Building a PC for crunching tons of stock market data

Tunetyme

TS Rookie
First I am an AMD user and do not play games. I am looking to build a dedicated systems for analyzing large files of sock information as well as be able to monitor and trade stocks live. I tried using Access but I exceeded the database record limit with less than 2 years of data for one symbol and I have over 15 years of data for some symbols.

My plan is to use MySQL server for the databases and Python or R to crunch the numbers and do the analysis. A few months ago I saw an article that talks about CPU's and that some are more oriented to workstation / data processing and others are more oriented toward gaming. I can't find the article now. This will be a single user system dedicated to trading.

This may be my opportunity to finally convert completely to Linux.

My primary question is which AMD CPU would be best along with a very reliable Mother Board. (Asus, Asrock or MSI) that is stable for Linux. I am thinking that 16 GB of RAM will be adequate but I am open to more if justified. I will definitely buy another Noctua CPU cooler. I have one on my FX 8350 and it is so quiet and the CPU rarely gets above 39 degrees Celsius. I want a large SSD for my primary hard disk and look at 4 or 8 TB Seagate Iron Wolf series drives for data storage. I have had very good luck with these drives in my file server and they are virtually silent drives. I will need to size the power supply to handle up to 3 7200 RPM SATA drives.

Graphics are another issue since I am not a gamer I don't know very much about graphics cards and monitors. I would like to be able to connect 3 or 4 monitors. I will be displaying the data graphically to see if there are patterns. I am thinking of a large ips monitor ( up to 42" ) in portrait mode and possibly curved. That may be enough display space but I want to be able to add more if needed. I am looking for crisp lines and characters for the display. What resolution will I need considering how close I am to the monitor sitting at a desk looking up at the monitor in portrait mode.

Overall, I build machines that have the ability to grow with my applications and last a minimum of 5 years. My media server is running UnRaid for13 years without a hiccup. My windows machine is at least 5 years old.

The easiest solution is just buy the most expensive everything but I strive to build machines that fit the application. I don't mind spending the money if it is justified.

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and recommendations.
 

neeyik

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Let's begin with the easiest parts first.

Power supply - three HDDs will hardly use any power, so any sensible brand 500W+ will be fine. Cosair SF600 should do nicely.

Graphics card - Nvidia Quadro P620. Low power, low noise, small size, supports up to four 4K monitors at 60 Hz. Want more monitors? Nvidia NVS 810 - it can handle up to eight but only at 30 Hz.

Storage - are the Iron Wolf drives to be used in the PC or in a NAS? As for the SSD, I'd personally go with a Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB M.2 format. Expensive but worth it.

The harder parts are the CPU+motherboard+RAM combination, and I dare say that 20 people would give you 20 different solutions. If you're still looking to go cool and quiet, then you may be a little surprised by modern CPUs.

Your current (and 7 years old!) FX 8350 was rated by AMD to have a TDP of 125 W and a maximum operating temperature of 60 or so degrees C. Something like a Ryzen 7 3700X has a TDP of 64 W but a max temp of 95 deg C.

If I was in your situation, and I was configuring a machine that would form part of my tool set for earning a wage, I'd want security, stability, and future proofing. The latter is hard to do, especially right now, given the pace of development in CPUs; but my choices would be as follows:

CPU: AMD Threadripper 2950X
Motherboard: ASRock X399 Taichi ATX
RAM: Corsair Vengence LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3000 C15
Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3

Now that will come to a fair chunk of money, over $1200, but it will be exceptionally capable and have significant scope for expansion - the motherboard has 8 DIMM slots (supporting up to 128 GiB of RAM), 8 SATA ports, and three M.2 ports. The Threadripper CPU is a 16 core, 32 thread processor; I.e. very much focused on parallelism and ideal for database analysis.

The choice of RAM is a simple personal one: I find Corsair DIMMs to be very stable and good value for money, and I always choose a speed slightly higher than the default speed supported by the CPU and motherboard. In the case of these ones, it's 2666MHz and the 3000MHz Corsair can not only comfortably run at the lower rate, it can do so with low RAM timings too.

You're already familiar with Noctua coolers, so it will come as no surprise to note that this one is whisper quiet, yet very capable and reliable. It is, however, huge, tipping the scales at 2.3 pounds.

Lastly, don't forget to size things up: ATX Threadripper motherboards (along with a Noctua cooler) will be quite large, so you'll need a case with big enough internal dimension to cope.

Edit: With the release of the Ryzen 9 3950X, which is cheaper, faster, and cooler than the Threadripper 2950X, I'd change my above recommendations to that as the choice of CPU. The motherboard and memory needs changing accordingly, of course:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
Motherboard: Asrock X570 Taichi
RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3000 C15

The RGB LEDs in the RAM are a superfluous feature, but those memory modules work very well on the X570 platform.
 
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