Bomb proof, value based stock trading pc build, TR is the WIN!

Budget $2500 or so US, I’m in NC. Prefer to stick with air cooling since I know nothing about water cooling and like the build it once approach and not have to go back and replace things that wear out.

Main functions for build

No gaming, I will run some virtual machines for learning linux and trying out various distribs for newbies.

Main function is running Win10pro rock stable since all stock trading software supports it. I will allocate space for a dual Linux boot at Win10P. install time for future use since its an excellent OS I’ve been wanting to learn forever and its easier att than later afaik. I’m still using Win7 and not familiar with Win10p yet. So I’m not sure if the dual boot setup could be a problem at this stage in the research. Just trying to narrow down the hardware at this point.

The build will use ECC memory for stability and financial calculation integrity. I found this website from a utube search for ECC memory and came across the great “Ryzen: Finding & Running 2666+ ECC. Or Build our own ECC?” video"!
In my situation one decimal in the wrong place could be disastrous. Naturally we want the PC to be as powerful as is required without overclocking or generating excess heat and electrical usage. So I’m thinking the Amd AM4 chipset would be fine in this regard. I’m open to all suggestions as well!

I’ll be running 3 monitors initially and may need to expand to 6. The monitors I have are 3 Benq GL2480 LCD monitors featuring DVI-D, hdmi and d-sub vga inputs. They all support [email protected], the Hdmi inputs can also run the same resolution except at 75hz which is preferable for less eye strain. I’m middle aged and wear glasses already thanks to 20 years behind a desk at my last job looking at monitors.

The PC should be quick and responsive so a 6 or more core cpu and 16-32gb of ECC memory sounds good to me. What do you guys think?

Ideally it will have a dual rj-45 lan connections on the mb. One as a backup in case one fails. My home DSL connection is only 7mbs down so the lan ports don’t need to be the latest and greatest. I’ll likely subscribe to cable for redundancy purposes. Using my smartphone as a hotspot with Wifi is another option for DSL outages. An add-on lan card would be fine in case of a needed tie breaker between two motherboards. My research hasn’t found many motherboards with dual lan ports so far. Getting a separate lan card is fine also and would settle a tie breaker between two motherboards.

A great feature to have in the future that’s not needed now. Is the capability to boot up the pc remotely over the internet. Upload a gig of data for it to process and then download the results with my laptop. This remote capability would also be great for doing remote admin, software and bios updates if needed etc… My initial research found IPMI (internet protocol mgmnt interface) as the name for this feature? Any thoughts on what software you guys are using for this in a Win10 environment would be great! And Linux as well, that will be my longterm OS once I become proficient with it and learn to run my trading software on it in a virtual box etc…

I need help deciding if PCIe 4.0 is needed over the older 3.0 standard for the amount of bandwidth going over the system’s bus to both video cards and 6 monitors in the future. From what I read the 3.0 bus is fine since I’m not running 4k monitors and don’t plan to ever. But I don’t know a way to calculate the amount of data that 6 monitors at 1920x1080 will require. Would really appreciate some guidance in this area!

From what I’ve read the motherboard needs to support Crossfire and or 2-way SLI.
Not for better gaming since I won’t be doing that. But just better video performance overall since those motherboards will have direct channels between the CPU and the video cards GPU’s?

Storage wise I’m planning on booting the OS off a M.2 drive and then having a Raid 1 configuration so I’ll have two copy’s of the data. I still need to research the 3rd off site backup option. I use Macrium reflect for my laptop backups now so something involving it and a external drive would be fine.

My main concern here of course is the chipset, mb, memory and cpu choice with this thread.

Please spell out the first 3 characters of abbreviations used that aren’t in common usage relative as that may be. Naturally I don’t mind looking things up but there are duplicates of many abbreviations as you know. I haven’t built my own pc in like 15 years guys so I’m a caveman that understands the fundamentals involved here but way behind the curve. Hopefully the above relates the main points in a good format.

