Trading 101

The trading of stocks over the internet is becoming a more and more popular pursuit (either as a full-time job or as a hobby/extra source of income). Because of the nature of the shifting markets, day-traders need a responsive system that can display a lot of information at once. That puts the needs of a dedicated trading workstation in a bit of a different category from most other types of computers. There is no need for 3D performance, like would be used for gaming, nor is there a need for the massive hard drive storage that would be found on a media editing workstation. Instead, we see traders looking for a computer that is extremely responsive when looking up data and making trades, that has support for multiple monitors, and is as reliable as possible.

stock trading screens

Multi-Monitor Trading Workstations

The graphs and other data being displayed in this line of work do not require particularly powerful graphics, so the focus instead needs to be on reliability and support for several monitors. Most mainstream video cards will support two, or sometimes even three monitors, but the cards built specifically for financial traders usually run four or more from a single card. That allows great scalability: two or three such cards can be used to run eight, twelve, or sometimes even more monitors at the same time!

city infrastructure

Solid Infrastructure

Having a fast processor is key, so that the applications you are running locally operate with minimal lag. Depending on your budget, the software you use, and how many programs you run at the same time, either a quad or six-core processor may be appropriate. You also want to have enough memory to ensure that the applications you use can stay loaded into the memory at all times. When Windows runs low on RAM it uses the hard drive as a backup storage space and significantly slows down your computer.

Avoid Bottlenecks

To keep the computer's I/O system from being a bottleneck, it is important to have a fast hard drive. Ideally, a solid-state drive would be used for at least your operating system and key programs. A speedy, low latency internet connection is key as well, though that is not a function of the computer itself. Remember that you're only as fast and nimble as your slowest component, and that speed can translate to real money!

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