We all have our thoughts when it comes to the perfect setup, but do we really need a $1600 computer to Day Trade…..No! There are some benchmarks we need to focus on when we start to piece together our trading computer though.
Internet Speed– Now this one is important. You could have the most insane setup ever with bridged GPU’s (graphics processing units) and water cooled I9 CPU, but if your internet speed is lacking, none of those will help your lagging computer if your internet is subpar! I currently run many different devices off of 100MBPS wireless with Verizon and have had no trouble! If you are having any problems with buffering I would research your current internet provider, and the speed of the internet you are paying for. Most providers will work with you on price if you are able to research better deals elsewhere. Check your Internet Speed (Here).
RAM (Random Access Memory) – RAM is important for your computer to execute tasks or multi-task. This is basically your computer’s short term memory. My previous setup had 4GB of ram and I noticed some lagging when I was editing videos and had my trading software open. I ended up replacing that with two 4GB ram (8GB total) sticks and have no longer experienced any problems. I would recommend that if you are using your computer for Day Trading, and only Day Trading, that you at least have 8GB of RAM. If your computer has only 4GB you may be fine, but to be honest RAM is not an expensive upgrade, so no excuses on this one.
CPU (Computer Processing Unit) This is an expensive upgrade, if purchased by itself! right now in the market there are only two main companies that produce high quality CPU’s. Intel has a great processor and is more widely known with their bottom shelf being the i3 and their top of the line being the i9. Prices range from about $120 for an i3 to $530 for the i9. I would recommend having at least an i5 CPU (avg. price $200). Intel’s competitor AMD has some really affordable CPU’s and are famous for gaming computers. Their i5 CPU equivalent would be the Ryzen 5 1400 at an affordable price of about $150.
GPU (Graphics processing Unit) This is where things can get very pricey, but I assure you, unless you happen to be a gamer, you wont have to break the bank on this one. Graphics cards prices range from under $100 to a couple thousand. If you are using your PC for gaming or other graphics heavy stuff then you may want to go for a higher grade card. My current Trading computer is using a NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 1030 and I have had absolutely no problem trading and video editing! Retail price is around $80 dollars on amazon and really easy to install! (click here).
Aside from the other components that don’t technically add benefit to the Day trader such as Case, Motherboard, and Power Unit, these are really the items in your PC that you need to focus on for the best quality trading PC. The Sky is the Limit and If you have the budget, you could really buy or build a solid PC, but you don’t have to break the bank.