I use two old cheap GeForce 9500 fanless cards, powers four 22" monitors on a single quad monitor stand.
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I currently use two cheap GeForce 9500 passive cards (no fans) to drive three 30 in displays. Total cost was $120, and they do everything I need for trading applications.
I really like these new ATI cards though, and was considering using one in my next system that I build next year. The cost is a little high when you take into account that you need 4 conversion cables (display port to DualDVI), but that should come down. If I had displays that had display port inputs, then it would be a no brainer.
I really like passive devices, as I am rather demanding when it comes to having a quiet pc.
Well, I was going to cross that bridge next year when the next round of processors come out, but currently, I only have two noise makers. Both are fans. One in the power supply (Seasonic), which is virtually silent. The other is a case fan, which is pretty good, but I can hear it under load.
I use SSDs to remove any HDD noise. There are new ones that are on a PCIe card, which are a little pricy today, but the performance is awesome.
Your case can play a role also in terms of air flow. I would start with Lian Li aluminum cases first, but there are lots of good choices.
Of course the processor speed and over-clocking play a huge role in cooling and hence noise as well. I do not over clock, and do not run the top processor speed grade, instead opting for the best thermal envelope that I can get. I do get the fastest processor that I can passively cool (just the case fan running over a passive heat sync).
My system is going on two years old, so do your research on new components (there are some good sites and reviews out there for silent/quiet pcs).
I did look into using a MAC PRO for my trading computer, I like MAC's actually have several of them, and they just plain WORK... And they are stable which is a MUST for trading...
I did goto the MAC Store and I ran testing with VM-WARE (MAC OSX Running, and then Windows 7 64 BIT running within that)
The system was stable and worked ok, but it wasn't as fast as I would have liked. I ran some testing with the different apps I use, loaded up, and it was very nice, but again wasn't as fast as I would have preferred it to be...
We tried Parallels and that worked fine, the system had 16 GIG of ram, and was 8 displays.. Was a nice overall package, but again the expensive $$$ just didn't justify buying a MAC PRO and running windows on it..
I ended up getting a AMD based system, bought the board, and the 6 core CPU along with the parts, etc. It is noisy, but it works, and its stable. Solid State hard drive, and overall for a charting platform its great..
I do however keep my order entry system running on a MAC running VM-WARE, and its very stable and works just fine for order entry..
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