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Trading Workstation - MAC / PC
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Trading Workstation - MAC / PC

  #1 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Trading Workstation - MAC / PC

I have read a few posts on this forum, about this subject, but wanted to get an updated view on this subject of trading computers (PC's) or MAC's (APPLE)

History:
I have been using a 2 screen MAC for about 8 months now, running VMWARE fusion, for those not familiar with VMWARE, basically its software that you run on the mac so that you can run other operating systems.

I like this as I can have my charts up, and the mac also lets you have multiple screens or workspaces to switch to, which then allows me to run other applications, etc. Very nice feature, and very stable also. No issues with memory problems, or PC crashes. I think my XP VM has been more stable that a regular PC.

Its time to expand my trading area, and expand to multiple monitors beyond just 2. In order to do this I am at a cross roads.....I need to decide between a PC with multiple monitors, or get a higher-end mac pro workstation and multiple graphics cards. I was looking at picking up a used mac pro, as I dont necessary need all the power of a new one. I was going to get a decent amount of RAM such as 8 GIG, and then using VMWare dedicate 3 GIG directly to the VM workstation that I run today, which is windows XP.

The new version of VMWARE supports multiple monitors. My thought are with this setup I can still have the stability I am seeking to have, and get the multiple monitors I am looking for.

I realize that I can get a PC, but with the past issues I have had, and liking the stability of MAC's I am starting to prefer to go this way.

I really just wanted to get the opinion of this forum, to see if there is anyone else out there trading using a MAC, and if so what has their experience been using VMWARE with multiple monitors beyond just 2?

Any feedback is appreciated!

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  #2 (permalink)
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Sorry,I'm a bit off-topic, but few things:
- if you think you'll have less stability issues with a Mac with a "special" multiple screens VMware configuration than with a Windows PC with native drivers ?
- if you had stability issues with a pc, that was maybe hardware only (if it was software, you'll have the same on a virtualized host...), so why not having a high end/serious brand pc, HP, IBM, ... ? My main workstation is an old high-end Fujitsu Siemens, no problems with it for 4 years (prehistoric age for a pc, but still have enough horse-power...).
- is the computer here for 90% trading/10% other, or 50/50, or 10/90 ? If it's 90/10, as most (99% ?) trading software are Windows only, I'm not sure Mac is the good choice.

I really like Macs, powerful, low noise, well designed, ..., (got 2 Imac), and I'm not a big fan of Windows, but for trading, it still the logical choice.

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  #3 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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c12345 View Post
I have read a few posts on this forum, about this subject, but wanted to get an updated view on this subject of trading computers (PC's) or MAC's (APPLE)

History:
I have been using a 2 screen MAC for about 8 months now, running VMWARE fusion, for those not familiar with VMWARE, basically its software that you run on the mac so that you can run other operating systems.

I like this as I can have my charts up, and the mac also lets you have multiple screens or workspaces to switch to, which then allows me to run other applications, etc. Very nice feature, and very stable also. No issues with memory problems, or PC crashes. I think my XP VM has been more stable that a regular PC.

Its time to expand my trading area, and expand to multiple monitors beyond just 2. In order to do this I am at a cross roads.....I need to decide between a PC with multiple monitors, or get a higher-end mac pro workstation and multiple graphics cards. I was looking at picking up a used mac pro, as I dont necessary need all the power of a new one. I was going to get a decent amount of RAM such as 8 GIG, and then using VMWare dedicate 3 GIG directly to the VM workstation that I run today, which is windows XP.

The new version of VMWARE supports multiple monitors. My thought are with this setup I can still have the stability I am seeking to have, and get the multiple monitors I am looking for.

I realize that I can get a PC, but with the past issues I have had, and liking the stability of MAC's I am starting to prefer to go this way.

I really just wanted to get the opinion of this forum, to see if there is anyone else out there trading using a MAC, and if so what has their experience been using VMWARE with multiple monitors beyond just 2?

Any feedback is appreciated!

