7 Best Trading Computers

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If you are looking to take your trading seriously, then you need to invest in a trading computer. These will allow you to keep on top of all of your trades with the minimum amount of hassle.

On this page, I want to introduce you to seven of the best of them. Before we do that, I want to go through a bit of information about what makes a computer a trading computer.

What is a trading computer?

As the name suggests, a trading computer is a computer built specifically for trading. They come equipped with the ability to run multiple screens at once, and they have a ton of RAM to ensure that you can run a wealth of different apps at once.

While it is unlikely that you will need to be investing in a trading computer when you are in the early stages of your trading life, it is something that you will need to look into eventually.

They are going to be costing you a little bit of cash, but when you realize the wealth of benefits they bring to your life, it is more than worth the price you are going to pay.

What to look for in the best trading computers

When you are looking for a trading computer, there are two things you need to be on the lookout for:

  • A lot of RAM
  • Multiple Graphics Cards

It is likely that if you are running a trading set-up, you are going to have multiple monitors running. While most graphics cards are able to cope with around two monitors at the most, most professional traders can have upwards of four.

This means that there will need to be multiple graphics cards in the computer that are able to pump out different screens independently to one another.

RAM is important because it will dictate how many programs you can have running on your computer at once.

The best trading computers in the world will often have a lot more RAM than your average gaming computer, because most gamers do not actually need a lot of RAM (they are running one program, after all).

While the other hardware that you find in the trading computer is probably going to be a little bit important, none of it is going to be a patch on the importance that the RAM or graphics card have.

You don’t really need a decent processor as your computer is not running countless calculations all at the same time.

The motherboard is really just there to connect everything else together, and the sound card built into the motherboard is going to be enough for trading.

I think the only real additional thing that you will need to pay attention to will be how you are connecting to the internet, and since that is all built into the motherboard nowadays, you don’t need to pay that much attention to it all…which is nifty!

After this, you only really need to consider what you are looking for in a computer. If you are going to be using the computer for a lot more than trading e.g. gaming, then you may want to look for a better graphics card.

Same if you are going to be using it for photo editing or graphic design. That being said, the computers that I have selected for this list are going to be good enough for the vast majority of tasks that you throw at them.

While they are primarily designed as trading computers, there is enough power in them that they should be able to accomplish most tasks.

#1 HP Z600

I am going to kick start this list with an offering from HP. This is a refurbished unit, so it is not the newest product on the block, but that doesn’t matter. It is going to be perfectly functional as a trading computer.

At the heart of this computer is a whopping 48GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. 

This means that you are going to have a lot of power at your fingertips, probably a little more than you actually need if you are doing a bit of trading with the newer sites online, but it is always good to have a little bit of bonus power.

I suppose that 48GB of RAM would be able to have you running a fair number of tabs in Google Chrome at once!

One of the main reasons as to why the HP Z600 has so much power built into it is all down to the fact that it is able to display in full 4K on all connected monitors at once.

While it is unlikely that you are really going to be needing the full 4K if you are sitting up close (and because the 4K monitors are exceedingly expensive), if you were running a real trading room, the 4K is vital for digital signage.

It will make everything crystal clear, even from a good amount of distance away.

I think the only real downside to the HP Z600 is the fact that it is a refurbished unit. Not that this is a bad thing in itself, because you are going to be able to save a decent chunk of change simply because it is refurbished, but mostly because it does limit the amount of warranty that you get. 

You will only have a year warranty, which is quite low considering the other computers that are going to pop up on this page will have warranties of up to three years. 

That being said, I doubt this computer is going to break on you within a few years, and even if it does, the fact that it is incredibly affordable means that you probably are not going to care too much if it does start to falter.

#2 Intel-Based Computer

There is only 8GB of RAM here, which does mean that it has the least RAM of any of the products that you are going to find on this list. The hard drive is only 128GB too, which means that you are not going to be able to store a whopping amount on it. 

