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#1

Sierra Charts 64

I have an 8 core CPU (AMD FX 8350). Does Sierra Charts 64 (SC) use multiple cores?
Can I allocate cores to SC? What is the basis for allocation?
I have 16 GB RAM. Is this adequate for in-depth studies?
How does SC behave if I have another program running like email or Word?
With SC can I have more than one instance running? For example, I am watching the market and I want to run a sim at the same time on a second monitor?

Graphics
I think the current display in SC is a little muddy and not crisp viewing. Currently, I have basic 1080p graphics card and monitor. What do I need?
I have been thinking about upgrading my rig a little in the graphics department. I favor AMD products over NVIDIA. Has anyone done some homework on this and have some idea on where SC is going with graphics resolution?

Network
How much bandwidth do I need (on my end) especially on really busy days?


#2

@Tunetyme

CPU
To my knowledge, you cannot exactly allocate specific cores to the Sierra Chart platform. However, as you alluded to you can open more than one instance of Sierra Chart at a time which I believe would essentially achieve the same goal. With 16gb of ram and an 8 core CPU you should have no problem multitasking with this software. This will require you to install an additional copy of Sierra Chart to do so. Essentially you will have one copy of Sierra Chart that acts as a master, and the others can be slaves receiving data from it. Take a look at the documentation provided by the Sierra Chart developers on how to do so: http://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?l=doc/MultipleServices.html.

If you plan on going this route I would also suggest taking a look into updating your chart interval to a higher refresh rate: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/ChartSettings.html#ChartUpdateInterval

If you have an SSD drive I would also suggest moving over your Sierra Chart program files from your HD to your SSD, as this would allow for much faster loading times.

GPU
Would you mind mentioning which graphics card you are currently running? I don’t believe getting a new GPU would make things any better. Being that you aren’t running integrated graphics due to the FX 8350, in my opinion, a single dedicated GPU should be more than enough to handle Sierra Chart unless the GPU is extremely outdated. Referring back to the previous topic of CPU’s, this program seems to be much more CPU intensive rather than GPU intensive. Because of this, I would first try the route of installing and opening multiple copies of Sierra Chart or looking into upgrading your CPU and motherboard.

As for resolution and monitors, I wouldn’t think you need anything higher than 1080p for trading. Unless you plan on gaming or using your rig for watching content in a higher resolution such as 1440p or 4k I wouldn’t think you would need to upgrade your monitor and GPU for trading, although this is merely personal preference. If your current monitor does not support FreeSync, you can always look into a new 1080p monitor that does support FreeSync and a higher refresh rate. You might as well utilize the FreeSync technology that is compatible with AMD GPUs.

Network
Finally, on the topic of bandwidth. It is not exactly possible to pinpoint the exact amount of bandwidth you need on Sierra Chart for multiple reasons. 1. We do not know the bandwidth usage of the particular Data or Trading service you are using and the bandwidth usage of those services. 2. We do not know how many symbols you are tracking. 3. We do not know the market activity of those symbols. 4. The amount of bandwidth usage is also affected by the amount of historical data being downloaded. Although historical data downloading is relatively infrequent. That being said, a faster internet speed will never hurt. I would also suggest to always opt for a hardwired ethernet connection over wifi as this will provide you with much lower latency.

Let us know if you have any more questions on the topic, I would love to discuss with you more on this topic.
Hope this helped,
Jake

Optimus Futures Support
optimusfutures.com


#3

Thanks for your reply.

I build my own systems and I’ve learned to double the generally accepted RAM so my Rig last a couple of years longer. It seems that Microsoft and app developers want to use more and more RAM with each update. This thing cranks at 4 Ghz out of the box and handles everything I have thrown at so far. It is a few years old and a generation or 2 behind so if I need to upgrade I want to start designing a system around the new Ryzen CPU’s I will need to know the development path of my software. The biggest joker in the pile is Microsoft and the stability of their operating system. Sierra Charts is now the only software package that I don’t have a Linux version. I have trying to get away from them for years.

I have an AMD Radeon 5450 Graphics card. I am not a gamer at all so I haven’t invested in graphics. With Sierra Charts would a work station card be better than a gaming oriented card? I really am way behind the times with graphics. It is very limited on multiple monitors as I can only slave a second monitor. My primary is a 23 inch monitor max resolution is 1920 x 1080. With Sierra Charts the graphics colors seem muddy and flat and hard to distinguish when close together. (think moving averages converging)

I have Spectrum cable service (no TV) that provides 150 Mbs pretty reliably so far. It seems that they have some bottle necks on WWW side but don’t want to admit it. For 300 I would have to add TV which is something that I would rarely use.

