Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (2024)

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (1)

For a trading computer setup, simple is effective, so there is no reason for new traders to splurge on a new PC when starting. A basic “off the shelf” PC (laptop or desktop) can handle what a trader would throw at it. If you are a day trader looking to trade low-float stocks, you will want an upgraded PC. It’s preferable to have a Windows PC since a MAC often conflicts with w/brokers’ applications. However, even an “off the shelf” PC would have the capability to run an additional screen; laptop users can even get a USB-powered (thin screen) up to 17″ to get a little more charting space.

Table of Contents

  • Trading Computer Setup and Equipment
    • Browsers
  • What Computer Setup Is Best for Day Trading?
    • Day Trading Computer Setup Investment
    • Why Is Internet Speed Important?
  • Day Trading Computer Setup Speed Requirements
    • 1. Upload/Download Speeds
    • 2. Type of Internet
    • 3. Wireless Router
  • Processors (CPU) for Day Trading Computer Setup
    • Hard Drive
    • Ram
    • Graphics Card
    • Monitors, Screens, and More Screens
  • How Do I Set Up Multiple Monitors for Trading?
    • DisplayPort for Trading Computers
    • HDMI Display Hub
    • Final Recommendations: Day Trading Computers

Trading Computer Setup and Equipment

It may seem odd at first, but a lot of traders do not use their trading broker to perform their analysis – they have two brokers (one that has great charting software and one that has great trade execution), so it is recommended that traders either get a broker that offers advanced charting capabilities and then trade at that broker (or get that analysis broker but then get a separate one to get your orders filled).

ThinkorSwim is great for charting and analysis, while using TradeStation, Robinhood, Webull, or TastyWorks is good for trade execution. If the trader is using the broker app – webull has made significant advances toward providing an analysis platform.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (2)


It may sound funny to talk about browsers, but several charting and trade websites do not function well on the “Windows” default browser. So it is a good idea to upgrade to something “chrome based,” such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

Opera GX has a unique sidebar with built-in Discord, Twitter, and Facebook Messenger widgets. This is especially useful for monitoring the market w/o having to keep additional web pages open.

While we can trade with our phones, it is not advisable to start this way. Using your phone as a backup (in case you have to leave the PC) is great, and using your phone for alerts also helps a lot. For example, setting various broker, Twitter, and discord alerts is easier with a phone and does not “bog down” your trading PC.

Twitter is a great resource for traders – since “finding something moving” is generally the name of the game. Twitter is often faster than “traditional” news services and has a vast trader network. You can also search by # for information about a particular stock symbol. Please be careful following any trader’s alerts. Use them as a guide but do not buy or sell based on anyone’s recommendations.

Discord has trading bots that can assist new traders with setting alerts, gathering stock company information, running scans, and so much more. It is also where the Bullish Bears trading community hangs out and trades together.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (3)Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (4)Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (5)
DESCRIPTIONBullish Bears offer trade rooms in our Discord. Our chat rooms include penny stocks, large caps, options, and futuresWe offer stock signals and trade alerts through our watch lists and Discord bots using Tradytics Swing trade and day trade watch lists with hand-picked symbols that have the best chance of breakouts. These are stocks to watch
INCLUDEDTrading courses • Live streaming • Discord • Real Time Teaching • Scanners & Bots
Learn More >
Watch lists • Symbols • Support and resistance levels • Discord bots and scanners
Learn More>
Swing trade watchlist • Day trade watchlist • Name & symbol • Alert levels mapped out • Watch lists are updated daily
Learn MOre>

What Computer Setup Is Best for Day Trading?

Here are some good value machines:

The ideal day trading computer setup would include all the critical components such as high-speed internet, multi-screens for charting, plenty of ram, and at least a dual-core CPU, but ideally quad-core. However, we first need to focus on the type of computer you’ll be using: a desktop tower or a laptop. Tower-based computers can be a bit easier to upgrade over time, but laptops are much more mobile and will allow you to trade nearly anywhere with a good internet connection.

Day Trading Computer Setup Investment

Why must you fork out your hard-earned cash for premium hardware and software? Because, as a trader, you need the proper tools to do your job.