However, it does have the benefit of being able to power 8 screens at once. Even the low amount of RAM is fine for powering 6 screens, assuming you are not running resource heavy programs on your computer.

If you are doing a spot of light trading, then it is unlikely that you are going to be doing anything that is too ‘over the top’

One of the things I love about this computer is that despite being able to power up to 6 screens, it doesn’t require that much in the way of power itself. All you need is the 530w power supply. 

So, even if you have a shoddy day when it comes to trading, at least you will be able to afford your electricity, right?

This computer is certainly going to be on the ‘budget’ side of things, but I think it is a perfectly viable choice. 

The fact that you get an extensive five year warranty with this means that you can feel confident that if something does go wrong, you have the company that built it there to give you all the support that you need.

#3 Dell Optiplex 980

This is a very, very old computer and I would probably not recommend it for those who are seriously into their trading. It is going to come in at less than a couple of hundred dollars. 

However, as a starter computer, it does pack a real punch. Although, do bear in mind that you will need to make an upgrade to it if you really want to use multiple screens at once.

I know that there are a lot of people who are going to be asking why I am including this computer on the list. I am only including it simply because it is cheap and because I know that not everybody has the budget to have multiple computers on the go. 

I reckon that this is going to be the perfect computer for those who want to have a completely dedicated system to trading. 

So, for example, just having this computer set up in the corner somewhere with your favorite trading platform opened up permanently.

Despite the price, you actually get a lot of bang for your buck included with the Dell Optiplex 980. This includes 8GB of RAM and a fairly substantial hard drive. 

There is even included Wi-fi support in the computer, something which you never really do get at this price point, which means it is perfect for those who want a system which is as wire-free as possible. 

As I said, the only real downside is the fact that it can run just a single screen at once. However, it is not a huge upgrade to make if you want more than that. 

If you can pick up a slim line graphics card, then you can easily clip it into the system. These will set you back about $30 or $40, and you will be able to run an extra two or three screens at once.

#4 Dell Precision T5500 Workstation

This is actually the first ‘complete’ trading computer included on this page. As you can tell, it comes complete with four monitors. 

Yes, they are not going to be the best monitors in the world and you are probably going to want to upgrade them at some point in the future, but if you are looking for something which is going to get you ‘up and running’ as soon as possible, then I genuinely can’t think of anything better than this.

You have 32GB of RAM built into this computer, which means it is going to work well with just about everything that you need it for when it comes to trading. 

I think my only real concern with this computer is that it is not going to put out 4K resolution, which is a bit of a downside in this day and age. 

If you swapped out some of the graphics cards, then you will be able to do 4K, but that is just an added expense which nobody really needs.

You get a TON of space on this computer. You have a 500 GB solid state hard drive, which is going to be able to store most of what you want anyway. It also ensures that your computer is going to switch on nice and fast at the start of your trading day. 

However, if you are going to be using your Dell Precision T5500 for things other than as a trading computer, then you will be pleased to know that it can store a ton of photographs, movies, documents, and whatever you want. You aren’t going to be upgrading the storage space on this in a hurry.

As I said, this is something which is going to be absolutely perfect for those who want to get started in trading as quickly as possible, but do not have the time to mess around finding everything that they need. 

In the box you have your computer, monitors and your monitor stand. Just plug everything in and you are up and running. As I also said, you will need to upgrade the computer at some point in the future.

#5 HP 8 Core Computer

With a whopping 24GB of RAM and some quality video cards, this HP 8 Core Computer is able to power up to four 4K monitors at once. 

They aren’t included in the box, but at the price you are going to be paying for this trading computer, I can’t imagine you expected them to.

It is worth noting that the graphic card included in this computer is not the greatest in the world. 

While it is going to be perfectly fine for trading, if you are planning to use it for photo editing, gaming, or something like that, then it is going to falter at the first hurdle. This is a computer which has primarily been built for trading.