Please feel free to ask questions and for clarifications. As you know this stuff spiderwebs so I’m just making broad strokes here. Thanks guys!

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What chip were you thinking? Ryzen PRO chips natively support ECC, though the normal chips do too to some capacity, just need a ECC compatible mobo. Do you have a spec that you need exactly? 6 core minimum, but what about proc speed? I know back in the day the intel BlackOps series chips were super high clock and super high cache rate. Do you have any idea?

What GPU’s were you thinking? GTX 970’s are an ok price now and support up to 4 monitors each,. but I really don’t know anything about business class GPU’s. Would you want a quadro? Just to save power?

Speaking of which how much power are you wanting this thing to have wattage wise?

Probably solid at 16, but I’m no trader so IDK. Something tells me you want more ram available rather than ram speed?

I’d be concerned about a solid connection personally, esp with how much data you have to manage all at the same time.

Theres a number of ways to do this, no worries.

I know that if you took a 1060 and plopped it in a Gen 1 slot, if your processor could keep up, you would lose about 15% of general performance bandwidth wise. I don’t think youi should assume as much as 20 or 25% of a loss, but 17 or 18 is probably reasonable.

You can do that, get a business class GPU, or get a quadro.

More info on what I mean by business class:

This advoli card is expensive, but theres a lot of cards similar to it that are out there with a buttload of ports on them just like that. Theres old quadro’s out there that have like 6 or 8 miniDP on them.

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Thanks for the response Aremis! You’ve posed some great questions I’ll answer the
best I can.

I think Intel’s chips are fine but too expensive core wise compared to Amd’s for my needs. I have no idea what clock and cache rate my build should have. My baseline CPU is
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8GHz - 4.4GHz Max Turbo (6-Core, 12-Thread) as a minimum. My
methodology when building a PC is value based. Get the middle of the pack for everything generally. Then you have a cheap upgrade path later if you find you need it in one particular area and avoid paying for the latest tech. Since I don’t need that level of performance anyway afaik.

More from an financial aspect that needs based choice. I think the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz - 4.4GHz Max Turbo (8-Core, 16-Thread) is the cpu for me. Provided I’ve interpreted my needs correctly. I maybe low here since we’re going to be doing a lot of number crunching. But I’m not doing fractal graphics type work that would require a lot of video gpu horsepower that will be tied into cpu tasking. . So I can spend that money on the mb/cpu and memory.

That said I don’t have a spec since I’m also new to trading and don’t know the size of the workloads either. This build will do some backtesting of data and simulations of the market. Mainly offline after business hours though. This will need lots of resources and capability but I can’t answer how much specifically of course since I’m a newbie in this respect also. I’m totally in uncharted waters here in a couple ways guys. The trading books and forums I’ve researched only provide minimal guidance on hardware and software. Its an understanding that traders generally pay someone to build their rigs I think. I’ve found some websites that sell “black box” trading systems with slick names and marketing but naturally are devoid of system details otherwise enterprising little guys like myself will build their own
pc’s based off their specs.

Yes more ram is better since Win10pro will address more than I’ll need and I imagine that market simulation type software will be moving large datasets around in memory etc…

From my preliminary research I think the Quadro Gpu’s should be fine for my needs. Nvidea drivers are supposed to be really stable and have lots of features for what I’ve read in a Windows environment. Do they also have good Linux drivers?

The 1060 you mentioned is likely overkill. That said though, I like to pay for more than just what I need and remain in the sweet spot when it comes to price to performance ratio. I do NOT want the system to be running at 85% or more of capacity at anytime. For maximum system reliability, efficiency ($$$) and component lifespan.

From reading motherboards QVL’s I see very few brands of ECC memory that are supported compared to non-ecc memory as expected. What are some brands of ECC memory that you guys have had good luck with?

