Finding the best trading computer or laptop can be a daunting task as many options are out there. And since trading is entirely online these days, you have to ensure that your trading computer will meet your technological needs for the best trading experience you can have.
The good news is that you won’t have to do this research on your own. We’re here to help you get the best desktop trading computer or laptop to meet all your trading needs and requirements. Let’s start.
What to Look for in a Trading Computer? (6 Main Features)
As trading is all about technology these days, a reliable and robust computer can make a huge difference in your trading performance.
As expected, there are key features and parts that your chosen computer must have to perform well, especially when nowadays, you are not only competing with other traders but also versus other computers. So, let’s break down the key components of what makes a solid and powerful trading computer.
1. Fast Processing Capabilities (CPU)
Your computer’s CPU is perhaps the most crucial element of a trading computer. A fast processor will make your life easier by allowing you to open many programs and move smoothly between charts, applications, etc. For forex, futures, and stock trading, a desktop computer should have at least 2.8 GHz.
2. High-Speed RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a form of computer memory that enables your computer to perform many tasks and run many applications simultaneously. The higher the RAM of your computer, the faster its processing speed. As a trader, you want to have the fastest possible processor and be able to open many applications simultaneously. For solid trading performance, you should have at least 16GB of RAM.
3. Solid-State Drive (SSD)
An SSD is an essential and valuable component of your trading computer. If your operating system and other applications are installed on your hard drive, then inevitably, your computer will be slow, and you’ll encounter many problems while running your trading program. Simply put, SSDs are faster data storage devices, which is vital for online trading.
4. Display (Monitor Size)
Whether you will use a trading desktop or a laptop, the display is another vital factor to keep in mind. When you buy a trading monitor, make sure to choose a screen with a resolution of at least 1920p and a monitor size that matches your trading requirements. If you plan to buy a laptop, make sure it has enough USB ports to be able to connect to other monitors.
5. Battery Lifespan (for Laptops)
If you use a laptop, the battery lifespan should be a crucial factor in your decision. The most powerful laptops have a battery life of eight hours minimum, so make sure your chosen one has a strong battery.
6. Operating System
Without any doubt, Windows is the favored operating system for trading activities since most trading platforms and applications are available only on Windows. In that sense, you should keep in mind that if you decide to use Mac computers, you’ll most likely have to run your trading platforms using Boot Camp.
This is a utility (quite complicated and not convenient, to be honest) that assists Mac users in installing Windows and, thus, running trading platforms and programs that are not available on Mac.
Laptop or Desktop Computer – Which is Better for Trading?
Whether you should buy a trading desktop or a laptop depends on the type of your trading style and how often you are going to trade.
Day traders will often prefer to use strong and fast trading desktop computers with several monitors. As they rely heavily on small price movements and high-frequency day trading activity, they must ensure they have a reliable computer and a convenient home setup.
On the other, swing traders and long-term investors can get what they need with a laptop. They can travel and take advantage of using a laptop from the comfort of their couch or anywhere else.
So, it all comes down to your trading style and how serious you are about your trading career.
5 Best Trading Computers to Buy in 2023 and Beyond
First, let’s take a look at the best five desktop trading computers.
1. Orbital Silenced x2000 Trading Computer
If you are serious about trading and want to make a stable income while day trading, then the Orbital Silence x2000 trading computer is the best choice for you. This computer is built and delivered by Orbital Computers, a manufacturer of high-performance PCs and trading computers.
Basically, Orbital enables you to configure your Silenced X2000 and build your computer in the exact way you want it to be. You can choose the main hardware (case and CPU), CPU Cooler, RAM, sound card, video card, monitors (multi-monitor array and multi-monitor stand), storage (HDD, backup drive, CD/DVD drive), network accessories, software, etc.
Ultimately, it all depends on your budget with Orbital. Although you can also choose the default configuration, which is more than enough for building a solid day trading workstation.
- You can build your trading computer
- Super fast and powerful desktop computer
- A lifetime warranty is provided
- Optimized for lowest latency – ideal for high-frequency trading
- 11th generation Intel Core i7-i9
- Cool and silent operation
- A bit pricey
Price: Starts from $2062
Our verdict: Overall best day trading computer
2. Apple iMac 21.5-Inch MNDY2LL/1
Our second pick is the Apple iMac 21.5-inch, which is among the most powerful and well-designed computers. So, if you are a Mac user and don’t have a tight budget, then this is the computer of choice for you.
Generally, Apple computers are known as highly reliable and robust computers with great displays and fast processors. And this computer is no exception. It has a 21.5-inch Retina 4K display with a screen resolution of 4096×2304 pixels and LED back-lit technology.
Furthermore, with the seventh-generation Intel i5 or i7 core processor and a 21.5-inch (or 27-inch display), your trading system will run smoothly, and you’ll be able to load multiple charts on one screen.
