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5 Biggest Misconceptions About Trading Computers

5 misconceptions trading computer

1. I can trade on a standard PC.

It’s deceiving how hard your computer really has to work when you trade.

In trading, your machine has to absorb massive amounts of real time data and turn it into pretty real time charts. While this may seem like a rather trivial task, it actually involves the continuous execution of a huge amount of grinding work.

Even if you have a great Internet connection, using an underpowered PC will make you susceptible to buffering or lag time when receiving information. Since this accumulated information is essentially delayed, you could be making trading decisions on prices that are slightly outdated. This opens you up to slippage, when a trade gets executed at a less favorable price than desired – the biggest enemy of any trading professional.

As a Forex trader, slippage is the last thing you need. Instead, you need real time data delivered to you in a timely fashion in order to properly evaluate each currency pair on your radar screen and take advantage of any potential opportunities before they disappear.

2. It’s safe to operate on a Windows XP.

Back in April (2014), Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP.

The biggest problem with a discontinued Windows operating system is that the writing of security patches also ceases. As a Windows XP user, you might not take this very seriously at first, but there are several reasons why you should.

Modern hackers are now able to find even the smallest vulnerability in a PC lacking optimal security. Consequently, it is not surprising why big data hacks have become more and more a common occurrence. Because of the lack of updated security information on Windows XP machines, traders that use literally become a moving target. Hackers will exploit holes in your PC’s security, making your data vulnerable to malware and viruses. In fact, your vulnerability will get worse as each day passes. That is why my recommendation is for you to move to Windows 7 ASAP.

3. A fast Internet connection is all I need for trading.

It’s true that a high speed connection is a must if you’re planning to trade. However, the most important component of your trading computer is your processor.

The microprocessor does all of the work involved in taking a real time data feed and transforming it into continuous visual information on your charts. To determine if your microprocessor is cut out for the job, you first need to figure out what type of processor is inside your PC. Look for the processor model in your computer settings, then use sites like to view a ranking score for your specific device.

The minimum processor benchmark score we recommend for trading is 7500. If you are well below that number, you should consider upgrading to a new PC very soon.

4. I can get away with just 2 or 4 GB of RAM.

Eight (8) gigabytes (GB) of Random Access Memory (RAM) is really the minimum for active traders nowadays.

Not too long ago, the “accepted” minimum used to be just 4 GB. However, trading software has improved and become more robust since that time. Thus, the recommended minimum RAM for day trading has increased.

Even though you may really just be using up 3 or 4 GB of RAM at a time for your routine trading tasks, you need an extra cushion to handle emergencies and volatile market periods. This additional amount of RAM will come in handy during sudden news events, market flash crashes, and other unforeseen occurrences that may spike volatility and trading activity. If you don’t have enough RAM during these times, your computer will start using your hard drive for memory, slow down and potentially crash.

5. Hard drive size is more important than type.

Adding storage to your computer is super cheap these days. When choosing a hard drive, however, you should be more concerned with function instead of size.

The best choice for a trading computer is an SSD hard drive. This type of hard drive is much faster than a traditional magnetic drive. In fact, it’s 7x faster. With an SSD drive, you’ll notice substantially faster boot-up times – typically seconds instead of minutes. The SSD drive will also allow your applications to launch quicker. These drives tend to be more expensive, but will offer the ultimate speed and efficiency your trading PC needs.

About Our Contributor.

eddie z ez trading computer founderSince the day he took his first Commodore Vic 20 apart, Russ “Eddie Z” Hazelcorn has been obsessed with making computers more powerful and more functional. At the age of 18, he started working on Wall Street filling out paper charts and since then, has learned to combine his passion for building computers with stock trading.

You can also visit the product page of Eddie’s trading computer company, EZ Trading Computers, by clicking here. There you will find different computer systems made specifically for traders who are serious about trading.