What are the computer requirements to run StrategyQuant? [Updated]

Author: Tomas Vanek

February 10th, 2020

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What computer is the best for StrategyQuant? How does minimal and top configuration look like?

You often ask about the computer you should buy for working with SQ. In this article, I’d like to summarize some facts to make the whole topic clearer.

Let’s have a look at the frequently asked questions.

What CPU and how much RAM should I have?

Minimum recommended configuration is a dual core – i3, 8 GB of RAM, 250 GB free hard disk space. With this configuration the RAM memory is probably the biggest limitation, you wouldn’t be able to keep more than a few thousand strategies in memory.

The ideal configuration is an i5, i7 or compatible processor with as many cores as possible, 32-64 GB RAM or more and an SSD disc. There isn’t much sense in using more than 64 GB RAM, it is better to invest into a better processor.

But don’t worry, having a weaker computer doesn’t mean that you cannot build strategies, you’ll only have to modify your work configuration accordingly – keep less strategies in databank, don’t run expensive robustness tests such as Walk-Forward Matrix and so on.

Having a more powerful computer will speed up the generation significantly – the difference could be (for example) between10.000 strategies per hour on a laptop vs. 600.000 strategies on dual Xeon 48-cores computer with the same configuration.

More computing power doesn’t mean you’ll have better results, it depends on how you use the power you have – your build and workflow configuration.

 

Notebook or Workstation?

It depends on the purpose of your computer, whether it is for 24/7 work and you need high performance, or you just need more powerful workstation. Cheaper notebooks are definitely not built for operating 24/7.

Therefore, if your computer should run nonstop, I would recommend a desktop PC or server. If you just do some additional tests and you need to be mobile, then I recommend a laptop. In case you need high performance, the workstation will also be cheaper solution.

If you cannot or don’t want to afford it, it is ok to run SQ also on a laptop, just manage your expectations.

 

What about VPS?

It is possible to run SQ also on VPS, but keep in mind that most VPS servers aren’t very powerful. They might be even less powerful than a notebook.

Dedicated server is a better option, you can get a very decent i7 / 64 GB RAM dedicated server for as low as 50 Eur per month from various providers, for example from Hetzner:

https://www.hetzner.com/dedicated-rootserver/matrix-ex

It is definitely an option that allows you to pay monthly fees and have your server available 24/7.

 

New or refurbished?

It depends on your priorities.

Refurbished (used) servers and workstations provide the best value for money. Refurbished PCs can be purchased with a guarantee for example on ebay.com or www.bargainhardware.co.uk

It is possible to buy a refurbished Dual Xeon 48 core PC for around $1000, which is a every good configuration for a very affordable price.

We at StrategyQuant have several such servers and without any problems so far.

 

If you want top of the top you can buy the new i9 or AMD Threadripper, but for much higher price.

 

Summary

You don’t necessarily need to buy a new computer only for StrategyQuant. A relatively ordinary notebook is sufficient, and you will be able to build a portfolio of strategies if you are willing to accept its limitations.

Powerful workstation is not necessary but it will speed things up and save your time.

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