2020 UPDATE – Whilst this test is still highly relevant, we have a brand new updated graphics card test now available: Trading PC Graphics Cards
When it comes to trading and multi-screen computers, one of the most misunderstood aspects is the graphics card setup.
I’ve lost count of the number of times people have ‘told’ me:
‘you need a really powerful graphics card to run a multi-screen trading computer’
‘my friend said I should get a <insert ridiculously expensive gaming graphics card here> as it will make my computer run faster’
Personally, I’ve always responded to this by advising that perhaps this might be flawed thinking, and that our own experience shows us that this is not actually true.
The problem is that when I say this I’m really only giving my opinion, and if you’re told one thing by one person and something different by me then who are you to believe?
Sure, my 10 years of running a company specialising in trading computers and multi-screen computing probably outweighs the anonymous guy in a forum who’s probably never built a computer in his life, but we still need a better way of answering this question.
So, my solution is to put these different types of graphics cards to the test to actually see the real differences between them.
Let’s actually see if your trading software will run faster on one card versus another.
Do you need that £500 gaming graphics card? Let’s find out.
Test System and Methodology
We put together a base computer using medium level PC components to produce results that someone purchasing a new computer for trading might expect to see. We then simply swapped the graphics cards for each series of tests.
Graphics drivers used were always the latest ones provided by the graphics card manufacturers, again this would be what a standard new computer owner would expect to be running.
We repeated each of our tests 3 times for each graphics card and then used the average result of these as the final benchmark result for the charts below. There is always a small difference between test results even on the same exact computers, taking an average of three results helps give a more realistic view of the actual performance level of the card.
The full system specification was: Intel Core i5 7600K CPU, Asus Z270-P Motherboard, 16GB 2,666Mhz Crucial RAM, 240GB Kingston Solid State Hard Drive, BeQuiet 600w Power Supply, Antec 302 Case, Arctic Freezer CPU Cooler.
Note: The tests for the Intel 630 UHD graphics chip and the nVidia GTX 1060 card were performed on our latest test system which uses the newer i5 8600K CPU and Asus Z370-P Motherboard combination. This did affect the results of some tests as the CPU change made a difference to them, to alleviate this we repeated the nVidia GT 1030 graphics card test on the original base system and on the newer testing machine and then reduced the results of the GTX 1060 and the Intel 630 test to factor out the CPU advantage. These two tests have been starred on the charts below.
Finally, the software used to perform the tests was: Windows 10 Home Edition, Google Chrome v59, Handbrake 1.07 (64-Bit)
Web Browser Tests
Our first series of tests are web browser tests, these are essentially websites that run in a browser and perform a variety of functions which are timed, they then output a score for your browser and PC, the higher the better.
We use these tests as a proxy for trading software performance. Many trading and charting platforms actually run in a web browser and they use the same (or very similar) functions that these tests benchmark, if a browser test performs well then your web based trading application is also going to perform well.
Non-browser based trading software, such as MetaTrader 4, often use a computer in a similar fashion to the browser based packages. Essentially they are receiving data feeds and then representing these on your screens in the form of charts and tables of numbers. Due to this we can say that the browser tests are also a good proxy for these types of trading packages.
Our first browser test is the JetStream tool, it performs a series of tests that a typical web browser application would use in general operation and gives us a score at the end.
Interestingly the results are all pretty much identical between the various graphics cards, there is just a 0.52% difference between the best and the worst result, that is well within the margin of error for this test (we typically see more than that between two tests run on the same hardware!).
To be honest when I first saw these results put together even I was surprised how close they were, it clearly shows that none of these graphics cards impact the performance of this web application what so ever.
This test is similar to the JetStream test in many ways, it does use some slightly different procedures though so it’s worth looking at to see if it shows anything different.
Again, what is clear again is that the graphics cards have pretty much no impact on performance levels in this test, the difference between the best and worst result is just 1.97%, greater than the JetStream deviance but still well within our margin of error.
After the JetStream result I’m not surprised about the above result, the two tests often produce similar results.
Our final browser test is the WebXPRT suite, it again uses a lot of calculations but also features a much more graphical test as a part of it. Part of the graphical tests are rendering charts and graphs, and manipulating tables of data, a very good proxy for many types of trading software applications.
Here we have a little bit more spread on the results. The GT 1030 and GTX 1060 cards come in with stronger results than the rest of the field whilst the GT 710 is a small way back, the other 4 cards are separated by just 2 points. This gives us a 7% difference between the best and worst results.
