The Ultimate Trading Computers Buyers Guide
The Definitive Information Source to Buying a Stock Trading Computer
Stock or forex traders, gamers, medical professionals, engineers, CAD professionals & small business owners - you've come to the right place to find information about a new multiple monitor computer! Our trading computers will increase your productivity as well as your overall computing experience. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are interested in finding out more about a new multiple monitor computer and exactly how one of our computer systems can greatly benefit you.
Our Trading Computers Can Handle Massive Amounts of Market Data
Over the years, trading stocks over the internet has become a full time job for many people. The #1 tool that can help you succeed in this endeavor is a desktop pc specifically built for trading. Our multi monitor computers are specifically designed to handle the massive amounts of market data contiuously streaming into your computer during heavy trading periods.
Powerful trading computers have processors that are able to support the flow of data that is necessary for day trading and investing. When market activity is moving at it's fastest, you need to make sure the computer you are using is able to keep up so that you don't miss out on important investments. If you don't have a computer for trading, you may experience slippage. This happens when you think you are getting one thing, but you actually end up getting a different result because the processor was not able to move fast enough.
A trading computer is a essentially a high end computer designed to process large amounts of "tick data" as well as being able to display the data on multiple screens. The highest level of quality workmanship and passion are infused into every trading system we build at Blue Aura Computers. We've created this guide to help educate and inform customers about all the various components that go into a great trading computer.
What to Look for in a Destop Trading Computer
When people are shopping for a new computer they are still comparing only 3 things - processor speed, hard drive size and the amount of memory (ram) in the system. When shopping for a trading computer, customers would also be looking at the number of monitors the system supports and in the case of a gaming computer customers would be looking at the performance of the video card. There is much more to buying a custom built computer than looking at these 3 factors, you must also look at the motherboard features, hard drive type (SSD vs HDD), memory speed/latency as well as the power supply and expansion capabilities of the system. Our computers offer much more scalability and upgradeability than store bought mass-produced computers. Adding more ram, video cards, monitors or hard drives is not a problem!
Buyers Guide Table of Contents
- Processor (CPU)
- Processor Cooling
- Monitors and Multiple Monitor Arrays
- Cables & Connection Types
- Video Cards
- Memory (RAM)
- Power Supply
- Hard Drives
- Operating System
Also called the CPU (central processing unit), the processor is essentially the "brains" of the computer system. In recent years multi-core processors have emerged & dominated the market as single core processors have rapidly reached the physical limits of possible complexity and speed. Multi-core processor systems have unbelievable speed in multi-tasking, gaming and audio/video editing. You can't compare processors based on speed alone, some processors are more efficient than others and can perform more calculations even at identical speed (GHZ). Intel processors can typically perform more calculations than AMD processors at similarly rated speeds.
Intel vs AMD
The 2 primary CPU manufacturers today are Intel and AMD. In recent years Intel has dominated the market, their chips are generally regarded as faster and run cooler than their AMD counterparts in the same price range. Our recommendation is to stick with Intel though. The primary reason is that Intel chipsets are notorious for having bullet proof reliability. Intel chipsets always work flawlessly with the video cards, memory and hard drives on the market. Intel processors will usually perform more calculations than AMD processors even when both are operating at similar speed (GHZ).
Intel Core Core i5 vs Core i7 vs Core i9
What processor should you be considering in a new trading computer?
- Intel Core i9 9900K 3.6GHz (5.0GHz Turbo Boost) 8 Core, 16 Thread
The majority of systems we sell are on the Z390 platform.
The best processor we sell right now is the Intel Core i9 9900K. This processor is an eight core that runs at a stock speed of 3.6GHz and goes up to 5.0GHz with Intel's built in Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost is not traditional overclocking which can lead to instability. Turbo Boost is an automatic feature with Intel processors, you don't have to do anything to make it work (no bios tweaks or adjustments.) Turbo Boost accelerates the processor for peak loads, automatically allowing the CPU to run much faster than the rated stock speed.
The 9900K is on our Trader 9000 Series Trading Computers. These are the newest 9th Generation processors. Coming in at a close 2nd place is the new Intel Core i7 9700K eight core processor running at 3.6GHz and 4.9GHz Turbo Boost. The 9700K is 8 Cores, 8 total threads. The 9900K is 8 Core, 16 total threads with hyperthreading.
