Day Trading Computer Setup
When I started out one of the first things I wanted to know is “what is everyone else using to trade”? What is a common day trading setup for day trading forex, stocks and crypto? I had a hard time finding examples of what others were using. It seems like the most basic starting point for seeing others trading desk setup but few traders share that info. Maybe because by the time they get around to building a training course that they have forgotten what it was like to get started.
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So, in this section I’ll go over the tools of the trade that I use for our home trading station and our multi screen trading computers. I am a Mac user so that’s what we’ll be talking about but if you like Windows based PC’s then you can at least see how we have everything set up then build an affordable day trading setup based on what we have going.
Let’s get started.
Stock Trading Computer Setup
Once I started our journey in trading I started small; one laptop and one external monitor. (Honestly, you can get by with just a laptop or a desktop computer.) However, what I started to learn was one external monitor wasn’t enough for what I wanted to do. I am not suggesting that this is the only way to go about putting together your day trading setup but this is what mine has evolved into. And, I’ll break down what I do on each screen.
Everyone will have a different opinion for a good laptop for trading and will likely have their opinions on day trading setup monitors. The best monitor for day trading is really up to you as well as the best day trading computers. I’ve heard that some of the gaming computers make really good Windows based PC’s to run a nice day trading setup. However, I’m not a PC guy so I can’t recommend what is best. I’d just google “fast gaming computer” and see what you come up with. You’ll likely find what is the best computer for stock trading that is PC based.
So, how many monitors for day trading? Well, that is up to you. I prefer to max out the number of monitors my system will allow. All of my monitors are 27 inch LG’s. I’ve tried smaller monitors but anything smaller than a 27 inch is just a little too small for my eyesight. I’ve found that 27 inch monitors make the best monitor size for trading as they are not too small but also not so big that they take up too much room on your desktop.
Our Day Trading Laptop Setup – Trading Computers And Monitors
I’ve included a picture above and you can reference that image as you are reading through this article of my home trading desk setup.
We run three computers. One for simulated money to back test trade ideas and to paper trade during the day, sometimes. Another for real time trading and a Windows based PC to broadcast a trading room we are a part of. In the broadcast we learn about swing trading setups and other day trading strategies.
So let’s break it all down.
For me, the best laptop for stock trading is any newer mac. Computer #1 is our live trading setup and it runs our day trading software ThinkOrSwim by TDAmeritrade. That Mac computer runs monitors 4, 5 and 7. You can see below that that Mac is a 2017. It will run 4 monitors but, for some reason, the Pro Docking Station (12) overheats and it drains my battery on the Mac so I only run three monitors from that computer.
Here is what I have on each monitor: Monitors #4 and #7 each have a screen with 9 stock charts on it. I play a lot of EV (electric vehicle) stocks like PLUG, TSLA, BLNK and NKLA. I like to have two screens monitoring 18 stocks for that sector. Monitor #5 has an active trading window on it so if I see something I like then I can use that window to enter a trade. And, on my Mac laptop (#1) I also have an active trading window there.
I use these LG Monitors:
Computer #2 is my paper trading setup that I use for practicing my trades and back testing trade setups. That runs monitors #6 and #8. I also put on one of the screens either Fox Business News or CNBC so I can catch any news reports of anything that will effect the market. You can see the specs on computer #2 below.
Computer #3 is an ASUS. I run my trade room broadcast from here. For Windows based PC’s this is a pretty decent computer. I purchased this a few years ago to run some software that I needed to automate a task. However, I’m not a fan of Windows but I just repurposed this computer to add to my trade setup.
You will want to get some type of surge protector. I went ahead and got one that is still consumer level but is more heavy duty than your typical surge protector. I like the APC SurgeArrest. Here is a pic.
To run the monitors you’ll also need a few different accessories that will give you the capability to daisy chain some additional monitors. I use the Hyper Drive Docking Station and the Saferell Docking Station.
For monitor mounts I prefer the Vivo brand. They are sturdy and easy to assemble. Their hardware is really nice and seems very well built. Below is a pic of the Vivo quad monitor mount base (#14 in the pic) and then a pic showing the backside of the stands. On the Vivo dual monitor mount (#13 in the pic) I have only one monitor hooked up to it and angled in towards me. You could hook an additional monitor up but I didn’t.
I prefer a trackball style mouse rather than a traditional mouse. I have two. One for each Mac laptop and in the pic you can see them as labeled as #10 and #11. I can move a lot faster with the trackball. I prefer Logitech trackballs. You can see the model I prefer below.
I also have a couple Insignia Mini Display ports. Depending on your day trading computer requirements you may need adaptors for your setup. Inignia makes good products. I’ve never had an issue with them.
I’ve got miscellaneous HDMI cables and a brand that I’ve found that is inexpensive is the Amazon Basics HDMI cables. They are well made and I haven’t had any issues with any of them.
Our Day Trading Setup
- 4 LG 27″ Monitors – Click here.
- 1 LG TV Monitor (re-purposed from an old setup) – Click here.
- 1 2017 Macbook Pro (OS High Sierra, 15 inch, 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 2133 MHz memory, Radeon Pro 560, Intel HD Graphics ) Click here.
- 1 2015 Macbook Pro (OS Catalina 2.2 GHz Quad Core Intel Core i7, 16 GB memory,Intel Iris Pro Graphics) Click here.
- 1 ASUS Windows Based PC – Click here.
- 1 Parallels Virtual Machine for Mac – Click here
- 2 Logitech Trackball – Click here
- 1 APC Surge Arrest – Click here
- 1 Hyper Drive Docking Station – Click here
- 1 Saferell Docking Station – Click here
- 1 Vivo Quad Monitor Mount – Click here
- 1 Vivo Dual Monitor Mount – Click here
- Misc HDMI cables and connectors click here.
- Insignia Mini Display Port Connector click here.
Download the day trading setups pdf version here –> Day Trading Computer Setup.