I’ve taken a closer look at the results for this test and it shows that the main difference was that the GTX 1060 and GT 1030 cards were able to render the 3D graphical parts of this test quicker than the other cards, they had a roughly 9% advantage. For actions such as dealing with tables of numbers and standard line charts the differences were a lot less, these came out around 2.5% between the best and worst results.
I guess this is to be expected, both the 1030 and 1060 cards are classed as gaming cards, and the advantage of them comes when dealing with 3D graphics.
Overall, what is clear across all three browser tests is that the graphics card has very little, if any, impact on how these tests perform. The only test to show even a marginal difference was only on the 3D graphical part of the test, not something your trading software is actually going to ever do.
2D and 3D Graphics Tests
Our testing tool, Passmark Performance Test, runs a number of system tests, two of these directly assess the 2D and 3D graphical performance of the overall system.
Seeing as we are assessing the graphical performance of the different graphics cards I think these would be relevant tests to look at next.
2D graphics make up the vast majority of the interfaces on your computer and software. Pretty much anything that is made up of lines, fonts and vector shapes are classed as 2D shapes and are processed by your 2D graphics engine in your PC.
For trading software anywhere you see columns of numbers or text you are seeing 2D graphics. All trading chart types such as line, bar, tick and candlestick charts are 2D items.
The results for our graphics cards show us that there is a bit of a spread here, the M2000 and GTX 1060 do have superior 2D graphics performance.
The worst performing card was the Intel 630 UHD, this is actually an ‘on-board’ graphics card, it is built into the motherboard. Historically on-board graphics tended to be really bad, here we can see that it still doesn’t quite match up to the dedicated graphics cards but it’s not a million miles away either.
The spread between the best and worst result is slightly over 13%, not a massive margin.
Interesting the most expensive card here, the NVS 510 is one of the worst performers. It only improves on the GT 710 by 1.8% yet costs around 12 times the amount!
The GT 1030 performs 3.4% better than the NVS 510 and costs 6 times less…
Looking back at the browser tests above, it shows that even the lowest performer here, the Intel 630 UHD, matches the performance of the top M2000 and GTX 1060 cards in both the Octane and JetStream Tests, and it also matches the M2000 in the WebXPRT test.
What can we learn from this?
I think, (and have been saying for years), that when it comes to 2D graphics, the level of performance required to display things like fonts, lines and vector shapes on a computer monitor was smashed through quite a few years ago.
If we imagine that on the chart above once a card scores more than say 600 or 700 then this is ‘fast enough’ to not be a bottleneck on your computers performance for 2D graphics, anything over this score would then offer no benefit to you when it comes to running your programs.
This line of thinking is backed up by the identical results in the browser tests between all the cards, essentially they are all ‘good enough’ to not impact your trading software performance levels.
Let’s now look at 3D test results.
The GTX 1060 is the clear winner here, it offers over 1400% improved performance over the GT 710, so if you are looking for strong 3D performance then you’d definitely want the 1060 card.
Looking back at the web tests though, what does this 1400% improvement give us when using our trading software packages? That’s right, it offers no improvement in the Octane and JetStream tests, and only 7% in the WebXPRT test (which drops to 2.5% when you factor out the 3D graphics tests in that particular test).
3D graphics are used in games and not too much else. Some high end photo, video and CAD editing / rendering packages will make use of 3D graphics hardware, but on the whole, outside of these use cases, nothing else will use your 3D graphics engine in any meaningful way.
Due to this, your graphics card’s 3D performance will not impact your trading software at all, imagine the 3D graphics engine as a tool your computer can use if it needs to, your trading software will never use this tool, so it doesn’t matter how effective the tool is if it’s never going to be used, does that make sense?
So, if we are looking at graphics card performance levels for a trading computer then why bother looking at 3D performance?
I think it kind of proves the point that it will not impact your trading, if that isn’t clear cut by looking at these charts then I don’t know what is.
As an interesting side note, the NVS 510 again scores really poorly here, it really is struggling to justify it’s high price in my opinion.
Even though our focus here is to test the impact of graphics performance on a trading PC, let’s now take a look at some CPU tests to see if the graphics card makes a difference to these.
The processor or CPU in a computer is essentially the heart of the system, it is often directly responsible for how fast your computer runs, as such many computer testing packages have lots of CPU benchmarks available.
Our Performance Test suite offers us an overall CPU test:
This benchmark is an overall score made up by a number of sub tests which look at things such as physics simulations and number sorting algorithms, all processor intensive tests.
The chart shows there is no benefit given to any of these tests by any of the graphics cards, they have zero impact on how the system performed this test.
The performance spread was 1.1% between the best and worst result.
A sub test of the main CPU test above, this measures the raw speed of the processor only and discounts other factors like its multi-tasking capability.