It might be fun to build a few systems based on AMD or Intel CPU that would be dream rigs as well as a inexpensive system and something in between that is practical and post. I am sure that everyone has questions about this like me and it would really serve the community. The platform vendors should be invited to comment on them and add any recommendations as well.

What do you think Jake?


#4

@Tunetyme

The new AMD chips do look great. If you are planning on building a new system around their CPUs I would suggest going with a minimum of 16gb of DDR4 RAM. Like you said it seems each update that comes out requires more and more RAM. As of right now, 16gb is more than enough for the average user, but if you are looking to future proof your system 32gb might be your best bet option.

On to your graphics card, the AMD Radeon 5450 is a relatively old card compared to today’s standards. It is difficult to determine the exact card that best suits your needs. So many factors can be attributed to the card that suits you. Factors such as pricing and the programs that you use should also be taken into effect. If you plan on using programs such as CAD or Photoshop along with your trading programs, you may want to invest in one of the newer cards that will maximize your performance. To some extent, gaming GPUs and workstation GPUS can be used somewhat interchangeably, but in your case, I would suggest sticking with a workstation card. A workstation card will arguably save you more money and they are known to be much more stable than your average gaming GPU. Due to the recent decline of Crypto, the Crypto mining community, and the announcement of Nvidia’s new RTX series cards, there have already been some major price reductions in many of the “older” cards. Either way, I would suggest looking into a new GPU that supports more than two video outputs, that way you can utilize more than two monitors if you are looking to do so. Here are some cards from AMD that may be up your alley: https://www.amd.com/en-us/solutions/professional/workstations/cad. Again this is purely personal preference and it truly comes down to the card that best suits your needs.

Speaking on Sierra Charts graphics, the Sierra Chart platform is not the most aesthetically pleasing platform to look at. What they lack in aesthetics more than makes up for the features that are packed into this platform. It seems that most traders are more than willing to compensate for the lack of aesthetics when there are so many great technical analysis tools on the platform. Have you ever considered upgrading your monitor? Maybe you should consider upgrading to a slightly larger monitor as well, maybe a 27 inch. A nice monitor can go a long way when it comes to graphics and coloring. Like I mentioned in my last post, I don’t think a new GPU would help out too much with Sierra Chart’s graphics and coloring, but it definitely would not hurt. I’m sure you would notice a great improvement even with a slightly newer card for all functionalities on your computer.

For your current internet speed, 150 MBS is more than enough for what Sierra Chart requires. 300 MBS would probably be overkill, but again it could not hurt. If you are currently not running a hardwired ethernet connection to your computer, I would focus on a direct LAN connection first as using a connection over WIFI could create some latency issues and is much less reliable.

As you mentioned, I’m sure this post will help out the community greatly. Although most users are usually focused on the software side of things, it is always important to stay up to date with the most recent hardware. When it comes to poor computer performance when running trading platforms, the hardware is typically the root cause for the majority of the issues experienced. In a market so volatile such as the futures market, staying on top of the slightest shift in the market is extremely important. I would suggest for traders to never neglect the hardware they are working with. Keeping your computers up to date with the latest hardware is a surefire way to maximize your performance.


#5

I really like the new AMD processors. I have always found that it is best to buy a matched set for RAM and run memtest for a week. If there are any problems you will know it. by the time this gets built it may be that 32 isn’t enough.

The 5450 is very old tech but at the time I didn’t have any need for resolutions greater than 1080p. It has served me well so far but my needs have evolved. What are your thoughts about having a larger monitor in portrait mode as I think I would like to see the same symbol in multiple time frames without it getting all scrunched up. I only run hard wire connections. Generally, it is 2 to 10 times faster depending on your router and it is reliable. You always know the instant you are down when you are hardwired.

Most people do not understand that quality hardware will save a lot of money and headaches. I overbuild mine and the last and last. I have a file server that is now dated technologically but it runs like a champ and hasn’t missed a beat for 12 years. Most people would have replaced their at least 2 times. While I spent an extra $5-800 building it I’ve saved thousands in machine upgrades. I’ve updated drives and expanded the storage to 16TB. I originally built this machine to analyze my music collection to develop information like beats per minute and what key is the music in etc. It really helps when you want to create a playlist for a particular event or mood. The software I use can take advantage of all 8 cores and process simultaneously. Which brings me back to SC.

