The Ultimate Trading Computer 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 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 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 desktop pc.

What to Look for in a Desktop 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 new computer for trading, 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!

What's in this Guide?

We provide this document for those that want to learn more about what goes into our computers and what makes our systems the highest quality in the industry. If you're ready to purchase one of our premium built computers just head over to one of the product pages, then pick a system that lines up with your budget and you'll be on your way to owning the best custom built computer money can buy. Each model can be customized with our easy to understand customization form. We've laid out all the parts and sections with build selections that can be taylored to match anyone's budget. Don't worry if you aren't tech savvy or don't understand everything on the form, we've pre-selected what we view are the most popular selections. Don't understand what a motherboard or other component is? No problem! We narrow these selections down from hundreds of products available on the market to only the top few we view are the best. Your first decision will be to decide on what platform you want to go with - Intel or AMD.

Buyers Guide Table of Contents

Processor (CPU)

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 vs AMD

The 2 primary CPU manufacturers today are Intel and AMD. We sell far more Intel systems then AMD. For most older adults and many seasoned traders it makes sense that decades of familiarity with Intel desktops and laptops has created a brand loyalty that is difficult to break. If you've never owned an AMD system before don't be so quick to discount them, they've actually had the upper hand for the past 2 years over Intel with a more advanced, smaller manufacturing process. As of 2022, Intel's 12th Gen processors have been very popular with their new 7nm manufacturing, it seems for now Intel is back on top again. In reality the performance gap is usually very modest between each companies top offerings, you can't go wrong with either platform. We'll give the slight edge to Intel for now and we expect to continue selling more Intel systems overall.

For a comparison of the processors we use and how they rank, please read our trading computer processor comparison page.

Intel 12th Gen Processors

The majority of systems we sell are the Intel Z690 platform. We use a powerful ASUS Prime Z690-A motherboard with all the most advanced desktop motherboard features available.

The best Intel processor we sell right now is the Intel Core i9 12900k. The 12900K is a 16 core, 24 thread processor that runs at a stock speed of 3.2GHz and max turbo of 5.2GHz. Turbo Boost accelerates the processor for peak loads, automatically allowing the CPU to run much faster than the rated stock speed. The 12th Gen chips are build on Intel's new 7nm manufacturing process. The 12900K has 8 Performance Cores and 8 Efficient Cores with a total of 16 Performance cores with Intel Hyper-Threading.

The 12900K is included in our Trader 8000 Series and Trader 9000 Series systems. These are the newest 12th Generation processors. Coming in at a close 2nd place is the new Intel Core i7 12700K eight core processor running at 3.6GHz and 5.0GHz Turbo Boost. The 12700K has 8 Cores and 12 total threads, 4 Performance Cores and 4 Efficient Core with an additional 4 Performance Core with Hyper-Threading.

Intel 12th Gen Banner

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Processors

We're currently selling the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X. These are AMD's top 5000 Series processors. The Ryzen 7 5800X is an 8 core, 16 thread unlocked processor. The Ryzen 9 5900X is a 12 core, 24 thread unlocked processor. The Ryzen 9 5950X is a 16 core, 32 thread unlocked processor. In thread count the Ryzen 9 5950X processor has a higher thread count then the 12900K but if you look around at various performance tests online the 12900K outperforms the 5950X in a number of key ways. Just like their Intel counterparts, these Ryzen chips are also manufactured using 7nm processes. If you look at online performance testing from popular sites such as Tom's Hardware the 12900K beats out the 5950X by slight margins in the majority of testing under different testing conditions. Again, either platform is equally great in our eyes, we've sold Ryzen 5000 Series chips to many happy traders, they are great processors on a solid platform. These AMD chips have a rated power consumption at 105 watts and the Intel 12th Gen chips use more power at 125 watts. Most of the time you can translate more power consumption with slightly higher heat, but our Noctua coolers do an excellent job with all these chips, they are kept nice and cool even under a very heavy load.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Banner

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. Both liquid and air processor coolers both do essentially the same thing and operate on a similar principal. They absorb heat from the CPU and redistribute to the outside of the case. The Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) is the metal lid the comprises the processor iteself, the heat generated from the processor is first distributed to this metal lid. After that, the heat is transferred to the metal baseplate of the CPU cooler. Next the heat is distributed away from the baseplate metal on the CPU cooler via metal heat pipes on an air cooler such as a Noctua cooler, with liquid cooling the heat is drawn away through the liquid and pumped through a metal radiator with fins then blown out the back of the case through the fins.

Air Coolers

Noctua makes the best CPU air coolers on the market. These coolers are used by most companies that sell high end custom PCs. Noctua coolers are heavier, built much better and you are getting a fan by the company that makes the best computer fans in the computer industry, Noctua fans are nearly dead silent.

