Oct 07

My Trading computer

I figured I might as well update an old blog post about my trading computer. Now, when it comes to trading, having a fast computer is a lot like having a big penis when it comes to sex: sure it is nice, but knowing how to use it matters much more, and the most important thing is just having a tool that is adequate.


First, the most visible part: I have 8 monitors, with the bottom center two monitors being the same ones from 7 years ago; the rest of the monitors are 22″ to 24″ monitors of various makes. Frankly, monitor quality doesn’t matter for trading so a cheap monitor of decent quality is fine. My monitor stands are a hodge-podge and if I did this over again I would make the monitors all the same and put more thought into proper monitor stands. I have Ergotron quad-monitor stands holding the four bottom monitors. Each of the upper-row monitors is held by its own Atdec monitor pole.

Besides the monitors, the most important part of my computer (not shown) is the APC Pro 1000 UPS — If I lose power I want to be able to have enough time to close out day-trade positions. I have only two monitors and the CPU on the UPS. I have a separate UPS for my internet router and wifi access point.

As to the guts of the computer, I just upgraded to something that is insanely overpowered. Keep in mind that I do some things that are very CPU-intensive that most other traders never do. Here are the specs:

ASRock X99 Extreme4 LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (one of the cheaper LGA 2011-3 motherboards)
Intel Xeon E5-2680V4 Broadwell 2.4 GHz 14 x 256KB L2 Cache 35MB L3 Cache LGA 2011-3 120W BX80660E52680V4 Server Processor
64GB Kingston HyperX Fury (4 x 16G) DDR4 2133 Desktop Memory DIMM (288-Pin) RAM HX421C14FBK4/64
SAMSUNG 950 PRO M.2 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V5P512BW (I strongly recommend NVME M.2 solid state drives over other SSDs or hard drives — they are so much faster)
eVGA GEFORCE GTX 970 SC+ ACX 2.0+ (I have two of these; they are about one year old but I saw no need to upgrade)

The most expensive parts of the computer by far are the CPU which has 14 cores and cost $1700 and the two video cards (each with 4 monitor outputs) that cost $300 each. I could easily get similar performance by overclocking a high-end desktop processor but that generates extra heat (already a problem for me in my office in the summer) and risks making the computer less stable. While none of the programs I run require a super-fast processor, I run a lot of programs so having many cores is useful. However, almost any other trader would be fine with a quad-core Skylake processor and 95% of the time my prior six-core processor was fine for me in the past (but I will be requiring a lot more of my CPU presently).

Disclaimer. I have positions in some of the stocks that are shown on my screen and I may close or add to those positions at any time. I subscribe to all the chatrooms and news services shown on my monitor. This blog has a terms of use that is incorporated by reference into this post; you can find all my disclaimers and disclosures there as well.








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  1. Dave Miller


    I’m dmilmagic in PRofit.ly and you referred me to this blog post via internal message this morning. I want to share with you what I bought for myself to trade from.


    I hope to have it in a week or so. It will support up to 8 monitors I beleive but I don’t see myself ever needing that many.

    I know it isnt necessary to have such a powerful machine but I wanted to maximize my speed and efficiency. If it can keep me from losing out on a trade or two due to not having the proper setup, then it will pay for itself pretty quickly. I am also using Samsung curved 37″ LED monitors (one to start with) and thanks to your blog, I am going to get an APC. I didnt even think about that until you suggested it.

    What trading platform do you recommend? I currently use e*Trade and I subscribed to Stocks to Trade but I’m not impressed with it to be honest with you. I just signed up with Interactive Brokers from Tim Sykes recomendation and waiting for the account to be funded so I can try it out. I came across a platform that looks really nice called TC2000. http://www.tc2000.com Are you familiar with this one?

    One last thing, I signed up to be one of Tim’s Millionare Challenge students. I read that you help him with this program. I hope I get to work with you at some point in the future.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Dave Miller

  2. Michael Goode

    I have heard of TC2000 and have run across some successful traders who use it. Other than that I can’t say much. Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms are great (with the exception of OTC stocks, for which they have bad quotes that cannot be relied upon). I do still give monthly webinars for the Challenge and answer questions via email.

  3. luckyskum

    Do you find IB stock loan team is more reliable than others with regards buy-ins on borrow pulls?
    What brokers do you like for OTC?


    1. Michael Goode

      I get the fewest forced buy-ins at IB. I use IB and Centerpoint for OTC stocks but for cheap ones they are far from ideal because of the per-share commissions.

  4. POUYA

    I use Dell workstation laptops (M6700 & M7710) with customized part to high end. Using them I could drop UPS. Graphic cards I selected can support up to 4 monitors. I use Dell’s docking stations with all cables attached to it. So I can take laptop away just by pushing a button or putting it back in place with a just a single push and have all cables connected.

    1. Michael Goode

      Yep that is a good way to do it.

  5. POUYA

    …. and an internet stick as back up for internet if my main internet provider/WIFI fails.

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