Best Trading Computers: Buyers Guide 2020
The best trading computers are a different breed.
Every bit of speed is vital to ensure maximum efficiency when using your charting packages.
The last thing you want is for your computer to run slow whilst you are about to make the trade of your life…
… So slow, you end up missing the trade completely.
For your computer to slow down and freeze when you are trying to exit a trade…
… For it only to pull back and now you are in a losing position.
As infuriating as it may be, by having a powerful computer in front of you – this will make your life a lot easier.
This buyer’s guide for trading computers will help elevate your understanding of which trading computers will be suitable.
We have chosen a mixture of desktop computers that are perfect for trading, and will not let you down.
You will also understand why it is important to invest in a powerful desktop computer for trading.
Top 4 Best Trading Computers Comparison Chart
|Product||Best Feature #1||Best Feature #2||Find Best Price|
|Alienware Aurora R10||A future proof computer that will be powerful enough for trading for a long time.||Built for unstoppable performance, engineered to outlast||See Prices|
|Dell XPS 8000||An affordable computer that packs a punch and competes with the elite.||Integrates seamlessly with every trading platform and runs them smoothly.||See Prices|
|Apple iMac||Powerfully optimised computer from Apple, combined with a large monitor.||Ultrafast SSD for storage, making the computer lightning quick||See Prices|
|Apple Mac Mini||Components built to work with each other seamlessly. Allowing for ultra-fast processing.||Quiet, fast and reliable desktop computer||See Prices|
Best Trading Computers: The Buyer’s Guide
The difference between having a box standard computer and an optimised computer are worlds apart.
Most of the time, computers that are sold through companies as bundles are focusing on profits and not hardware.
In fact, what you might think is a good deal – most of the time it turns out it’s not.
You see, within a computer, you can build using many different parts from different companies.
You can have good hardware but if they are not efficient with working with each other, your performance is subpar.
That is why Apple computers outperform most desktop computers.
Because they are built to work with each other and each part of the hardware was made-to-fit.
However, if you find computers that are built to work together seamlessly, the price tag will be higher…
… But it will be working for the next 3-5 years.
To put it into comparison:
Bundle computers = £50-£100 watches -> You can see the hand shudder at every second.
Optimised computers = Rolex -> The hand moves around smoothly.
In trading, we want the smoothest possible solution.
Heaven forbid that your computer slows down mid-trade and you end up executing at a worse price…
Here are the key components of any powerful computer that you must consider before buying:
The CPU is the powerhouse behind the most powerful trading computers available.
The higher the number on a CPU the more powerful the processor.
For trading, you want a CPU that is at least 2.6 GHz as you will be running many monitors/screens/tabs open at once, and it is the CPU that allows for multi-processing.
Ram is vital to your set up too.
This is the fuel behind each task/or process.
Again, like CPU, the higher the RAM – the faster the computer.
We’d recommend a minimum of 8GB for any trading computer but bear in mind that 8GB is still quite low for most uses.
Ideally, you want 16GB or above.
SSD Hard Drive
This is always overlooked.
There are two types of hard drives that can be used, HDD and SSD.
Forget about HDD.
SSD is important.
The difference is worlds apart.
The HDD is slow and cumbersome, whilst the SSD is lightning fast.
Using an SSD means that the computer can access files and load them much quicker compared to it is dated HDD hardware.
For SSD, you want to have at least 256GB and above as most operating systems take up around 15-20GB.
Best Trading Computers FAQs
Can a computer for $100 work?
Yes, it can but you will be needing a new computer in the near future. These bare minimal computers are the junk food of the computer world.
How many monitors should I use?
More monitors does not = more profits (sadly). It does make trading slightly easier due to more charts/information available to you quicker. If you don’t have access to Bloomberg terminal the 1 or 2 monitors will be fine.
How will a trading computer improve my trading?
It won’t directly improve your trading. At the end of the day, that is your job still!
It will make processing data and charts seamless and efficient.
If you compile a lot of data from COT Reports/ ISM/GDP data etc. Then having lots of excel sheets up at once can certainly drain your standard computer’s resources.
I found a computer but it’s HDD and not SSD.
SSD is a massive difference to HDD. It’s significantly faster, silent and way more efficient. It’s one of the most important aspects when purchasing a computer, don’t skimp on it!
How long do trading computers last?
These computers are BEASTS. They have a large upfront cost because you are getting tomorrow’s technology – today.
They can last you 3-5 years EASILY.
So treat it like an investment.
Best Trading Computer Reviews
#4. Apple Mac Mini
The Mac Mini is the power of the iMac without the burden of the screen attached.
