Is YOUR Computer Fast Enough for Trading?
What’s up everybody? It’s Eddie Z here from EZ Trading Computers, and you’re watching Trading Computer Secrets.
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Let’s determine if your computer is fast enough to trade with… Is your computer fast enough to trade with?
The most important variable in determining if your computer is fast enough to trade with is your computer’s processor, which is also known as a CPU. CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. So your processor or your CPU, they mean the same thing.
Your processor is what takes in that giant fire hose, that giant stream of data, and turns it into charts, graphs, and indicators in real time. It’s the engine of the computer.
So to figure out this formula of what makes a lightning fast trading computer, the most important variable in that formula is the processor. Again, the processor is the engine of the computer.
What you need to do is find out what processor you have… exactly what processor is in your current machine. By the way, I’m going to walk you through a demo.
So I’m going to pull up Google here. And, you guys should see my screen. So here’s what we’re going to do.
So if you’re in Windows 10, what you want to do is click the Start button. Just click it till it opens, and start typing. You’re going to type the words system information.
Then you’re going to click right up here: System Information. And this is going to open this box right on your computer.
Now, if you are still using Windows 7, it’s a little bit different. You’ll just click the Start button. And right above the Start button, there’s a little search box. And you’ll type in this exact same thing: system information.
And then you’ll see it populate above the search box, and just click on it. It should open this exact same window.
So this is built into Windows. And what is showing is all of your hardware, and even your software, that’s built into your system.
Now I’m going to warn you ahead of time. I am using an older machine I have here that I just use for webinars. It’s not my main trading computer. Just giving that information right now.
So the main thing we want to look for… So right here, this is the top line our OS is Microsoft Windows 10. We want to come down to about the 10th line where it says Processor. Right here: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4 GHz. That is my processor.
What you want to do is jot that down. You want to jot down your processor, make sure you get all the numbers and letters.
So I have the i7-4790K. So that whole i7-4790K… all those numbers and letters are really important.
Yours might say Advanced Micro Devices or AMD. It might say Intel Xeon. There’s a number of things that might say besides the numbers and letters. So just jot that down for now.
The next thing you want to do… let’s just go down to probably about line 25… right under Time Zone… Installed Physical Memory. So for me, I have 16 GB of memory. Jot that down just so you have it handy. So hopefully everybody’s got that.
So the next thing we want to know… (I’m going to close this window out.) The next thing we want to know is, how do we know if this processor is fast enough for trading? It’s the engine of the computer.
I like the analogy of a car engine. So the faster a car is, the more horsepower the car has. The more horsepower a car has in general, the faster the car is.
So we want to go and look at how much horsepower our processors have. And the best place to do that is to go to a website called cpubenchmark.net. So there it is up there. Before I click on it, I will let you write that down: cpubenchmark.net.
So go ahead and load up this page. Now what this website is, this is an independent company that’s developed something called benchmark software. And people from all over the world have already downloaded and run this software on their computer.
Essentially what the software does is force the computer to run a whole series of formulas and algorithms, force the computer to come up with the solutions, and measure how fast it can come up with these solutions.
The nice part about this site is that we don’t actually have to run the software because over a million people have already run their tests with all these different processors. And so we can just look at their database and see what’s called our benchmark score. And the benchmark score essentially is how much horsepower you have.
So what I’d like you to do is just scroll down here where it says Search for Your CPU Model. I’m going to go ahead and click that, and it will load this page here. And you can start typing in your processor.
Now I have the i7-4790K. You could put in the word Intel before that. Cause you can see down here, these are all listed with AMD in front of it. So AMD and Intel are what you’re going to see. That’s like 99% of them.
So then I’m going to click Find CPU. So I go ahead and click Find CPU. Here’s my processor.
And by the way, it’s very important… So you notice my processor right here i7-4790K? Notice there’s another processor called the i7-4790 with no K.
It’s a very important distinction because the benchmark score for the K is 8,097. The benchmark score without the K is 7,200. The higher, the number, the faster the processor.
Now here’s the deal. That number probably doesn’t mean anything to you right now. I’m going to tell you what it means. The minimum benchmark score for trading is 12,000. So this machine that I’m using is actually not fast enough to trade with anymore. It’s under-powered for trading.
The most important thing I want you to realize is that the lower the number, the higher your risk of slippage, or creating a bottleneck inside your machine, that makes your charts and your indicators a little bit stale. The lower the number, the slower that machine is, and the higher the risk you’re at.
The minimum benchmark score for trading is 12,000.
The higher the number, the better you’re going to be. The farther above 12,000 you are, the more useful life you’ll have out of your machine.
