Trading involves the trading of assets, and it’s a good way to make some extra money on the side,
but it does involve a level of risk that you should be aware of. Many people get started with trading
because they want to be able to take control of their money and watch it grow more quickly, but you
do need some technology to do trading right. Check out the information below to learn about what
technology you will need to become a successful trader.
An Amazing Laptop of Your Choice (and how to build it)
You’re looking for a new stock trading computer but you aren’t sure where to start… well you’ve
come to the right place. Most people just go buy a computer off the shelf and use it for trading, or
they pay through the nose for a “Trading Computer”, there is another option. Build your own! With a
little bit of research you can quite easily build you own trading computer or upgrade a computer you
already have to meet your needs for trading.
In this guide I will walk you through each of the different components in a system and help give you
some guidance as to what you should choose when putting together your own system.
Which processor you choose will basically dictate the rest of your system and the hardware you will
need. For stock trading, most people just need a good processor, there is no need to go all out and
purchase a bleeding edge, top of the line, gaming processor. That will just be overkill and you’ll be
flushing money down the drain. Personally, I would look at a middle to top of the line Ryzen 9. They
have 12 cores and are plenty fast to handle any trading needs you throw at it. If those are out of
your budget then look at a Ryzen 5 or 7 series. You’ll save a bit of money, but also sacrifice some
performance. The processor is the single hardest thing in a system to upgrade so I would suggest
spending more money here if possible.
My recommendation: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Which motherboard you are going to use is going to be dictated by 3 things:
The processor you choose.
The size case you choose
The number of video cards you want to run.
The processor we chose above has a socket type called AM4, basically that means that the
connector, or socket, that the processor needs to connect to the motherboard is an AM4 connector.
That will be the biggest factor in picking out a motherboard. The second step is to determine the size
board you need. If you are building some monstrous gaming system and want a million different
connectors and port options, then you’ll want a Full ATX or Extended ATX board. However, that’s
probably way overkill. Personally, I build about 90% of my computers with the microATX form factor.
There are smaller options as well, however microATX has about the best combination of size while
still having enough ports. It’s also the most popular form factor. The only other thing to take into
consideration at this point is how many video cards you are looking to run. You may be able to save
yourself some money by purchasing cheaper video cards that may only run 2 monitors at a time but
then purchase more of those cards, say two or three of them, to run up to four or six monitors. If
that is the case then you will need to look for a motherboard with the correct number of video card
ports (PCI Express 3.0 x16). Finding a board with two or three of these ports/slots is not difficult, it’s
just something that needs to be thought about now as it’s not possible to add more down the road.
With all of these options I am going to recommend a board that has an AM4 socket to match our
processor, is a microATX form factor, and has two PCI Express 3.0 x16 ports. The board also supports
m.2 hard drives, some of the fastest drives available.
My recommendation: ASUS TUF B450M-Plus
Now that we have our processor and motherboard picked out we can choose which RAM (Random
Access Memory) we want to use. The motherboard we chose can handle up to 64GB of DDR4 3200
memory. Memory is where any open applications are stored while you are running them. For trading
I would say 16GB would be the bare minimum I would run, but 32GB would be much better. For this
system I am going to choose a 32GB DDR4 2666 kit. Because this motherboard has four memory
slots this will allow us to easily add two more memory modules down the road.
My recommendation: Crucial Ballistix 2666 MHz 32GB Kit (16GB x 2)
The hard drive is where all of your information is stored-operating system, programs, data, pictures,
music, everything. For stock trading “everything” really isn’t that much information. Your operating
system with a few trading platforms really does not take up that much room so we don’t need a
huge hard drive for trading.
There are basically two types of hard drives, the old magnetic/spinning platter based drives and the
new flash based drives, or SSDs. With the older type of drives you can get tons of storage for a very
small price, but you have to sacrifice speed. SSD’s are extremely fast but cost much more per GB of
storage. Because we do not need a lot of storage space for trading a decent sized SSD is our best
option. If down the road we do need more storage space, we could add an additional magnetic drive
and use that to store things like pictures and videos.
My recommendation: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD
In trading, pretty much the only things that matter here are:
How many monitors do you want to run?
What video ports do those monitors have?
How many video card slots (PCI Express x16) do you have on your motherboard?
For this example, we are going to say we want to run 4 monitors. We have yet to purchase the
monitors so the ports are flexible, and the motherboard we purchased has two PCI Express x16 slots.
At this point we have two options: we can either purchase a video card that has 4 ports on it and
only uses 1 of the video card slots, or we can purchase two cheaper video cards and use up both
slots. This will really come down to personal preference and if you think you will want to expand to
more monitors down the road, as well as which video ports you would like to use. Personally, I
purchase all of my video cards and monitors to connect via the DisplayPort connector. While slightly
more expensive, DisplayPort gives you the largest amount of options and flexibility. I also prefer to
go with workstation class video cards over consumer/gaming video cards. Workstation cards are
designed to be run all day every day while remaining cool and quiet. They will keep the overall noise
level of your system down.
My video card recommendation: NVidia Quadro P1000
Have you tried customizing your own computer for your trading needs? If so let us know in the
comments below what you chose to go with.
If you enjoyed this read make sure to leave us with your email so we can keep you up-to-date with
our newsletter. You can opt-in and out at any time!