What Specs do You Need For A Trading PC?

If you want to set up an office as a day trader, your most important piece of equipment will be your desktop PC. Its components need to be selected for the minimum specs for your job. We spell out what is required.

Desktops For Day Trading

While you don’t have to have a trading computer specifically, you do need your desktop to meet certain specs that can operate at your working speed. A laptop will not work for a day trader although it is used by many swing traders. This will become obvious when we discuss monitors and ports.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is the command center of your desktop. You will need a multiple-core processor. This is the equivalent of several CPUs that can process tasks and give instructions to other components of Desktop Computers for Trading. A multiple-core processor will give you better speeds with fewer lags. The importance of this to the day trader is that you want to perform calculations in record time and not have these delayed by another process the CPU is running. A Quad-core is sufficient with a 2.8 GHz speed.

Hard Drive

A hard drive is where you store apps etc., like your trading software. Instead of a traditional hard disc drive (HDD), opt for a solid-state drive (SSD). The latter is more stable and is quicker to boot up. If you do go with an HDD, the minimum you can settle for is 256 MB. With day trading, you will not need to store a lot of files, so as long as your software can operate efficiently, and you can work your charts, you probably don’t need more than the minimum.


The ideal number of monitors is three for a starting day trader. One of these can be to have the news going, log into a chat room, or perform an online search. The second would be for an execution platform. Your other monitor can be used for charting.  With more monitors your setup becomes unwieldy. After all, you can only focus on so many things at a time. You also want to arrange them close enough to you for clear visibility and access to the keyboard.

Here is a guide on how your monitors and trading station can be set up. Twenty-four-inch 1080 p monitors have the perfect resolution for charting, and they work out well price-wise.


RAM provides the performance when you want to observe multiple quotes and charts. Although eight GB of RAM is generally recommended as the lowest requirement, this may not be enough with several monitors. You can easily go for double and will see a huge improvement.

Graphics Card

Selecting a graphics card depends on the number of monitors you have in your setup as the card will have to support all of them. There are ports behind the computer for plugging in your monitors. If you want to go bigger in terms of monitors, you can get a USB adaptor to extend this.

A day trader needs to get the initial specs right to be effective from day one.