Overclocking a modern processor is actually not all that difficult, despite what other trading computer companies would like you to think. Generally we don't push overclocking on customers and we don't advertise our systems as overclocked. We believe it isn't ethical to advertise the "overclocked" speed of a processor in our product description. Many trading computer companies will take the processors in their lineup and advertise the overclocked speed, as much as 200MHz to 500MHz above the normal stock speed. These companies are selling the same identical processors as everyone else but making it "appear" that they are selling different processors and in many cases overcharging for these systems because they deem them better than their competitors. All these companies are really doing is taking the same processors everyone else is using and tweaking the settings in the bios a little to get a slightly higher clock speed.
Severely overclocked systems, even when done properly, are more prone to overheating, random lock-ups & general instability. Admittedly, Intel's newest chipsets make overclocking so easy to do that mild overclocks are generally safe, anything in the range of 100MHz to 300MHz over stock speed is usually ok and won't usually cause any severe issues. Mild to moderate overclocking doesn't typically give you the bump in performance you would expect though. We just don't believe this modest bump in performance is worth bumping up the voltages and settings in the BIOS, even if done properly. This is a trading computer used as a business tool - stability and long term reliability should rank much, much higher than overclocking.
One overclocking guarantee in any "severely" overclocked computer system is increased heat. When you severely overclock a trading computer you are causing it to run unnecessarily hot, even if you are using liquid cooling (also, most cheap $100 liquid coolers sold on the market today do not cool as well as a $40 aftermarket air cooler - more on this topic in the cooling section). This type of overclocking not only causes excess heat from the processor, but the memory and motherboard chipset also runs hotter. If you've ever seen a bulging capacitor then you know what the possible damage could eventually look like.
Long term, severe overclocking can cause instability - even if the computer is properly overclocked and initially is running stable. The instability might not show itself immediately, and may go entirely unnoticed for months or even years. The solution to all of this is not to overclock, or to overclock the processor very conservatively. We believe having a stable system is better than having a slightly higher 3DMark benchmarking score. You should especially avoid companies using overclocking "hype" to sell their systems. Companies that advertise overclocked trading computers will often advertise it as some sort of voodoo science that no one else can pull off but them - they make it seem that their overclocked systems are worth the excessive amounts of money they are charging.
Processor (CPU) Cooling
Heat is a processors worst enemy, but a good cooler can reduce the heat and extend the life of the processor and ensure that the system will always run 100% stable with zero thermal issues. There are 2 general types of CPU (processor) cooling - a heatsink/fan unit or a water cooling unit. Water cooling has increased in popularity, but in actual real world usage a really good heatsink/fan cooler works just about as good (or better in some cases) than the lower cost water cooling units. Most water cooling units are actually "louder" than traditional heatsink/fan units. Most customers don't believe us when we tell them water cooling is louder, but with a water cooling unit there is a fan on the radiator that generates noise and also the pump that generates noise, 2 items that will be generating noise versus only a fan on a traditional heatsink/fan unit. We've found that the pumps on most of these sub $100 low cost units tend to be noisy, they generate a pump whine that is noticeable. They also pose a risk of fluid leakage (although the risk is typically very small).
Noctua makes the best CPU coolers. These coolers are used by most companies that sell high end custom PCs. The great part is that they are still priced very competitively, these coolers only cost about $30 more than the Cooler Master Hyper 212 coolers we used to use and the Noctua coolers are heavier, built much better and the fans are SILENT!
The Noctua NH-U12S has received over 400 awards and recommendations from the international press. It has a slimmer design that doesn't interfere with RAM installation and removal which means taller RAM modules are not an issue.
- Noctua NH-U12S High End CPU Cooling System - Used in our Trader 6000 and Trader 8000 Series systems.
- Noctua NH-U12DXi4 High End CPU Cooling System - Used in our Trader 9000 Series systems.
- Corsair H60 Hydro Series High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - Used in our Trader 9000 Series systems (recommended for the Intel Core i9 Processors).
Multiple Monitor Arrays & Desk Stands
There are several different factors to consider when deciding what monitors to purchase. We really feel that the most important decision of all is to determine what the max resolution will be. Yes, the screen size, technology and brand are all important considerations but first a good explanation of the resolution types are needed. There are many different monitor resolutions available.
