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Old October 8, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Default Daytrader CPU problems

Hi, I am new to site and compared to site users somewhat tech un-savvy. I read a prior post regarding CPU requirements for stock trading platforms but it did not quite seem to apply. I have two computers. One is dedicated to the trading platform. Platform requirements are 1 GB, 500 MB min. I have a Pentium 4 2.93 GHZ, 2.5 GB RAM. So I should have enough. My Norton 360 alert comes up several times a day saying " High CPU usage, 99%. Additionally the stock prices will freeze which makes it hard to know whether you have hit a sell or buy point.. I had this trading program on another computer, a laptop, and the trading platform would shut down several times a day if I had other processes running, i.e. news sources or research web-sites. The laptop had 3GB RAM. So what is going on. The trading platform people say it is my cable company. Or do I just need a lot more RAM?

Last edited by Griffy58; October 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:09 PM
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The RAM is not your only issue : that Norton thing is not a good idea to run in real time because it takes resources your computer does not have : Pentium 4 @ 2.93 GHz? Are you kidding me? Get yourself a tri core or quad core, any older Core 2 quad, AMD Athlon II X4/X3, Phenom II X4 should do the job right, you need processing power too, not just RAM. If you use Win XP that is fine to keep it at 2GB RAM, if you use Vista / 7 I would stay at 4 GB. That Norton software takes processing cycles which your single core with Hyper-threading, Pentium 4 does not have, despite running at almost 3 GHz. Upgrade to a cheap tri/quad core and you will see night to day difference. When you have that hardware you might want to keep Norton turned on, otherwise close it in the mean time and do just a manual scan daily if you want to.
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:30 PM
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Thank you for the quick answer. Appreciate it. Just spent a few minutes looking up my motherboard-chip compatibility and it seems that it can only take the Pentium 4. Not into replacing motherboards so it looks like a new computer is the route Ill be taking.
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:48 PM
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that would be even better.
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Old October 8, 2012, 05:17 PM
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you can get a MASSIVE improvement over what you have for even just $500.

its actually pretty hard to get something worse than what you have now...I'm actually pretty sure its not even possible.
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Old October 8, 2012, 05:32 PM
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WRT your norton 360.... since you're getting the "cpu use" warning you've obviously let it have complete control over your system. Do you have a HDD access light on the front of your PC? If so, what are the chances that it never turns off? If that's the case (and I've seen it before) it's norton's control over your system that's the major bottleneck.

First thing I'd recommend is running the norton removal tool ( https://www-secure.symantec.com/nort...edirect_pubweb ) in order to get that resource hogging app off of your system and then see what your performance is like.

When's the last time you did a full system reload on that PC? If it's longer than 1 year and you don't have a techie routinely look at your system, I'm betting that a fresh install of windows will get that system up and running like new (assuming that the system requirements are as listed for your trading app). That said.... as has already been mentioned, $500 would probably get you a complete brand new system that would more than meet all of your requirements.
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Old October 8, 2012, 08:21 PM
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^ wise words about norton

as far as I'm concerned, live-running 'anti-virus' scanners ARE viruses....I honestly can't tell the difference between them. Just because one has an official logo doesn't make a lick of a difference to me.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:28 PM
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First off, that Norton 360 is sucking a lot of CPU power with their randomly scheduled yet 'routine' checks, because of the nature of virus scans scanning methods they are very resource intensive. I would switch to something like NOD32.

Also that computer is really really old. You should consider getting a new computer, even a 6 year old core 2 duo would make a world of difference.

Market news sites are usually full of flash based ads and poorly coded javascript, those can easily throw your PC over the edge. JavaVM is also pretty taxing on a P4, so if you have any news applets that run on JVM, you would need to upgrade.
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Old October 11, 2012, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for all the help. Have a new computer ordered and on it's way. I checked into/ researched all of the suggestions that you provided. I actually learned an awful lot through the process. Like checking my task manager to see what is actually using CPU. Incidentally, dumb question, but the CPU number is referring to percentage used. Amazing how much is eaten up by my browser with 10 tabs open. Thanks again.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:31 AM
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web browsers do use a fair amount of ram but Norton uses just as much and probably even more. I used to use Norton yrs ago because I was worried about virus's and the like but after a while I realized that the only way to get a virus is to let one onto my computer in the first place and that could be done only one way which was downloading something or opening up an email attachment that had a virus. once I realized this I went into the services and shut off norton and I have to say my PC ( at that time was a pentium 4) speed up allot more. and I only go one problem which was malware because I didn't update my adobe flashplayer. I don't use a regular anti virus that often because I don't download things from anywhere I don't trust. I do once a week use clam antivius to scan my hard drives over night or sometimes I use the online anti-virus to scan because I think that if a new virus was to get onto my pc even if I had something like Norton I would imagine that the virus would be able to somehow shut down Norton. but this is just my thoughts.
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