The air cooler model we've used extensively over the past 7 or 8 years is the Noctua NH-U12S model. We've now upgraded to an even better model, the Noctua NH-U12A. The NH-U12A features Noctua's premium grade soldered interface between the heatpipes and fins. All the newer processors have bumped their peak power usage, these numbers have been slowly going upward over the last 10 years. In response to this, we've decided the Noctua NH-U12A would be the cooler that would easily hand the heavy workloads of these new chips. The NH-U12A are for users that need the best performance/noise efficeincy, this cooler easily rivals many more expensive coolers and competes with popular AIO liquid coolers. Of course, the NH-U12A is not a liquid cooler so no need to worry about premature pump failure or coolant leakage.

Noctua coolers have received hundreds of awards and recommendations from the international press. The NH-U12A has a slim enough design that doesn't interfere with RAM installation and removal which means taller RAM modules are not an issue.

Shown below is the Noctua NH-U12A. The one on the left is the standard version with Noctua's well known brown fans and chrome heatsink. The one on the right is the exact same cooler but it's the Chromax Black edition. Both coolers function identically, there are no differences except for how they look.

Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler

AIO Liquid Cooling

All-In-One liquid coolers (AIO for short) are self-contained liquid cooling units typically comprised of a pump & block connected to a radiator with tubing for the liquid. The heat is transferred from the processor to the block, and the block then transfers the heat to the liquid which it pumps through the radiator. The fan dissapates the heat out of the case through the radiator fins.

Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler

Most liquid cooling falls into one of two categores - AIO (all in one) units or a complete custom cooling system. The custom cooling loops tend to be more costly, and if the company that is building the custom loops cheaps out on components it won't be a long term reliable solution. AIO units, such as the Corsair models we use, tend to have a much more appropriate price tag compared to custom solutions and can cool just as well. The Corsair AIO units we use do cost a bit more then the Noctua air coolers. Water leaks are always a possibility, there is really no way around that, but it's very rare and with a good quality AIO unit it almost never happens. The liquid pump is located right on the block that attaches to the CPU, they tend to be very quiet (nearly silent), standing a few feet away from the computer you'll proabably hear next to nothing.

So which cooling solution is best? Noctua engineers their baseplate and heatpipes in such a way that they really compete with the best AIO coolers, we usually steer customers towards these because of their slightly reduced cost and longer lifespan (being a fan and metal heatsink there isn't much to go wrong with them). This is not set in stone, but when we are asked how long a typical AIO unit will last we tell customers around 3 to 5 years. But it could be much, much longer. As long as the pump is still working and it doesn't leak it could keep going for many more years.

The unit show in the picture below is the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT AIO liquid CPU cooler.

Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT AIO liquid CPU cooler

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 need for increased scaling with such high resolutions, we still recommend customers purchase a standard 1920x1080 HD monitor for a monitor less then 27 inches and QHD for 27 inch or higher. 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 want to go with 4K resolution the smallest screen size should be 32", don't go samller.

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 or Windows 11. If you do decide to 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 32", 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, there are even resolutions higher then 4K now. 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 Setup

Shown below are images a customer sent us of his Blue Aura Computers trading setup.

Trading Computer Image #1
Trading Computer Image #2

Cables & Connection Types

We've written a great article on port types and common adapters used. Read the full article here.

Video Cards

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 computer is selecting the appropriate graphics cards. Mid-range gaming cards work excellent for traders and also certain NVIDIA Quadro cards.

What video cards are best for a trading computer?

There are 2 companies that manufacture the various video card chips. AMD and NVIDIA. 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 computers. NVIDIA based cards generally have better drivers and support the various trading platforms better. There are several companies that build the cards with NVIDIA chips, we use ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, PNY and EVGA. PNY makes the Quadro cards that are used in professional workstation systems.

Why NVIDIA?

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. HDMI and DisplayPort are now the standard port type found on nearly all new video cards released. Cards such as the Quadro T400 and T600 come with mini DisplayPort and you will use the adapter we include to convert the mini DisplayPort to full sized to connect to a monitor. Video card manufaturers often do the exact same thing with HDMI, they will includ a one or more mini HDMI port instead of full size. Why do they do this? It's really about the amount of physical space on the back of a single slot graphics card. There isn't enough room to include 3 or 4 full sized DisplayPorts or HDMI ports.

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 computer, can I hook up only 4 monitors?" The answer is yes, you can connect as many or as few monitors as you need.

