The video card, also known as a GPU or graphics card, is responsible for the video output that gets displayed on your monitors. Having a graphics card that is capable of handling the demands of a trading computer is essential for productivity.
There are endless options for video output in any computer. Most cheaper, store bought machines will have integrated graphics only that utilize Intel’s onboard graphics capabilities. While you can get by with this if you are only using one or two screens, having a dedicated graphics card makes a huge difference in the overall performance of a computer, and even more so in a trading computer.
Modern graphics card can handle displaying output in both 2D and 3D. The best cards for traders are Quadro and RTX cards from NVIDIA. At this point in time, we categorize cards into 4 main areas. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each type of card.
Lower cost cards that are categorized as gaming cards but really can’t be used for modern, high end games at high settings. Examples of this are the NVIDIA 1030 GT or some of the older cards such as the 710GT. The list of cards we could list would seem endless. There are a lot of these cards in the $40 to $120 range that are good at low end gaming and 2D, and most have the capability to connect from 2 to 3 monitors per card.
We’ll sometimes list some of the older cards if it makes sense to have them in our inventory. Often, we like to have some lower priced cards for customers that are within a strict budget. The only issue is if you’re looking for a low cost, dual monitor trading computer it makes more sense just to go with the integrated GPU from Intel or AMD. Often, the integrated graphics perform better than the lower cost cards.
These are excellent at 3D gaming and will play most modern games adequately, but not on high settings. Examples are the NVIDIA 1050 GTX, 1650 GTX or 1660 GTX. The 3050 RTX could even be put in this category. These cards support from 3 to 4 monitors per card depending on the model.
This type of card has much lower power consumption than higher-end cards, which is perfect for a trading computer. Lower power consumption means less heat and lower wattage power supplies can be used. Most of the time this type of card will have one 6-pin, or one 8-pin power connector required, whereas the higher end cards will require multiple 8-pin power connectors.
The main reason we keep this type of card as an option is the availability of older ports such as DVI. DVI is still a common connection type on older monitors. Over the past 20 years there have been millions of monitors sold around the world with DVI input connections, and many of these screens might not even have HDMI as an option.
Newer monitors almost exclusively have both HDMI and DisplayPort connections. The vast majority of monitors in the world that have been sold are 1080p monitors with DVI ports. So if you’re planning on using an array of old monitors, then using a graphics card such as the 1650 GTX would make sense.
The 1650 GTX we’ve been using in 2022 and throughout 2023 has one DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort. The HDMI and DisplayPort support 4k resolution. The DVI-D port only supports up to 1920×1080. With two of these cards installed, and using HDMI to DVI adapters, you could run an array of four monitors with all DVI ports. This ends up being the perfect option for customers that want to keep their older monitors and not invest more money into new ones. With two additional DisplayPort to DVI adapters you could go up to 6 screens with all DVI or HDMI ports (with two cards installed).
Make sure to check out the current graphics card selections we offer on our trading computers. At some point we probably will be offering a different model then the 1650 GTX. We are committed to continue offering at least one card model with one or more DVI ports (and HDMI) for customers that still want to use some (or all) of their older screens.
We don’t expect all of our customers to purchase an entire new array of expensive monitors. If you’re in the market for a computer and monitors we strongly urge you to buy monitors with DisplayPort inputs. We have a trading computer bundles page that has all of our bundled systems.
Currently, this would include any 30 series GPU as powerful as the RTX 3060 or higher and 40 series GPUs such as the RTX 4070, 4080 and 4090. When 50 series GPUs are released it would include those as well. These cards are all very expensive and aren’t our first choice for a graphics card in a trading computer.
Using high end gaming cards in a trading computer is possible, but we don’t usually recommend doing it. If you have a specific need for a high-end GPU or want to play computer games in your spare time then one of these cards will work for you, just be prepared to spend quite a bit more on it.
Reliability is a huge concern with these cards, they don’t typically have a long lifespan. They run hot and are often overclocked from the factory. High-end gaming cards have a much higher likelihood of failing.
If you really want a high-end gaming card, we have options to accommodate our customers. Just be aware of the higher pricing, higher wattage (power) usage and long-term reliability concerns.