Resolution - HD, WQHD & 4K
Common Resolution Types:
- 720p - 1280x720 Resolution
- 1080p - 1920x1080 Resolution
- WQHD - 2560x1440 Resolution
- 4K - 3840x2160 Resolution
- 5K - 5120x2880 Resolution
WQHD is an abbreviation for Quad HD, usually as QHD. When QHD is in a widescreen format, it's typically called WQHD. In terms of pixels, WQHD has a resolution of 2560x1440. WQHD has a resolution much larger than a 720p HD monitor, but is not as good as 4K. The most common monitor resolution still remains 1920x1080 which is full HD. 4K has a resolution of 3840 x 2160. The more pixels that are on the screen the sharper and more detailed an image can be, this is true for gaming or watching a movie or tv show that is scaled up to this resolution. But for a trader typically using a monitor for charts, web browsing and other "desktop" type activities, higher resolutions are not always ideal. The only way to run a display with a high 4K resolution is to end up using desktop scaling to make anything readable, without scaling most people feel that everything is to small to look at. Keeping your desktop with higher resolutions at a 1:1 ratio leaves all the icons and text so small they are nearly unusable, the only way to keep a 1:1 ratio would be to use a massive 40 inch or larger display which is not always practical sitting on a desk. 24, 27, 28 and 30 inch monitors are the norm. Because of the scaling issues which such high resolutions, we still recommend customers purchase a standard 1920x1080 HD monitor, you might still end up having to set the scaling to 150% or so, the setting is up to each individuals preference on how you want everything to look. Windows will properly scale the text and icons just fine and will look great, but an individual program (trading software, browsers, etc) might not scale properly and could look slightly blurry unless you leave the default scaling at 1:1 which is the default. 4K monitors still cost quite a bit more than a standard HD or even WQHD monitors.
If you are going to purchase monitors at 1920x1080 or higher we strongly recommend that you select Windows 10 instead of Windows 7. Windows 10's scaling is remarkable. Windows 10 text, icons, menus and internet browsing using Edge looks fantastic. We can confirm though that google chrome still looks pretty bad at 1920x1080 resolution with 175% scaling under Windows 10. Of course most people wouldn't have this issue ever because the default scaling in Windows is always set at 1:1 ratio so everything out of the box looks just fine, you will notice little issues like this when you start adjusting the scaling option within Windows display settings. Microsoft's new browser called "Edge" looks wonderful by comparison, the text is crisp and clear, no matter what the scaling % is.
Final Thoughts on Resolution & Scaling
As a trader, primarily using your monitor for desktop use, you don't need to feel compelled to purchase a 4K monitor right now. Really high resolution monitors are nice for games & movies that support it, but are not necessary and won't give you an advantage when trading. Monitors at 2560x1440 or 1920x1080 still look great. Even at these resolutions, you might still need to scale things up a bit, depending on the screen size you chose. As long as the program uses the Windows UI well, scaling looks wonderful in Windows 10, but be aware of software that might not scale properly. Keep in mind that if you do purchase a 4K monitor, Windows does allow you to set the resolution to something lower than 3840x2160 if you need to. If you are set on buying a 4K monitor, our suggestion is to buy one at least 30", even larger than that would be better. As a general rule, the higher the resolution the larger the screen size must be so you don't have to use scaling. Of course technology never stops progressing forward, in the future we will see monitors well above 4K. Dell already has a 5K Ultra HD monitor at 5120x2880 resolution. Our hope is that we've given you a good idea of what to expect with the different resolutions, scaling & screen sizes.
Multiple Monitor Trading Computer Setup
Shown below are 2 images a customer gave us showing his trading computer setup. The case he used was the white Corsair 760T that we still currently have available.
This customer selected our heavy duty six monitor desk stand that holds monitors up to 27". The multiple monitor stands we offer are very heavy duty with thick metal arms as seen in the pics.
In his setup, he ordered 4 ASUS monitors from us and he decided to use 2 of his smaller Dell monitors on the upper left and right corners. Our trading computers can handle an array of monitor of different brands and screen sizes. Many of our customers will order monitors from us, and some use their existing monitors with our heavy duty desk stand.
Cables & Connection Types
We've written a great article on trading computer port types and common adapters used. Read the full article here.
Once you get accustomed to using a computer with multiple monitors you never want to go back! The more monitors you have the easier multi-tasking is, less clicking to find the program you need. The key to a great multiple monitor trading computer is selecting the appropriate graphics cards. Many companies will tell you that you need a super high powered gaming card or some of the really expensive NVIDIA Quadro workstation cards. Mid-range gaming cards work excellent for traders and are much less expensive.