This beautifully built small-form Mac Mini packs in some amazing specs and pulls out excellent tricks to do that.
It’s not cheap, but it’s very competitively priced compared to other small PCs, particularly considering what it’s capable of.
If you are not a fan of the iMac’s all-in-one look, then look no further – the Mac Mini gives you the umph you desire without the screen.
Like all Apple products, they are engineered to last thanks to their bespoke internal architecture to ensure maximum efficiency with each piece of hardware.
Similar to the iMac, if you purchase the Mac Mini for your trading then you will be pleasantly surprised.
This doesn’t come with a monitor, so you have to add extra costs into that. However, with that being said, it does mean you can choose any monitor you’d like – for example a curved monitor.
So it’s not all doom and gloom.
When we mention specialist software, we are not talking about MT4…
+ Quiet, fast and reliable
+ Affordable power-house of a machine
+ Great value for a small computer
– The integrated graphics card isn’t great
– Could have higher storage space
#3. Apple iMac
The flagship computer from Apple is the pioneer in combining maximum efficiency and affordability for people who demand the most out of their computers.
As a trader, when push comes to shove, it doesn’t really matter how many screens you have – but when you have one built-in with the computer – it makes space for your trading room.
This is a high-end computer that is capable of the most demanding trader.
We chose the Apple iMac in our Top 4 selection because of it’s well-roundedness.
It’s the best of all worlds.
As Macs are more popular than they were 5 years ago, trading software has caught up with the demand and Mac OS versions have been made available.
This means the trading computers market share is not dominated by windows based computers any more.
If you are a trader that wants to sit and go style trading, with minimal software set up – this is a prime choice for you.
What you get here is a solution that fits many retail traders criteria.
It’s lightning-fast and able to cope with the most demanding of users.
The iMac is the ultimate all-in-one and extremely configurable.
Plus, it looks nice…
If you use sophisticated trading software, you will need to run an emulation of Windows virtually.
This mimics a Windows computer but allows you to run Windows-only software on a Mac OS.
This isn’t ideal for more sophisticated traders as specialist software tends to be more demanding…
+ An affordable solution for the most demanding trader
+ The built-in powerful 4K screen allows for trading platforms to excel on it
+ An all in one solution that will last a retail trader a few years
– Limited ports to increase multiple-monitors
– Unable to upgrade the hardware easily – not making it 100% future proof
– May need to download a Virtual Machine software to run some specific Windows Only trading platforms. (Although this is not the case for most).
#2. Dell XPS 8000
All you would expect from an XPS desktop, now more powerful than ever.
The XPS were planned and designed for optimal efficiency and expandability from the ground up. These desktops have been designed to keep up with you.
Quick, smooth performance, the XPS is the most efficient XPS desktops ever, giving traders the power to blast through system-intensive applications.
Equipped with the newest 9th Gen Intel Core processors, nothing will slow you down.
Works straight out of the box, therefore no set up necessary.
An excellent machine with a powerful performance to match it.
Even at this price, sometimes the fans tend to be a bit loud considering the premium price paid.
+ A great computer for day trading
+ Expertly put together by Dell so it will work straight out the box
+ Will run everything you need for trading all at once
– Fans can be a bit loud if you leave the computer on for a long period of time of intensive work.
– Bloatware included with all Dell systems – these are promotional/software that you don’t need. You can uninstall these instantly.
#1. Alienware Aurora R10
Collectively, probably the most powerful pound for pound computer on our list.
Alienware is known for its elite gaming systems from professional gamers but these computers translate extremely well into trading computers.
This will most certainly outlast and outperform most other computers and for a reasonable price too.
This computer is insane for the price.
All the power, none of it wasted.
It’s visually striking and delivers blistering performances.
It is expensive if you are just going to run MT4 and a few tabs on your browser.
Sticks out like a sore thumb if you are not keen on having a specialist desktop tower.
+ Huge range of configuration settings to improve the computer further
+ Insane performance across the board
+ Easily set up multiple monitors without sacrificing performance
– Not everyone may like the design
– Expensive in terms of capabilities
Best Trading Computers: The Verdict
To be classed as one of the best trading computers would mean it fits every aspect a trader needs to meet their day to day demands.
We believe that the best trading computer in our eyes is the Alienware Aurora R10.
It exceeds everything thrown at it in terms of performance and it’s not too costly, especially when you think you’ll be using it for the next 5 years or more.
Plus, you can easily upgrade the components inside – meaning when it is time for an upgrade, you can do so with the parts that will give you the upgrade.
Preventing you from spending more money on other parts that are unnecessary.
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