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Monitoring the Hardware Performance of Your Trading Computer

Monitoring your trading computer has never been easier with simple, built-in tools and features like Windows Task Manager and Device Manager.

Windows Task Manager

Monitoring all the hardware components in Windows 11 is vital for identifying resource-intensive processes and effectively managing system resources. It’s important to be able to effectively monitor your CPU, RAM, hard drive, video card, ethernet and other system components. Achieving success in the trading world heavily relies on maximizing the performance of your trading computer. At Blue Aura Computers, we recognize the significance of closely monitoring your computer’s hardware performance and proactively addressing any areas that require enhancement. If you’re looking to buy a new computer but are uncertain about the components, our team of experts is ready to assist you in evaluating your current system and pinpointing areas for improvement.

You can easily keep a close eye on your system’s performance using Windows 11 built in tools and utilities. Using this information, we can help you choose the right components for your new system when the time is right to upgrade. With our help, you can rest assured that your trading computer will always be running at its best.

Monitor Your Computer With Windows Task Manager

The Task Manager in Windows 11 is a versatile utility that provides you with real-time information about your computer’s hardware and software components. With its powerful features, you can monitor your hardware resource usage, and manage your startup programs. This awesome tool is designed to help you optimize your computer’s performance and keep it running silky smooth!

This guide is a comprehensive overview of the Task Manager in Windows 11. In this exploration, we’ll introduce you to the many features and functions of the Task Manager, showing you how to use it effectively. We’ll start by covering the basics of opening and navigating the Task Manager’s various tabs, and then move on to more advanced features like analyzing resource usage and identifying performance bottlenecks.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid foundation of how the Task Manager works, as well as the critical knowledge to optimize your computer’s performance and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Whether you’re a novice user or an experienced computer enthusiast, this comprehensive guide is sure to provide you with valuable insights and tips for making the most of Windows 11 and give you some insights into your next computer purchase if your current hardware is not up to the job any longer.

How to Open Task Manager

As is often the case, there are numerous methods to accomplish tasks in Windows. While it might be a bit much to show you every possible approach to open Task Manager, becoming accustomed to the different ways of utilizing Windows 11 can prove to be empowering. As you become more familiar with the operating system and ways of doing things, you’ll be able to navigate and operate it more efficiently.

Pretty much everything in Windows can be accomplished with a keyboard shortcut. Opening Task Manager with your keyboard is as simple as pressing the “CTRL + Shift + ESC” keys simultaneously, then let go of all the keys. Windows Task Manager will pop right up!

The second way, and our favorite way, is to use the Windows search bar. Just type in “Task Manager” and hit the enter key. We often encourage our customers to get used to using the Windows search bar as it’s incredibly intuitive and actually the easiest way to get to anything you need in Windows without clicking through endless menus.

Open Windows Task Manager by searching.

The next way is to “right-click” on any open space on the Windows Task bar. A menu will pop up with “Task Manager” listed.

Right-click on the Task Bar to bring up Windows Task Manager.

Windows Power User Menu

It’s important to quickly mention the Windows Power User Menu. Not only can you open up the Windows Task Manager, but you’ll have access to a core set of tools in Windows including the “Computer Management” and “Disk Management” tools.

The Power User Menu has been a staple feature in Windows 8 and Windows 10, and now in Windows 11. It’s a feature that is likely to persist in future versions of Windows, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with it for long-term convenience.

How do you open up the Power User Menu? By using the keyboard shortcut “Windows Key + X”, or by simply right-clicking on the start button, you can easily access the Power User Menu. The menu will appear just above the start button, providing quick access to a range of useful features and utilities. You can see the Windows Task Manager as one of the options in the Power User Menu.

Right click on the Windows start button or click the "Windows Key + X" to display the power user menu.


If you’ve been a long time Windows user, even back to the Windows 95 days you’ve probably used “CTRL+ALT+DELETE”. Using this keyboard shortcut is another way to bring up the Windows Task Manager.

