V.9:11 (468-470): PC Buyers Guide

V.9:11 (468-470): PC Buyers Guide
Item# \V09\C11\PCBUYER.PDF
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PC Buyers Guide Speed Versus Price by Jack K. Hutson

Sooner or later, most traders give in to the urge to purchase a personal computer to help them analyze the markets as well as manage their money in and out of the markets. One of my tasks here at STOCKS & COMMODITIES has been to evaluate equipment for our editorial and circulation staff as well as for software testing platforms. About 18 months ago, I undertook the task of evaluating personal computer hardware with the hopes of producing a meaningful ranking of these systems for market technicians.

As with all methodologies, I have chosen what I believe to be an appropriate set of criteria. Generally, the tests for each of these machines were designed so that 25% of the time the machine's time was devoted to number crunching, 20% to graphics, 20% to spreadsheet-type work, and the remaining 35% to word processing and report writing.

The machines shown in Figure 1 were all augmented with a maximum speed processor as well as numerical co-processor. They usually included a large hard disk and the best high-resolution graphics monitor. If the machine supplier knew that we were testing the machine, they were generally aware that we were looking for the most performance for the least money. Generally, the relationship between dollars spent and value received should have shown up as more or less a one-to-one relationship. But as you can see in Figure 1, this is not the case. Figure 1 depicts price on the y-axis, lower prices at the top of the axis, higher prices at the bottom, while relative functionality is shown on the x-axis. The higher functionality is to the right, the lower functionality to the left. Thus, the machines that are represented in the upper right-hand corner of this chart (listed toward the top of the table in Figure 2) provide the most bang for the buck.

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