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Computers; I never buy new

 
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jprovost

Computers; I never buy new

If you are looking for a good computer for home or office, I recommend buying off-lease equipment. Since processor speeds have remained static for the last decade, the need to buy the newest in order to get the fastest has become a thing of the past for most people. Only those into high end gaming or have a need for CAD\CAM design need the highest speeds that the latest workstations have to offer. For us traders, we won't come anywhere close to these needs.
I've been buying off-lease\refurbished equipment for a number of years for both my personal use as well as the company i work for. After buying hundreds of units over time I've experienced a failure rate of less than 5%; meaning less than 5% of machines I ordered were defective and needed to be exchanged. Be sure you understand the returns policy before purchasing. below are a couple of sites to check out. If you have questions or you arent sure what you need, give them a call and explain your needs and what you are trying to do. Get a quote and determine for youself if its something you want to do.

*Don't let the term "Server" dissuade you,
they have workstations and laptops as well.

www.theserverstore.com
www.newegg.com
www.servermonkey.com

If you'd like more information on components and how to build\configure you own PC, I recommend watching the following video. It'll help with understanding the different components.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/what-you-need-to-know-before-building-your-o...

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 7:46am
 
hakchinoy

"Only those into high end gaming or have a need for CAD\CAM design need the highest speeds that the latest workstations have to offer. For us traders, we won't come anywhere close to these needs."

Some of us traders also fit into at least one of those aforementioned groups, but I know what you meant. :)

Yet, you did exclude one significant group: traders who use sophisticated trading software for analysis and/or trade automation. The more charts that a trader displays, and the more EAs/indicators/scripts that he/she runs per chart, the more resource intensive his/her setup will be. Alveo and MT4/5 are resource hogs. From a software design perspective, although Alveo tends to handle threads and memory slightly more cleanly than MT4/5, all of them have issues with memory and thread management. Try running a browser loaded with FB or Google concurrently while running Alveo with several charts loaded, with several EAs/indicators/scripts loaded per chart. Doing so will show you immediately why this group also needs to be included. :)

Nevertheless, I like your idea about buying off-lease equipment, but I'd never buy refurbished equipment--due to previous bad experiences (helping clients and friends to recover from bad purchases) and how most warranties are written. I'd also buy other used equipment--as long as I know its history and I know that the original buyer purchased it new.

 
jprovost

Thanks hakchinoy, I appreciate your comments. :)

It's probably good to point out that the applications you mentioned, as with most of the trading apps I've used, are all 32bit. The significance being that they can only utilize 4GB of RAM regardless if your computer can support (or has) more. That means all of your 32 bit apps are competing for the same memory space. How does your system work with this limitation? It pages chunks of memory out to disk so that other apps can use the memory. Paging memory to disk is expensive in terms of performance, with disk being the slowest bottle neck in most systems. For most people the quickest way to improve performace, especially for those 32bit apps, is to upgrade the hard drive to an SSD (Solid State Drive). A SATA SSD Upgrade can improve disk performance by a factor of 10 over a traditional 5400 RPM HDD. So now, paging to disk is not the expensive task it was with traditional HDD thus making returning performance back over to your apps. If you want to go really crazy, look into NVMe M.2 drives, they make SSD look slow.

The point I am trying to make is that the machine used for engineering purposes with multi-socket, multi-core, processors and 16+ GB RAM won't help much when the real issue is the application and storage..

Memory: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262792-30-programs-access

 
hakchinoy

I'm glad you brought up the 32-bit RAM and paging issues. =) I didn't bring it up before, because I wasn't sure if you wanted to go there. ;)

Another alternative to work around that 4GB restriction is to incorporate some virtualization, and partition ones resources in a way to facilitate sharing. One instance could be dedicated to trading; another instance could be dedicated to browsing; and so forth.

Unfortunately, with Alveo and MT4/5, certain components are 64-bit and others still are 32-bit. So altogether none of it is 64-bit or 32-bit clean.

I really like your SSD recommendation, and I'll have to check out those NVMe M.2 drives. ;)

"The point I am trying to make is that the machine used for engineering purposes with multi-socket, multi-core, processors and 16+ GB RAM won't help much when the real issue is the application and storage.."

