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Sierra vs. Ninja : why I chose .....
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Sierra vs. Ninja : why I chose .....

  #1 (permalink)
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Sierra vs. Ninja : why I chose .....

********** NOTE: See second post for an immediate update to my sentiment on this opening post. Leaving this opening post intact for reference.

After taking a hiatus from NT and using IRT for quite some time, I reluctantly came back to NT for several reasons. I got things lean and mean, coded what I needed to code, and have been quite happy with my setup for several months now. But yesterday, I decided to give Sierra Chart another try, and dedicated my Sunday to learning this program (which my girlfriend just loved, let me tell you!). I had tried it out a year and a half ago, and while I liked much about it, did not feel that it was mature enough yet. Two of my main reasons for trying Sierra again are that I have been having so many little issues with my profiling setup on NT, and also that I hate that NT does not have the ability to attach stop/limit orders to an existing ATM strategy (you can only attach the orders when the initial order is filled).

Well, when I tried out Sierra yesterday, I was blown away by how far it has come. I mean, with essentially the same setup in NT which takes about 200MB of resident memory, Sierra was humming along at 20MB!! Data loads pretty fast, and while there is a learning curve, in a matter of hours I had my charts almost duplicated, having learned the basics of the Sierra programming interface and already ported over two indicators. I just loved how this thing was working. Run multiple copies for different data providers, do anything you like. This is one flexible program, and honestly I love everything about it... except for....

.... the moment of heartbreak. I have the two running side by side, and for a direct comparison I connect both to IQFeed. Here is a comparison of the tape:

T&S comparison: 2012-08-20_1022 - joshtrader's library

You will be able to notice that Sierra (on the right) is delayed. It's only maybe 100-250ms. It doesn't sound like a lot, but even before I made the comparison to NT, my heart was a bit heavy as I watched the tape in Sierra. It looked as if it just did not handle quick bursts very well. The bottom line is that it just is not as quick. To be sure, I disconnected both, connected Sierra first, and THEN connected NT (thinking maybe order of connection might be prioritized), but same deal--NT simply is faster.

I also had a bad feeling when I watched the sierra DOM as the market was opening today... it just looked like it was updating far too slowly. Here is a comparison (not direct as this is TT and I can only use it in one program at a time):

NT DOM: 2012-08-20_1030 - joshtrader's library
Sierra DOM: 2012-08-20_1040 - joshtrader's library

Again you can see that the NT depth updates are more granular. Also, it is slightly less clear where the inside market is by a glance at the price column only (though there may be a setting in Sierra to change this, I couldn't find it)--NT has the inside bid and offer on the price column colored, which I like a lot.

Finally, a side-by-side with Sierra on the left and Ninja on the right:

Side-by-side: 2012-08-20_1037 - joshtrader's library

Again, particularly at 0:17, notice how much quicker the prints come through with Ninja.

Now, some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying "who cares? what's a few milliseconds?" Well, a lot really, for me. I read the market, and I don't do it by looking at static charts. For me the best comparison is watching a movie in 30fps versus 20 or so. When you watch a "normal" movie and then watch an internet clip whose framerate has been reduced for size's sake, the movie is not as clear, and the low frame rate is distracting. This is how I feel watching the actual market action in Sierra.

The shame is that just about everything else is better in Sierra. I highly recommend this software if you have not tried it. Once the learning curve is flattened a bit with a few hours of use, it becomes a breeze. I only wish that my issues above could be addressed--if so, it would be a no-brainer. But as it stands, Sierra is better than NT in just about every way except the one way that is most important to me, and so I stay with NT......... for now.


Last edited by josh; August 20th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)
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As if by magic, or perhaps divine inspiration, I found a setting in Sierra under "General Settings" that allows the user to change the chart update interval. I changed this from 500ms to 1ms, and look at her go now!!!!

T&S, NT on left, Sierra on right:
2012-08-20_1130 - joshtrader's library

Sierra DOM:
2012-08-20_1133 - joshtrader's library

Chart:
http://screencast.com/t/joDDu8q63jCo

So it appears that Sierra is actually faster than NT, not the other way around as I originally thought. NT also has an update interval but the minimum is 100ms, FWIW.

Feeling quite the doofus right now, I ask myself: do I have the courage to try Sierra for real? The answer is YES! I will try it this week on sim, and see how it goes. Still lots of learning to do, but as it stands, Ninja has to show me something pretty spectacular (note that I do own a ninja lifetime license and wish I could have that option for sierra).