Also included in the computer is a 256GB SSD and a 4 TB HDD, which means that you are going to have tons of storage space at your disposal. 

However, to be honest with you, I seriously doubt that you are going to be using more than a few GB, even if you are storing a ton of information. That being said, it is always nice to have a bit of extra space.

It is worth noting that this is a refurbished unit. They always have a decent supply of them. This means that you are going to have a limited warranty when you pick it up. 

That being said, I do not see this as a huge issue. While the main hardware is refurbished, a lot of the bits and pieces that you get included in the box are brand new. 

This includes the installation of Windows 10, which means that if you are going to be picking up this computer (I seriously suggest that you do), it should be ready to roll for a good few years to come, or at least until you want to upgrade to something a bit better.

#6 Dell Optiplex

This is another cheap trading computer set-up, and perfect for those who are getting started in trading. 

I can’t imagine that it is going to be ideal for the more serious traders out there among you, but if you are just getting started and need a computer with a couple of monitors, then this is good a place as any to start.

You only have 8GB of RAM, and it is only able to power two monitors, but for the vast majority of traders that I have met, this is going to be more than enough to get them started. 

You will probably need to upgrade the monitors at some point because they are not the greatest in the world, but as long as your eyesight is not awful and you are not looking at tiny data points on the screen, then you should be more than fine with them for a couple of years.

I think the only real concern that I have with this computer is the fact that it is not going to be the easiest computer in the world to upgrade. This is because, like most of the Dell computers you find on the market, it comes with a special slim line case. 

hile you can find special parts that you can slide into a slim case, you really have your work cut out for you when it comes to that. 

You would probably be best just buying a completely new computer, mostly because any part that you do put into the Dell Optiplex is not going to be great for trading (at least on the graphics card front). 

You are also not going to be able to upgrade the RAM in the computer with ease, which means that once you start getting into the heaviest trading you can do, this computer is not going to be ideal for you.

#7 Complete Trading System

This is the most generic trading system you can buy. It is unbranded, and as far as I know it has been built specially to sell like this. 

However, I do not feel that this is a bad thing. When you do not have a brand attached to the computer, the price of it comes all the way down, which is going to save you a ton of cash.

So, what do you get with it? Well, for starters you are going to have four monitors and a stand that you can clip them onto. 

As I have said several times on this page, when you get monitors included with a computer, especially at this price point, you are not going to get something which is great. 

This is why I only really see this computer as an intro into the trading world as opposed to something you will be using when you are making thousands and thousands of dollars per month.

Storage space is going to be limited, with a single 240GB SSD included in it. However, I can’t imagine that you are going to be using much more than this if you are using it solely as a trading computer. 

If you do want to have more space than this at your disposal, then it won’t cost that much in the way of cash to pick up a new HDD to put in the computer, and it is really a case of ‘plug and play’ when it comes to that.

The 8GB of RAM is easy to upgrade, and while it is not into the 20s or 30GB of RAM that some of the other computers on this list have, if you are just getting started in the world of trading, it is going to be more than enough to get you started. 

You don’t actually need more than this. The only time you will need more is if you are using particularly power hungry applications, which the vast majority of people are not going to be using if doing nothing more than trading.

To sum up

Everything on this list is ‘up to date’ at the time of writing. However, what you must remember is that the world of computer hardware changes rapidly. 

While I have no doubt that these computers are going to serve you well for a good few years to come, do bear in mind that the computers released next year are going to so much better. 

This is why you should bookmark this page. This way you can be sure that you will always be ‘up to date’ with the greatest computers out there. 

However, if you need one right now, anything listed on this page is a great place to start.

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Hi I'm Paul Koger, an ex-Prop Trader now trading from the comfort of my own home. My area of expertise is swing trading US equities, Although I have a strong interest in anything that is trading related. In case you want to get in touch - try Twitter @paulkogr or traderpaulkoger@gmail.com

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