When burning in a new system do you guys use Prime95, Memtest86 or a similar program to test the system’s integrity? Back in 1997 I worked for a small pc retailer building pc’s and we ran a program like this overnight before selling a new system.

I haven’t figured out how to quote and reply in message on this forum yet sorry Aremis.
So when you said “I’d be concerned about a solid connection personally, esp with
how much data you have to manage all at the same time.” regarding my DSL connection. Do you agree that a cable modem connection is likely the most stable vs DSL?

Thanks!

I think Linus from LTT also did a build specifically for your use case. I dont know how the build would be updated for 2020 specifically, especially with the current situation.

Now the use case you want may be different. For example, it is a server computer vs your workstation computer. It also uses AIO water cooling which is somewhat maintenance free.

As with all things, it will eventually wear out. Since this is a server by a company that does server pc it should be just as reliable.

I’m not that familiar with ECC and how often does a bit flip happen, but if you are running in a competitive trading environment, I think a faster clocked non-ECC RAM should benefit you more, as modern build, especially Ryzen are sensitive to RAM speed. Alternatively, you should also try to do a Threadripper build if you must have ECC. Downside is of course, the price.

As with the display, the server has expandable PCIe slot to put a video card in it but to be honest it looks cramped. If you use a quaddro, you are limited to about 4 displays per card. You could probably put 2 small quaddros in there, maximum but you should check and call Gigabyte if you actually put 2 quaddros in there if you require to expand to 6 monitors in the future.

Quaddro drivers are pretty much the only good opensource GPU drivers from nvidia.


EDIT: Nice clickbait title. I actually thought for a moment you needed a real bomb-proof computer - was going to recommend a Toughbook from Panasonic for that but oh well…

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raid + stock trading + internet browser + vm’s + databackup sync + remote software on windows can eat up a lot of memory very quickly. this guys a triple monitor power user, i would go with 32gb, especially if he might be on this machine for another 15 years. look at how much ram chrome eats now vs 5 years ago ya know? its still going up and up.

and you are better off having the dual redundant internet connection done on the router end. pfsense has that feature and is free, and can also have a built in firewall which adds some more reliability to the mix. also a diy pfsense box is always going to be more reliable then a non business class router/modem from your isp.

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Thanks for the input regulareel! Linus has some really good videos as you know but I don’t want a server config. From what I’ve read about memory randomly switching bits. It can happen from something as simple as a 12v wire being too close to the chips. My little “trading” setup is just a minnow in the ocean comparatively speaking. Not trying to beat anyone to the punch buying or selling etc. I’m just a regular Joe that’s building a stable pc for trading. Sorry about the “bomb proof” labeling but that’s what popped into mind. Glad to hear that the Quaddro drivers are open source.

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Thanks for the information fredrich_nietze! I agree 32gb will be a great starting point memory wise. I’ll need to get 16gb sticks in case of needing to add more later. One of the motherboards I like lists this memory in their QVL as ECC spec’d memory. I found it available online for around $100 per stick which seems like a great deal.

SK Hynix HMA82GU7CJR8N-VK 16GB 19-19-19-43 1.2v

I’ve heard good things about pfsense’s firewall and recently got a raspberry pi3 b+ which maybe helpful in this regard? Once I learn linux of course first. So much to do! I’ll need to look into this and check with my ISP and see what they allow in lieu of their router I rent from them after I get the trading pc up and running.

you are better off with a desktop so you can throw in a pci e networking card with say 4x 1 gb ports, or however many you need. the old workstations are cheaper then a rasberry pi these days, and you dont need the fastest cpus in the west for a router.

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Why a Quadro? for GPU ECC? Don’t all your trading computations take place in CPU/memory, not GPU? I hope high freq DDR5 ECC comes out soon!

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Yes all the trading computations will take place in cpu/mem.