  • 3 Monitor Support - 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort (NVIDIA 1650 GTX)
  • 4 Monitor Support - 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPorts (NVIDIA 3050 RTX)
  • 4 Monitor Support - 4x mini DisplayPorts (NVIDIA T1000, mini DP to full DP adapters included)
  • 6 Monitor Support - 2x DVI, 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort (NVIDIA 1650 GTX)
  • 8 Monitor Support - 2x HDMI, 6x DisplayPorts (NVIDIA 3050 RTX - two cards)
  • 8 Monitor Support - 8x mini DisplayPorts (NVIDIA T1000, mini DP to full DP adapters included)
NVIDIA Quadro Video Cards

Motherboard

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 companies that sell trading systems. We always list the model and specifications so that our customers know they are getting the best!

There are many different motherboard types and sizes, but for a desktop computer there are usually 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 sell ATX motherboards in our computers, but in recent years motherboard manufacturers have been doing a better job with their Micro-ATX offerings. To save money, many companies choose to use Micro-ATX motherboards and not pass that information on to their customers. 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 usually 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 1 or 2 video card slots versus 3 or more on a standard size ATX motherboard. So be careful when shopping around for a new 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. Micro-ATX boards cost much 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, or at a minimum they should be telling you what board model is being used. Micro-ATX motherboards should only be in sub $2,000 PCs (in our humble opinion), definitely not in trading computers costing $2,000 and up. There is nothing inherently wrong with using a Micro-ATX board, just be aware of the differences. Some Micro-ATX boards will even reduce the number of memory slots in half and some models don't, it really varies from board to board.

Comparing ATX and Micro ATX Motherboards

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. Also, the Micro-ATX board only has less heatsinks, the full sized ATX board has much better cooling, it's quite obvious from the picture which motherboard is the better one to have in your trading computer overall. The full sized ATX board even has heatsinks included on the M.2 SSD locations.

Motherboard Key Points

  • Be aware of what you are buying. If you are buying a very expensive system costing well over $2,000 then we feel that type of system deserves a full sized ATX motherboard. The only exception to this is if there are specific size considerations, if you are building a smaller form factor system on purpose then a Micro-ATX board is appropriate, even in a more expensive rig. Just be aware of the limitations - less expansion slots, less memory slots, less heatsinks, etc.
  • Make sure the company is showing you what the exact motherboard brand/model is (we show all component brands & models!)
  • The motherboard should have at least 2 video card slots, even if you are only using 1 slot 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

What Motherboard Brand/Model is the Best?

The 3 top brands to consider are ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte. Historically ASUS has been very popular among many system manufacturers. All 3 manufacturers do a very good job putting out feature rich boards that are highly reliable. We've found that ASUS tends to update their BIOS with new versions more frequently. We've continued to stick by ASUS as our primary motherboard brand for the majority of our builds. In particular we really like the "Prime" series models. The ASUS Prime Z690-A is our current favorite on the 12th Gen Intel platform. We also offer another model - the ASUS TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS Motherboard, this has been a nice model also because it has integrated WiFi. On the AMD side of things we also use the most current "Prime" series model.

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 10 or Windows 11 64-bit, 32GB or higher is more than enough to handle a system with moderate to heavy usage, we prefer 32GB or 64GB. 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 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 32GB, 64GB & 128GB 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.

  • 32GB DDR5 RAM
  • 64GB DDR5 RAM

Power Supply

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

In the past we've sold 650W, 850W and sometimes one or two other models. Most of the new motherboards on AMD and Intel platforms have 8 pin plus 4 pin power connectors so we've standardized the use of our 850W SeaSonic unit over the smaller 650W model. It costs a small amount extra for every system with this change but the need for an 850W unit outweighs the small additional cost. Not only do the newer processors have slightly higher power demands but we want to make sure customers have enough power available for future upgrades, mainly video card upgrades. Using a power supply with higher wattage doesn't mean you are using more power, the system will only use what it needs. Most of our configurations are well under 500 watt total power usage under load. It's better to have a nice cushion higher then your total power needs then push the limits of what a unit such as a 650 watt can handle.

SeaSonic #1 Power Supply Company

Hard Drives

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.

Most of the motherboard now come with two or more M.2 slots on the board. If you select two or three of the M.2 drives one will be the primary boot drive C: that Windows is installed on and the other drives will be an additional data drives that will show up as separate volumes with drive letters D: and E:

We wrote a fantastic article on hard drive, this will answer any additional questions about the different types of drives in our computers. Check out the article here - Choosing the Best Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) for a Trading Computer.

Our #1 Recommended Hard Drive

Samsung 980 Pro. The 980 Pro is priced extremely well for the speed and Samsung reliability you are getting. In fact, the 980 Pro doesn't cost much more then the previous 970 EVO Plus. Most customers select a 1TB size drive, we also offer 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions. This drive will be the primary boot operating system drive that Windows will be installed on.

Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Solid State Hard Drive

Hard Drives We Offer

We have a huge variety of different hard drives to choose from.

  • 500GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus PCI-E Gen3 M.2 SSD
  • 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus PCI-E Gen3 M.2 SSD
  • 2TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus PCI-E Gen3 M.2 SSD
  • 500GB Samsung 980 Pro PCI-E Gen4 M.2 SSD
  • 1TB Samsung 980 Pro PCI-E Gen4 M.2 SSD
  • 2TB Samsung 980 Pro PCI-E Gen4 M.2 SSD
M2 SSD Solid State Hard Drive

Computer Case

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 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 current favorite desktop computer case is the Fractal Design Define 7. Stunning to look at and we really enjoy using this model in our builds. We've used cases from nearly every manufacturer for over a decade and can easily say that Fractal Design offers cases superior to all other manufacturers. Their cases are the quietest we've ever used, in fact the Define 7 is nearly silent with the fan controller, you have to really strain your ears up close to hear the case fans or any other internal noise.

The Fractal Design Define 7 is developed with high-performance computer systems in mind. Featuring high performance Silent Series GP-14 fans, the Define 7 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 Define 7 has the highest level of workmanship, flexible hard drive mounting system and plenty of space for cable routing. We install a total of 3 silent case fans. 2 Front fans and one rear 140mm fan. With our Noctua fan package you can add an even further level of noise reduction with even more airflow.

Fractal Design Define 7

Silent Operation

If you're concerned about noise levels this is the quietest case we offer. Both side panels and the front door have sound dampening foam plus the thickest steel of any cases we offer. Fractal Design cases are the most well built cases in the computer industry.

Fractal Design Define 7 Dimensions - 21.53" x 9.44" x 18.70" (LxWxH)

Fractal Design Define 7 Compact

Smaller Form Factor

The Compact version of the Define 7 is of course much smaller then the full size version. The other primary difference is the compact version doesn't include Fractal's fan controller. We install 2 rear exhaust fans and one front 140mm intake fan.

Fractal Design Define 7 Compact Dimensions - 16.81" x 8.27" x 18.66" (LxWxH)

Operating System

We're now offering 3 operating system choices. Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11 Pro. Which operating system is best? There are pros and cons to each choice. Windows 10 is a much more mature operating system, it's had many years of updates with a multitude of feature updates and improvements to make it the most stable and popular operating system to date.

Windows 11 has a lot of aesthetic changes to the layout of the desktop and menu changes. The biggest change is performance. According to Microsoft, Windows 11 does a lot with memory management to favor the program that's currently in use. This helps that app get additional CPU power over other resources not in use. Microsoft also says the same memory management performance boost also applies to the Windows 11 shell, which powers the Start Menu and other visual effects.

At the end of the day, Windows 10 is a solid modern operating system. We’ve used it for many years and we think it’s a vast improvement over previous Windows versions including Windows 7. You'll be impressed how much faster Windows 10 is over 7. If you are worried about long term Microsoft support, such as security updates, then it might be best to go with Windows 11 for your new computer.

Windows 11

Conclusion

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 companies you are considering. We sincerely hope you choose Blue Aura Computers!

What’s important is to find the company this is the best fit for you. The most important thing is to get a 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 - Not getting premium components. If you are going to pay a high price for a premium computer then make sure the seller is actually using premium, high end components.
  • Mistake #2 - Buying a system based on "overclocking hype".
  • Mistake #3 - Continuing to use an old computer with Windows 7 instead of buying a new one. We know, Windows 7 was absolutely terrific in it's time. But the reality is that modern processors, M.2 PCI-E SSDs, motherboard chipsets and memory all can't reach their full operating potential with Windows 7. None of this advanced hardware was around when Windows 7 code was written so it can't properly utilize it. We know it's difficult to switch to a new OS, but sometimes it's just time to move on.
  • Mistake #4 - Not buying enough RAM - a new system should have at least 16GB of DDR4 RAM (32GB or 64GB is preferred). With the new 12th Gen Intel systems we now sell them with even faster DDR5 RAM.
  • Mistake #5 - Not realizing an i7 or i9 chip from a different generation is not the same thing. This seems obvious for most, but it is a little bit confusing branding by Intel. A Core i7 10700K is a much different chip then a Core i7 12700K. There are major performance differences, chipset and feature differences and RAM speed differences. For example, the new i7 and i9 12th Gen chips now support DDR5 memory.
  • 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 high quality RAM. Micron memory chips are preferred and they are in brands such as Crucial, Kingston and many others. The reliability of Micron memory 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 better drivers and are easier to configure for multiple monitor setups. 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. That said, they aren't all bad but we just hold NVIDIA in much higher regard. We suggest sticking with NVIDIA for you multiple monitor graphics card.