his is a warning: if you’re thinking about doing some serious day trading and you don’t have the right kind of computer, you’re looking at some very frustrating times ahead.
What’s a proper trading computer setup look like? Okay, Let’s compare it to what you want to use at home…
A trading computer has to be powerful, with a warp speed processor and tons of RAM. You’re going to be looking at a river of data flowing through your system in real time. A computer for day trading has to have the ability to process all that data right then. If your computer is great for, say, watching videos, remember that there’s a buffer system working. In day trading, you buffer, you lose. A dedicated trading computer has to benchmark above a certain score to be considered basic. 8GB of RAM is okay, but 16GB is way better.
Your trading computer has to be dead reliable. You can’t be in the middle of a multifaceted trade cycle and have something go south. And if your trading computer has problems, where and how quickly can you get expert technical advice? Only a company that specializes in day trading computers will have the technical expertise available right now…because they know that’s when you need help: right now. Don’t put yourself in the position of relying on help from a part time geek at a big box store who THINKS he knows what’s wrong. Time is money.
The trading computer you choose needs a discrete processor on your graphics card so it can do its thing without stealing power from the main computer processor. Is that the way your computer works?
Computer monitors. The best trading computer setup has four monitors. Two is a minimum; four is for the serious. You want to keep your charts and quotes running. Remember that river of data…it has to have a place to flow.
Your trading computer has to have fast, agile and dependable storage. Your hard drive and back up hard drives must be fast and oh so reliable. Your boot drive should be solid state, and having a redundant system for your boot and data drives makes sense.
And your laptop? Use it in emergency situations only. Laptops are not day trading computers.
Maybe you think all this advice is overkill, but having a wimpy system can result in slippage…the difference between the market’s real prices and what’s on your screen, and bad executions…when your buy or sell orders goes through at prices you didn’t expect, and you lose money.
You’re going to make a living as a day trader? Get a computer designed, built and backed for precisely what you need. Worry about your trades, not about your trading computer’s ability to handle them.