Again none of the graphics cards offer any benefit to this test, the performance difference was just 2.5%which is within our standard error margin for these tests.
This test uses a program called handbrake to change one video format into another. This type of action is heavily processor dependent and because Handbrake will scale up to use as many processing cores as a computer has, it is a good test to see how well a particular system performs in terms of high end multi-tasking and multi-threaded workloads.
Note: The score is the number of frames of video the program could process per second, obviously the higher the better.
Once again, as expected, this test is completely unaffected by the type of graphics card installed. The performance difference across all results was just 0.55%.
RAM & Hard Drive Tests
Our final two tests will look use the Passmark Performance Test suites RAM (memory) and hard drive benchmark tests to see if your graphics card affects either result.
RAM or memory is where your open and active files and programs are stored when in use, this test measures the speed at which the RAM can be accessed and written to on the system.
Not surprisingly, graphics performance has no impact here, the spread between all results is just 2.6%, a negligible amount which is well within a standard error margin.
Your hard drive is permanent storage for your files and folders, when you open programs and files they are read from the hard drive and then transferred into your RAM. This test measures the read / write and seek speed of the hard drive.
These results show more differentiation, digging into the results the Passmark suite results shows us that multiple tests on the same exact system showed big differences between results. We have seen this on other system tests as well, the hard drive test seems to be pretty volatile and susceptible to what else is going happening on the test computer at the same time.
Even if we say that the graphics card is affecting theses tests, there is no logical pattern. The strongest card in the 2D and 3D tests is the GTX 1060 but it gives one of the worst results here. The strongest result here is from the GT 1030 which is not the best or the worst in any of the other benchmarks.
As such I would not put too much emphasis on these results, I honestly can’t see how the graphics card would impact these tests really.
We will also be publishing a hard drive test soon which will show the impact of different speed drives have on your trading computer, but as a quick heads up, the impact is negligible…
Overall Conclusions and Recommendations
Okay, so what have we found though these series of tests?
Let’s say that the majority of trading software packages either run through a web browser, or they take in a data feed and then display it on your screens using a combination of fonts, lines and vector based charts. I think we can agree that generally that is how they operate.
On that basis, the performance of your trading computer is practically unaffected by the graphics card you go for.
We have clearly seen that a relatively high end gaming graphics card, the GTX 1060 gives us no benefit in the Google Octane and JetStream browser tests, and it only offers a marginal improvement in the WebXPRT test which reduces significantly if we discount the 3D graphical aspects of that particular test.
We have also seen that an expensive NVS 510 card offers nothing in the browser tests that the much lower cost GT 710 could not match, and when we dig into the 2D and 3D tests it is one of the worst performers overall.
Finally, the CPU, RAM and Hard Drive tests show us that none of these are affected by your choice of graphics card. A more expensive, or ‘high end gaming’ card has zero impact on these aspects of your trading computers performance.
So, next time somebody tells you that you need a ‘high end’ graphics card for your trading computer then just point them here, they are wrong.
If you are in the market for a new trading computer then here are my recommendations in terms of graphics cards:
Scenario 1 – Cheapest Possible Trading Computer Running 1 or 2 Screens:
Use the onboard Intel 630 UHD graphics chip that probably comes on your motherboard, it will happily run your trading platforms and essentially costs you nothing on top of the cost of the motherboard (which you will need anyway).
Scenario 2 – Cheapest Possible Trading Computer Running 2 – 6 Screens:
Whilst the onboard Intel chipset is adequate it will only run 2 digital screens in most cases, going over this will require dedicated graphics cards.
In this case I recommend using the GT 710 cards, they are low cost, low power draw, can be obtained in passively cooled (silent) configurations and offer more than good enough 2D performance for your trading software needs.
Scenario 3 – Great Performing Trading Computer Running 2 – 6 Screens:
For this I’d recommend the GT 1030 card, it has great 2D performance, it also does pretty well on the 3D performance tests, the price is competitive and you could run it easily in a 3 card system to support up to 6 standard monitors. Finally, they can also be passively cooled for silent running.
Scenario 4 – Great Performing Trading Computer Running 8 – 12 Screens:
It’s best (and often required) that you use a maximum of three graphics cards in a PC, this means that to support 8 or more screens then you are going to need to use graphics cards that can support 4 screens each. This rules out the GT 710 and GT 1030 cards as they are dual monitor cards.
