Complete Guide To Laptops For Trading
Mac or PC for Traders
First, we need to get something out of the way. We have to address the age-old discussion – should you use a Mac or PC laptop for trading?
If you’re like me, the only thing that matters to you when it comes to indicators, software, and trading computers is that it gives your trading an advantage.
If there are no clear benefits – it’s not for me. It’s just a distraction.
Which means that trading on a Mac has to be equal or better than trading on a PC.
When I researched this for myself, I really had only one question. Is my trading software compatible with a Mac operating system?
Here is what I found:
These are 7 of the most popular trading platforms for day trading and forex trading. Even in this sample size, only two out of the seven platforms had native Mac versions of their platforms available. A Native version is software specifically built to run on a Mac Desktop. This means only two trading platforms had versions of their software that were specifically designed to function on a Mac.
*OS and OSX compatibility of a sample group of available trading platforms as of January 2016
**Web versions and options to use emulation software not included in data as they are considered alternatives to desktop software.
At this point, I already knew the answer to my question.
But, for those of you who still want to swing for the fences and try and make trading on a Mac a possibility even though there is no native version – it’s possible to trade on a Mac – but there is a caveat.
Using Parallels On Mac For Trading
You can run a Windows based software on an Apple computer with the help of a software called Parallels. This is emulation software available to mac users. Basically, the software itself creates a way for you to have a full Windows desktop environment and run Windows software by creating a virtual machine.
However, you need a newer processor and enough RAM to accommodate this process. If you don’t have a powerful enough Mac, running a virtual windows machine on your Mac is going to be a very disappointing experience. In fact, this “hack” approach to running windows based software on a Mac can be very sluggish all around. Additionally, it limits how many monitors, typically only two, you can use without degrading your experience.
Not to mention (which I won’t go into full detail in this post), a Mac will cost you at least 50% more for the equivalent PC CPU (processing) power. Dollar for dollar you’ll get more power for less cash in a PC. I don’t mind spending money on new technology…but at a 50% mark-up? No thanks.
Using Parallels to run your trading platform might be do able, but it certainly isn’t prefect and, frankly, seems super risky.
For this reason, PCs are the primary choice for active traders. I have always traded on PCs and I see no clear advantage to making a switch to Mac anytime soon.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology related questions. If you think of additional questions about computer hardware or other questions, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250