Day Trading Computer: Should You Go With a Desktop or a Laptop?

9/28/2013 By

Day Trading Computer: Should You Go With a Desktop or a Laptop?

When it comes time to buy a new computer, the first question that most people ask is whether to get a desktop or laptop. Typically when they are trying to decide between the two, they ask themselves questions like: do I want to work on the road or will I almost always work at my desk? If you are looking for a day trading computer, there are going to be a number of other questions that you need to ask. A trading PC is a very different animal from a regular computer with its own set of considerations. So what is better for day traders: desktop or laptop? Well, the short answer is desktops and here’s why:

Desktops let you work faster. Laptops are limited to a single, small screen, which means that you almost always end up taking more time going through tabs to find some specific application or webpage that you need. This translates to more keystrokes and more wasted time. With a desktop you can have multiple screens to show all of your data, which lets you work faster and be more productive.

You get more power with a desktop. In a laptop, everything is built in miniature. This tends to result in less powerful machines that can’t keep up with the heavy demands of day trading. A desktop has the power (both literally and figuratively) to handle a trader’s workload. This comes down to more superior CPUs, beefier graphics cards, and a power source that can handle all of these things

Desktops are upgradable. Unless every single computer manufacturer suddenly decides that this technology thing is a big fad and start making soap instead, there is a good chance that the brand new, top of the line trading PC you buy is going to be outdated in a year or two. With a desktop this isn’t really a problem, since you can simply upgrade it by adding more RAM, replacing the CPU, or swapping the graphics cards. You can’t really do this with a laptop which makes it a much less flexible day trading computer.

Laptops as a Backup PC

The biggest advantage to using a laptop as your day trading computer is that it has its own battery. Even if you have it plugged into the wall and the power goes out or your toddler thinks it’d be fun to pull the plug, you don’t have to worry, because the laptops internal battery will seamlessly kick in and you can keep working. That is why a laptop makes a pretty decent backup trading computer. If your desktop is down and your laptop is charged and has a 3G or 4G connection, you can keep trading until your desktop is back in action. It won’t be ideal, but it works in a pinch.

Want more advice on how to pick a day trading computer? Then check out our Trading Computer Systems Buyers Guide.

Author Bio: Eddie Z. – Since the day he took his first Apple II apart, Eddie Z has been obsessed with making computers more powerful and more functional. At the age of 18 he started working on Wall Street filling out paper charts and since then has learned to combine his passion for building computers with stock trading. The result is his company, EZ Trading computers, where he sells custom PCs and blogs regularly. Find him on Google+.
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