The AMD W4100, nVidia M2000 and the NVS 510 are all quad monitor capable graphics cards, i.e. they can each run 4 screens per card, so two of them would run 8 screens etc…
Looking at the test results and taking into account pricing, the AMD W4100 is the most cost effective card here. Definitely stay away from the NVS 510 (and anyone who recommends it as they obviously don’t know what they are talking about…), it’s an expensive and pointless card for our needs on a trading computer system. The M2000 card performed well but is more expensive for no real benefit.
There is one caveat here though. If you want to run four 4K screens at full 60Hz 4K resolution then the M2000 will do that, the W4100 nor the NVS 510 can’t support four screens at that resolution.
Scenario 5 – Great Performing Trading Computer That You Can Also Play Games On:
If you want to play games on your trading computer (I’m not judging!) then definitely go for a more higher end gaming card like the GTX 1060, or even look at a 1070 or 1090. They are unquestionably far superior at gaming than the rest of the tested cards and they will also match the top performance on all your trading software.
Also, just to be clear, when I say play games I’m talking about the latest 3D rendered games, if you simply want to play solitaire or Candy Crush then these GTX 1060 type cards are massively overkill, the GT 710 or 1030’s would easily run these types of lower graphics games.
Be aware that these higher end gaming cards are physically bigger cards, often require bigger power supplies, and have cooling fans which can add to your system noise level (sometimes substantially).
Hopefully that covers everything you’d ever want to know about how graphics cards affect your trading computers performance when it comes to running your trading software packages.
If you have further questions or just want to feedback on anything let me know in the comments below.
Rafael Bajo says
Hey, I love the great info on regarding the graphics card. One question though. I planning on upgrading my MacBook Pro to the much newer version and I’m stuck on which graphics card to choose. I’m planning on setting up a mobile trading setup using my MacBook and connecting two portable monitors. Should I go with the standard Radeon Pro 560x or one of the Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20?
Hi Rafael, thanks for the message.
It seems like from a quick search that the 560x is very similar to the desktop graphics chip in Radeon RX 560, if this is correct then a comparison shows that the 2D graphics rating of it is slightly faster than that of the GT 1030 which is featured in the benchmark test here. On that basis it will offer more than enough performance to power trading software interfaces, you will not get any benefit in these types of applications going with a higher powered GPU as they only offer better 3D performance. As long as you are happy that you will be able to connect the number of screens you want to run then it should work okay for you.
I hope this helps, Darren.
Hi Darren, first off all thank you for this wonderful guide.
I do have a question though, what about the nvidia quadro p620? Seems pretty good for multiscreen for tradimg or am i missing something.
Hi Geo, thanks for the comment.
Yes the Quadro P620 is a good card for trading purposes, it was not on our original test list as we didn’t have too much experience of it at the time however we have used this card in a number of builds since then and it has performed really well.
At some point our graphics card tests will be updated with some additional models and the P620 will definitely be a part of this update.
Hope that helps!
I’m planning 4 monitor setup (initially) , in future i may end up with 6 monitors , and i’m in a great confusion whether to choose Gaming cards(gamers) or Radeon Pro series(professionals).
My requirements is I’m a day trader and occasionally i do play 3d games and even my kids play, which i planned for.
So what you are suggesting for this case.
If i buy a Gaming Graphic card and do the setup , does it really cry if i use it for 8 hrs per day ?
Radeon Pro series is good for both gaming and trading purpose ?
Pls clarify the same.
Hi Kumar, Thanks for the comment.
If you want to do any kind of gaming on the system then use a gaming graphics card, something like a nVidia GTX 1060 or 1070 will come in lower cost than a Radeon Pro card and for trading programs performance levels will be similar. For gaming though the 1060 or 1070 will be massively stronger in this area as the Radeon Pro series of cards are not designed to work with gaming workload requirements and will offer substantially worse performance levels.
Unless you have software which can specifically take advantage of the processing power of a professional class card, something like CAD or video work then there is little reason to use them, for trading workloads they offer no advantage and generally cost more, sometimes by a lot.
Let me know if you need anything else, Darren.
Thank you for your post on this. I have four 4k monitors. I’m a bit confused about how you add more than one graphic card, as I can read that SLI or crossfire needs to be supported or if you would just recommend a single card that can handle all of them. What are your recommendations for a four 4k monitors setup?
Hi Kenneth, thank you for the comment.
SLI or Crossfire are gaming technologies used to link multiple graphics cards to share the processing power, for non-gaming purposes we can ignore that.
To run four 4K monitors you will need a graphics card specifically rated for this, I wouldn’t recommend running two graphics cards as it is likely that you won’t be able to get the full 4K resolution at 60Hz on all four screens.
Single cards that can do this are the nVidia Quadro 600, or something like the Quadro M2000.
Out of interest what size are the 4K screens you have gone for?
