Day-trading Thread - Online Day Trading pc, day trader, multi-monitors


Apr 10, 2010
Wanted to start a day-trading thread.

I just bought a trading setup and am not quite as happy as i feel i should be.

As traders, we require fast multiple monitor setups that are STABLE.
We are different from the typical Gaming community and dont care about the numbers.
We care about the results.

As a trader, screen real estate, stability, and speed are VITAL.
Bells and whistles are unnecessary,

I believe there is no need to buy through a company that specializes in "day trading computers".
They are making at least 1,000 on you and you dont even have the assurances that you would if you bought a dell or hp at 1/3 of the cost.

I use tradestation as my broker.
My setup (with just 1 videocard was just over 1,000). (Purchased 3/2010)

Microcenter did my build.
They are great, but they tend to make you think you need to buy top notch products. (for gaming).
They know gaming, not trading of course.

But my setup is considered top of the line (to an extent).
My trading software (tradestation), does not run any faster than the dual core setups i've used in my education seminars. Does anyone recommend anything else?
Do we all need to learn how to overclock?
I am not buying into the fact that i need to go buy a pc through "daytradingpc'"

My setup:

Processor - i7 920
Motherboard - evga x58 sli LE
HD - Western digital Black - 500GB
RAM - Corsair 6gb ram (xms3 tripple channel -ddr3 3 x 2gb)
3 ati graphics cards (4670,4650, 3600) All dual dvi inputs.
6 monitors (3 @ 24", 2 @19", 1 @22")
Antec 750w
Case - Thermatake v3 with 2 extra xigabite ultrasilent fans
Windows 7 64bit pro.

Would it have been a better idea to get a 1 card that supports 6-8 monitors, than to buy a custom build with 4 pcie x 16 slots for 3 - 4 graphics cards. (like my rig)?

Has anyone bought a dell/hp type pc and used a 6- 8 monitor card?

If i were to do it again - I think a quad processor would have been fine, which would have saved on the motherboard and the i7 processor which is still too expensive for our needs. I think you really only need a quad processor with 4-6 gb or ddr3 ram. (intel or amd i believe makes no difference).

I myself, probably should have gotten an 8 monitor single card (i believe matrox makes one for $800), instead of spending so much on a premium motherboard in order to have so many pcie slots, but i went a bit overboard.

The monitor stands can be cheaper than what i've seen posted.
I bought a 6 monitor stand thru a company on ebay which can hold monitors up to 26 inches. Stand t is very high quality and i paid under 200.

Hopefully there are enough traders to respond (that aren't trying to sell something)
I think your problem is those graphics cards you are using they are more for multimedia use and gaming and are probably falling a bit short with what you are asking for them since all your work is in the 2d realm with lots of monitors.

What you need is something like this
Matrox M9188 PCIe x16

Matrox has been the leader in running multiple display systems in the commercial feild for ages now and I think it will be what you are looking for only problem is they are quite expensive.

The reason you didn't really see much of a difference with the dual core is that the software you are using doesn't use more then 1 or 2 threads so you can have 50 cores and it will still run exactly the same as it did on the dual core. I think its you graphics card setup causing the problem but I think you already know that.

That first card I listed isnt gonna be cheap probably around $1600 but can drive up to 8 monitors off one card and is built for the type of work you do they also make one that runs 3 monitors so 2 of them would work also be cheaper about $350 per card.

Matrox M9138 LP PCIe x16 1GB


Apr 10, 2010
Thanks for the input. What you are saying makes total sense.

But I wouldnt say i'm having a "problem" so to speak. Everything works fine.
It's just that everything seems to run at the same speed as a new $600 hp or dell machine. (for my needs, of course)



Apr 8, 2010
Microcenter uses gaming cards because they do not know any better. How many monitors are you trying to run? Large amounts of memory on the cards will actually slow the video transmission to the screen because the computer does not know how to handle it. Games are designed to load the graphic memory, keep the 3D in memory. Trading applications like tradestation, quote express etc do not utilize any 3D memory, so added processing on the card is important. uses FirePro video cards for their trading configuration, 2 GPUs to process and push video through the cards to the screens. They build the systems around the video cards, making the processor and memory more efficient. Check them out. They have been building multi monitor systems for a long time.


Apr 10, 2010
If you look up "firepro graphics cards" all the results point to 3d cards, so i am not sure what you are telling me.

I'm not buying another system, especially one that costs 3,000 to buy, but 1,000 to build.

Thats 2,000 profit.
I'm sure their system works fine.

But guess what?
As i said before..... so does mine.

Maybe another card would work for my current rig, but i dont know what that would do.
A firepro graphics card would improve overall performance?
or would a computer from emcworkstations be my only choice to get a good system?

Already made the investment, and as i said, i do not have any problems.
I just dont have anything performing better than the dual processor machines that i have worked on in training classes.

Like I said in my first post the Matrox cards are designed for that type of application you are using the fire pro cards are great too but they are more geared towards 3d design. And like I said the performance of the new system with more cores is the same because your application wont be able to use all the extra cores a dual core machine is more then enough power for the program.


Apr 10, 2010
Thanks saaiello - for all of your input. Very much appreciated.

I am going to look into matrox. I should have in the first place instead of getting so involved with the i7 processor and alll these video cards which are unnecessary for my needs.

With that being said, is there a way to get my current i7 920 performing faster? I know overclocking is the obvious answer, but is there a way to do this without jeaopardizing stability while increasing performance?

Since i probably onely need 2 cores, is there an overclock that would put my i7 machine on 2 cores, but obviously much faster? And is this safe?

Obviously i can't jeopardize stability.

Perhaps there is a thread you recommend for someone like me.
- I know very little about overclocking and am hesitant to even try it without really
learning about it.

Mainly because stability is so important to me.
My pc is my business, so i can't mess around.

Well the I7 already has a self overclock called Turbo where it will speed up 1 or 2 cores to 2.9ghz when it is needed. The 920 is a great overclocker and with a quick read of a guide you will be able to do it with relative ease. You can at least overclock it to 3.4 ghz on its stock heat sink and maybe a slight increase in voltage and will be rock solid stable.

I have a feeling that the program you are using isnt gonna be much faster then it already is on your system no matter how high you overclock the processor I feel that its not the processor holding it back from being faster like I said before with the dual core how it was more then enough power to run it. What you will have to do is open up task manager and look at the performance monitor and see how much of the processor its using If its not maxing out the cores that its using then its not the processor and its the video cards hindering performance gains.


Apr 10, 2010
Using my tradestation software, i pulled up the task manager and did some basic tasks of pulling up data.

It seems as if it is using 4 cores, but at a max of 15-20% each when pulling data.
The memory used is 2.19 gb

U really think the video cards are holding back my potential?

see this link. i captured an image of the task manager


Not by alot but it will probably be alot smother using the matrox cards is it worth the the money with out a doubt but should you upgrade?

That all depends on how its performing with out seeing it first hand its hard for me to tell and from what you said about it being 15 to 20% across all cores means its only using 1 thread about 80 to 90% so it isnt maxing out the 1 thread its using so the processor isnt gonna affect the performance no matter what you do to it and from what I see with your specs the only real thing that needs improvement is your hodge podge of video cards.


Apr 10, 2010
When you say hodge podge of video cards, is that because there are 3 of them and they are different models? They are all ATI radeon cards, that all use the latest catalyst control center drivers.

They are all on pcie x 16 slots plugged into the monitors with dvi ports.

My motherboard has 4 pcie x 16 ports, so i thought this was the best option.

Why would getting a few matrox cards as a replacement help so much?
Sorry, i just dont understand.

Thanks for your help.

I am not saying that the cards you have are bad or anything its just the fact that they are all different so each one will perform a little bit different then the next so that right there is something you might be noticing.

Now as far as why the matrox cards do so well is that these cards were designed to work with 2d applications and to drive multiple displays. They have been the leader of the multi display 2d realm since the mid 90s there cards will out perform any gaming card on the market in the 2d side of things.


Apr 15, 2010

i trade also,and on another thread i mentioned I was thinking of building a new computer.I was interested in how you got that system at microcenter for around 1000.Can you send me a link to that deal?...
I use E-signal,interactivebrokers,schwab,thinkorswim,thinkpies,and have about 15 tabbed windows of google crome open at one tine.I use 6 monitors,and at the moment I have a 3 year old dell with vista 32 bit,so I have to upgrade anyway to use more than 3gb of Ram...Thanks...


Apr 10, 2010
I dont have a quote for you, but you can check the website for prices on components.
They do not have the best description for their parts, so i'd recommend utilizing newegg for that.
Microcenter tends to be cheaper when they have a sale.

