Just like gaming, trading is a very demanding activity. For optimum performance, a trader needs a good setup. This article will show you how you can combine the best elements if you’re a Trader AND a Gamer.
The best trading setup is similar to gaming in terms of requirements. It is made of a powerful desktop, wide screens, an adjustable desk, an ergonomic chair, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. That combination will truly change your trading experience.
Day trading and gaming have similar requirements: long hours, total focus, extended screen time, mental activity, etc.
And that is why the setups can be quite similar.
I’ve tried different setups and truth is, some work better than others.
In choosing your trading setup, you have to go with whatever works best for you as a trader. And of you are also a gamer, the setups I have selected work just as all.
Factors you should take into consideration include- posture, eyesight, and comfort.
You wonder what difference it might make to you. Well, the right trading setup guarantees;
- better focus,
- a good trading experience with fast and clear graphics,
- less back pain and fatigue,
- overall improved productivity, and therefore performance
Why is a Good Setup Important for you as a Day Trader and Gamer?
You’ll spend hours at that desk and chair
Quality desks and chairs help prevent fatigue and back pain due to long hours of trading and gaming.
A quality chair will also keep your posture intact, and provide comfort.
Quality displays (monitors) will impact your performance, and fatigue
A trader relies on precise charts and graphics, with clear and visible indicators and execution levels.
A good monitor will be an essential part of your day trading setup, it should provide you with suitable lighting to avoid strain on the eyes.
You need a powerful PC to run all these platforms and charts
Who trades seriously without a good system?
A good PC will be fast and reliable, store relevant data, provide fast access to brokers and have ample processing power for those multiple charts.
Let’s take a look at the different elements of a great Day Trading Setup :
- a fast desktop computer, with high CPU and good RAM
- large quality monitors with a good refresh rate
- a comfortable keyboard and ergonomic mouse combo
- a large desk at just the right height for you
- a comfortable ergonomic chair
Now let’s dive in.
Pick a fast desktop PC, with high CPU and good RAM
When choosing a personal computer for your trading setup, there are certain features to look out for.
These features (which are available on any top quality PC), help you run your charting platforms with minor glitches.
What are the 5 things your should look for in a PC or Gaming Tower?
1. A fast processor, aim for at least 3.4 Ghz
A trader needs a PC with a high performing CPU, to run multiple programs simultaneously on the computer: broker platforms, screeners, news sites, multiple charts,…
The Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), which is a processor on its own, works hand in hand with the CPU, to produce high resolution images and videos, that’s a key feature.
It’s important to look out for this feature on your PC, because when the performance of the processing unit is high, trading programs will in turn, run at optimal speed.
2. A good cooling system, inspired from gaming machines
A serious gamer knows the value of a cooling system on a computer, well things should be the same for any serious Day Trader.
I mean, it’s not news that a fast processor has its downsides when it’s not cooled.
Due to high performance of the processors, a PC is always likely to overheat.
This overheating can in turn lead to serious hardware damage, and loss of data.
So, yes! Cooling system to the rescue. Computer cooling simply helps you avert all that damage, by keeping your PC within the acceptable temperature range.
3. Ample and fast memory, 12 GB of RAM minimum
The more RAM your computer has, the faster it operates, especially when concurrent programs are running at the same time.
Core traders and gamers need a higher amount of RAM, compared to regular users.
Therefore, when picking out a PC, you should be looking for RAM of at least 12 GB.
4. An SSD hard disk, faster and more reliable than an HDD
Generally, SSDs are more reliable than HDD disks because they have no mobile parts, and consume less power.
5. Multiple monitor connectivity, for at least 2 screens
As a trader, it is likely you will be using several screens.
When choosing your setup, be on the lookout for a PC that can handle multiple screens.
Your gaming computer should also be able to handle a dual screen, at the very least.
Here are the Top 3 Desktop Computers for Day Trading
This desktop is a highly rated and well priced machine.
With a 9th Generation Intel Core i5 9400T Processor (Up to 3.4GHz) and RAM capacity of 12GB DDR4, it is fast and powerful.
The sweet thing about it is that it carries up to 512 GB of solid storage drive (SSD).
It can also handle dual screen connections, with the right lighting for your eyes.
It comes with Windows 10 and a 23.8″ Full HD Widescreen Edge to Edge LED Back lit Display.
The wireless keyboard and mouse give you extra room on your desk without the unnecessary cables.
Why would you go for a gaming machine if you’re a trader ?
Well, first you could be both a gamer and a trader. Second, the requirements are usually quite similar, as gaming requires high quality graphics displayed at high speed, just like multiple trading platforms charts need to power multiple charts.
This Dell Inspiron has a CPU that runs at 3.4 GHz.
Memory boasts of a 12GB DDR4 RAM, as for storage a 1TB Hard drive are complemented by 128 GB of SSD.
The Radeon RX 570 gaming card produces high resolution graphics for gaming with a memory speed of 1750 MHz.
This PC runs a Windows 10 OS, which supports multiple screens.
Fans of Apple products are driven by their desire for visual quality and detail, with no compromise on power.