The CTRL+ALT+DELETE key combination serves a security function that enables users to get back control of the computer. You can force close a frozen, unresponsive application or initiate a shutdown or restart of the computer. Depending on the version of Windows, there may be additional options available.

Windows Task Manager

Congratulations, you should now be looking at the Windows Task Manager! The Task Manager is a really powerful utility that allows you to access to a huge wealth of information regarding the programs and processes currently running. With the Task Manager, you can quickly gain insights into the various applications and background processes operating on your system, along with detailed performance metrics such as CPU/memory utilization, disk usage and network activity.

Having access to all this information can be incredibly helpful in diagnosing and resolving issues that may be impacting your computer’s performance. For instance, you can use the Task Manager to identify which apps are consuming the most system resources and causing your computer to slow down. Additionally, you can use the Task Manager to monitor network activity and detect problematic and suspicious processes that may be trying to access your computer without your knowledge.

Overall, the Task Manager is an indispensable tool for anyone who wants access to all their system’s performance and take control over running programs and processes.

An improved new look for the Task Manager.

As we transitioned into 2023, the Task Manager went through a significant visual overhaul. The previous horizontal row of tabs has been replaced by a vertical list of seven sections on the left-hand side. It’s essential to understand the most relevant sections and what to keep an eye out for in the updated interface. In the following discussion, we’ll focus on the most critical sections of the new Task Manager.

Your Task Manager window should look similar to the image below. Of course, the list of “Apps” and “Background processes” will be different. This is a simple example of the Task Manager with a minimal number of apps running. In the event the window appears too small either horizontally or vertically, we recommend resizing it to ensure that all the relevant information is visible.

Windows 11 Task Manager Processes.

Task Manager Processes

In the image above, you will find the “Processes” section, which offers a concise snapshot of the apps currently running on your PC. In this example, the displayed list reveals a modest assortment of running applications. Among them are, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Excel, Notepad, Notepad++, Task Manager (yes, it shows itself running), and Windows Explorer. Additionally, this section displays the “Background processes” that are operating, which may not be directly related to the currently running apps but are involved in maintaining the functionality of the operating system among other things.

Take a look in the image where it says “Google Chrome (38)”. The 38 in parentheses refers to the instances of Chrome running on your system, but it’s worth noting that these instances are not the same as the number of open browser windows/tabs. Chrome creates separate instances for extensions and other things that can contribute to the total number of instances that are shown (cookies, etc).

CPU Performance

Next, try clicking on “Performance”. In Windows 11, the Task Manager’s Performance section allows you to observe the current usage of essential hardware components like the CPU, memory, disk, ethernet, and video card. By simply navigating through the sidebar and selecting a specific component, you gain access to pertinent real-time data related to that particular hardware element. This comprehensive monitoring feature offers valuable insights into system performance and resource allocation.

Click on the “CPU” hardware element to see more details. In this example, we have a Core i7 10700K installed and you can see the current CPU utilization. The “Up time” is how long the system has been running since you last shut it down completely.

Windows task manager CPU performance section.

Resource Monitor

While many users primarily rely on Task Manager to check system resources and terminate processes, Resource Monitor offers a more advanced and comprehensive alternative. Serving as a powerful utility, Resource Monitor provides a meticulous overview of PC resources. It offers dedicated tabs to monitor CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network usage, offering a granular view of resource allocation and utilization. Despite its capabilities, Resource Monitor tends to be overlooked by users. Although not concealed in Windows 11, there are multiple ways to access this invaluable tool.

When you are in the “Performance” section click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the Task Manager window, you’ll see an option for “Resource Monitor”. While this tool may overwhelm some users with its abundance of information, it’s still valuable to know how to access it when the need arises. Having the knowledge and ability to navigate to this tool ensures that you have a resource at your fingertips, even if you may not utilize all the information it provides on a regular basis.

CPU Performance Bottleneck

If you consistently observe your CPU usage reaching close to 100%, it may be an indication that it’s time to consider upgrading to a faster processor with more cores for your next desktop computer purchase. By investing in a processor that offers higher clock speeds and a greater number of cores, you can significantly enhance your overall computing power and trading performance.

