of these)
2 x Samsung 160gb SATA
Samsung DVD-RW

Put all of this in an Antec 3700 with a Phantom and a Resorator.

I would like to have dual cpu but I don't think I can justify the expenditure just yet.

Whats everyones thoughts on the components listed above?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:39 am 
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Although I'm a HUGE fan of Athlon64 processors, your application might - as I pointed out earlier - benefit from a hyperthreading P4. It'll be difficult to cool a fast one quietly though.

1 GB barely enough? I'd suspect that the program is badly written and isn't managing memory properly, in which case you'll quickly find 2GB is not enough. 1GB is a huge amount of RAM. Don't worry about the latency, you probably wont notice the difference.

Why 2x hdd? If you're thinking RAID, you probably wont benefit from it.

Did you check the Matrox line, particularly the ones sthayashi mentioned? Lots of memory on the card isn't a necessity. Just calculate 1280x1024x4 = 5 MB per monitor. Any current card will handle just fine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:19 am 
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How about using an Asus P4R800-V deluxe with a standard ATI based dual head video card. That will give you three monitors for a reasonable price.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:32 am 
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If you are keen on more than two monitors, what about this: get an AGP 9600xt with dual displays, and then a second PCI card (also passive) with dual displays - much, much cheaper than any of these exotic cards that support four displays.

Artag

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:01 am 
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michaelharvey wrote:
Put all of this in an Antec 3700 with a Phantom and a Resorator.

I would like to have dual cpu but I don't think I can justify the expenditure just yet.

Whats everyones thoughts on the components listed above?

People have talked about a fanless system like you've described (assuming you're not putting case fans. if you are, then my apologies). I, however, give serious question about people who want to use a fanless power supply in a fanless system. To me this is playing with fire/stability.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think you're going to see a significant performance boost with your planned upgrade. I would give some serious consideration at going dual. I outlined your most expensive dual path before , but trust me there are paths that are tremendously cheaper. Tyan Tiger K8W + 240 Opterons is one of the cheapest I can think of off the top of my head. I don't know whether an Athlon XP dual processing workstation would be an upgrade for you though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:57 am 
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Are you member of omega-list@eskimo.com ?
A lot of people on that forum daytrade for a living.
There are some prebuild systems that are tweaked for TS use.
Including dual or quad head gfx cards.
SCSI raid etc.
I don't remeber the site that sells them but sure some of the user on that forum know.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:50 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanks for all your messages.
I think I will have to give the dual cpu some thought, and I will test it on an P4 with HT.

Artagra - I have 2 graphics cards at the moment. I would rather the one in future for ease of use.

burcakb - 2 drives for Raid - but mirroring. I thought about 2 raptors but I don't think its worth the noise.

sthayashi - I currently have a phantom and it doesn't really get that hot, even with a system with 4 hd, 2 graphics cards, 2 dvd drives etc.

However with the Nexus 120mm inaudible at the voltage it starts at a fan wouldn't really be an issue for safety reasons.

386-sx-33 - Thanks for the omega list info. I shall check them out in my spare time. Are you also a tradestation user?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 3:28 am 
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Interesting discovery - I found out that this program seems to perform faster with a Pentium M than even with a dual cpu setup. I assume its got something to do with the 2mb cache.
This sure does change any planned upgrade though!


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