Tips On Choosing a Processor For Your Trading Computer
When it comes to a trading computer, your central processing unit is literally the brains to the whole operation. Even if every other component is the top of the line, absolute fastest and most powerful thing on the market, if you have a slow CPU then your PC is only going to do so much. Now if you are shopping for a stock trading computer, for just about any system that you look at one of the first things that they will tell you is what type of CPU is in it.
But what type of processor should you go with? How do you know it’s the best? And what the heck is a GHz? I thought if might be helpful to demystify all of this for you so that you know what to look for in a CPU when buying a trading computer.
A Quick Education on CPUs
The first thing you should know is that a processors speed is measured in Gigahertz. As you probably guessed, the higher the number, the faster the processor. A processor can have multiple “cores” as well, which basically means multiple processors that are connected and that can run different sets of instructions separately. Again, the more cores that are in a processor, the heavier the workload it can handle.
What is important to know is that not all software is designed for multi-core systems. For example, if you use a program that isn’t designed for a multi-core PC and you are using a quad-core machine, it won’t necessarily run better than it would on a single-core PC.
Processors for a Trading PC
So what do you look for in a processor for a trading PC? Here are a few key things that you will want to keep in mind:
Intel vs. AMD – The two biggest names in CPUs are Intel and AMD. When it comes to a trading computer, you will want to go with an Intel system. With AMD you will find that the chips are less expensive but also don’t have a whole lot of power. Intel’s chips are usually more expensive, but they are also more powerful, which makes them ideal for trading.
Go For Power – For a trading PC, you want to go as high as possible, preferably in the 4Ghz to 5Ghz range or close to it. When it comes to Intel, the most powerful processors currently on the market are their 4th generation core I7 Haswell chips. If you aren’t sure whether an Intel chip is a 4th gen one or not, all you have to do is look at the number after the I7. If it begins with a 4 (like 4770, for example) then you have a 4th gen processor.
Make Sure Your CPU Can Play Nice With Your Graphics Card – Graphics card companies are constantly coming out with new, more powerful cards to meet the needs of power users. However, if your graphics card is far more powerful than your CPU, then it will be bottle necked and not really run as well as it should.
For more tips on what to look for when shopping for a trading computer, feel free to download my free Buyer’s Guide.
Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.