What video cards are best for a trading computer?
There are 2 companies that manufacture the various video card chips. AMD and NVIDIA. Up until recently AMD video cards were formerly known as ATI until they were bought out by AMD. You need to make the decision to go with NVIDIA based cards or AMD, you can't mix and match these cards in the same computer. After years and years of experience with hundreds of different AMD and NVIDIA cards, we have decided to offer only NVIDIA based cards in our trading computers.
"We only use NVIDIA video cards in our trading computers"
We can sum that up in 2 words – BETTER DRIVERS. Over the years we’ve ran into so many different problems with AMD Radeon drivers it could fill a book. NVIDIA drivers are almost always rock solid, we never have issues with driver updates or multiple monitor setups with their cards. NVIDIA drivers are also much more forgiving if a customer decides to mix and match different brands/sizes and resolutions of displays (monitors). As a general rule, it is best to have all of your monitors be identical in the model, size and resolution. We understand though that some customers might want to purchase 4 or 6 new monitors and maybe still use the 1 or 2 they already own and add them to their setup. NVIDIA cards will let you do that easily. Also if you need to use a lot of higher resolution dual-link monitors (4K, 2560x1600 or 2560x1440 resolution) then it is always best to use NVIDIA cards.
We have found over the years that NVIDIA cards have better compatibility with the various trading platforms, the drivers work seamlessly. We’ve also found that NVIDIA cards will work better with older VGA connections, we occasionally get customers that have 4 older monitors that have VGA connections only and they need a system that can drive all 4 of these displays, the DVI ports on many of our NVIDIA mid-range gaming cards are backwards compatible with the VGA connection with a simple inexpensive adapter. It looks for now like DVI will remain the dominant port type on LCD computer monitors, with a gradual move toward HDMI ports & Display Ports for 4K monitors. HDMI ports are small, low power consuming and are more standardized port type. Keep in mind also that DVI and HDMI are completely interchangeable, with an inexpensive adapter to convert between the 2 port types they output the same resolution and image quality to the screen. We ship with all of our trading computers a 15ft. cable that converts the mini-HDMI port on the video card to regular HDMI to plug into your monitor, we also send with an adapter to convert the HDMI to DVI just in case your monitor has DVI ports only. It really doesn’t matter what the connection type is on your monitor (DVI, HDMI, Display Port or VGA), our NVIDIA cards can handle it all just fine and we provide any adapters you need for your monitors.
Video Cards we use in our Trading Computers
We have a wide variety of different video cards to choose from. We often get asked the question - "If I order a 6 monitor trading computer, can I hook up only 4 monitors?" The answer is yes, you can connect as many or as few monitors as you need. We recommend our 6 monitor support NVIDIA 740 GT option for most traders, this gives you 6 digital ports that can connect via DVI or HDMI on your monitor.
- 3 Monitor Support - 2x DVI, 1x HDMI (NVIDIA 710 GT)
- 3 Monitor Support - 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5)
- 4 Monitor Support - 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 with 6GB GDDR5)
- 4 Monitor Support - 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6)
- 6 Monitor Support - 4x DVI, 2x HDMI (NVIDIA 710 GT)
- 6 Monitor Support - 4x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5)
- 8 Monitor Support - 2x HDMI, 6x DisplayPort (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 with 6GB GDDR5)
- 12 Monitor Support - 12x DisplayPort (NVIDIA Quadro P620)
If you've ever peered inside a computer, you've seen the one piece of equipment that ties everything together - the motherboard. A motherboard allows all the parts of your computer to receive power and communicate with one another. The motherboard makes sure all the different components that are hooked together (video card, processor, sound card, etc...) communicate properly and play nicely with each other. Today, motherboards typically boast a wide variety of built-in features and they directly affect a computer's capabilities and potential for upgrades. There are literally hundreds of different brands & models of motherboards on the market at any given time. Our job is to sift through and test the best boards on the market - we ONLY offer the highest quality motherboards with the newest most advanced chipsets available. This is what separates us from other builders. We've noticed that many companies don't list the brand and model number of the motherboards they are using, especially the trading computer websites. We always list the model and specifications so that our customers know they are getting the best!