Like a professional athlete, your computer needs to be in tip-top shape to handle the demands of high-intensity trading.

Think of a surgeon, for example. Do you want them cutting into you with a dull knife? No, I didn’t think so, and you, as a trader, should be no different.

It would be best to have premium tools to run today’s modern trading software platforms. We highly recommend using TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim platform for charting. TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim platform. They are the gold standard when it comes to trading software.

The table below shows you the latest requirements to run the Thinkorswim platform. Thinkorswim has some of the highest day trading computer requirements because…it’s a beast. AKA a resource hog for your computer.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (6)Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (7)Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (8)
DESCRIPTIONExperience TradeStation's professional-grade options trading platform, built for serious traders seeking value and powerThinkorSwim is for more advanced options traders. It features elite tools and lets you monitor the market, plan your strategy, and implement it in one convenient, easy-to-use, integrated placeLeading online trading solutions for traders, investors and advisors, with direct global access to stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds
HIGHLIGHTSSolid overall trading platform • Good for futures trading • Ease of use • Reliable • Great customer service • Low commissions
TradeStation >
Top charting platform • Customizable scanners and indicators • Easy order entry • Reliable • Great customer service • Low commissions
Thinkorswim >
International • Ok customer service • Solid order executions • Low commission fees • Good short locates
I. Brokers >

Why Is Internet Speed Important?

Investing in internet speed is a no-brainer. High-frequency trading computers operate on fiber-optic networks that cost millions of dollars a year to access. They do this because it helps them get their order before everyone else. Retail traders need the best internet speeds to ensure our orders get from our computers and through the order book as quickly as possible.

Not only sending orders, but when it comes to day trading, you must have the most current picture of the market to decide when you should buy and sell a position. This means being able to see every animation of the candlestick chart. If your speed is slow, your candlesticks and moving averages may lag, which could lead to a losing trade.

Your orders will be delayed if you don’t have a good upload speed.

I am using Charter Spectrum with a 400 download x 20 upload package. I pay around $100 out the door without complaints about the package. As you know, speeds like this will only be useful if your computer can handle the speed. My WIRED computer receives the full benefit of the 400-megabyte download speed. However, my wireless trading computer only gets about 100 downloads. So, if you’re trading wirelessly, you don’t need to pay for a package past 100. Remember that your hardware might not handle the speeds you’re paying for. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re wired, you’re getting the best speed from your router to your computer, and you can rest easy.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (9)

Day Trading Computer Setup Speed Requirements

ThinkorSwim is the best comprehensive trading platform, but it also uses many resources, so it’s important to ensure your computer is up to the challenge of running it. With these specs in mind, let’s look at all the different elements that go into making a great day trading computer setup.

1. Upload/Download Speeds

You’ll most likely want no less than 4 Mbps todownload speed to day trade, which is fairly slow. If you can’t get more than 15vmbs download, you might have an issue if you try to trade often.

My recommendation for day trading internet speed is a minimum of 4MB download and 1 MB upload speed for day trading, but more is always better.

You need a minimum of .5 MB for upload speed, but the faster, the better. At .5MB, you may experience slippage orders being filled a bit away from the prices that you want) and a delay in order execution.

2. Type of Internet

We recommend having at least cable broadband internet; do NOT use DSL. I have worked for a cable company in another life, and I can tell you DSL over copper phone lines will not cut it. You’re going to have a bad time.

Suppose you can get something faster, like a coax cable or the best fiber optic internet. However, please remember that internet speeds always fluctuate, and the more people around you use the network, the slower it can be. This is why traders usually try to get the fastest packages they can, so when all their neighbors are home using the internet, they aren’t feeling the speeds slow down to a crawl.

3. Wireless Router

You’ll want a nice wireless router for your day trading computer setup. We prefer our own, rather than the one the internet provider company will offer you. Their wireless routers are usually less nice than the newer models you can get from the store.

