Best Windows Solution for Trading

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jayhtee, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. jayhtee macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2011

    I have decided to take the Apple-plunge and swap my knackered Windows PC for a shiny new iMac.

    My only concern is that as a trader at home I need to use my trading platform (Metatrader 4) which is Windows only. This is what has stopped me upgrading in the past.

    However I have been looking into running Parallels or similar so that I can run MT4 on it. I am a little concerned however with comparability issues so here are my questions:

    1. Is Parallels the best solution overall for Windows emulation on a Mac?
    2. Is there any lag of any kind? (Simply if there is then I cannot trade on a Mac)
    3. Are there any traders here? If so what do you use? What's your overall set-up?

    Thanks for your help. I really don't want to have to keep a Windows PC just for my trading software so any help would be appreciated...
  2. mcb001982 macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Manhattan NY
    I've been trading on a Mac for a little over 2 years, I use Parallels to run Trade Navigator for charting with no issues at all but I rarely trade intra day. I would definitely recommend plugging in directly to an ethernet cable as that will take some of the lag away when pulling realtime data.
  3. Exhale macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2011
    If lag is a concern, keep in mind you can create a Windows partition and boot from that. That'll cause it to behave and perform exactly like on a regular PC, as Windows will directly interface with all the hardware itself. (And is actually required for certain non-Mac hardware items which do not work in Mac OS)
  4. Sgt. Raven macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    SillyCon Valley
    Setup Windows in Bootcamp then install Parallels 7 and try it both ways. If Windows/ Parallels 7 is fast enough, good. If not you can always boot into Windows natively when you need to, but have the option of running it in a VM too.

    The biggest problem speed wise I had when I installed Win 7 Pro under Parallels 7 was it only allocated 1GB of memory for P7,even though I have 8GB in my E2011 MBP i7 17". Once I went into settings and gave it 4GB of memory access it sped up nicely. If your trading software can run under 64bit W7 then you might want 16GB of ram and let it use 8GB in P7, then you won't have a speed issue due to RAM.
  5. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    I've no input on the windows application you want to run, but I run VMware Fusion on my MBP and the performance is quite good. As has been mentioned above, you'll need to allocate enough memory to the virtual machine(s), but once the VM is up and running the performance is quite good.

    I've got 16 gig of ram and an SSD, as performance is crucial when I'm doing demos. I run 6 VMs simultaneously, 2 of which are allocated 4 gig of memory. The performance is quite good. :)

    Another virtual machine alternative is VirtualBox, which is freeware. I've not tried it on the mac, but it worked well under windows 7.
  6. d1sahib macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2009
    Reston, VA

    I have been using various windows-based trading platforms (Tradestation, Multicharts, Ninjatrader, IB) on Macs for several years now.

    I have used both Parallels and Fusion, and find little difference in performance.

    I have run these platforms successfully even on the original Macbook Air (2008) -- with XP and 1GB of RAM, and am running them now on a 2010 MBA with 2GB for windows on my trip to south asia.

    I use an 27" iMac (quad-i7, 2011, with 16GB of RAM) with a second display as the workhorse at home and allocate 4GB to Windows 7. With this configuration, I have no problems running multiple trading platforms simultaneously, alongside all the usual Mac applications (Mail, Calendar, Skype, iTunes, iChat, Firefox, Twitter etc.).

    I do not use Bootcamp at all.

    I use LogMein Ignition to run the platform remotely (on my iMac or on my MBA) if all I am carrying is an iPad.

    I would say most Macs will do the job; faster ones with more memory are obviously better if you are running several applications at the same time. A high-quality internet connection is just as important.

    I wish the MBA had 8GB of RAM.

    Hope this helps,

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