"We only use ASUS motherboards in our trading computers"
We've been in business for a long time, and over the years we've used motherboards from Gigabyte, EVGA, Intel, MSI, ASRock and ASUS. ASUS is the clear winner. They have much lower failure rates, are better designed and have a more stable and easier to navigate BIOS. ASUS is the largest motherboard manufacturer in the industry! We've done testing many times with different brands with the same chipset and always get better, faster performance with ASUS motherboards.
There are many different motherboard types and sizes, but for a desktop computer there are only 2 types to take into consideration - ATX and Micro ATX. As the names imply, ATX motherboard are full sized, Micro ATX are smaller and more stripped down in terms of features and expandability. We typically only recommend ATX motherboards. ATX is the standard full motherboard size. To save money, many companies choose to use Micro-ATX motherboards. These boards are smaller than ATX (usually about 80% or less of the size of ATX). Micro-ATX motherboards have smaller (and fewer) heatsinks, so they don't cool as well under a heavy load. They also have fewer slots on the board, this means they don't have as much room for future expansion, most only have 2 video card slots versus 3 or more on a standard size ATX motherboard. So be careful when shopping around for a new trading computer, many companies sneak in Micro-ATX motherboards on their lower priced systems in order to make a few extra bucks or to get their prices slightly lower than the competition. Most Micro-ATX boards only cost $50 to $75 less on average than the next full sized ATX model up from it, so we suggest making sure the company you are buying from is using full sized ATX motherboards exclusively. Micro-ATX motherboards should only be in sub $800 PCs, definitely not in trading computers costing $1,200 and up.
Above is an example of a standard sized ATX motherboard versus a Micro-ATX motherboard. Notice the Micro-ATX board only has 4 expansion slots total, and only 2 of them are video card slots which really limits the upgrade potential of the computer that has that motherboard. Also, the Micro-ATX board only has one small heatsink, the full sized ATX board has 3 large heatsinks, it's quite obvious from the picture which motherboard is the better one to have in your trading computer. Ok, we promised not to get too technical with all this component talk, lets go over the key points.
Motherboard Key Points
- Only purchase a trading computer with an ASUS brand motherboard
- Don't purchase a trading computer with a Micro-ATX motherboard (ATX only)
- Make sure the company is showing you what the exact motherboard brand/model is (we show all component brands & models!)
- The motherboard should have 3 video card slots, even if you are only using 1 or 2 slots to begin with. It's nice for future expandability to have more slots in the event you need to add more monitors to your setup in the future
Motherboards We Offer
We usually have several different ASUS motherboards to choose from on either platform.
Trader 8000 Series:
- ASUS PRIME Z390-A (Intel Z390 Chipset, ATX, DDR4, M.2, USB 3.1)
Desktop Computer Memory (RAM)
Think of your system memory as a temporary information buffer between the CPU and the hard drive. If your computer's CPU had to constantly access the hard drive to retrieve every piece of data it needs, it would operate very slowly. When the information is kept in memory, the CPU can access it much more quickly. The more memory your computer has the more "space" is available to store information for the processor to have fast access to. So how much memory do you need? Generally speaking, the more system memory your computer has the better off you'll be. Currently with Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 10 64-bit, either 8GB, 16GB or 32GB is more than enough to handle a system with moderate to heavy usage, we prefer 32GB. We currently allow customers to configure any of our systems with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM.
We believe Kingston & Crucial are by far the best memory manufacturers in the industry. Kingston is one of the oldest and most trusted memory companies in the world. Reliability is the cornerstone of Kingston's product strategy and contributes to the high degree of trust between Kingston and its customers. Kingston memory is specifically engineered and designed to meet the rigorous requirements of high performance PCs. Kingston memory kits offer the best motherboard compatibility and long term reliability for our trading computers. We offer many different memory kits, our goal is to ensure 100% motherboard compatibility when picking out kits to list on our website. Currently we are selling 8GB, 16GB, 32GB & 64GB kits of Kingston & Crucial memory. To ensure our customers receive a rock solid stable system we put our memory through even more extensive testing with 5 different memory testing programs. Every stick must pass each of these 5 tests without a single error before we certify that a stick can be shipped out in a customer's computer.