The new 5K iMac’s 27-inch screen gives traders one of the best visual experiences, all in a beautiful machine that will enhance both your desk and your trading room.
The acclaimed Retina 5K display, with its sharp resolution, is a trademark of Apple devices.
RAM stands at 8GB and is complemented by a 256 GB SSD that can easily be upgraded.
Choose a large screen for high quality graphics, with a high refresh rate
What are 5 things to look for in a good trading monitor?
A high resolution for sharp graphics, FHD at least, QHD if you can
Resolution is very important because this is what makes your display sharp.
So the higher the resolution the better. But remember, a higher resolution is more power hungry.
Resolutions are measured in number of pixels, in width and height. Full HD screens are 1920 x 1080 resolution, they basically offer 4x the definition of a standard 720p (1280 x 720) screen.
QHD will be even better. At 2560 x 1040, they will be also a bit more expensive. The extra comfort is appreciable, but that will depend on your budget.
And if budget is no issue, you can even go to 4K, which is 3840 x 2160.
Screen resolutions, which one should you choose?
|Ultra High Definition – 4K||3840 x 2160|
|QHD||2560 x 1040|
|Full HD or 1080p||1920 x 1080|
|HD or 720p||1280 x 720|
A wide screen size, at least 24″
In choosing your trade setup, you need a screen size of at least 24″ diagonal size. This will serve you in terms of resolution and visual quality.
However, if you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can get a 32-inch screen, but that will take up more space on your desk. And take into account the viewing distance. Usually, from a desktop distance, a 32″ screen is great.
Also, an LED monitor will benefit any trader/gamer in terms of color contrast, and picture detail.
Low Blue Light will reduce damage to your eyes
Day traders and gamers virtually live in front of a screen. Excess screen time reportedly affects the eyesight over time. That’s because visible low-blue lights are harmful to your eyes.
However the low-blue light technology checks the emission of low-blue lights on a screen to prevent eye strain.
Pick a flat monitor over a curved one
When picking your setup, it might be a safer bet to stick to flat screens.
Curved screens are not always right for reading graphs or studying images. They could distort the actual shape, size, or line of reference and can be affected by glare.
But some traders think they’re great, so I’ve included an option below.
A high refresh rate will improve your viewing experience
A trader’s monitor should have a high refresh rate. The refresh rate measures how often a screen can update in a second. It is measured in Hertz. Higher refresh rates mean smoother graphics.
You should go with a refresh rate of at least 75Hz if you’re a gamer, and 60 Hz if you’re a trader. A higher refresh rate reduces the strain on a trader’s (or gamer’s) eye, provides better quality of images and better trading experience.
Here are the Top 3 Recommended Monitors for Day Trading
This screen is an amazing value buy. It is one of the most highly rated 27″ screens.
It is ultra thin, has 75 Hz refresh rate, and an amazing response time of 1ms VRB.
In gaming as in trading, the performance will impress you thanks to the AMD Radeon Freesync technology.
Acer VisionCare takes care of your eyes thanks to several technologies that reduce strain and shield your eyes from eye-straining blue light.
You won’t get better bang for your buck.
This BenQ is a real “Eye Care” monitor with its low blue light flicker-free technology.
It has amazing reviews, a 75 Hz refresh rate and 3 HDMI ports for connectivity.
The design has no bezels which helps to minimize distractions and integrates really well if you have a multi panel setup.
An extra feature is the great sound quality if you’re a multimedia enthusiast.
A great value option.
A 4k UHD resolution on a 27″ monitor is great because the high resolution automatically translates into clear and detailed images.
This screen supports adaptive sync technology; which offers traders and gamers alike smooth content production, at rapid response time.
The eye care feature will take care of you eyes, and trader eye strain can become pretty acute.
The user of this screen can adjust it to fit height/sight preference. The stand and frameless sundial shaped base are award winning.
Here’s a comparison table of the Top 3 Trading Monitors
If you want a Curved Screen to Replace a Dual-monitor Setup, here’s an Option
Some recent innovations have brought to the market some amazing curved screens. The Samsung SAMSUNG 34-Inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Gaming Monitor is one of them. You can easily replace a dual-screen setup with this high-quality monitor.
It is 34-inch and has a 100Hz refresh rate, multiple Freesync and multiple gaming modes. It has low blue light emissions.
For all mac fans, it has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back. These can also connect to PCs.
A Great Keyboard And Mouse Combination for Day Trading
Usually a bit overlooked, a good keyboard and mouse are in fact your best friends.
Precision, smoothness, silence, sturdiness, as day traders or gamers these characteristics matter a lot.
It might seem inconsequential at first, but a keyboard and mouse can save you some serious errors.
A good keyboard is important to day traders because:
- it contains hotkeys that can speed up trading;
- an easily navigable keyboard saves times for scalpers;
- an ergonomic keyboard can prevent strains on the wrists due to long hours of work.
A good mouse will enable you to trade live on screen with precision. It’s an important tool for scalpers who need to keep up with the fast rate of ongoing trade. And it’s likely you’ll spend hours with it at hand so it had better be smooth and comfortable.