Hi Darren, great research and thanks for putting it up. see below screenshot of my system stats….I run an 11 monitor system for trading, all monitors are LCD’s, 8×19″, 1×24″, 1×22″ and 1×17″ I use as my desktop….When I was trying to find out how to set all these monitors up (originally on my 8 GB laptop, I now have a 32GB desktop) no one really knew how to do it so I did a bit of online research and then went out and purchased 9x USB to DVI adaptors, the other 2 monitors are setup from ports on the back of my machine (I can’t remember the port names right now). I’m very happy with everything but I have a problem at times with my CPU running very high and getting stuck above 90++% when I’m trying to watch Youtube or even if I’ve left my Gmail account open for too long causes my computers start to running very slow (I’m told I should stop use Chrome browsers as this might be adding to my CPU problem), tried firefox but same problem there. I often check my internet speeds ( I’m in Australia and on a 50/20 NBN plan and usually get speeds around 45mbps download and 19mbps upload so that’s not causing the slowdown. I had the same problem on my laptop and found a tech guy who said he could solve my CPU issue with this desktop…heres the stats for this unit…what do you think is actually causing my CPU problem
lol….. just found out I can’t upload screenshot’s here
Intel core TM I5-4760 cpu @3.4oGHz
32GB, 64 bit operating system
Win 7 pro
The USB3 to DVI adaptors are the Digitech brand
I’m generally told to stop using Chrome and upgrade to Win 10, if you do reply Darren thanks in advance…cheers Paul….I dont play games on my computer…. lol
Thanks for the comment and feedback!
The problem with your high CPU load is definitely the USB to DVI adapters. These types of devices have no real graphics processing power of their own so your CPU does the work of creating the images you see on those screens. This is why anything highly visual causes high CPU load as it is technically more intensive for the computer to process the output of a video than it is to produce the images for standard programs.
To be honest I’m surprised you even managed to get 9 screens working with the USB adapters, we used to use them for the odd job quite a few years ago and had nothing but trouble with them, including high CPU loads. They also seemed to fail quite a lot as well at the time so we stopped recommending them.
Moving to a desktop PC with a dedicated graphics card to handle the screen outputs would solve the high CPU load problem as long as you no longer used the USB adapters, i.e. get a machine with a graphics setup that can support the 11 monitors you want to run, this way all the graphics processing is done by a dedicated graphics card, not by your CPU.
All I would add is that the CPU your tech guy is recommending is almost 6 years old now so I hope the system is cheap…
All the best, Darren
Sunny Mudhar says
Hi Darren, wouldn’t 2 Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 1050Ti G1 4GB GDDR5 PCI-E which can run 4 monitors each also suffice to run 8 monitors plus a couple from the Motherboard. I intend using a i7 8/9th Generation CPU.
Hi Sunny, yes, two of those cards should run 8 monitors okay. They are probably going to drain a little bit more power, make sure the power supply also has a couple of 6 pin GPU cables on it. Noise wise they might be okay as they seem to have a semi-passive fan setup so depending on what you are doing on them they should be pretty quiet. Remember, they are not going to make your trading software run any faster however they are an alternative way to achieve an 8 monitor capable setup. Hope that helps! Darren
Thank you and apologies for the late reply. I use TradingView and have many tabs open at once (>20). Everything i use is web based and bearing this in mind using a 9th Gen i9 9900k 2-3 of the cards mentioned above and the EVGA 850 GQ, 80+ GOLD 850W power supply should provide the power/6 pin connections and capability to run everything smoothly? I use Asus 23″ screens. I will be putting in 32Mb Ram purely because it is so cheap now. Do you think it will do the job ?
Good afternoon, I recently purchased a laptop to trade with the ninja tarder 8 platform.The laptop will be able to place 2 external 21: 9 (2560x1080p) monitors to HDMI and displayport.The specs are: I7 8750h (Hexacore) GTX 1050 ( 4gb ddr5), 16gb RAM, SSD + HDD. I am Scalper and I view candlesticks in very short time-frames, book no, orederflow, book of offers and volume profil, give my aggressive profile quick with short positions. Given my Scalper profile on Day trader My question is, will the laptop be able to handle my requirements?
Hi Fred, That is a high spec laptop, whilst laptop CPU’s often don’t tend to be as powerful as their desktop counterparts, I think you will probably be okay here, from what I can see the mobile i7 8750h processor is coming out somewhere between an i3 8350K and an i5 8600k desktop CPU which is pretty decent for a laptop.