However, you need to take one crucial factor into consideration – many trading platforms and programs cannot be installed on the iOS operating system. As a solution, you’ll have to use Boot camp or parallels, which enables you to install Windows and switch between the two operating systems. Not a big deal but not the ideal workflow as well.
Nonetheless, we suggest you research and find out if the trading software you are planning to trade on is available on the Apple Store and can be used on iOS.
- Fast and reliable computer
- Excellent graphics – 4K technology
- Wide and large screen
- 1TB Hard Drive storage
- Excellent navigation – easy and fun-to-use
- Four USB ports – easy to connect to other trading monitors
- Many trading platforms cannot be installed on iOS (you need Bootcamp which makes everything more complicated and less convenient)
- No memory upgrade solutions
Price: Starts from $929
Our verdict: Best (and only) trading computer for Mac users
3. Orbital Trader X1000
Another great choice from Orbital Computers is the Orbital Trader x1000, which is quite similar to the Orbital x2000 but comes at an affordable price for most people. Like the Orbital Silence x2000 trading computer, you can configure the Orbital Trader x1000 with the key components and parts you want to have in your computer.
If choosing the default configuration, this machine comes with up to 8 trading monitors supported, 128GB RAM, optimization features for TradeStation and other well-known trading platforms, Intel Core i5 or i7, and many more.
Additionally, the good thing about buying computers from Orbital is that they help you build a trading setup, including monitors and all the devices needed to make a trading workstation. Finally, another reason to choose this computer is that it’s optimized for common trading platforms available on retail investor accounts such as ThinkorSwim, Tradestation, MetaTrader4, DAS Trader, and Ninjatrader.
- Optimized for TradeStation, ThinkorSwim, NinjaTrader, etc
- With Orbital, you can build your trading computer
- Up to 8 Monitors Supported
- Fast and powerful computer -ideal for day and automated trading
- Optimized for low latency
- Tech support is mainly available in the US
Price: Starts from $1360
Our verdict: Best value for money
4. Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i (27” Intel) All In One
If you are looking for a fast and powerful trading desktop, the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i is probably the best value-for-money trading computer you can find in the market. Powered by up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and advanced memory and storage technology – Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i is ideal for day trading.
What’s more, at a price of just $1000, this trading computer comes with a 23-inch monitor screen, 1TB hard drive, wireless mouse and keyboard, and memory storage of 8GB.
Overall, the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i is undoubtedly a good all-in-one desktop computer at a reasonable price.
- Powerful processor
- Inexpensive trading computer
- Display includes touchscreen
- Beautiful design
- Excellent web camera and built-in speakers
- No ergonomic features
- Users report problems with the single-arm holding the monitor
Price: Starts from $1009.99
Our verdict: Fastest trading computer
5. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92
Finally, the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 is another highly recommended trading desktop due to its speedy performance and solid features. With a 9th generation Intel Core i5-9400 processor (up to 4.1GHz), 512GB SSD, and 12GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM Memory – well, this computer has everything you need for day trading.
The bottom line is that the Acer Aspire TC is super-fast, efficient, and robust. Not surprisingly, this computer has lots of positive reviews online. And most importantly, it comes at an affordable price tag.
- Excellent CPU and memory – excellent performance
- Great value for money – Inexpensive computer
- Slick design
- 512GB SSD storage
- 12GB of RAM
- Minor issues with the cooling system
- No internal speakers
Price: Starts from $599
Our verdict: Fast, powerful, and cheap
5 Best Trading Laptops to Buy in 2023 and Beyond
Surely, desktop computers are more powerful and less expensive than a laptop. Yet, some people still prefer the convenience of using a laptop and being able to trade from anywhere they want. So, if this is your plan, then here’s our list of top trading laptops to buy in 2023.
1. Falcon F-30 Extreme
Our top trading laptop pick is the Falcon F30 extreme trading computer. This laptop was designed and built primarily for day traders looking for a powerful and lightning-fast laptop. It includes a powerful 10th Gen Intel processor, no-limit storage capacity, and multi-display capability.
As a result, this laptop is one of the few that provides desktop computing power. Further, the Falcon F30 has three external monitor outputs, meaning you can build a multi-monitor trading setup around this amazing machine.
- High-speed and powerful laptop
- Primarily designed for day trading activity
- Up to 2TB SSD
- Enables you to connect three monitors directly to your laptop
- A powerful 10th Gen Intel processor
- A bit pricey
Price: Starts from $3489
Our verdict: Overall best trading laptop
2. Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
There’s no argument that Dell’s laptops are fantastic. I have never heard of someone complaining about Dell and for a good reason. They are light, powerful, and always have a great design. And if you insist on getting a Dell laptop for your trading experience, then the new Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is the best choice for you.
Powered by an 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-11400H processor, 8GB memory, and 256 hard drive memory – it’s not a surprise that this laptop is extremely powerful. Moreover, it has excellent display features, a solid battery, and a large screen.