We recently upgraded from a Nighthawk 1900 to a Nighthawk AX6600. 1900 lasted five years without issue, but the antenna became worn and lost in the last six months, and the WiFi range decreased. While 1900 sported a dual-core processor, the AX6600 rocked the quad-core. This modern router will set you up for the next five years and keep everyone in your house happy while streaming Netflix or games, too! In addition, the router supports Fiber & Internet Plans up to 2Gbps, way more than you would ever need to trade.

Now that we have internet connectivity let’s get into the computer hardware needed to ensure your trading has the best chance of success.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (10)

If you want to run hardcore software for trading, you need a computer to make it all happen without the lag, and potential crashes mid-trade!

Processors (CPU) for Day Trading Computer Setup

The central processing unit (CPU) is your computer brain and is the primary component responsible for interpreting and executing most of the commands from the software you are using. The clock speed of a processor is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and it signifies the number of tasks it can process in a second.

Some processors have a single-core, while others may have a dual-core or quad-core. Each core represents an individual processing unit so that a dual-core CPU can handle twice the instructions every second as a single-core processor. A quad-core processor can process four times as much information. This drastically improves performance.

We recommend using a processor or tower with at least a Quad-Core (Intel i7).

Hard Drive

Your computer’s hard drive keeps all your data and programs. Since storage is becoming more inexpensive nowadays, you should get a solid-state (SSD) computer. SSDs are much faster and more efficient than older hard disk drives (HDD), also known as “spin drives.”

There are also hybrid drives that are half SSD and half HDD. You can stick with an SSD for your day trading computer setup, as this is the fastest. For example, on average, booting a computer from an SSD takes about 10 seconds.

For size, a500GB SSD drive should be more than enough, especially if you only use it for trading and not as a general-use computer for the family. We like the Samsung drives and have upgraded to them in our computers.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (11)

Best Trading Tools

The Bullish Bears Team created a list of the best trading tools. Our reviews give detailed breakdowns of the positives and negatives of scanners, charting software, journaling, and simulators.

View List


Random Access Memory, RAM for short, is what allows the computer that allows you to run multiple programs more efficiently. A computer’s hard drive is its long-term memory, and RAM is its short-term memory.

As a trader, you and your computer will be trying to multitask and run a variety of programs and calculations at the same time. The more programs you run on your computer, the more RAM you want. Such requests don’t get backed up while you work.

You’ll want to make sure you have enough RAM. The powerful and blazing-fast Corsair Vengeance allows plenty of space for your trading software to be installed. We like the Corsair brand. However, it’s most important the RAM fits in your computer!

Recommended Specs: At least 8GB, but we generally prefer 16GB at a minimum. Anything less than that would not allow you to install enough programs. Make sure you verify your computer’s RAM type before purchasing an upgrade.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (12)

Stock Signals & Alerts

The Bullish Bears offers our community members stock signals, scanners, and Discord bots. These advanced tools can be used once you've learned your trading style in our courses.

Learn More

Graphics Card

We have personally used the Nvidia Quadro K1200 if you are using multiple monitors. It’s a basic multi-monitor video card that won’t break the banks. Unfortunately, video cards have been extremely priced lately. For single monitor setups, the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050. Suppose you need additional monitors added and easily via USB to HDMI. We use an external video adapter that connects to your USB port and gives you two extra HDMI connections, allowing two extra monitors! We like the ASUS 24″ monitors connected to this.

If you use multiple displays, you will want a strong graphics card. This is because your computer’s graphics card displays all your computer’s information.

The more powerful the graphics card is, the better graphics and more screens you can have. You’ll want an Nvidia graphics card with at least 4GB of memory. We stick with Nvidia because of its strong brand name, reliability, and advanced processing. I am a fan of the new GTX 2080 series and have been running one in my main tower for two years, and I love it.

You also will need some adapters for the mini-display ports to HDMI and some HDMI cables. Also, you will need a DP to VGA cable and a mini DP to DP cable.

Monitors, Screens, and More Screens

Once you get your trading computer, you’ll want to focus on how many monitors you want. In addition, you’ll want to ensure the monitors are compatible with your computer, so you don’t need to buy an adapter.