C, Yes. I'm using a 24" iMac duocore processor running both OSX and VMWare with Windows XP and aside from it being slower than my Dell PC at home, it works just fine. Takes a long time for charts to load in the morning (go to the bathroom, or make a pot of coffee), but once it's up, it's fine. Very stable, too (much more so than Parallels, which I had, upgraded and then had nothing but problems with - STAY WITH VMWARE FUSION!)

After all, it's what you learn AFTER you know it all, that counts!
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  #4 (permalink)
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I have a new MacBook Pro that I use for trading. However, instead of using VMWare, I just separated my hard drive and have Windows on the Bootcamp partition. I can use it for trading and it runs faster than a PC running Windows. Its also less resource intensive and runs cooler than running OSX and VMWare simultaneously. I still have the Mac for normal use and at night when I am researching/prepping for the next day, then I can use VMWare to see charts but use the Mac for everything else.

As for the multiple monitors, depending on where I am, I just use the DVI slot or a port replicator that uses a USB slot. You can extend the desktop so you have your 15" or whatever laptop monitor plus the big, external one.

That said, is there a reason you guys are running VMWare or Parallels and trading on the Virtual Machine instead of just using Bootcamp and loading Windows while you trade and using the Mac for everything else?

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  #5 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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CDesai13 View Post
I have a new MacBook Pro that I use for trading. However, instead of using VMWare, I just separated my hard drive and have Windows on the Bootcamp partition. I can use it for trading and it runs faster than a PC running Windows. Its also less resource intensive and runs cooler than running OSX and VMWare simultaneously. I still have the Mac for normal use and at night when I am researching/prepping for the next day, then I can use VMWare to see charts but use the Mac for everything else.

As for the multiple monitors, depending on where I am, I just use the DVI slot or a port replicator that uses a USB slot. You can extend the desktop so you have your 15" or whatever laptop monitor plus the big, external one.

That said, is there a reason you guys are running VMWare or Parallels and trading on the Virtual Machine instead of just using Bootcamp and loading Windows while you trade and using the Mac for everything else?

Can you run Bootcamp & OSX at the same time? I thought they were exclusive. The reason I run both is, I run a small business (we're all MAC in the business) that way, I can toggle back & forth to Mac to enter an order / print an invoice when a customer calls in & then toggle back to VMWare / windows to continue my trading. If I boot in Bootcamp, it's all or nothing. I can EITHER have a PC or a MAC, but not both at the same time - the way I understand it. If that's wrong, please enlighten me.

After all, it's what you learn AFTER you know it all, that counts!
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  #6 (permalink)
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Wizard,

You are correct about not being able to run Bootcamp and OSX simultaneously... I guess my question was geared more toward those that are only using the computer for trading/futures.io (formerly BMT) forums, etc while they are trading. I failed to see why someone would run their trading on a virtual machine if they didn't have to (for reasons like what you mentioned).

Also looking for enlightenment if someone has a reason to do this that I haven't thought of or was not aware of...

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  #7 (permalink)
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Greatly appreciated the feedback.... I agree with those comments about that most trading software was supposed to run on windows, I mean the software I run now is windows based... I switched over when My regular PC died, due to hardware issues, and just decided to try something different.. I like the stability of the mac, low noise, etc. etc.

I have found if you have enough RAM in the MAC that the VM images run great, no issues, fast running, and very smooth.

I was next looking to expand the idea, of using the VMWARE or boot camp either one, and take advantange of the higher end hardware of the MAC... I mean lets face it when you are in a trade, and your PC reports a memory error or gives you the dreaded reboot when you least expect it, its gets frustrating.... While most of us have 2 workstations or laptops to trading for a backup, I just am looking for something that is stable, and yet at the same time just works...

I am also looking into other PC models. The device will be more or less 99 percent devoted to trading, and 1 percent to other during trading hours.

My looking for answers about the 8 monitors is proving hard to find out, as it seems not many people are doing this.....

So I may just focus on looking for a PC now..... which I really dont want to have to do...

I am awaiting an answer from VMWARE on the topic of 8 monitors, hopefully they will get back to me soon about this..

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