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Selecting the Right Power Supply for a Trading Computer

Reliable power is critical for a high performance trading computer

The power supply is probably the most critical component in your new trading computer. A quality built power supply will be quiet, cool, and have very stable voltages. Lower cost power supplies tend to have fans that are loud, and often don’t have enough heatsinks to dissipate the heat so they get very hot, the voltages can fluctuate and cause instability with your PC.

There are a lot of companies that sell power supplies, but just because there is a label with the company’s name on it doesn’t mean that company actually manufactured it. In reality, there are very few companies that build the units, most companies contract the work out to these few companies and brand them as their own. We feel this is a very important distinction, because the company we have chosen to power most of our computers is SeaSonic. SeaSonic manufactures their own power supplies, as well as units from other companies.

SeaSonic is our favorite manufacturer, their units have very stable voltages and we have very few failures. Honestly, in over 16 years of shipping out trading computers to customers we’ve only had a couple SeaSonic units with any issues, and those we caught during testing.

We currently offer 650w, 850w and 1000w units. The main distinction (besides wattage) is modular vs partially modular. Non-modular power supplies have all the cables attached inside to the unit permanently. Semi-modular only has the CPU and motherboard power cables attached permanently, the other cables can be added and plugged in when needed. Fully modular power supplies come with no cables pre-attached. This is the best way to go because there will be less clutter inside the computer resulting in better airflow. If the unit ever does need to be replaced, it’s much easier to disconnect the wires from a modular power supply.

For our gaming systems and most trading computer models we are steering customers towards the 850w unit and that’s what is pre-selected for most models. This will give you plenty of extra wattage for power hungry gaming cards and especially the newest processors. Modern processors released since 2022 have been increasingly requiring more power and most motherboards now have dual 8 pin CPU power connectors or an 8 pin plus a 4 pin.