In our last trading hardware discussion, we talked about performance specs to optimize your trading desk’s processing power, memory and disk space, to combat trade slippage.
Today, I’ll be sharing my hardware recommendations for the best monitor display and graphics card setup.
Trading from home is the digital equivalent of being in the middle of the trading floor feeding frenzy. Exchanging that much data in real time can crash servers.
Now imagine those traders all trying to smush together into one selfie at the same time…Everyone pushing and shoving to get their face in the frame. It would be a nightmare.
That’s exactly what happens on your monitors when you’re trading from home. Well…almost.
In the selfie scenario, all of the traders get COVID because they weren’t practicing social distancing and then the trading floor has to lock down.
In the monitor scenario, your graphics card seizes up and your computer crashes, because it can’t handle the massive data load of displaying all of your charts and graphs in real time.
Both cases mean that now you can’t trade, which is like throwing cash out of the window.
And that’s only good for the people outside…not you.
So, if you’re not going to take the following advice, I’ll just need your address and the start time of the free cash giveaway and you can stop reading here.
But, if you DON’T like losing cash because of simple hardware issues…
Monitors and Graphics Cards
Most traders can get by with only two monitors. But if you’re trading more than one market, you’ll need more than two monitors. Which means you need to get your hot little hands on a dedicated graphics card.
Just like you need a CPU that can handle the big data surges, you need a graphics card that can keep up with the massive amounts of data coming through the server and loading onto your charts.
At a minimum, your new graphics card should have 4GB to 8GB of on-board memory, in addition to an advanced graphics processor.
This relieves your main CPU of all the graphical requirements needed for the monitors and instead, outsources all that work to the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
In other words, your CPU tags in your GPU to do all the heavy lifting for your display, while it focuses on maintaining your trading applications and systems at a steady clip.
Take that, trade slippage!
Some people will simply buy a gaming graphics card, which is typically more than sufficient for our needs as traders. Nvidia graphics cards are my go-to.
When I first started I didn’t have a dedicated graphics card, and my computer would frequently crash during periods of high volatility. An awesome NinjaTrader rep steered me to a dedicated graphics card to fix the problem. Once I got one in place, my computer stopped crashing.
Now, if you’re serious about trading, or you’ve been trading seriously for a while and you know you’re in it for the long haul, I’d ultimately recommend having a computer that is dedicated solely to trading.
The more applications and demands you put on that computer outside of trading, the more processing power, memory and hard disc space you’re taking away from trading functions and allocating elsewhere.
Now that we’ve got the graphics on your trading rig squared away…