We are using a Dell P4317Q as part of our setup. We like the single monitor, no bezels, 4k screen, low power consumption, and ease of use to connect four outputs to one device that cleanly breaks everything down into four charts.

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (13)

Dell makes a great monitor specifically for day traders in mind. If you can spare the extra cash for this monitor – get it! Just make sure you have the space to fit it. It’s big!

How many monitors should you get? Well, that’s both up to you and what your hardware will support. Some people are comfortable using one monitor, while others want an operations center’s worth.

Just remember, more isn’t necessarily better. Make sure you use your space and devices to their limit, and then ask yourself what you need. You’ll want to balance real estate space and unnecessary distractions.

Here are a few different trading setups for you to look at. We use two desks, six screens on one, and a laptop with an ASUS USB monitor on the other. We need it between Trade-Ideas, FlowTrade, all our social media, trading software, and extra charts. Trade-Ideas, FlowTrade, all our social media, trading software, and extra charts – we need it!

How Do I Set Up Multiple Monitors for Trading?

Having multiple monitors is a big part of trading nowadays. It allows traders to view multiple charts all at once, incorporate a news feed, and pretty much show anything relevant without swapping between programs. Unfortunately, there can be limiting factors, such as the number of connections a computer might have or just not having the correct port.

Luckily, a few different ways around this issue can allow you to run the multi-monitor setup of your dreams.

DisplayPort for Trading Computers

It was mentioned a few times in the article, but if you missed it, monitors with a DisplayPort can be daisy-chained together. You can run a single DisplayPort cable from your computer and then interconnect your monitors with that single input. This can only work with Windows 10, though, and it has some minor performance impacts, although these probably won’t be evident unless you push your machine to the max.

HDMI Display Hub

HDMI has been one of the most popular formats for display ports for quite a while, so a wide range of monitors and TVs incorporate it. Unfortunately, as new technology develops, these become less common to include on newer systems.

However, the solution to having multiple HDMI monitors is pretty simple. It requires a display hub like the j5create USB-C to 4 Port HDMI Adapter Hub- Multi Monitor Splitter. This allows multiple HDMI monitors to be connected without a built-in HDMI port.

Final Recommendations: Day Trading Computers

Below are some handpicked devices that we recommend for a solid trading setup. If you are looking for the best technology with flawless performance for trading, look no further!

Top Laptops for Trading:
Great Power: Asus Tuf Gaming Laptop 15.6 With 64 GB of RAM!!!
Great value and Power: Dell 7000 Inspiron 2-in-1 17.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop

Best Valued Single Screen Monitor:
LG 34″ IPS WFHD Ultrawide Freesync Monitor

Best Dual Monitor Mount For 34″ and Under Monitors:
AmazonBasics Premium Dual Monitor Stand

Top Internet Router:
Budget: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
Performance: NETGEAR AX6600

Day Trading Computer Setup and Equipment (2024)


What computer setup do I need to day trade? ›

A good day trading computer will have similar specifications as a good gaming computer, except that the graphics card is not as important as for gaming. Here are the important specs you should look for: RAM: Preferably at least 16GB. Processor: Minimum of 6-cores (i5), but more is better (i7, i9, M1, or M2)

What are the minimum computer requirements for day trading? ›

To sum up: You'll want 8 to 16 GB for RAM, at least 2.8 GHz for CPU speed, good peripherals, and at least 2 GB for graphics card memory.

What is a good setup for day trading? ›

What is a good setup for day trading? A good day trading setup includes a powerful computer or laptop, high-resolution monitor or monitors, ergonomic desk and chair, reliable charting software, high-speed internet connection, and access to real-time news feeds and stock scanners.

Is my computer fast enough for day trading? ›

For day trading you want to go for a quad-core setup, with at least 2.8 GHz, though 3.3 GHz or more is recommended. This is one of our favorite Intel Processor for day trading but there are also more expensive options that may be better as well.

How to setup a computer for trading? ›

Trading requires lots of memory. Your trading computer setup should have a minimum of 16GB of RAM and preferably more. Most trading applications work fine with DDR4, but we have found that Thinkorswim runs better with DDR5 memory.