Thank you very much for the quick reply and congratulations for the very enlightening page. As far as I’m convinced that is how much it arrives, my question will be more the graphics card because it has to support two ultrawide monitors and I want the designs of the candels to be made fast. Thank you
Hi Fred, no problem at all. It is sometimes difficult to guarantee what kind of monitors and resolutions laptops will support however I think the GTX 1050 should be able to cope with those two Ultrawide screens. The thing to understand is that if the laptop will support the screens then the speed of the candles and 2D elements will be completely fine, a much lower powered card than the 1050 would be able to handle that kind of workload, the difficulty for the cards is achieving the right resolutions, but you should be okay.
Thank you for the clarification. I would like to see in the future here on this site, tests of RAM memory speed, what its impact when loading historical data in tikets or range bar. All the best for you.
Mr E says
Useless testing and conclusion without mention or consideration of resolution or color depth. The NVS 510 can push for 4K monitors and you make it seem like a GT 710 is always a better card; again, resolution matters.
Thanks for the input.
If you re-read the conclusion I mention 4K in scenario 4 when I say that the M2000 will support 4x 4K screens at full 60Hz resolution. The reality is the vast majority of traders do not currently use 4K screens, from my discussions with customers about 4K it seems like 4K is still a misunderstood technology, hence the discussion of it in our other post here: What Size Screen is the Best for Trading?
The NVS 510 will not run four 4K screens at the full 60Hz resolution, I know because we have actually tried it, it will manage two and then becomes unstable when you add a third, the only way to run them is to drop them all to 30Hz which is not what we class as full 4 x 4K support. The nVidia M2000 will run four 4K screens at 60Hz, as will a few other newer nVidia cards, it beats it in all relevant tests and is pretty much the same price, on that basis I can’t really see any point in using an NVS 510 in any kind of trading PC build.
So, if you want to run standard Full HD (1920 x 1080) screens then you will get the same performance from a GT 710 which costs roughly 12 times less, or if you want to run 4K screens then something like the M2000 will do a better job, it matches or beats it in every test above, and is pretty much the same price. In my eyes this makes the NVS a difficult card to recommend.
I hope that clears it up a bit for you, Darren
I want to use a Mac Pro with a six monitor setup, specifically 6 QHD monitors 2560 x 1440, yet even after calling Apple direct they said there was no way of knowing if the Mac Pro with the Dual AMD Fire Pro D500 graphics could cope with the above mentioned monitor setup. The setup is purely for day trading, no gaming. Can you provide any guidance?
Welcome to the world of multi-screen and display standards, it’s a total nightmare isn’t it!
All joking aside, this is the problem, when even the manufacturers of laptops and computers have no idea whether something will work or not then how is anyone else supposed to know without testing it? Let’s say that a QHD screen with Displayport 1.2 input and MST DisplayPort capability output is £250, for 6 of those and cables you are talking over £1,500, then you’d need the Mac Pro which starts at around £3,000, so that means you are talking £4,500 to even test this kind of setup.
I’d say it would probably work but I certainly wouldn’t bet my mortgage on it.
Sorry that I can’t give you a more definitive answer here. Darren
Can I use a TV screen in the setup? Is there a reason why people use many monitors instead of one big TV screen, let’s say a 42 inches screen?
In this case (if is possible) do you reccomend only using the graphics card integrated in the motherboard? I need the computer only for trading software, not for gaming.
Hi Felipe, Thanks for the comment.
TV’s can be used as monitors, you can connect them up to any PC by using a HDMI input on the TV. The main downside of this is that most TV’s tend to have input lag, this means they often take longer to produce the image on the screen than a monitor would. For watching films and TV programs this is not an issue, but for things like gaming it can be a problem. For trading I guess it depends on how you work and whether you are going to have an issue if your charts are a few milliseconds behind the live markets? Realistically I can’t see this being a problem for most traders really, we are talking small fractions of a second.
When you mention using a large TV instead of many monitors, the resolution is important, one large 1080p TV will not replace 3 or 4 smaller screens as you don’t get any extra space to use, a large 4K TV would give you the extra space required, but then you have to ensure that your PC can properly support a 4K resolution. If you are thinking of going down this route I’d recommend reading this first: What Size Screen is the Best for Trading?.
I hope that helps a bit?
Hello again Darren. For daytrading and expecting to use 3 monitors, let’s say total 20 graphs max in different sizes. Is need it a graphic card or is a I7 processor with no additional graphic card and 16 GB enought for this?
The onboard / CPU graphics would be able to handle three standard 1920 x 1080 screens, you would probably not be able to run three 4K screens though. The issue is getting a motherboard with the right graphics ports on it, many would only have two ports for two monitors, you may end up running one of the screens over VGA, but yes it should work.