For traders who heavily rely on their CPU for demanding trading activities, opting for the fastest processor available can yield substantial benefits. A high-performance CPU can handle intensive calculations, data processing, and multitasking with ease, enabling smoother execution of trading strategies and quicker analysis of market data.

Memory Performance

In the Memory section you’ll see the total memory and how much is currently being used by the operating system and all running programs. In our example, we are running very few programs so most of the used RAM is being taken up by the operating system. It shows the total memory as 63.9GB which is actually 64GB installed RAM (Windows always shows slightly under the actual amount installed). We’re using 13.6GB.

Windows task manager memory section.

How much RAM do you need?

If you had only 16GB of RAM installed, you would often reach the maximum limit, even during light usage. At present, we highly recommend a minimum of 32GB of RAM, and having 64GB would be even more preferable.

For traders engaged in power trading, relying on multiple charts and custom software, a substantial amount of RAM is necessary. In such cases, we frequently recommend either 64GB or 128GB of DDR5 RAM. Our preferred choice for these scenarios is often the 64GB kits of Crucial DDR5 RAM, which provide optimal performance and reliability. Opting for 64GB of RAM ensures that your system is well-equipped for both current and future trading needs, offering a degree of future-proofing.

128GB of RAM may be seen as excessive for most trading scenarios, it is generally unnecessary. However, even for traders with lighter to moderate usage, investing in a 64GB kit (comprised of two 32GB sticks) is a sensible decision. RAM prices are usually reasonable, making this an opportune area to make a worthwhile investment in your trading setup. By opting for 64GB of RAM, you can enhance the overall performance and efficiency of your system, enabling smooth multitasking and ensuring optimal responsiveness.

Ethernet Performance

Within the Task Manager, you will find the network information section, which provides valuable insights into your network connectivity. This section includes essential details such as the adapter name, connection type, current send and receive speeds, as well as the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses associated with your network connection.

To give you a visual representation of the network utilization, a graph is displayed, showcasing the overall activity of the operating system and any running applications. This graph allows you to monitor the network usage in real-time, enabling you to identify any potential bottlenecks or spikes in network activity.

For a more comprehensive understanding of network activity, you can access further details by simply right-clicking on the graph and selecting the “View network details” option. This provides you with a more detailed breakdown of network usage.

Windows task manager ethernet section.

Disk Performance

Within the Disk section of the interface, you will find a comprehensive overview of all the installed hard drives, each accompanied by their respective driver letters. The C: drive specifically serves as the designated operating system drive. By clicking on the C: drive, you can access detailed information such as the current read/write speeds and the capacity of the drive.

In the provided example, we observe a 1TB C: drive, but it is displayed as 932GB when formatted. This discrepancy between the stated capacity and the formatted capacity is entirely normal. It is a result of the formatting process, where the file system and other essential structures are created on the drive. As a result, the formatted capacity is typically slightly lower than the actual physical capacity of the drive.

Windows task manager disk usage section.

Hard Drive Performance Bottleneck

If you find your current computer frequently experiencing sluggishness, unresponsiveness, and overall slow performance, one of the most effective upgrades you can make is to switch to an M.2 NVMe SSD drive. The difference in performance can be truly transformative. However, it’s worth noting that your existing motherboard may not be capable of harnessing the full potential of the latest SSD drives. Therefore, when considering the purchase of a new computer, it is advisable to opt for the fastest drive available. Opting for a faster drive is often more beneficial than a larger capacity drive.

As of the time of this article, Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSDs represent the pinnacle of storage performance. These cutting-edge drives offer remarkable speed and responsiveness, enabling swift data transfers and significantly reducing loading times. Among the recommended options, both Sabrent Rocket and Samsung have gained a reputation for delivering exceptional performance and reliability.

By upgrading to a Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD, such as those offered by Sabrent or Samsung, you can unlock the true potential of your computer, enjoying lightning-fast data access and a highly responsive computing experience. Say goodbye to sluggishness and embrace the power of state-of-the-art storage technology.

