spons16jan2 24 Computer Setup: The Hardware Considerations for Online Traders

Computer Setup: The Hardware Considerations for Online Traders

It’s well known that some dedicated gamers will show off their gaming setups. It’s something of a flex to flash their rigs and other accessories. And, indeed, there is an entire industry set up to support the hardware they need. Might we say the same about financial traders? Certainly not the flexing part, although we do see some financial influencers posting photos of their trading setup on social media.

While there isn’t marketing for specialist trading computers (although they do exist) in the same way as you might see the Alienware Aurora or Corsair One for gamers, they do require hardware that meets their needs. And with increasing numbers of retail traders and professionals going out on their own, there is a growing market for hardware to meet their needs.

The first consideration is to say that most traders tend to “grow into” their setup. When you first start trading and investing (as a non-professional), you’ll probably start off with a smartphone app. Over time, you’ll learn the basics of trading indices, stocks, commodities, forex, cryptocurrency, and so on. Yet, traders soon learn that it is not just about what you buy and sell but also about when you enter the market. For that, they need access to the best tools, such as expert trading platforms like MT4 and MT5, and they’ll need to have hardware considerations.

Mac Vs. Windows

A fundamental question for traders is the choice between a PC and a Mac. Arguably, it doesn’t matter too much. But it is worth noting that the majority of trading platforms, tools, and services are slightly better suited to Windows. Moreover, PCs are somewhat more customisable and versatile, and every experienced trader will have specific needs. Yet, in saying all that, the differences are marginal. And we should remember that Macs are generally more reliable than PCs (we stress, generally). As stated above, there is a growing market to serve traders with specialist computers. These include the Radical X14 EZ Trading Computer. While it’s fast, powerful, and reliable, we stress that you should always do your own research on hardware to suit your specific needs.

The Screen Question

We mentioned the flexing of trading setups earlier, and one of the most notable things you’ll see is that traders often use multiple screens. Again, this is a question of personal preference, but many

traders like to view multiple metrics at a glance. However, a quality monitor can comfortably show four different charts at once, so some see the multi-monitor option as a little bit excessive. Size matters, of course, so something like the LG Ultrawide WN80C might be the answer. Whatever you do, make sure you choose a monitor with an anti-glare screen surface.

An additional consideration is that 21st-century traders are often digital nomads, so it might be worth investing in USB monitors that are compatible with your laptop, or even your smartphone. ASUS has a fairly affordable range of these that are both serviceable and reliable.

CleanShot 2024 01 16 at 14.08.57 Computer Setup: The Hardware Considerations for Online Traders

Power and Processing

The debate between Mac and PC becomes a moot point when we look at the question of power. Traders don’t require the souped-up performance of a gaming PC, but they require speed and reliability. In that respect, you will want your device to have a fast processor: Intel i7, AMD Rysen 7, M1 Chip or above); At least 16GB Ram; and an SSD drive. Trading is about timing, and the lapse of an extra few seconds could be crucial.

Comfort Over Style

Professional traders can have a remarkable work-life balance, perhaps only spending a few minutes on a trade when the stock market opens, or only a couple of hours per day actually “working”. Yet, they might spend hours on the charts, and that means they will need to be comfortable. There are several considerations here, ranging from monitor mounts to desks to comfortable chairs to lighting. Again, all of this is subjective, and what might work for one trader might not work for another. The

important thing is that the issue is recognised and addressed. A little tip, though: Traders will often alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, so it might be worth investing in a desk that is easily adjustable.


Trading can be unpredictable, and some might say that luck plays a role. However, there is a direct correlation between the work put in and the results achieved. The best online traders put in a lot of effort, using technical analysis and other indicator strategies to achieve their goals. Often, it is about execution, and for that you’ll need a setup that is powerful, fast, and reliable. We stopped short of recommending specific hardware products here, as we have stated that the choice is always subjective. But if you are serious about online trading, you’ll need to think seriously about getting the hardware to meet your needs.

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