As discussed in the post, three or four standard 1920 x 1080 screens would be supported by a couple of GT 710 cards which are very low cost really so this might be another option to consider.
Hope that helps,
Yes it was very helpfull, i do have oné more question.
My gamer friend keeps insisting i need to run these cards in SLI and the p620 isnt able to support 8 monitors (2xp620)… i keep telling him that SLI is for gaming purpose. Am i correct in this assumption.
Thnx for a reply!
You can tell your friends that you are right and they are wrong!
It’s a common mistake thinking that you need to SLI the cards. SLI is a technology for sharing the processing power of 2 (or more) cards, useful for gaming, completely unnecessary for trading purposes. No trading software uses 3D graphics rendering, it is all 2D (lines, 2D shapes and fonts). As you can see in the tests above, the cards which are better at 3D graphics rendering are no faster in trading workloads, so purchasing and setting up an SLI graphics system which focuses on boosting 3D gaming performance is pointless here.
If you are buying the BEST graphics card for trading? Multiple trading platforms, 100’s of charts, Chrome with 20 tabs open, 1 4k monitor and 2 lesser monitors. Looking for no obsolescence for many years. Cutting edge new.
What would it be?
Hi SK, That’s a difficult question to answer as there are lots of graphics cards out there with different spec’s and capabilities and we have only worked with a relatively small subset of these.
From what we have worked with I think the nVidia Quadro P620’s are very good if you want to run screens with higher resolutions than FHD (1920 x 1080), we will probably be updating the GPU tests at some point in the near future with the Quadro P620s on them.
I hope this helps, Darren.
Thought it might help some traders if I shared my own experience and testing. I’ve been trading many years and have been down the multi-monitor set-up, at one stage having 8 Dell 20” monitors. My latest set-up, which I built 2 years ago, is almost identical to your base PC for your graphics card test. The variances come with the monitors and graphics cards.
My monitors are:
1. Samsung 40” 4K TV (6400 series) – used for shorter term trading charts
2. LG 28” 4K monitor – longer timeframe charts (1hr – daily)
3. Dell U2913 widescreen monitor, for web browsing and MS applications
For graphics cards there was very little information I could find, so decided on, for the above screens:
1. nVidia K620 (with a DP to HDMI 4K 60P adaptor)
2. nVidia K420
3. on board Intel HD graphics
This system works fine, with no noticeable lag, even when there is occasional high volume data. The highlight for me is still the 4K TV screen, which can show the equivalent of 4 1080 screens, but with far more versatility. The 28” monitor is a little small for 4K, so comparatively I have 6 graphs on the 32” screen vs 12 on the 40”!
The trading software I use is Saxo Trader Pro, plus web based spreadbetting.
I have done a couple of tests recently, which may be of interest:
1. I removed the K620 video card and used the K420 to drive the 40” TV monitor and Dell widescreen, and the on-board 4K graphics to drive the 28” 4K . Results: not as bad as expected, but too much lag on occasions when adding annotations, so back to one card per 4K monitor. Obviously, a more powerful graphics card may be fine for two 4K monitors.
2. I used my laptop, a Lenovo X1 Gen 1 to test drive using Saxo Trader Pro with the 40” TV as the main monitor and the laptop screen as a secondary screen. This actually worked OK, occasionally some lag, but surprisingly, it was acceptable.
3. I hooked up a 55” Samsung 4K TV as a main monitor. This was a surprise. I was able add a lot more graphs onto one screen, as significant as going from the 28” monitor to the 40”. Potentially, this could be the only screen needed; however, personally I prefer being able to segregate the graphs onto two separate screens.
My recommendation is to use a 40” (or larger) main monitor, with a secondary screen if needed (but ideally at least 32” as I do find the 28” a little small. As you’ve said in your test, the video card doesn’t need to be high end, but on-board Intel graphics can struggle a little with 4K and a lot of data.
Hi Hugh, thanks for the comment, it is really useful to hear about your tests.
With your test just using the K420 to drive, it may have been that the K420 isn’t strong enough, maybe the K620 would be able to drive everything by itself as it is a bit more powerful?
With the 28″ 4K, I completely agree that 28″ is too small for 4K, you likely have some scaling applied to make it a bit more usable, have you considered simply lowering the resolution to QHD (2560 x 1440) to see if that looks / works okay? Running at that lower res might reduce the strain on the GPUs.
It’s also interesting to hear your views on the 55″ 4K TV as a main monitor, I would not have thought that it would have made too much difference, obviously everything is just a bit bigger, good to hear your thoughts on this.
Thanks for the input!