Does SC have the ability to utilize the other cores?

I really appreciate your comments and perspective. It is always helpful to learn another perspective.

BTW do you think an IPS monitor is the way to go?

Thanks again


#6

@Tunetyme

Barry, I’ve looked further into your question on whether or not Sierra Chart has the ability to utilize multiple cores and it looks like the software can. However, you will need to follow these instructions that I have also replied in my first post about running multiple instances of the software, as this is guaranteed way to utilize all available cores of your CPU: http://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?l=doc/MultipleServices.html.

According to the Sierra Chart website, "CPU multi-core support for increased performance with historical data downloading, Chartbook loading, streaming market data processing, Intraday chart data file and market depth data file writing, and network input and output. A CPU core can run one or two program threads. It will run two threads if it supports hyperthreading. A thread is a unit of execution within Sierra Chart.

Multiple CPU processor/core support by running multiple copies of Sierra Chart at same time on a system. Each copy of Sierra Chart can share the data from other copies. One copy can act as a master, and the other as slaves. The most significant CPU load usually comes from charting, so slave copies can be dedicated for advanced charting purposes. Multiple back tests can be run by using multiple installed copies of Sierra Chart. You are able to install and use as many copies of Sierra Chart as you want on a system."

Feel free to read more on the topic here: https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/Features.php#Performance

Back to the topic of monitors, I would 100% suggest an IPS panel monitor. If you plan on utilizing multiple monitors, an IPS panel will provide you with the best viewing angles and color profile compared to the other panel types out there.

Speaking on multiple monitors and your question about portrait mode, if you are currently having a hard time distinguishing colors and your charts on Sierra Chart with your current monitor I would suggest for you to make your “primary” monitor the larger IPS panel in the normal horizontal orientation. As for your current monitor, I would use that as the secondary monitor in portrait mode, but that is purely personal preference. Dual monitors and portrait mode are a great solution to multitasking for traders and I think this setup would benefit you greatly. Maybe even a third monitor if you end up getting a graphics card that can support it.


#7

RE: monitor

What I am thinking about is desk top real estate and ease of comparison of different chart time frames. As I understand it, you can have two or more different time frames in one chart. so if I have a 5 minute and a 15 minute chart the would be stacked with the 15 minute bar 3 times as wide as the 5 minute bar. Add a couple of indicators and everything gets scrunched up in landscape mode. n portrait mode, I can simply glance from top to bottom and see exactly what’s going on. Going left to right with landscape monitors will require you to look closer at time frames and will not be as easy to compare price action. This avoids swinging my head back and forth from monitor to monitor. With portrait I think I will be able to just use my eyes to scan up and down the screen and won’t have to reorient myself going from side to side. I think (not sure) that as you increase monitor size you need to increase resolution. For example 24" or less 1080 or 1k is adequate, above that to say 36" you will need 2k and above that will require 4k. My perception at this point is to look at monitors in the 40" range. I will look more deeply into this when I have some spare time.

I read the links you provided and they were helpful. As I recall the AMD FX 8350 does have hyper threading that will help.


#8

@Tunetyme

Desktop real estate is definitely one of the biggest factors when it comes to setting up multiple monitors. If your desk is the limiting factor you can also consider wall mounting. I understand your dilemma though, turning your head back and forth on a swivel can get a bit sickening after a while. Your best bet is to try a few different variations in your set up and see what you like best.

On the topic of resolution, larger monitors ≠ an increase in resolution, at least not in the traditional sense. As monitors and TVs have become more advanced it seems that the new trend is the larger the monitor the better the resolution, although to some extent this is necessary in regards to TVs. However, you can still purchase smaller monitors with higher resolutions and vice versa. There are plenty of sub 32 inch monitors out there that support 4k and there are also many larger monitors that still only support 1080p. The newest fad is 1440p or what many people consider to be “2K”, these monitors are typically only found under 32 inch as they are very predominant in the gaming community right now.

When it comes to resolution, the biggest factor is actually how far away you sit from the screen. If you displayed the same video on two 19 inch monitors, one in 480p and one in 4k and stood 15 ft away you couldn’t actually tell the difference in resolution. So back to your question about monitor size and resolution, this is why many of the larger monitors come in higher resolutions, specifically TVs. Larger screen sizes are a must to utilize the resolution they are being displayed in. Technically, the only way to actually utilize 4k resolution on a 49 inch 4k TV would be to sit at a viewing distance of about 4-6 ft, otherwise there will be diminishing returns in the resolution the further you sit away. I would take these considerations in to effect when shopping for a new monitor, but again, you know best on what you need.

