Do I Need A Powerful Laptop For Trading In 2022

Powerful Laptop For Trading

The question of whether your trading machine should be super fast is one that’s often raised. The short answer is that your equipment should be powerful enough to display charts and conduct transactions at the same time. However, many factors will influence how much computing power you require for day trading, including your commitment to success and longevity in this activity. Depending on your trading strategy, your setup on tradingview, and your degree of experience, the cost might range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Is A Powerful Computer Necessary For Day Trading?

There is no such thing as a “day trading computer” that is expressly developed for use by day traders. It’s simply a computer with the ability to run trading software.

The very least you should expect from such hardware is a trading computer that can keep up with you. A trading computer is intended to assist in the execution of a trading strategy. As your knowledge expands, you’ll be able to invest in faster computers, better trading software, and larger screens.

trading computer

Some considerations when building a trading computer

When building and customizing a trading computer, there are various aspects to consider. Before making any purchases, you should evaluate the following:

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Windows and Mac, competing operating systems

The first decision is whether you want a computer that runs Microsoft Windows or Apple’s macOS. Even though Apple computers have made significant advances in many areas of computing, trading platforms and tools remain predominantly Windows-PC-only. Perhaps it’s simply habit, but the majority of independent trading platforms and direct access broker platforms are built to be used on a Windows PC.

If your brokerage platform only supports Windows but you’re a die-hard Mac user, you can use a Mac with a Windows emulator (i.e., Boot Camp or Parallels). Before making the transfer, keep in mind that the great majority of trading software is Windows-only. Although specific brokerage systems are available independent of operating systems, these platforms are usually too generic and lack the direct access required for major day trading executions to be realistic.

Keyboard image

Portable computers versus desktop computers

How often you trade will influence whether you should invest in a laptop or a desktop computer. Those who participate in swing trading and are constantly on the road may consider packing a laptop. Trading the day’s markets will require more screen space than a single laptop can offer. The idea is to keep track of triggers and settings so that you can act on them. Most individuals require more than one screen on a desktop computer.

Even the biggest 17-inch laptop screens are insufficient to accommodate both your execution platform and charting. While laptops are useful for on-the-go trading, they should not be used instead of a desktop computer.

Trading desktop prerequisites

Desktop computer performance and cost can vary greatly. It’s therefore advisable that you start with the bare essentials. The following are some of the most crucial factors:

Invest in a solid-state (SSD) drive to get the most out of your system’s capabilities. Older hard disk drives (HDD) are slower and regularly cause Windows PCs to freeze while working with charts or other background tasks. If the hard drive will only be used for day trading, a 250 GB or bigger SSD will normally provide more than adequate storage capacity.

When working with many charts and indicators, sufficient RAM is critical for efficient functioning. More RAM implies the ability to display more charts and quotations at the same time. A day trading PC should have at least 8 GB of RAM, which is pretty much essential if you’re working with multiple monitors.

working with multiple monitors

What exactly is the CPU?

Even when CPU speeds increase and costs fall, a quad-core 2.8 GHz 64-bit processor is still the absolute bare minimum requirement to ensure that your computer is compatible with newer operating systems. When you have a laptop with several cores, you can execute charting and computations considerably faster. Furthermore, you should ensure that your motherboard has adequate expansion ports so that you can add more RAM and a better graphics card if your trading demands change.

Because you’ll simply be dealing with charts and platforms, a graphics card designed for games isn’t required. Your graphics card only needs to be able to handle numerous screens, so high-spec graphics cards meant for games are not necessary. However, it is critical that your graphics card can handle numerous screens, so select a graphics card that can support the number and resolution of screens that you want to use (i.e., 4K monitors).

Because most trading software is only available for Windows, it should come as no surprise that Windows is the preferred operating system for day trading. If you must use a Mac, Boot Camp on Macs with Intel CPUs is one option. Parallels can construct a virtual TPM chip, enabling Windows 11 to be installed on Macs. A Windows PC is the best platform for trading and charting tools.


Day traders require as much viewing space as possible. As a day trader, having access to a large number of charts and feeds at once may increase your productivity.

On the other hand, overcommitment raises the danger of error and increases anxiety over missing out (FOMO). When you’re ready, you can always add more displays (as long as your graphics cards can support them).

How many screens should you have?

If you’re just starting, utilize two screens: one for charts and data feeds and another for your brokerage execution platform. Keeping these two duties separate enables you to concentrate on either stock monitoring or stock trade execution.

Once you’ve mastered the basics and are confident in your abilities, you can begin adding additional monitors if you have the space in your home or office. You could attach many graphs to each monitor, possibly in a sector-based arrangement. As your trading abilities and attention span improve, you should progressively increase the number of screens you use. In the end, everything comes down to your trading style. You will want to find the sweet spot between having too many and too few displays, and only you can determine what’s right for your needs in that respect.

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