How much Internet speed do I need for day trading? ›

That said, the minimum upload speed that your day trading internet needs to have is 500 kilobytes or 0.5 megabytes. If your internet service provider is offering you a speed of 0.5 megabytes, you will encounter very small amount of slippage, meaning that your orders won't face any serious delays.

Is $1000 enough to day trade? ›

Believe it or not, you can start forex day trading with $1,000 or even less. It requires mastering position sizing and managing risks, but if you navigate your way to success, the rewards can be significant. In this article, we will discuss in detail how you can day trade with $1000.

What is the best laptop for day trading? ›

The Best Laptops for Stock Trading
  • Buy the Dell XPS 15 if you want the overall best laptop for stock trading.
  • Buy the M2 MacBook Air 15 if you want the best Apple laptop for stock trading.
  • Buy the Zenbook Pro Duo 15 if you want the best dual-screen laptop for stock trading.
Jan 12, 2024

Is 16GB RAM enough for day trading? ›

But to be completely safe, day traders should go for at least 8 GB of RAM, though 16 GB would help your laptop run more smoothly. It's also possible to expand your RAM if your laptop quickly runs out of it, but you should ensure that your laptop's motherboard has enough slots to store extra RAM microchips.

How should a beginner start day trading? ›

Here is a day trading guide for beginners
  1. Learn the basics of the stock market.
  2. Choose a broker.
  3. Set up a demo account.
  4. Develop a trading strategy.
  5. Start small.
  6. Be patient.
  7. Manage your risk.
  8. Take breaks.

What is the most profitable time to day trade? ›

The opening period (9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time) is often one of the best hours of the day for day trading, offering the biggest moves in the shortest amount of time. A lot of professional day traders stop trading around 11:30 a.m. because that is when volatility and volume tend to taper off.

What type of day trading is best for beginners? ›

Overview: Swing trading is an excellent starting point for beginners. It strikes a balance between the fast-paced day trading and long-term investing.

How many monitors for day trading? ›

With the exception of ultrawide monitors (which we'll get to later), most monitors can comfortably fit a maximum of four charts. If you want to track 12 charts simultaneously, you should have at least three monitors. If you want to simultaneously track 16 charts, you should use at least four.

What is the best GPU for day trading? ›

The main advantage of Quadro cards over gaming cards is the stability and predictability of their drivers and hardware design. If you primarily use your machine for trading software, then we recommend Nvidia Quadro cards.

How much does a trading setup cost? ›

So, the cost of assembling a trading screen setup with around 4 monitors would clock just over Rs 1 Lakh.

What laptop is best for day trading? ›

The Best Laptops for Stock Trading
  • Buy the Dell XPS 15 if you want the overall best laptop for stock trading.
  • Buy the M2 MacBook Air 15 if you want the best Apple laptop for stock trading.
  • Buy the Zenbook Pro Duo 15 if you want the best dual-screen laptop for stock trading.
Jan 12, 2024

What type of computer is used for stock trading? ›

WORLD'S FASTEST COMPUTER FOR TRADING NEW - AMD RYZEN 9 7950X - 16 Core Processor Benchmark 63,977
ProcessorAMD RYZEN 9 7950X 16 CORE Processor @ 5.7Ghz Max Boost - Benchmark Score 63,977
Processor CoolingLiquid Cooling
RAM16 GB - Upgradeable to 128GB
Hard Drive500 GB M.2 NVME Solid State Drive - upgradeable to 2TB
4 more rows

Do you need a high end PC for trading? ›

MYTH: Traders need a souped-up, high-end gaming computer to trade on. FACT: Gaming computers usually cost more than traders really need to spend. Traders don't need a graphics card that does fancy 3D acceleration better than any other card on the market. Gamers want immersive graphics.

Can I use a normal laptop to day trade? ›

You might be wondering: Can you day trade with a laptop? You can, of course, day trade with a laptop. As a matter of fact, we believe you might even trade better the fewer screen, bells, and whistles you have. You can thrive day trading with a laptop!

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