Tick Data Suite – feature matrix

As you might already know, the Tick Data Suite is the commercial alternative to the free Birt’s patch script and it’s meant to address all the quirks with the latter and to allow providing thorough technical support to its customers. I’ve put together a small table that lists the differences between the two methods:

Feature Birt’s patch Tick Data Suite
Tick data backtesting yes yes
Variable spread backtesting yes yes
2 GB limitation removal for FXT files partial1 yes
Can use FXT files larger than 4 GB no yes
Compatibility with Metatrader 4 build 414 and above no yes
Optimization support no yes
Slippage simulation no yes
Variable spread autodetection (no configuration, no MT4 restart required) no yes
Avoids problems with regular backtesting no2 yes
No need to run a script after each MT4 restart no yes
Compatibility with 3rd party tools (such as the Walk Forward Analyzer) no yes
Technical support no yes


1 – only available for MT4 builds 405 and above if the MSVC++ 10 runtime is installed; available for builds 402 and below for select operating systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008).
2 – performing a regular backtest prior to running the script and another backtest afterwards will result in a crash.

  • #1 written by Pete October 17, 2012 (4 years ago)

    So basically the free way with birds patch is not an option anymore because one would have to find a metatrader version below mt4 build 414, AND a broker that does not deny connecting to it with an old version?

    • #2 written by birt October 17, 2012 (4 years ago)

      No, actually you can still use it. You don’t have to be connected to the broker to run backtests and build 409 is not that hard to find. The only major problem is that you can only backtest EAs that you have the source code for (because EAs compiled with newer builds are not compatible with 409 and older).

  • #3 written by Pete October 18, 2012 (4 years ago)

    But the fxt and hst files have to be created first, and that requires a broker connection. So what do you suggest – create the files with a newer version and then copy them to 409 for backtesting?

    • #4 written by birt October 19, 2012 (4 years ago)

      That works, yes.

  • #5 written by Pete October 22, 2012 (4 years ago)

    Thanks. Will switch to your paid version soon though…

  • #6 written by Tracy February 27, 2013 (3 years ago)

    In my opinion, even if you have old version below b409 (only use executable file aka terminal.exe to replace the new one), you cann’t use birt’s patch to backtest, because metaeditor.exe is still new version and all EA are complied in new version too, which will crash MT4 as long as you press START button~~

    UNLESS you installed every version of MT4 in your computer, but few people will do that except he is a crazy MT4 fan…

    But anyway, appreciate what Birt has done, at least, he provides a way to test tick data, which is unique in this world, lol.

    • #7 written by birt February 27, 2013 (3 years ago)

      You are correct about EAs that you purchase – they won’t run in older builds and will usually go as far as crashing MT4, but when it comes to your own strategies you can still backtest them with older versions. If you find a MT4 build 409 setup, it will also install the metalang and metaeditor that work with it and you can compile your code with that. Basically, the EA developers who can’t afford the Tick Data Suite still have a chance to run tick data backtesting although admittedly it’s not very easy. As for finding build 409, that shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes on Google.

  • #8 written by Tracy February 27, 2013 (3 years ago)

    Actually it’s not so easy to find build 409 on google, at least not in 2~3 mins, because even if you can find an “old” setup, when you install it, it still links to MetaQuote’s server to download latest version which is b478.

    The best way is as you said, find and replace metalang and metaeditor. Or, you are quite lucky to find an independent 409 setup which is very rare nowadays.

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