The video card I’m thinking of is the NVIDIA Quadro P600 - Graphics card - Quadro P600 - 2 GB GDDR5 - PCIe 3.0 x16 low profile - 4 x Mini DisplayPort - retail manuf.part # VCQP600-PB ,…PNY Technologies

Its cost effective and can run multiple monitors. Since I’m not gaming and don’t need to push a ton of pixels this card or one like it should be fine to run the 3 monitors I have listed above AFAIK. With a pcie 4.0 motherboard I can easily run a second card for another 3 monitors in the future if needed. Provided I have enough bandwidth lanes available for the M.2 boot drive and the Raid 1 array.

So the crux of where I’m at now is determining the right motherboard/cpu/ECC memory to get.
Just to give a visual the below pic is one trading screen. So max [email protected] output needed would be 6 of those screens basically. One or two embedded small videos playing, a couple chat windows mixed in with stock charts below is what a trader watches.

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As long as whatever motherboard you choose supports multiple PCIe devices you should be fine using two GPUs running side by side. Low end workstation GPUs don’t need much bandwidth, so running them at x8 (or even x4) will be fine. Even the highest end gaming GPUs generally see less than a 10% difference between PCIe 3.0 x16 and PCIe 3.0 x8.

With AMD you have x4 PCIe lanes desicated to storage, so your NVMe boot drive will be fine, just double check the motherboard manual to see if populating the M.2 slot will disable any SATA ports.


An alternative to the PNY P600 would be an AMD WX 3200. Just another option to look at. As mentioned above PCIe 3.0 should be more than plenty.


If you plan to use this computer for many years to come I would err on the side of caution and jump for 32 GB of RAM now. That way you should have plenty of RAM for a long time.

Only think funky is that base Ryzen processors do support ECC, but many motherboards do not. When looking at motherboards see if you can dig up if they support ECC or not. I believe ASRock Rack has a couple that officially support ECC.

For specific brands of ECC RAM I’ve used Crucial without any issues. They also have a compatibility checker on their website where you can filter to your motherboard and what ECC RAM works on it.

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Ya so no reason to get a Quadro and AMD GPU drivers are better on Linux these days. I’ve seen a bunch of multiscreen trading setups and sitting there with my quant friend it seems most of the screens were for show. Why not have an efficient windows manager setup and just switch to different windows you need to see when you need to see them? It seems like a 32" display would reduce the amount of head turning you’d need to do.

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Personally I would recommend something slightly more rounded and beafier. The reason for this is if you are will to go for $2500 then you can do a lot with that, especially if you have the monitors and peripherals already. I would recommend an Intel W-series CPU or an AMD Eypc/Ryzen Pro CPU. The reason for this is due to first party “or blessed” support for ECC. No fooling around or questions about it, these 3 platforms all support this. Additionally these platforms will support some of the more enterprise features you had mentioned, like extensive remote management and higher reliability. From my understanding on stock trading is higher core speed and bigger L3 cache help the most. AMD just unveiled the EPYC 7F52, which looks perfect for your build, just it appears they are unavailable for retail at this time. Ebay maybe? For motherboard I would advise one with good cooling and looks well built, this will help with longevity. Workstation slated boards would be my recommendation for where to look. Overall find one to fit your features and price. For ram, ECC will drive the price up and speeds down (some). 32gb for sure but if you can spring for 64 then go for it! For drives, I would recommend several m.2 ssd’s, and even Optane if you got the money. Optane memory is wicked fast and will provide the best system repressiveness. More ram would also allow for use of a ram disk which albeit not the most stable, but would also allow for datasets to be processed very quickly. For a GPU, go with a mid-tier quadro. Something like a P1000 or so (higher doesn’t hurt), this is because you mention 6 displays which is most reliably validated on the Quadro platform with the drivers and additional software provided. Most notably Nvidia Mosaic is pretty neat and useful. Case is up to you on form factor, probably a nice mid or full tower would do. Any specifics on that? CPU cooler I would advise a Notcua, because Notcua haha (really really great brand), and you advised no water cooling in favor of reliability. Any other add-in cards or industry specific hardware that will be needed? This will impact case and motherboard choice. If you just want a one stop shop and not looking to DIY, Puget systems is a great place to check out! I will do my best to put together a parts list for both an AMD and Intel build so you have options. Very exciting post and welcome! Hope this goes well for you!