"Kingston & Crucial are by far the best memory manufacturers in the industry"
Memory Stress Testing
The most well known and easy to use memory testing program is memtest86+. We run Memtest86+ for 24 hours on every stick of memory. We also run a windows based memory testing program for another 24hours on each stick, as well as a program called Prime95. Over the years, Prime95 has become extremely popular among PC enthusiasts and overclockers as a stability testing utility. It includes a "Torture Test" mode designed specifically for testing PC subsystems for errors in order to help ensure the correct operation of Prime95 on that system. Prime95 is great because it not only tests the CPU and overall system stability but it also torture tests the RAM. If there is even one bad sector in the RAM Prime95 will error out. After running Prime95 for 24 hours with no errors we can be sure our customers will receive a rock solid system.
Memory Kits We Offer
The memory kits listed below are for our Trader 8000 Series systems. Trader 9000 memory kits should be the same, but might vary slightly depending on the current chipset and motherboard capacities.
- 8GB DDR4-2666 RAM (two 4gb sticks)
- 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM (two 8gb sticks)
- 32GB DDR4-2666 RAM (two 16gb sticks)
- 64GB DDR4-2666 RAM (four 16gb sticks)
- 64GB DDR4-2666 RAM (two 32gb sticks)
The power supply unit (PSU for short) is the most overlooked component in a custom built pc. This one piece of hardware is the lifeblood of your machine! If there is any one component that is absolutely vital to the operation of a computer, it is the power supply. The most important fact to know about modern power supply units is the name brand you see on the product is not necessarily the actual manufacturer of it. In fact, there are far fewer companies that actually manufacture power supplies than most people realize. Most power supplies on the shelf are simply branded, meaning they pay some other company to manufacture it for them and they put a label on it and market it under their own company name.
Seasonic & some models of Corsair & Antec are the only power supplies we recommend putting in ANY custom built computer. If you are shopping around on other sites stay clear of all other brands. We’ve had decent luck over the years with certain Corsair models but seem to have bad luck with the fans on any of the Corsair “Builder Series” products. Antec is also a decent company, we’ve had good luck with many models from them and still keep them under consideration when analyzing what components will be added to our product line. Seasonic is the best manufacturer in our professional experience with the lowest failure rates and most stable voltages to deliver clean power to all the components.
"SeaSonic is the #1 Best Power Supply Manufacturer"
In the power supply realm when consumers think of quiet and efficient power supplies one of the first companies that come to mind is Seasonic. Seasonic is one of the older companies producing consumer power supplies having been founded in 1975 and entering the PC power supply production market in 1980. We can say without any doubt that SeaSonic is one of the best PSU manufacturer’s around the world (in our opinion THE BEST!) During that more than 30 years as a company Seasonic has cultivated lines of power supplies that are today some of the standard bearers for efficiency and quiet computing. This focus, and its reputation for quality, has lead to a real explosion in production as Seasonic can be found providing OEM services on various model lines for Antec, Corsair and of course under its own Seasonic brand. Over the years, we have used power supplies from nearly every company imaginable, and we can definitively say that SeaSonic makes the absolute "quietest" units on the market. If one of your goals is to buy a quiet computer then Seasonic is the brand to get!
Power Supplies We Offer
We have a huge variety of different power supplies to choose from. The one we recommend most is our 620W SeaSonic, this unit is perfect for any of our Trader 8000 or 9000 series trading computers.
- 650 Watt SeaSonic 80+ GOLD Certified - Hybrid Silent Fan Control - Fully Modular
- 850 Watt SeaSonic 80+ GOLD Certified - Hybrid Silent Fan Control - Fully Modular
A hard disk drive (HDD) is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, primarily computer data. A traditional mechanical hard drive consists of one or more rigid (hence "hard") rapidly rotating discs (often referred to as platters), coated with magnetic material and with magnetic heads arranged to write data to the surfaces and read it from them. A second type of hard drive is called a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD.) In contrast to traditional mechanical hard drives, SSDs use microchips that retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. Compared to electromechanical HDDs, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are silent, have lower access time and latency, but are more expensive per gigabyte (GB). To put it even more simply, SSD's are much, much faster and are best suited to be used as the primary drive the operating system is installed on and larger capacity mechanical hard drives can be used as data storage drives.
An SSD improves your computer's performance - they are faster, more stable and more reliable than a traditional HDD. Because an SSD has no moving parts, it lasts much longer than an HDD and SSD owners enjoy an MTBF (the expected lifespan) that far exceeds mechanical drives. In addition, SSDs have vastly superior data transfer speeds, allowing you to move large movie files or folders incredibly faster than a standard HDD. Store your operating system and frequently used programs on the SSD for lightning quick boot times and load times for the software you use the most. With the OS and other programs on the SSD, you will have even more space available on your standard HDD, which means you don't have to worry about your ever-increasing game, movie and music collections. Faster, smaller and more durable, an SSD allows for a smoother, more streamlined computing experience. Configure your new system from Blue Aura Computers with an SSD and get the most out of your new rig!
