Does Your Trading Computer Tick All the Boxes?

By: Montana Timpson

With Lightspeed Trader, your platform is fast and reliable, so why shouldn’t your computer be, too? Active trading is a business, and to function at your best, your devices have to function at their best, too. Whether you trade on a desktop or a laptop computer, your device should be one of the most powerful tools in your professional trading arsenal.

Regularly, professional traders will invest significant amounts on trade ideas, but never devote funds to upgrading the devices that they execute those trades on. While a particular computer setup won’t make you fail or succeed as a trader, the last thing you want is for your technology to hold you back.

Here’s everything you need to know about upgrading your trading computer.

When choosing a trading computer, you’ll want to target a device with no less than 8GB of RAM, or “random-access memory.” RAM is a form of computer memory that supports running programs. For active traders, this includes brokerage software, open web browsers, charting software and scanners. The more programs you utilize, the more RAM you’ll need. While 8GB is the standard industry minimum, many professional traders look for devices with 16GB or above. The more, the better.

Hard Drive
Your hard drive stores and retrieves digital information on your computer. The drive you select will host your desired operating system, trading software and other applications.

The main thing to consider is what type of drive to utilize: a solid state drive (SSD), a hard disk drive (HDD) or a combination of the two. The difference between hard drives and solid state drives is in the technology used to store and retrieve data.

Solid state drives read and write data at a faster rate than hard disk drives and are often the first choice for active traders. Though they’re the more expensive option, solid state drives will give you better odds for speed and stability. That said, many professionals find it best to combine the two for optimal performance, using an SSD for the primary boot drive and an HDD as the secondary storage drive.

Many downloadable trading platforms, including Lightspeed Trader, require 300MB or more of free space on selected hard drives.

The CPU, or “core processing unit,” of a computer runs the operating system and applications, receiving input from the user or active software programs. The faster the processor, the more processes can be run simultaneously. Many trading applications require strong processing power to run smoothly and efficiently. Look for a CPU with 2.8GHz or more. When trading with Lightspeed, we recommend the Intel Processor i5 or higher for maximum performance. (Read more about Lightspeed Trader’s technology requirements here.)

Graphics Card
A graphics card, also known as a “graphics processing unit,” renders images to a computer’s monitor. The more powerful the graphics card, the more processing power, which is instrumental for traders running software like charting features on multiple screens. Look for devices with a 2GB graphics card for up to two monitors and 4GB for three or more screens.

Laptop or Desktop
There’s little advantage to trading on a desktop over a laptop, as long as they both meet your speed and processing power needs. Desktops can support more monitors, but laptops allow for greater mobility to trade on-the-go, so let your trading style determine what’s best for you.

If your trading style includes downloadable software versus web and mobile apps, both desktops and laptops can help deliver greater odds for stability and quicker executions. The Lightspeed Trader platform lets desktop and laptop users execute trades identically, with downloadable software designed specifically with stability and speed in mind.

Lightspeed is currently offering new users a $10,000 commission rebate that lets traders take advantage of Lightspeed’s diverse routing destinations, superior operational stability and individualized client support across a suite of platforms, including the desktop- and laptop-compatible Lightspeed Trader platform.

Whether you choose to trade on a desktop or a laptop, Lightspeed delivers real-time quotes and executions faster. For more information on a professional trading platform with Lightspeed, call us at 1-888-577-3123, request a demo, or open an account. For more professional trading insights and resources, visit our active trading blog.

Active Trading with Lightspeed
Lightspeed provides professional traders with all the tools required to help them find success in stock trading, and we have been developing and honing our active trader platform to offer an optimal user experience. With the intuitive interface layouts and institutional quality stock and options scanners, we aim to help traders reach their goals, no matter what their strategy is. We also offer our clients some of the lowest trading fees in the industry.

For more information on a professional trading platform with Lightspeed, please call us at 1-888-577-3123, request a demo, or open an account.

Data, information, and material (“content”) are provided for informational and educational purposes only. This content neither is, nor should be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any securities or contracts. Any investment decisions made by the user through the use of such content is solely based on the users independent analysis taking into consideration your financial circumstances, investment objectives, and risk tolerance.

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