Setting Up Your Day Trading Computer
Okay so you want to start day trading! You need to make sure you have the right setup (Make sure you read our blog, The 4 Best Tools for Day Trading). As you have probably already realized, you can’t make a living trading from your iPhone. If you are serious about learning how to trade you need to setup a proper trading platform with a powerful day trading computer.
When it comes to setting up a multi-monitor trading computer you can get as complex as you’d like. I try to keep it simple, but my system has grown over the years. I would suggest starting with a great core system that you add onto when you want to expand. We’re going to review how I setup my system.
It actually started very simply with 1 laptop and 1 external monitor. I slowly added additional monitors as I needed more space until I’ve grown to an 11 monitor layout. Keep in mind that in addition to being a full-time day trader, I’m also running our chat room & trading courses. This requires more monitors than just trading would require. As you review the specs below, let me know if you have any questions!
The Trading Computer
I’m using 3 Lenovo Laptops for my day trading computer. These have a Solid State Drive and 16GB RAM. They are basically gaming computers. The current spec is a Lenovo Y50. I realized that in general, if you look for any gaming computer it will be well suited for day trading because it will have good amounts of memory plus advanced graphics cards.
As a personal preference, I prefer laptops to desktop computers, but that is because I work 12-14hr days and I like to be able to move around the house while I’m working. Laptops are generally a little more expensive and usually aren’t as easy to upgrade over time, which means you may need to replace it in a few years.
These computers are about $1499 with SSD and upgrade RAM. I have three of them because I multi-task like a mad man! I am trading, running a chat room, and writing blogs / posting on social media. Traders who are solely using the laptop for trading can get away with having just 1 computer.
I’m using Asus 24″ monitors that are connected via HDMI cables. They are relatively inexpensive, about $200 each. I think as long as you are using monitors that have HDMI and can be mounted you’ll be in good shape. They’re pretty much all the same for our purposes.
The USB to HDMI Adapters
I always have people asking me how I can run so many external monitors from a laptop. I use Diamond USB to HDMI adapters. These cost about $50 each. You can find them on Amazon or NewEgg They add a bit of a cost to each monitor but it just makes it easier for me.
Whether you are using a laptop or a desktop, you need video card adapters to run external monitors. I’m happy to use the USB style adapters. Since most laptops won’t have 8 USB ports, I use a simple USB Ports Hub that will let you connect up to 10 USB devices. These are only about $15.00 and you’ll only need one.
The Monitor Racks
I don’t get a lot of questions about this but it’s actually really important. A lot of the cheaper monitor racks are basically 2 big arms that allows you to mount 6 monitors on it, 3 on each arm. The problem is these arms typically have a very slight bow, which means from end to end they can be as much as 6 feet long.
I find this difficult to use because I don’t like having my monitors spread over 6 feet. I prefer to tilt my Left and Right monitors in towards the center, so I’m surrounded my monitors. This means you want to make sure you get a monitor rack that has ELBOWS! The Elbows allow you to point the Left and Right monitor in towards you. I highly recommend this. I ended up buying the regular style and replacing it with an elbow style rack.