I’ve changed the 28″ 4K monitor to QHD and it’s much better. My main trading program works across multiple monitors and I’d had to scale it to 125% for the 28″ monitor to be useful. At QHD resolution I’ve put the program scaling back to 100%, which has enhanced the detail on the main monitor. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve gone back to using the K620 and K420 and it’s the response is so much better; as I have both I’ll just stay with this combination.
With the 55″ screen, a larger number of graph windows can be easily viewed, but the detail in each window is reduced. With a desktop computer, it is better to have more monitors. I tested the 55″ because I have a 55″ TV and wanted to see the difference; there will be times when I’m at a second location and will only have my laptop to drive a second monitor, so a single large monitor will be needed. I think I’ll compromise on a 50″ though.
I’m pleased to hear that the change to QHD on the 28″ has worked out well for you. I’ve said it a few times but I think QHD at 25″ – 28″ screen sizes is the sweet spot in terms of resolution for both comfort and maximising usable screen space, whilst avoiding any issues with scaling.
Interesting to hear your thoughts about the 55″ screen as well, thanks for that!
I’m in the middle of building a custom computer with Ameritrade(TOS) as the platform. I run about 10-15 charts, chrome running with ~25 tabs. All this on 2 screens to start, but think I’ll eventually run 3-4 screens in total. I’ve set 32gb RAM with the Samsung 970 EVO Plus PCIe SSD. My builder recommends the Quadro p620. I’ve read you recommended a user of it for metatrader. But whatabout in the case of Ameritrade? I read it’s quite graphics heavy. With 2-4 screens in mind, I’m not sure if a 2GB GPU is enough to run my screens smoothly. Please share me your thoughts. I’m finalising things by this week.
The Quadro P620 is a solid card and in my opinion would run any trading platform well. All trading platforms render interfaces and charts using 2D lines as this is much more efficient and quicker for the computer to process and display. The P620 is good at 2D rendering so would easily be able to handle this kind of workload.
Thanks for the comment!
Price of gt730 4 GB and gt1030 2 GB is same but gt730 has 4GB ram.
In this case, which one is better for using only trading purpose with multiple monitors. No gaming at all.
Can you help me to select the right card.
There’s little difference between those cards and for 2D graphics having twice as much RAM isn’t going to make any real difference, personally I’d go for the GT 1030 as it is new and ever so slightly faster, but in reality there would be virtually no difference between them for a typical trading workload.
Hi everyone ,
For my trading PC using 2D , I m looking for a GP with 3 or better 4 outs , resolution 8K together , i d love to have 3 or 4 4K monitors , Procesor i have is i5 6500 , ram i will go to 32 Gb , ssd m.2 is also on mother board . i was thinking using the gaming GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G , maybe too much power for 2D ??
thanks for comments
If you want to run up to four 4K screens then the best option for a non-gaming workload would be an nVidia Quadro P620. I can’t say for certain as I’ve not tested it but there is a good chance the GTX 1660 would struggle to power four 4K screens at full 60Hz resolution. There is no specific mention of this ability in the marketing materials for it. Price should be similar between both cards so it’s a sensible choice in my opinion.
Finally i got site which ‘d help me to build trading setup for which i’m struggling since month.
I am day trader and looking for 3 screen setup as of now and will extend upto 6 -8 in future, also going to play latest 3D games on weekend.
So my graphics requirements is for day trading, gaming and HD video editing/uploading (for my YouTube page uploads).
I have finalized MSI rx 570 8gb graphic card which has 5 ports (dvi, hdmi, 3x video out).
1. So ‘ll it be fine to go for this?
2. Rest 3 monitors i am gonna connect to motherboard output ports where i am going to use AMD APU 5 2400G which would use onboard vega graphics, so will it work?
3.As i seen some youtube videos to enable onboard AMD graphics while having active GPU., please correct me if im wrong and suggest me to setup as i am finalising it this week.
One more to add, do i go for AMD 5 3600 with 6 cores or APU would be best which will give me ports to connect monitor?
My shortlisted setup-
MSI tomahawk max
AMD 5 3600 Or AMD 5 2400G
MSI armour 8gb RX 570
NVMe 500gb WD blue
cooler master smps 550kw
RAM 3000MHZ 8GBX1 CORSAIR
Awesome information, answered a lot for questions. Thanks
What do you think about dual 27” 2560x1440p monitors, can quadro p620 handle 2d trading softwares with these monitors ?
Hi, Yes a Quadro P620 could easily handle two of those resolution screens. Hope that helps, Darren
Mayank Maheshwari says
Awesome thanks Darren from India, great article and has helped me to settle this great gpu machine issue for algorithmic trading.