Take a look at the neat graph below to see the optimal viewing distances based off resolution and screen size:


#9

Hi!

I use Sierra Chat as well and this topic has me thinking about my current setup. I’m not sure whether I need to upgrade now? I am currently using this computer https://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Workstation-Z230-PC-Intel-Core-i5-4570-3-20GHz-8GB-DDR3-Memory-500GB-HDD-DVDRW-Windows-7-8-1-Pro-64-bit-F1K92/37670677.

I saw you talking about graphics cards and I don’t think this computer has one in it. Should I get one to maximize performance and make Sierra Chart run faster? Any other suggestions?


#10

@Woga

I wouldn’t worry too much about your current computer, I think what you have is more than enough to run Sierra Chart efficiently. Sierra Chart is a very lightweight program and unless you are having major issues with it I wouldn’t think you would need an upgrade. That being said, I can not determine the extent to how you utilize your computer and whether or not the other programs you are using warrant a new computer. If you are happy with the performance of your current computer I don’t see the point of spending money to buy or build a new one.

As for graphics card, I don’t think you necessarily need one. Sierra Chart is predominantly a CPU intensive program. Installing a graphics card would not make this program run any faster. If you are using other programs such as CAD or photoshop I would recommend adding a graphics card, but if not, I don’t see the point. There is also the question of whether or not your prebuilt computer can even hold a graphics card. It is possible to install a graphics card on most computers, even prebuilt, however, if your case is not big enough to hold one then there is no point. The integrated graphics on your CPU should be more than enough to handle the majority of the programs you throw at it, unless you are gaming or using programs similar to those I mentioned above.

If you are mainly using your computer for Sierra Chart and average computer use, I think you are perfectly fine with what you currently have. Graphics cards are geared towards computer enthusiast, gamers, deep learning, and GPU intensive programs and editing software. I wouldn’t worry about not having a graphics card.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Jake
Optimus Futures Support
https://optimusfutures.com/


#11

So this computer does or doesn’t have a graphics card in it? What do you mean by integrated graphics?

Sorry I am not very tech savvy.


#12

Your computer Does Not have a graphics card installed.

However, your central processing unit (CPU) has integrated graphics built into the CPU. The main difference between a dedicated graphics card and integrated graphics are how they utilize memory. Integrated graphics uses the RAM installed on your motherboard while a dedicated graphics card has it’s own built in memory. Either solution will still produce graphics, so you don’t have anything to worry about.

At the end of the day, having a dedicated graphics card is the better option, but more expensive. Yes, it will allow you to multitask more efficiently being that there is a piece of hardware solely dedicated on processing graphics, but for the average user it is essentially overkill unless you plan on playing games or using the programs mentioned above.


#13

Every PC has a graphics card or has one built into the motherboard. The discussion right now is optimizing my computer graphics for Sierra Chart, if I decide to get a large monitor or 2 smaller ones.

i was concerned that I needed more than what I have and for now what I have is fine. My thoughts are listed above on trying to conserve desktop real estate with a large monitor in portrait mode (turned sideways) for ease of use.

Woga, perhaps you could start a thread in the general section where people can talk about what kind of set up and systems they have. You will be able to get some great ideas for when it is time to upgrade your system.

I have seen this kind of thread on other sites and it is very popular. I will gladly put my system up there and perhaps a dream system that will be overkill. People can talk about what software they are running and what they like about it.


#14

Hi Jake:

I’ve been watching more of your Sierra Chart vids on U tube. They really are very polished, brief and to the point. I appreciate that.

If you look at the chart Ultra HD with a 40" monitor has a clearer view at 2 - 3 feet or more which would be ideal for a wall mounted monitor. As I perceive it, it would have viewing area equivalent to two landscape monitors. If I have have a real wild hair I might check out a curved monitor. That would probably be over the top.


#15

@Tunetyme

Thank you for your feedback and thank you for your contribution towards our other members, we greatly appreciate it.

Let us know what you end up choosing for your monitor situation. We’d love to see your final setup! A curved monitor may be over the top, yes, but it is definitely the sleeker option :sunglasses:


#16

I think that would be a true “heads up” display.:sunglasses: