Question GPU using 50% of available VRAM ? System optimization suggestions....?

buddhaseeking

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Jan 25, 2016
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I have a intel i7-4770 (3.4Ghz) desktop which i use for stock trading with ThinkOrSwim. I have already conducted numerous searches for days on internet, and figured out that ThinkOrSwim (TOS) is a single threaded program old generation program with various limitations. So, the recommendation and consensus on the web is to run multiple instances of this program to optimize usage of CPU/ GPU/RAM etc. Since my old GPU (NVS 750) was not able to handle multiple instances of TOS, i upgraded to Nvidia GTX 745 that has 4GB GPU ram. I am now trying to run multiple instances of this trading platform (on 5 different virtual desktops created using Windows 10). The results are seen in pictures below.

  1. Computer RAM is hitting max usage (currently only has 16GB, but awaiting delivery of 32 GB RAM to upgrade that section of system). So, this is not a issue.
  2. CPU usage is only averaging 10% - since this TOS trading platform is running stock charts on 2 real HD monitors (and 5 different virtual desktops). No issues with CPU.
  3. GPU usage is less than 30% - since this is not gaming and it gets used more when stock market is open (currently it is weekend, and no load with stock chart updating). No issues.
  4. Network is no issue, because ethernet connection is barely using 2 Mbps (out of the available 75 Mbps cable modem). The brokerage server is not fast enough with data.
  5. GPU vram is used about 2 GB out of the 4 GB available. This is the issue i want to address.
I have tried going from no virtual desktop to 5 different virtual desktops, in an effort to fully maximize the usage of the system. Each virtual desktop gives me 2 real world monitor displays of HD resolution. Increasing the virtual desktops only moves the GPU vram usage by 200 to 300 MB (for each virtual desktop added). Given that i will move to 32 GB system RAM (from current 16 GB), i want to get suggestions on how best to fully use this machine as my trading platform.

  1. Are there any tricks to use more of the GPU vram, rather than motherboard system RAM (which won't be a bottleneck anyways, once the 32GB arrives home). Half of GPU ram is going unused.
  2. I welcome other suggestions (beyond adding more virtual desktops, which i already plan to experiment with when 32GB arrives).
Thanks for all replies.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
The system requirements for the app you've mentioned state not working with a workstation GPU(while I was assuming you're in need of a workstation pedigree GPU). I would like to suggest sourcing a donor GPU that's higher in pedigree but not bottom of the barrel GPU's but something higher in tier like a GTX1060 6GB and see if you're able to overcome the limitation of VRAM usage.

Make and model of your motherboard and it's BIOS version? OS version(not edition)? This might be a good read alongside the entire subreddit. Make and model of the rams used on your platform?
 

buddhaseeking

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Jan 25, 2016
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Thanks for your reply. I have indeed spent lot of time researching this topic on the internet and pretty much gathered all i could about optimization of TOS trading platform. Have come to the conclusion that i need to move onto better platform over next year (after 2 decades with TOS) since they are more modern and can use a system effectively.

My previous GPU card was Nvidia NVS 750 which only had 512 MB VRAM in it. It could not handle the numerous charts that i would load up to watch the market. So, i upgraded and went with a 4GB VRAM GPU (GTX 745). After the upgrade, i do see the difference in quality of display as well as the performance. No more crashes, and i am finding that i can use more and more of the free VRAM (by slowly increasing the number of simultaneous processes of this same single threaded app). So, the answer lies in simply loading up the GPU with more charts (by using different processes, since this app clogs up if i load all charts in one single instance of app).

Currently i am upto 2.4 GB usage, running 5 different TOS apps, all on different virtual desktops (since i have only 2 monitors hooked to this desktop). My 32 GB memory is coming and that should increase performance some more. In the end, i am finding that TD Ameritrade (and thinkorswim) and not good on speedy executions and clearly not suitable for day traders. Day traders need a broker who will not kill them on slippage and execute on time. Even the Level 2 data that i see in TDA seems to be delayed by few seconds compared to other platforms who cater to active day traders. That is another story.

The solution i used was to create lot of virtual desktops and run a separate process of TOS in each virtual desktop. Using keyboard shortcuts, i can move fast between these virtual desktops, and each can display onto 2 monitors multiple grids. This effectively uses the GPU and RAM and also does not slow down if someone has numerous charts open during market hours.
 

buddhaseeking

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Jan 25, 2016
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Just for completion of information i found in this upgrade effort......
  1. I could run my 2 monitors (one 27 inch at 2460 resolution and the other 24 inch monitor at 1980) with about 5 virtual desktops with 2 to 4 grids in each virtual desktop area (windows 10 virtual desktops).
  2. My GPU was maxing out near 95% load, so i reduced the number of grids and cut the number of desktops to get GPU to about 60% load. The load increases during market hours since i run very short timeframes in some of the charts.
  3. GPU ram was loaded to about 2 GB or so, but my system RAM was maxing out near 15.5 GB since i had numerous chrome windows open too. So, at bootup my system would show usage of about 4 GB, and with chrome loaded my RAM was near 8 GB usage. Closing the browser windows released some of the GPU memory, but the system RAM usage did not go down. This indicated to me that chrome was using up more of the GPU memory, and not as much of the system RAM. Somehow, the system memory dropped and came back upto 15.8 GB again (monitored using TechPowerUp GPU-Z). With some of the chrome windows closed, i should be able to use more grids (or virtual desktops in the next set of testing in upcoming week).
  4. Since task manager shows system RAM as the most used resource, i decided to upgrade to 32 GB and still awaiting arrival of that.
 

buddhaseeking

Honorable
Jan 25, 2016
46
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10,530
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The system requirements for the app you've mentioned state not working with a workstation GPU(while I was assuming you're in need of a workstation pedigree GPU). I would like to suggest sourcing a donor GPU that's higher in pedigree but not bottom of the barrel GPU's but something higher in tier like a GTX1060 6GB and see if you're able to overcome the limitation of VRAM usage.

Make and model of your motherboard and it's BIOS version? OS version(not edition)? This might be a good read alongside the entire subreddit. Make and model of the rams used on your platform?

Thank you Lutfij. As per your suggestion, i did upgrade first the RAM on the system first to 32 GB. (Took a while because the ebay seller balked at the transaction and did not send me the card that i won, because the memory prices kept going up in December, and he figured he could sell it for higher - reported to EBAY and he sent it :) Now, i am running about 8 virtual desktops without slowdown, but Task manager shows that my new GPU (Nvidia GeForce GT 745) is getting 100% load. I am able to use the system, but do not like the fact that GPU is showing 100% load. It is using about 2GB out of the 4GB VRAM on the video card.

So, i want to upgrade one more time so that i can reduce the load from 100% to about 60% to 70% range. 2GB VRAM on the graphics card would be enough since system RAM usage is only 25 GB out of the available 32 GB and so memory won't be an issue. Motherboard restricts the graphics card to maximum of 140 Watts, but i would like to stay less that 125 Watts - no separate power supply for the graphics card. Would like some suggestions for a suitable budget card (since i do not play video games and this is purely used for 2D stock charting for day trading).

Looked up the GTX 1060 on ebay. It costs over $270 and my current 745 is only $75 and does the job. So, GTX 1060 would be an overkill since i don't the 3D features, but just need a fast GPU for 2D over many virtual desktop switching scenario. GTX 1050 is about $170, but does not seem to have enough of a value. Is there an AMD comparable one that is like 1050 but cheaper ?
 
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