- Well priced
- Large screen size of 16-inch
- Extremely powerful laptop
- Solid battery life
- Excellent CPU and GPU performance
- Windows 11 is included
- Just one USB port
- Poor speakers
Our verdict: Best value for money trading laptop
3. Apple 13″/16” MacBook Pro
The Apple MacBook Pro is one of the most popular (and expensive) laptops worldwide. As a Macbook user, I won’t recommend any other laptop to buy. It is light, powerful, and easy to use. Obviously, you can also use the Apple Macbook Pro for trading. It is strong enough and has all the features you need to execute trades without any issues.
On the negative side, many platforms and trading applications are not yet available on the Apple Store, which makes everything much more complicated. The problem can be solved with Boot camp; however, if you are not a tech-savvy person or do not want to deal with any installations, then perhaps the MacBook Pro is not for you.
Regardless, if you consider buying the Macbook Pro, make sure that your trading platform can be installed on Mac (for example, the MetaTrader4).
- Retina display
- Available in 13, 14, and 16 inch
- 512 SSD
- Responsive and easy to use – beautiful design
- 4 USB ports
- Battery lifespan of up to 20 hours
- Much like the Apple iMac desktop, some trading platforms and applications cannot be installed on Macbook Pro
- 2 USB ports
- Fairly expensive
Price: Starts from $1299
Our verdict: Best all-in-one laptop
4. Asus ZenBook Duo 14-Inch
For those who are looking for an innovative high-speed laptop, then the Asus Zenbook is a perfect choice. First, if you decide to choose this laptop, be aware that you must adapt to this new setup with a dual-screen, different keyboard, and screen pad. But if you like Asus and want to get a powerful laptop, we highly recommend the Zenbook Duo 14-inch screen.
Above all, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 is perhaps the best dual-screen laptop. For traders, this could be a nice feature as it includes a large 14.5-inch screen and another smaller 12.7-inch screen below it – and it actually works pretty well. Other than that, with the 11th Gen Intel Core i5, i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD – this innovative laptop can efficiently compute various tasks and run trading applications.
In a nutshell, the Zenbook is an ergonomic laptop with a large screen pad and a 93% screen-to-body ratio. What’s more, it has a screen resolution of 1920×1080 and is powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors.
- Dual screen monitor capabilities
- Strong battery life
- High storage and memory capacity
- Strong CPU performance
- Solid port selection
- Not ideal for all users – it could be complicated to use the laptop setup
- 2 USB ports
- Disappointing display
Price: Starts from $999.99
Our verdict: Certainly a good choice
5. Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop
Although the Razer Blade is primarily targeted at gamers, it has more than enough for trading. This monster laptop is one of the fastest and most powerful laptops on the market right now, although it might be too expensive for many of you. Still, if you have the budget, we are talking about 1TB SSD, 17.3 inches monitor, 64GB RAM, Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics card.
Also, if you are interested in a light laptop with a great design and strong performance, the Razer Blade is what you need. With a weight of just 2.75 kgs or 6.06 lbs and a beautiful design, this might be the ultimate trading laptop for you.
The bottom line – although the Razer Blade was made for gaming, you can easily use it to run trading programs and execute trades.
- Powerful and super-fast laptop
- Up to 360 Hz refresh rate
- Plenty of ports and connections – Thunderbolt 4 connections
- Solid performance with AI applications – Ideal for automated trading
- Lightweight and slim
- Low battery life
Price: Starts from $2799
Our verdict: Slim, lightweight and powerful laptop – an excellent solution for trading
To sum up, getting the right trading computer is a crucial decision that you must take. There’s no right or wrong here, and a trading computer is not a special one. As long as the computer is powerful and fast with the necessary features to enable you to trade the markets, then it should be enough for you.
We hope that our list of the best trading computers and laptops will help you make the right choice. Regardless, do your research and take the time to make the right choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about computers and laptops for trading.
What CPU is best for day trading?
When it comes to trading, you need top-notch single-thread performance without breaking the bank. Currently, the market’s top contenders are the Intel Core i9 12900K, i7 12700K, and i5 12600K, with the former being the most preferred option. These powerful processors can be found on the Orbital Silenced Trader X2000 platform.
How much RAM is enough for trading?
In the current landscape of trading, having ample RAM is crucial for ensuring optimal performance. While 16 GB is generally considered safe for most traders, those looking to future-proof their systems and achieve peak performance may want to consider upgrading to 32 or even 64 GB. It’s important to keep in mind that as trading strategies become more complex and data sets grow larger, the need for robust computing power will only continue to increase. By investing in higher RAM capacity now, traders can position themselves for success in the long run.
Is a laptop or PC better for trading?
When it comes to trading, everyone has their own preferences and needs. Some folks need to move around a lot, while others like to stay put. For those who like to stay nimble, a laptop might be the way to go. You can lug it around and trade from different spots as needed. But for those who like to have more juice under the hood and a big ol’ screen to boot, a desktop computer might be the better choice. You can have all the computing power you need and a huge display for charting and trading. So it’s really up to you and what you’re looking for.