New M.2 Solid State Hard Drives Now Available!
What exactly is an M.2 solid state hard drive? Basically it is just a hard drive that plugs into a special slot on the motherboard. These new hard drives are slightly faster than traditional SSD drives. The standard SATA 3.0 ports found on all modern motherboards are beginning to limit the performance of SSDs. A new interface had to be created in order for motherboards to take advantage of the ever increasing speeds of SSD drives. M.2 allows an SSD to connect directly to the PCI-E bus rather than going through the SATA controller. Theoretically an M.2 SSD can achieve a speed that is over three times faster than a standard SATA III SSD at a 600MB/s!!!
Most of the motherboard now come with two M.2 slots on the board. If you select two of the M.2 drives one will be the primary boot drive that Windows is installed on and the other drive will be an additional data drive.
Our #1 Recommended Hard Drive
Samsung 970 EVO or Pro. The EVO version gives you a little bit more bang for the buck and the speed difference between the two is very minimal. Most customers select a 250GB or 500GB capacity, we also offer 1TB and 2TB. This drive will be the primary boot operating system drive.
Hard Drives We Offer
We have a huge variety of different hard drives to choose from.
- 480GB Solid State Drive - Kingston SSD SATA III
- 500GB Solid State Drive - Samsung 860 EVO Series SSD SATA III
- 1TB Solid State Drive - Samsung 860 EVO Series SSD SATA III
- 2TB Solid State Drive - Samsung 860 EVO Series SSD SATA III
- 500GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSD
- 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSD
- 512GB Samsung 970 Pro Series PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSD
- 1TB Samsung 970 Pro Series PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSD
Cases have evolved drastically over the past 10 years, not only in style, but in functionality and features. A computer case is also frequently referred to as the chassis. Cases are most commonly constructed out of a combination of aluminum, steel and plastic. We recommend cases that contain more steel than aluminum. Steel is a much stronger and heavier metal which produces a much quieter system. Cases made entirely out of aluminum tend to vibrate more and dent easier. The cases that we use are constructed primarily out of thick steel.
There are a myriad of case choices available today. The 2 main case types are ATX Mid Tower & ATX Full Tower. Mid Tower cases are of course smaller than ATX Full Tower cases, the exact physical dimensions will vary. ATX Full Tower cases will not usually fit inside a standard desk enclosure, to some people this is an important consideration when choosing a case. Most ATX Mid Tower cases will fit inside a standard desk enclosure, though it is recommended that you measure the desk enclosure and compare that with the exact dimensions of the case you are looking at to ensure that it will fit.
Our Favorite Trading Computer Cases
Fractal Design, Cooler Master & Corsair are by far the best case manufacturers offering the best case materials and features. The cases we offer all provide plenty of room for long video cards, multiple hard drives & add-ons. Anti-vibration pads offer superior noise reduction & the cable management systems assist with cable routing and neatness. All of our cases offer front panel USB ports and front panel audio ports. All the cases we use are exceptionally quiet.
"Fractal Design, Cooler Master & Corsair are the Best Case Manufacturers"
Our 2 favorite desktop computer cases are the Fractal Design Define R6 & the Cooler Master H500P, these cases are great to look at and we really enjoy using them in our builds. We've used cases from nearly every manufacturer for over a decade and can easily say that Fractal Design & Cooler Master offer cases superior to all other manufacturers. Their cases are the quietest we've ever used, in fact the Define R6 is nearly silent, you have to really strain your ears up close to hear the case fans or any other internal noise.
The Fractal Design Define R6 is developed with high-performance computer systems in mind. Featuring 5 high performance Silent Series GP-14 fans, the Define R6 layout maximizes airflow throughout the case and keeps even the most demanding systems at cool temperatures. The chassis comes complete with a stylish tempered glass side panel & also a solid side panel for customers that don't want a clear glass window. There are 3 removable dust filters that are easy to clean. The R6 has the highest level of workmanship, flexible hard drive mounting system and plenty of space for cable routing. We install a total of 5 silent case fans. 2 Front fans and three rear 140mm fans. Optionally, customers can also select the blue led version where we will install 2 front fans with blue lighting.