At Blue Aura Computers, most of the machines we ship out have a new RTX or Quadro card installed. What we like to use in our systems are business RTX cards such as the T600. These cards are specifically engineered for business computers. The hardware and drivers are optimized for professional use and reliability.
We used to use the Quadro P600 and P620 cards, but they’ve been replaced by the newer T400, T600 and T1000 models. In 2023 and into 2024 (or even longer) we anticipate we’ll still be using all 3 of these models, unless newer card models are released. All the cards look almost identical, but have slightly different performance specs. They all have mini-DisplayPorts with adapters that come with the cards to convert the mini to full sized DisplayPorts.
We typically use PNY as our brand of professional RTX cards. The T400 has 3 monitor support, the T600 and T1000 both have 4 monitor support. The T600 has by far been our most popular model, we sell those in most of our trading desktops.
If you’re using ThinkOrSwim, or another GPU demanding trading program then you’ll want an RTX card, we recommend the T600 or T1000. CUDA cores can help quite a bit with some of the popular trading software platforms. CUDA cores allow processing directly on the card at a much faster rate, the more CUDA cores the better your performance will be. The chart below shows a breakdown of the 3 main cards we use and highly recommend for our trading computers. As you can see the main difference between the T600 and the T1000 is the CUDA core count and the Peak FP32 Performance. The T600 provides the best bang for the buck for four monitor support.
|PNY NVIDIA T400||PNY NVIDIA T600||PNY NVIDIA T1000|
|GPU Memory||2 GB GDDR6||4 GB GDDR6||4 GB GDDR6|
|Peak FP32 Performance||1.094 TFLOPS||1.709 TFLOPS||2.5 TFLOPS|
|Memory Bandwidth||80 GB/s||160 GB/s||160 GB/s|
|Max Power Consumption||30 Watt||40 Watt||50 Watt|
|Max Digital Resolution||5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz||7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz||7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz|
|Max Displays||3x simultaneous at 5K – 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz||4x simultaneous at 5K – 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz||4x simultaneous at 5K – 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz|
|Advanced Display Features||Three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs (supporting resolutions such as 3840 x 2160 at 120 Hz and 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz)||Four DisplayPort 1.4 outputs (supporting resolutions such as 3840 x 2160 at 120 Hz and 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz)||Four DisplayPort 1.4 outputs (supporting resolutions such as 3840 x 2160 at 120 Hz and 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz)|
|DisplayPort Connectors||3x mini-DisplayPort connectors – adapters are included to convert the mini-DisplayPort to full size||4x mini-DisplayPort connectors – adapters are included to convert the mini-DisplayPort to full size||4x mini-DisplayPort connectors – adapters are included to convert the mini-DisplayPort to full size|
We use the RTX / Quadro production brand/studio drivers for optimal performance and stability. These drivers are designed and tested to provide long term stability and availability. Drivers and updates are already installed and tested on the trading computers we sell, but if for some reason you need to download the drivers again, they can be found on the NVIDIA driver download page here.
NVIDIA cards are just better. The drivers are more stable and perform better in our opinion. NVIDIA has frequent updates to address any bugs and fixes. There’s superior, more fluid multiple monitor support. NVIDIA cards simply work best for large multi-monitor arrays. Although AMD cards have gotten better, they still don’t perform as well in a trading computer as an equivalently priced NVIDIA card. Rendering 2D content is superior with NVIDIA and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
There are a lot of great NVIDIA cards to choose from. For traders, the best choice is a Quadro or RTX professional card such as the T400, T600 or T1000. Our top pick is the T600 from PNY. This card provides amazing performance for the price point. If you want maximum performance specs, then the T1000 is the card to get. For customers that want three monitor support, the T400 is the perfect choice. All 3 cards can support 4k (and even 5k) resolution with all screens connected. You aren’t required to use 4k screens, a good QHD or even an older HD screen will do just fine as long as it has a DisplayPort connector.
If you’re shopping for a high-end 12 monitor computer, take a look at our Intel 12 monitor trading computer. Also check out or complete list of all Intel trading Computer models.