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Computer For Trading – A Necessity For Market Participants:
People ask me all the time if they need a special computer for trading and the bottom line is absolutely yes. Generally speaking, most people do not realize that the shear amount of real time data flow related to the markets has exploded over the last several years. As the last open outcry markets; specifically index futures and commodity futures, have gone electronic, the level of pricing data has grown exponentially. Thinking that a market participant can trade on laptop, ipad or smart phone is ludicrous.
These devices do not have the processing power or speed to handle today’s level of real time. While these products may seem good to browse the internet, actually trading on them could be disasterous. These devices were designed for miniaturization, not power and speed; and certainly not visible graphical real estate.
So what is so special about a computer for trading? Well first of all, these highly specialized computers make use of the latest processor technology and are literally 50% to 100% faster at making calculations than computers from just 2 years ago. Next, the best computer for trading will make use of several high definition graphics cards so that many monitors can be hooked up simultaneously. This allows traders to monitor markets, orders and news, all in real time and much less clicking or keystrokes. These computers will make use of solid state hard drives that 7 times faster than the old school magnetic drives. These drives are much faster and many times more reliable.
A good computer for trading will have a ton of RAM. Trading software and trading “platforms” as they are called are becoming more and more hogs of memory, so having more than 6 GB of RAM is becoming a must. When your computer is maxed out on the RAM, it tries to write data to the hard drive and can wind up in a near frozen state. This is becoming quite common these days as newbie traders try to rehab old computers to trade with.
If you are considering becoming a trader or upgrading your current trading computer, heed this warning: Don’t skimp on processing power and memory just to save a few hundred dollars. In the long run, this may cost you quite a bit in missed opportunity. Rehabing an old machine or trading from a off the shelf box will ruin your chances of success as a trader.
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