Computer Cases We Offer
We have a wide variety of different cases to choose from.
- Fractal Design Define C - Tempered Glass Side Panel
- Fractal Design Define R6 - Solid Side Panel
- Fractal Design Define R6 - Tempered Glass Side Panel
If you're still a little nervous about the jump to Windows 10, don't be! Windows 7 is now a decade old and can't keep up with modern hardware. The biggest reason we love Windows 10 is it's much more seamless multiple monitor support. Windows 10 has had 4 years to mature as an operating system since it's realease in 2015. It's had 7 massive feature updates and is faster and more secure than any version of Windows to date.
At the end of the day, Windows 10 is a solid modern operating system. We’ve used it for 4 years and we think it’s a vast improvement over Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. You'll be impressed how much faster Windows 10 is over 7. It boots faster, comes out of sleep mode faster and works better with all the newest hardware.
Windows 7 vs Windows 10 – Performance
One of the least talked about improvements of Windows 8, and subsequently Windows 10, is that it includes a bunch of performance upgrades. Largest among these is boot-up time, which is much quicker. Better hardware acceleration and a host of other tweaks mean general navigation feels quicker also. Power management has also been much improved.
Gaming performance of Windows 10 is slightly better than Windows 7, but with Windows 10 will come exclusive access to DirectX 12, which promises to unlock more performance from your existing hardware. Windows 7 will not ever get DirectX12. It may all seem like trivial stuff, but Windows 10 offers a multitude of base level improvements when added up is hard to ignore.
We hope you've enjoyed reading through our trading computers buyers guide. Our goal was to provide you with enough information to feel confident in your next desktop computer purchase.
These are the #1 best selling, cutting edge trading computers in the world. Our system are built to run cool, quiet and efficient - these computers built to last! There are probably several different trading computer sites you are considering. I sincerely hope you choose us at Blue Aura Computers! Our systems are backed by an outstanding warranty and free Lifetime Labor and free Tech Support as long as you own it! Also, we never charge for labor on repairs or upgrades, even if the computer is no longer within the warranty period! Many of our components come with 3 to 5 year manufacturer’s warranties and we will replace the component under the manufacturer’s warranty at no additional cost to you.
What’s important is to find the company this is the best fit for you. The most important thing is to get a trading computer built by a company that specializes in custom built multiple monitor computers for traders instead of just walking in to a local retail chain and buying a pre-packaged cheap tower. Our systems have better components and the total cost of the system will almost always be the same or less than our competitors. Our pricing guarantee will match any of our competitor’s prices and we will still use the higher end components.
7 Common Mistakes When Buying a New Trading Computer
- Mistake #1 - Overpaying!
- Mistake #2 - Buying a system based on "overclocking hype".
- Mistake #3 - Using Windows XP or Vista. 32-Bit XP was great in it's day, but it's time to move on to 64-Bit Windows 7 or 10. We suggest giving Windows 10 a chance, it's a great operating system!
- Mistake #4 - Not buying enough RAM - a new system should have at least 8GB of DDR3 RAM (16GB or 32GB is preferred).
- Mistake #5 - Buying a computer with an overclocked i5 processor instead of an i7. The price difference between the core i5 and i7 chips is not all that much, and with the i5 you won't get hyperthreading. Some companies will tell you to save money (less than $100 typically) and go with the overclocked i5. There is nothing wrong with an i5 if you are really on a tight budget, but consider spending a little extra on an i7 if you can.
- Mistake #6 - Buying a computer with low quality RAM. We stated this earlier in the guide - It can't be stressed enough how important it is to have Kingston or Crucial memory in a new trading computer. We've used many different memory manufacturers over the years and have always come back to both Kingston & Crucial. The reliability of Kingston RAM is unmatched in the computer industry. Defective RAM or incompatible RAM is the #1 cause of problems in a computer.
- Mistake #7 - Buying a computer with AMD Radeon cards. NVIDIA GeForce cards have more stable drivers, are easier to configure for multiple monitor setups and will overall last much longer. We've used our share of badly designed AMD cards and driver packages with a lot of bugs, so much that we just can't recommend them. Who knows what the future holds for AMD, if they come out with some good trading cards some day then we'll give them a shot. But for now, stick with NVIDIA, you won't regret it!