Last edited by josh; August 20th, 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)
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Josh, i would have liked to try it or use it for its market and volume profile capabilities but also because it is relatively easy to connect with Excel. Unfortunately, Zen-Fire is not supported.

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trendisyourfriend View Post
Josh, i would have liked to try it or use it for its market and volume profile capabilities but also because it is relatively easy to connect with Excel. Unfortunately, Zen-Fire is not supported.

Since Rithmic is well supported, I am surprised that Zen-Fire is not. I just saw that some are connecting with zen, but I am not sure about the details...

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zen-fire is supported as well - you got to pick service as rithmic first and then under servers -> you got to pick Zen-fire.

Thanks

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If you haven't, also make sure that Data/Trade Service Settings >> Intraday Data Storage Time Unit is set to 1 tick if you want to replay/backtest tick data later.

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vegasfoster View Post
If you haven't, also make sure that Data/Trade Service Settings >> Intraday Data Storage Time Unit is set to 1 tick if you want to replay/backtest tick data later.

Thank you vegasfoster -- I currently have it set to this. Any more tricks you want to share, I'm all ears!

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Personally, never tested Ninja.

I was presented to Multicharts many years ago, version 4 if I'm not mistaken and it was love at first sight. Never bother to try any other platform.

When I got to VP I was forced to have a second chart platform since MC don't have VP capabilities, yet.
Started with IRT, moved to Sierra, went back to IRT again, moved back to Sierra once again and now, this time for good, I'm back with IRT.

Just got tired of Sierra.

The platform is really stable, well thought out, affordable but with a very difficult support staff. They just don't know how to talk with clients. You know that saying that cops shoot first and ask questions latter, well, it seems that they follow that motto. They tend to bash clients on their first response when they request some feature or report some weird problem. Only after, they might come back and answer in a less offensive way.

The only thing I just couldn't get used to in Sierra and that being the first reason I decided to ditch it, is the object selection which basically doesn't exist. Everytime you need to select some indicator you need to go to the upper part of the chart, right click on it to open the indicator properties so you can have the button APPLY available for immediate visualization of the changes you've made. Every other platform you just click on the indicator and it directly opens its properties. To some this is not a big deal but for me it's tedious having to do all that to get there. Too many mouse movements.

And naturally that another reason to change back to IRT is the fact some tools and options are much more advanced than Sierra's.
I really missed some of them.

All the best for your test Josh.

If I become half a percent smarter each year, I'll be a genius by the time I die

Last edited by arnie; August 20th, 2012 at 07:38 PM. Reason: add comment
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  #9 (permalink)
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josh View Post
As if by magic, or perhaps divine inspiration, I found a setting in Sierra under "General Settings" that allows the user to change the chart update interval. I changed this from 500ms to 1ms, and look at her go now!!!!

T&S, NT on left, Sierra on right:
2012-08-20_1130 - joshtrader's library

Sierra DOM:
2012-08-20_1133 - joshtrader's library

Chart:
2012-08-20_1156 - joshtrader's library

So it appears that Sierra is actually faster than NT, not the other way around as I originally thought. NT also has an update interval but the minimum is 100ms, FWIW.

Feeling quite the doofus right now, I ask myself: do I have the courage to try Sierra for real? The answer is YES! I will try it this week on sim, and see how it goes. Still lots of learning to do, but as it stands, Ninja has to show me something pretty spectacular (note that I do own a ninja lifetime license and wish I could have that option for sierra).


Its funny you're looking at SC. A good friend and respectable trader and I did a Skype call last Monday after the markets and he has switched from NT to SC for charting only for the reason that it loads faster and has more default indicators primarily MP which both he and I use. He felt that third party indicators may have slowed NT down some and you don't have to fudge with it on SC. He uses X-trader for his DOM and suggested that I use SC for charting and NT for order execution.

I am still giving this more thought as I was contemplating using the Rancho Dinero MP or just use SC for my charting. I would like to hear more of your experience and thoughts in using SC has you get use to it.

Cheers,
Ryan

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  #10 (permalink)
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I never personally tested sierra, but what I can see it looks like a good choice.

of course the footprint, profiles, faster loading, etc are all very good reasons to go with sierra. but what I'm more concerned is, are the values of the indicators correct? I think it would be a good idea to compare those values with other platforms as well.

I've seen a few instances that looked a bit strange. here's an example with mp where the vah is higher than the actual high. as far as I know that's not possible.

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