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Right on, I like Crucial’s website also for this reason.

It would be nice if a windows manager and a huge monitor would work. But I need to watch multiple screens at the same time.

From my first post:

A great feature to have in the future that’s not needed now. Is the capability to boot up the pc remotely over the internet. Upload a gig of data for it to process and then download the results with my laptop. This remote capability would also be great for doing remote admin, software and bios updates if needed etc…

One of the motherboards I’m considering the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace has a Realtek RTL8117 lan port for remote bios updates and other basic functions. But it’s software isn’t intended for what I want to do per above.

Is there a “add-on card and software solution all in one”. I can use in a PCIe slot that will have a rj-45 connector that I can remote into it over my DSL modem to perform my functions? And does that solution have a cheap software license I can buy one time? Or freeware that’s still secure? I will be using a VPN to help with security.

Go for the new High frequency Epyc chips that were recently released :male_detective:

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That type of IPMI remote management is usually strictly reserved to the Xeon and Eypc server platforms, I don’t know of any workstation boards supporting that at this time, you would need to look more at the Super Micro and other server focused motherboards from what I know of the market.

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Ha! You and @Poomer. He has some good stuff I’m going to go thru. And I’m sure your joking CybeastRaystriker. But yeah guys this build has to be based on proven tech. Motherboards that have at least 6 months of time in the market, steady bios updates and the largest customer base possible for continued manufacture support in the next couple years anyway is all I need. After 2 years this pc will do some other function.

This guy’s video helped me 2 weeks ago when I started researching this.

Building a Powerful Trading Computer on a Budget (Complete Parts List and Specs) Play on 1.25 speed. Pc info ends at 15 mins then he goes into laptops.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrNdmVYYtjo&t=419s

He’s an Intel guy so the I7 is his future proof cpu on the Lga1151 socket and the I5 as the baseline. I’m seeing a better value with Amd’s Ryzen 3000 series and the 3700X specifically with 8 cores as the cpu for my choice. Is the 3700X what you guys are calling a “Pro” cpu?

I know little about the motherboards available using LGA1151 sockets except the cpu prices for I7’s are too expensive compared to Amd’s Ryzen 3000 series cpu’s. Unless I am missing something? It seems that for cores, L1,L2,L3 cache sizes the 3700X is the middle ground sweet spot I believe. Please feel free to correct me here guys if you think the comparable price wise Intel I7 to the 3700X is better for this build. I’m happy to learn here and use the cpu world website to compare chips.

So far for the build I’ve purchased the 3 Benq monitors I listed and an APC UPS. That’s all, there’s an Intel based Asus workstation mb that I’m interested in also the WS C246 PRO ATX LGA1151 that I need to workup a build sheet for also.

Eta- After some research I see the 3700X is marketed as the 3700X Pro when one buys the complete package from Amd. Prebuilt server, on site support etc… Not what I’m looking for.

The asus WS C246 PRO ATX LGA1151 is out of the running after I see the Cpu’s are no match for the 3700X. Same slow ECC memory options of course also.

So the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace is the only “workstation” geared motherboard in the AM4 socket world it appears. Looks fine to me with what I know so far. I’ll just have to forget the remote access options for now.

You don’t think Epyc chips are proven tech? Being a server chip, they’re the most reliable chips AMD have to offer.
Anyway, I kinda forgot you were on a budget. Anything you buy from Intel right now will be obsolete with no upgrade path by the end of the year.

If you’re going AMD, it’s important that you get the best RAM possible. B-die, 3600mhz, CL14 for sure. The gains just from getting good Ram are amazing on Zen 2.

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