GPU Performance

The GPU section provides you with valuable insights into your PC’s video card, presenting crucial information such as the GPU model, utilization, and various other details. This includes essential information like the amount of dedicated or shared memory and the current driver version.

It’s important to note that this section may not be visible on computers equipped with integrated graphics. Integrated graphics refers to systems where the graphics processing capabilities are integrated within the CPU, eliminating the need for a separate dedicated video card. In such cases, the GPU section may not appear as the system relies on the integrated graphics solution instead. The majority of computers we sell at Blue Aura Computers have a dedicated video card. For systems that do have a dedicated video card, the GPU section serves as a valuable resource, providing you with comprehensive information about its performance and specifications.

Windows task manager GPU video card performance section.

Manage Startup Apps

Within the Task Manager, the Startup tab provides a comprehensive list of all applications that initiate during computer startup. As the presence of multiple startup programs can potentially hinder the performance of the operating system, you can utilize this tab to effectively manage them.

Close Pesky Problem Apps!

Windows has a vexing tendency to allow various applications to automatically launch upon booting into Windows, regardless of your preference. While there are certain types of programs, such as Windows Defender or other antivirus software, that you do want to start automatically, many apps unnecessarily barge into your startup routine, consuming system resources that will affect your PC’s overall performance. However, there’s no need to worry because you can take action. Windows has methods for viewing and disabling startup programs. In Windows 11, you can access this feature through the Task Manager.

Caution is essential when disabling apps! You can sort the apps by their startup status by clicking on the “Status” column. This sorting feature makes it convenient to identify which apps are currently enabled. Proceed with caution by disabling one app at a time and then rebooting your computer to observe the impact.

It’s important to note that numerous apps require startup functionality for various reasons. Therefore, exercise prudence and ensure that you are confident about the safety of disabling a specific app.

Windows task manager startup apps.

Task Manager Settings

Located at the lower left of the Task Manager window, you will find a small gear icon denoting the settings. These settings provide you with some straightforward options to customize your Task Manager experience. For instance, you can modify the app’s theme, choosing between light, dark, or other available options. Additionally, you have the ability to define the default view that appears when you open the Task Manager. If you frequently find yourself checking the performance section, you can set the default start page to “Performance” for quicker access to that information. There are a few other configurable elements within the settings, which are generally self-explanatory. Feel free to explore these options and make adjustments according to your preferences.

Windows task manager settings.

Windows Device Manager

At Blue Aura Computers, we interact with a lot of customers, with many seeking to purchase a multiple monitor trading computer setup. Typically, these conversations revolve around their current system and the recommended upgrades or enhancements that they can purchase to boost their performance.

If you want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what is inside your current system, we highly recommend taking a look at the Device Manager. This powerful tool can provide you with a wealth of information about the various hardware components and peripherals that are inside and connected to your system. By examining the information in the Device Manager, you can gain insights into your system’s capabilities and determine which areas may need improvement to meet your needs better.

Whether you’re seeking specific information about your processor’s model, identifying the connected disk drives, or examining the video cards and USB devices integrated into your system, the Device Manager serves as a reliable source for this info.


The performance of your trading computer plays a vital role in determining your success. At Blue Aura Computers, we recognize the significance of ensuring that your system is operating at its optimal level and identifying areas that require enhancement.

If you find yourself in the market for a new computer but feel uncertain about which one would best suit your needs, our team of experts is ready to provide valuable assistance. Leveraging our deep understanding and expertise in trading computer technology, we can carefully evaluate your existing system and offer informed recommendations for upgrades or new purchase advice for a brand-new trading rig.

When you purchase a computer system from us, you can have complete confidence that you are gaining access to unparalleled expertise and support in optimizing your computer’s performance. At Blue Aura Computers, we are dedicated to providing you with top-notch advice and guidance, ensuring that you unlock the full potential of your trading setup. Allow us to be your trusted ally, dedicated to delivering the finest trading computer setup tailored to your needs. With our expertise and commitment to excellence, we are determined to provide you with nothing less than the very best. Put your trust in us, and together we will build a trading computer setup that exceeds your expectations.