Do the fans on your trading computer cycle on and off frequently during your trading day? If your fans start to run too often, or if the fan noise becomes more noticeable, your computer might be overheating.
Overheating on a trading computer is bad for business. It can cause slippage or even lost trades as your trading computer’s performance and reliability become compromised.
Your trading computer can overheat for various reasons. Two biggies are running data analysis tools and constantly updating lots of stock charts on multiple monitors. These processor-heavy practices can generate higher levels of heat.
Environment plays a part as well. As the temperature in the room rises, your computer can heat up faster. And as the computer case’s air intake openings get blocked with dust, the fans have to work harder and longer to achieve the same level of cooling.
Computer processors, graphics cards, and hard drives all generate heat. In most systems, fans are used to cool them. Every computer has sensors in place to make sure the fans start cooling down the system as soon as a certain threshold temperature is reached.
Many computers specifically designed for trading come with a liquid cooling system installed. But if the computer you trade on isn’t one of those, you may want to consider a liquid cooling system to better manage your computer’s temperature.
What is Liquid Cooling?
Liquid cooling systems use water to cool your computer. The easiest-to-install liquid cooling systems come in All-In-One (AIO) packages. You get the system and just plug it into your computer.
For more advanced users, there are kits available that provide all the necessary parts, but you have to put the parts together yourself. You can also purchase various components individually to build a custom liquid cooling system.
In a liquid cooling system, water is pumped through pipes in a closed loop. The water collects the heat from various components of the computer and passes through a radiator to get cooled down. The process is continuously repeated. It operates pretty much the same as the cooling system in your car.
Liquid cooling does have a risk of leakage. However, AIO systems from reputable sellers are very reliable. Also, you can make sure everything is running fine in your system by inspecting regularly.
Advantages of Liquid Cooling
1. Improved Efficiency
Water’s high thermal conductivity makes it a better material than air for absorbing and removing heat. So the heat-generating components of your computer will be able to maintain a more constant (lower) temperature, and therefore a more constant operating speed.
2. Requires Less Space
Fans are bulky. Computers with high-powered processors and graphics cards (like a typical trading computer) need more powerful fans which means larger fans. This can take a lot of space in your trading computer case.
Liquid cooling systems need less space to operate. So it’s easier to add more components as you need to.
3. Works Well in Hot Weather
Fans just move the ambient air through your computer. So, if the temperature in your office rises for whatever reason, the hotter air around the computer becomes an obstacle to cooling. Liquid cooling performs better under these conditions.
4. Requires Less Cleaning
Both air intakes and fans gather dust and require regular cleaning for fans to operate at optimum speed. Liquid cooling requires fewer cleanups, especially if you are using an AIO system.
5. Less Noise
Fan speeds are modulated in proportion to the heat generated in the computer. Fans become noisier as computer components get hotter.
Liquid cooling systems are almost inaudible. So you’ll be less distracted by noise when you need to maintain your focus on trading.
6. Better for Overclocking
If you’re the kind of trader who likes to push your hardware to the limit, you may already be overclocking. But overclocking means added heat, which can damage your system. Liquid cooling is a safe solution for overclocked computer systems.
7. Great for Multi-Monitor Systems
Most traders are running with multiple monitors. Six- or even 8-monitor systems are common. The extra monitors require extra GPUs which generate more heat. Having a water-cooled system can give traders peace of mind that overheating won’t cause them to lose a trade.
Disadvantages of Liquid Cooling
Even if you’re adding an aftermarket beefed-up air cooling system to your computer, it’s still going to be significantly less expensive than a typical custom water-cooling loop.
2. Ease of Installation
You can upgrade an air-cooled system using four screws to attach a fan to your case. Contrast that with a custom liquid cooling system where installation involves running lots of little water tubes all over the inside of your computer case. On the other hand, All-In-One (AIO) packages aren’t that difficult to install.
3. Shorter Lifespan
Air coolers have an expected life span of close to 10 years. You’ll only get half that from an AIO water cooler.
A liquid cooling system can enhance the performance of your trading computer without the need for investment in new processors or graphics cards. Plus, it will get rid of the annoying fan noise and can even increase the longevity of your system.
Like anything else, there are tradeoffs. But if your trading computer is slowing down despite disk cleanings, or your fan is running too often, a liquid cooling system may be the solution for you.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyer’s guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book. Remember, we are here to help with all your technology-related questions. If you’re confused about how to upgrade your computer or have other hardware questions, give us 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.
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