There are actually some processors now that benchmark over 50,000. This is a brand new thing. This just came out in the last couple months… some really high-end processors that benchmark over 50,000.
Those machines should be good for five years, hopefully five years, let’s call it three to five years. I mean, you guys know how fast they put this technology on us. I mean, the useful life of your cell phone these days is barely a year… which is pretty funny.
So again, the minimum benchmark score for trading is 12,000.
Now, the next most important variable in this formula… So the most heavily weighted variable in the formula for what makes a fast trading computer is the processor.
The next most heavily weighted variable is your Internet speed.
So now we’re going to go to a different website which is called speedtest.net. So just go ahead and load that site.
Now I have an ad blocking software running. Sometimes this page can be loaded up with all kinds of advertising. Just ignore all of that. So we’re going to run the speed test. It’s going to give us three data points that we want to pay attention to.
So I’m just going to go ahead and click GO. That’s what we want. And before I do that, you can see I’m using AT&T. So I have AT&T fiber here. And it looks like it wants to connect to our nearest major node or closest large transfer switch server. That’s like my first point of contact.
So I’m going to click GO, and it’s going to give us three data points.
The first data point it’s going to give us, is this thing called the ping or the reaction time.
Now the ping is your modem sending a signal to your closest major node or your closest major transfer point… the closest major server… and getting an echo back. And we want that ping to be less than 50 milliseconds.
Think of when you make a phone call. The ping is how fast someone on the other end answers the phone and says hello. So it’s not actually having the conversation back and forth. It’s just that first point of contact.
So we want to see this below 50… this number here, ping… below 50 milliseconds. Anything above 50 milliseconds is going to create some latency, is going to create a delay, is going to create a problem while trading.
The next most important figure is your download speed.
Now, my download speed is 907 megabits per second (Mbps), which is darn good. Considering I pay for 1 GB of download speed, that’s about right.
The minimum download speed as a trader is 25 megabits per second.
Now this really is the minimum. Don’t cheap out. If you can get 1 GB and it costs you an extra $50 to $100 a month, please get it. It can make a huge difference in reducing any bottleneck or any latency.
I see folks, they don’t want to pay to jump from 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps because it costs them $34.99 a month. That’s ridiculous. We’re traders. This is a profession. You want to have the best tools you possibly can.
So the download speed is how fast you can take in information. The upload speed is how fast you can send out information. For example, your orders.
The minimum upload speed is really only 5 Mbps.
In our case it’s 941 Mbps. Again, higher is always better.
So those are the two biggest components when it comes to your trading computer. Those are the biggest ones. There are other aspects to that formula as well, but those are the two most heavily weighted aspects.
So just to go over, here’s a checklist of what you need.
You need your benchmark score to be 12,000 or higher… the higher, the better. Anything under this, you’re going to run into that issue we call slippage… which can cost you a lot of money and will frustrate the crap out of you.
The second most important thing is the Internet speed. Again, we want that Ping to be less than 50 milliseconds. We want our download greater than 25 Mbps.
And look, I recognize that folks all over the country have access to different speeds. We want at least 25 Mbps. If you can get 1 GB like I have, please get it.
And then upload speed. We want a minimum of 5 Mbps.
Now RAM… RAM is your Random Access Memory. And we want a minimum of 16 GB or more, preferably.
If you’re a trader like me, this aspect did not used to be so heavily weighted for me, but as time has gone on, the computers have gotten more robust. The software has become more robust.
So if you are running, for example, thinkorswim or Tastyworks or TradeStation or NinjaTrader… I have clients who are running three, four different trading applications at the same time. The more things you are running at the same time, the more RAM you need.
And I’ve noticed as time has gone on we’re opening more and more programs at the same time. If you’re running Zoom, that can be pretty RAM intensive.
So if you’re running Zoom in a trading room, or you’re running GoToWebinar, or any of these other resource hogs, plus you’re running two other trading applications, it’s going to use up a lot of RAM. So you want to make sure you have enough RAM.
If you use up all of the RAM that’s in your system, your computer’s going to start writing that data to the hard drive, and your whole machine is going to bog down. And that’s a huge issue. So 16 GB is the minimum.
And as I mentioned before, we definitely want to run Windows 10. We definitely want to run Windows 10. Do not make the mistake of getting stuck on Windows 7.
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Thanks for watching. And if you haven’t already, please go ahead and download our Complete Guide to Trading Computers by clicking the link below. This guide is jam-packed with great tips so you can totally optimize your trading experience.
My name’s Eddie Z, and I’ll see you in the very next video.