I recently got an entire new trading computer that was a custom build. The person I used to build it is the “techie on staff” – itNate as we call him. He is essentially like Batman as he usually is operating in the shadows of the site doing all the behind-the-scenes stuff….. however, today he’s stepping into the light to talk about computer stuff and why/what he chose for my new computer. Our esteemed cohost Chezz is also quite tech savvy, so him and itNate has plenty to talk about as I listed and asked newbie questions. If you are thinking about getting a new trading computer or perhaps doing a bit of upgrading, this discussion will please you I’m sure.
Today we interview our IT guru, Nate. We discuss the logical order for building a Computer.
Step 1: Pick your processor. Nate recommends a Core i7 7700K but remember, there is always updated processors every few months. The big emphasis would be to focus on an i7 over an i3 or i5. We are big advocates of Intel over AMD based on our personal use.
Step 2: Pick your motherboard. Things to focus on include making sure your socket type is compatible with your processor (CPU). You’ll need to forecast how many video cards you may need and this will be based on how many monitors you plan on having. 2 video card slots is pretty standard and will cover almost everyone’s needs. Nate purchased a MSI Arsenal Intel Z 270M board for Clay’s most recent build.
Step 3: Monitors. We have a deep discussion on how many monitors you think you will need. We are firm believers that less is more. Clay and Chezz rarely use more than 2 monitors for trading. Monitors are also the easiest thing to upgrade and add in the future so if you’re budget is tight, start with 1 and expand later. Nate picked out Dell 4k 27” screens. Model # P2715Q
Step 4: Video card. Nate picked a PNY Quadro K1200 which handles all of Clay’s 4k monitors. While you don’t need a gaming graphics card to handle trading, you just need to do some long term forecasting regarding what you will be using the computer for. Workstation video cards will be absolutely fine for trading. We also highly recommend Nvidia cards over AMD.
Step 5: Memory. Your motherboard will determine what specific speeds you need for your RAM. We recommend never going below 8 gigs of RAM and 16+ will set you up for ‘future proofing’ the build. The new standard is DDR4 and it is also recommended if you ever upgrade in the future keep it the same brand, same model. You want complete compatibility when it comes to memory.
Step 6: Storage. We recommend solid state drives (SSD) since they make programs and windows load many multiples faster. While traditional hard drives (HDD) are a good amount cheaper, they are more prone to crashes and as stated above, much slower in terms of loading programs.
Step 7: Case. These typically don’t matter as long as you get the size that your motherboard requires. Nate used a micro ATX motherboard so he got Clay a micro ATX case.
Step 8: Power supply. PCPartPicker can help you estimate what the power draw will be based on your components so as long as you get one that sufficiently meets the needs, you will be fine. Ex. Your components use 400w of power. Buying a 500W power supply would be more than enough.
Step 9: Operating System. You will want to get a 64bit operating system as that is the new standard. We are content to recommend Windows 10 since it has been out for a while and has patched any major issues. Trading platforms are mainly focused on Windows over Apple since a majority of their user base uses Windows.
Additional: Uninterruptible Power Supply. This is what we call an insurance policy. If the power goes while you are actively trading and your power goes out, you’re out of luck and better hope you can get on the phone to call a brokerage to close your trades. We prefer to have power supplied from this power supply (UPS) to give us 15 minutes of battery power to close our trades and not have to deal with the headache of literally being in the dark.