You can say that again!

Just curious, . . . are you an IT person? ;) You know too much to be just a casual or even a power user. ;)

 
jprovost

I like your idea about virtualizing the apps, I've thought about doing that using VMWare workstation but for now I'm going to see what I can get by upgrading disk. I just purchased a new NVMe drive for my rig and will install it this weekend. If you are interested in this sort of thing, make sure your BIOS supports booting from UEFI. If it won't, you can still install one but it will be an additional drive (e:\) for example. Then reinstall your apps to the new drive along with the paging file.
And yeah, i'm an IT person. Yourself?

 
jprovost

And if you are interested in NVMe, I'd recommend Samsung.
https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/memory-storage/solid-state-drives/s...

 
Rookie

Hak, my new Dell PC (attention JV) is a solid state and I will never go back. I still have a 1T hard drive but my OS and programmes run on the SSD... and 64MB Ram, it screams all for 1K! I and the latest series 7 & CPU, I can not build a PC that cheap or purchased used comparable.

 
hakchinoy

Oh yeah, . . . I'm definitely an IT guy (coder++); that's how I could tell that you had to be one too. =)

As a *nix guy, I wouldn't think of getting a computer nowadays that doesn't have full support for UEFI. Anyone who does is just asking for trouble (which he/she most likely will find via some arcane hardware issue [especially if using USB devices]).

I have a SDD (the primary) and HDD on my laptop. I like the combo, but insisted on having at least the SDD. ;) And, yes, it's a gaming laptop.

Folks don't build PCs anymore to save money, because it's cheaper to get stuff off-the-shelf for most. Nowadays, we build PCs to customize (usually trying to get higher performance and/or more functionality than what ships off-the-shelf).

 
Rookie

So my new Dell 4K monitor arrived today, it is slick (now 3 and is all I need) this monitor I bought to match my other Gateway 24 inch but the is no comparison.... the main monitor is a Dell the larger version of the same I just received. Whats kewl, attach stand, no screws, it does up, down horizontal and rotates with no buttons! the video card is maxed out, had to use the DP port for this setup, the gateway will be history next month....::))

 
jprovost

Deleted comment

 
Rookie

wrong forum, see the software pull down

 
Mutant Knight

black friday will have SUPER cheap computers for sale! Probably a great time to get one. I think I saw some good deals on newegg and best buy...

 
TraderHewitt

>>The significance being that they can only utilize 4GB of RAM regardless if your computer can support (or has) more.
>>That means all of your 32 bit apps are competing for the same memory space.

Are you sure about this? Any links? Whilst its true that the app cannot reference more than a 32-bit address won't the underlying OS/hardware map each application into its own space as such inside the 64-bit address space on main ram? The Toms Hardware link above, it does not say that, it says the each application cannot reference more than 4GB RAM, but it does not state they all share same page of system memory, i.e. they are not competing with each other for a limited block of RAM shared across all 32-bit applications. Its just that if they are battling because that app requires more than 4GB RAM it will page and not utilize the rest of the memory.

Note the scaling issue is true of cores too, many platforms (MT4 in particular) are not built to take proper advantage of multi cores, i.e. buying a processer with 6x cores instead of 2x wont make your MT4 itself faster as it cannot use more than 1 (NT8 is the exception).

Fact is except in case above (heavy EA workload and back testing) most platforms used here actually utilize very little resources compared to modern machine, and any old computor by and lagre will probably be fine. I wouldn't go spend tons on NVMe upgrades etc unless you were such your MT4/Alveo was sticking and lagging because of constant paging despite having sufficient system RAM.

Right now for example, Alveo + NT8 + Jigsaw Daytrder + Rythmic + MT5 Chrome on a Core i5-4460 is running with no hitches and using only 4.2GB RAM

 
JPITrader

well, buying leased equipments depends in which countries you are located. For example, in my country, its way better to buy brand new computers rather than leasing off since in the run long run it is better and you can trade-in for newer computers at cheaper prices later