Computers have gone from a unique item in a few homes to a basic commodity that is a staple in most homes. Just the same, the heart of your e-mini trading business is your computer, and it is best to start with one that meets certain minimum standards.
I have both a desktop and a laptop computer; I use the desktop and highly recommend you do, too. They have made laptops reliable, but not as reliable or feature-rich as the desktop models. Desktop models have better dependability ratings and are more stable.
Let’s start with monitors. I use four monitors and that seems to be plenty. If you have an occasion to display great deal of information, you have that option. I have a tendency to want to trade the 6E and the YM, so there is a great deal of time spent with all the monitors displaying different aspects of those contracts, respectively. I would say that the 24-inch monitor size is optimal, but see no reason you could not trade just as effectively with the 21.5 inch model. People seem to enjoy spending a lot of money on high end monitors, whereas I usually end up with one on the lower end of the pricing spectrum
RAM is the name of the game, and you can’t have too much of it. I currently use 10G of RAM and feel like I could use more. Get as much RAM as you can afford, but at minimum of 4-6G of RAM is imperative.
You can save a good deal of money on your trading computer buy not buying the hottest processor on the market. Some of the dual core and quad core processors will work just fine. While we need good transmission speeds, a trading computer doesn’t have to have the latest and greatest chip. Buy something reasonable and use the money you saved to buy more RAM.
Since most computers under $1000 now have on-board graphics, you will have to make room via a graphics card for your four monitors. Most graphics cards have three interfaces, so you may have to install two cards; though there are 4-port graphic cards, they are far and few between. There are a number of odd-ball ways to configure four monitors, but the hardware set-up looked like more trouble than simply adding another graphics card.
Finally, you need a fast internet connection. I have consistently found that cable broadband is the fastest and most reliable broadband around. DSL (from the phone company) comes in a distant second. Also, you cannot day trade on a dial-up connection as it is far too slow.
Throw in, at least, 8 USB drives and we are in business. You will want a good quality device to burn DVD’s and audio CD’s and you are set. With a little practice, you should be able to negotiate Windows 7 without problems and can tackle the proprietary software from the brokerage firms.
In summary, we have stressed the importance of having plenty of RAM. Since this is a business computer, we won’t need the multi-media packages, just a simple burner, and we are fine. Finally, we gave some options for using multiple monitors.
Real Live Trading Doesn’t Lie. Spend 3 days with me, in my trading room, and see if you are one of the many that can profit from a fresh and unique view on trading e-mini contracts. Sign up for your free trading experience by clicking here.