But my advice to you from 1 trader to another is not to get involved unless you are really interested in this sorta thing.
it is not necessary to build your own.
A quad processor is pleanty for us. AMD may even be better than intel for our purposes.

Building a pc is not easy if you've never done it, and it takes time and frustration.
It will create a whole other ballgame of things to troubleshoot, etc,....

If you know how to build and are interested, then go for it.

If you want to focus on trading, skip the build your own and get another dell.
it has lasted you 3 years, what more can you ask for?

what kind of card is running the 6 monitors may i ask?

My deal was simply because i was a pain in the axx to them and knew my father had recenty had a pc built for the same cost as mine at 1066.

Their quote was 1400 with what they recommended, (in store)m was something totally different and not necessary. But if you go this route, it's really the only way. That store can really wear a person down and can make you just say f... it, i'll pay an extra 200 dollars if you dont have the sale item in stock.

I did not need a gaming graphics card for $170, or 1000 wats of power which they felt was necessary to run 6 monitors (up to 8). THey recommended all sorts of things because they only know gaming.

All in all, i found better parts and better sales from what they quoted me to total 1066.
the core i7 was 199. = They said go with amd cus it's cheaper. (not really)
and the board was 229
the ram was 159
Graphics card was 59
the hd was 50 bucks.
the case was around 40

the parts were all on sale at the time and it was a lot of work for me.

I told them to build my machine, with my parts, not theirs, because they were nickel and diming me, so i took over and learned about what is relevant and what isn't.

I learned about all the parts and hand picked them individually based on what was on sale.

I had them do their custom build for me based on what they recommended (always more expensive), but you gotta go thru the motions.

I took it home (after almost buying their build), and curtailed it to what was on sale online and in the flyer and what i felt was most important to me.
I really wanted to get it under 1000 because i knew the monitors would cost a lot.

But i found myself involved too much in building the computer instead of focusing on trading.

As traders, we need monitors, but i dont think the software that you use will make a huge performance difference in asystem like mine.
IF i were to do it again, i'd go thru hp (not a dell fan), but thats my own personal preference.
I'd get a $600 desktop, buy an extra video card that runs 6 monitors for $800, instead of the 3 i purchased.
and i'd get extra ram on my own (not thru dell or hp),

That is what i suggest if i had to do it all over again.

Make sure your software will run on 64 bit pc. Tradestation does, but it doesnt utilize it.
Def go with ddr3 ram vs. ddr2 (it's more expensive, but i'm told it's twice as fast).

We need to spend the money on the monitors, which adds up.



Apr 15, 2010

i used some cheap dell dual dvi cards....if you ever look at of the trade...he loves the lenovo monitors...good display and they run cool...i bot 2 of the 24 inch ones on the lenovo outlet site last night for 229 each(free shipping!!!)

dave n

May 16, 2015
i've only been trading for a year and build a monster computer before i started. i have i7 3960 which has 6 huge cores that translates to 12 logical cores liquid cooled. 32gig ram and a solid state drive 256.

the bad trade station uses 32 bit software so only 3 gigs max memory is used. need to complain enough to them to change this.

the good they have multi thread support after 9.5 but i notice one of the logical core runs a lot more then the other 11 which i'm not sure why.

also with all this computing power charts come up fast but it still doesn't stop trade station from freezing around 9:29 Easter time and when it does i lose all my work. so now i clear the cashe in trade station before i use it and back everything up before the movement starts. and sometimes it still crashes.
as far as amd i build four computers in the past using amd and chouldn't figure out why it crashed so much if it was amd processors the cheap ram or windows but since i build this beast with i7 and windows 8 windows 8 even with all the faults has been solid. the only thing that hangs up is tradestation and it does it to alot of more Intelligent people than me. i dont have alot of monitors that might be one of my problems but i have a 42 hdtv for one where i can split into two charts and one 23inch. near new york city so im lucky im not living in a shoe. still trying to work out my trading skills learn futures. not good yet.. getting better though


Aug 20, 2015
I tend to leave the technology stuff up to the nerds who can provide a bullet-proof solution for me. Having said that, I was able to get a pretty insane multiple monitor setup put together for myself with the help of a local IT company. We went with a I7 hex-core (I realize OP posted back in '10) and 64GB RAM with a 6 monitor (AMD W600) graphics cards. All-in-all, super fast... oh and we did a 480GB SSD drive for main drive.