A good mouse has:
- movement tracking sensors for better clicks
- smooth touch
- silent clicks
- extended battery life
Here’s a good combination of Keyboard and Mouse for Day Traders
This keyboard is very smooth, and lightspeed wireless. This means there are no cords binding it to the rest of your PC and cluttering your desk.
It is supported with Bluetooth connection, which is great, because those long hours rooted to a single position can be really exhausting.
This keyboard is also great for mechanical gaming because of its lightsync technology; colors of the game running/ trading program can be reflected on the keyboard.
The FPS Review states that the W/Hero 25k sensor means this mouse can track movement at the sub-micron level (1 millionth fraction of a meter). This precision can be great when scalping on multiple charts.
It hardly needs any extra direction once it has sensed the user’s touch.
This mouse supports the lightsync technology, and has a battery life of over 140 hours.
The best part of the deal is its ambidexterity- this mouse was created to fit both hands perfectly.
The Best Desks for Day Trading or Gaming
As I stated earlier, when choosing your trading setup, your comfort has to factor in.
You have to decide if you prefer a regular sitting desk, or if the standing desk is right for you.
Both options come with their pros and cons.
- Pros: comfort, maintaining a relaxed atmosphere, conserve energy, curbs fatigue
- Cons: risk of weight gain, lower back pains, wrong posture.
- Pros: more focus leading to improved productivity, lower risk of weight gain, low risk of back pains, an erect posture.
- Cons: burn out energy quickly, discomfort.
Three highly Recommended Desks for Day Trading
This desk is 63″ long, and 23.6″ wide, providing ample space to spread out several screens and a keyboard. I will easily bear the weight of the PC, keyboard, books and any other items you’d like to have as well.
It has drawers for keeping smaller items. This desk is suitable for a home office, and nothing too busy or shiny.
It’s simple, solid and with great looks.
This 60″ desk is primarily used by gamers, but day traders can purchase it, if it’s a fit for their taste and budget.
It has a T-frame, when viewed from the profile angle, giving it a solid base.
The Seven Warrior desk can carry 2 medium sized monitors, keyboards and mice.
Although it has no drawer, there’s a double headphone hook, USB gaming rack and a cup holder. Traders need to stay hydrated, too.
The Smart desk by Autonomous is a truly smart innovation, for traders who like to alternate between sitting and standing. Many studies have shown the benefit of standing at your desk.
It is minimalist in design, and can go from 26″ in height to a solid 52″!
And finally, we need to pick an ergonomic chair.
My Top 4 Choices of Ergonomic Chair for Day Trading and Gaming
Trading and gaming are similarly exhausting activities when practiced for long hours.
Apart from having a professional setup, you need to be relaxed while working.
You need a chair that is comfortable, while helping you maintain an erect posture.
A comfortable chair helps prevent back pain, fatigue, and slouch.
The Ergochair 2 is an all black comfy chair, easily adjustable and made in breathable fabric.
The goal of the Ergochair is to retain comfort in a working environment. It is Italian-designed and boasts a tilt tension mechanism.
It offers 360° of flexible, full-body support in any seated position. It also has a comfortable mesh back, blending in a harmony of design, function, and material.
This chair is a swivel desk chair, with adjustable lumbar support and armrests.
The lumbar support helps align the waist lower back, to prevent lower back pain.
The adjustable armrests relieve the arms of tension.
The Sihoo seat is padded for comfort, with a breathable back for proper ventilation.
This chair is designed to support the frame of a trader/gamer for long hours.
The adjustable headrest supports the neck through work hours.
The dynamic lumbar support is there to carry the lower back, regardless of the pressure.
Its 4D adjustable armrest helps you adjust your arms to any height or direction.
The aluminum wheelbase provides stability to the rest of the frame, while the blade wheels help you move silently without having to stand.
If you’re a bit more of a gamer than a trader, this is a good option.
This high back chair made of leather is suitable for working on computers or gaming for hours.
The leather material makes it comfortable to sit on, and swivel in any direction.
It has an adjustable headrest and lumbar support, designed to bear the weight of the trader’s frame.
Bonus: Get Yourself A Screen Lamp
When speaking of lamps for your trading setup, you would naturally think of table lamps.
Table lamps are in fact not the best option.
Why ? Because they take up space, and also creates a glare on your monitor, causing eye strain.
A screen lamp is better suited to your setup as it brightens up the workspace without reflecting that light directly on your screen.
It emits a soft light that is easy on the eyes.
This lamp weighs about 1.17 pounds, and hardly takes up any space in your setup.
The hue adjustment feature gives you the choice to adjust lighting to whatever shade is comfortable for you.
While the auto dimming feature controls the intensity of light to suit your workspace.
VIDEO: The Best Desks for Day Trading and Gaming
Here is a video I made on a few choices of desks for Day Traders and Gamers.
Now that we’ve looked at all the possible options, which ones would I choose ?
Well, my ideal setup would be:
- ACER Aspire AIO PC
- Dell S-Series 27″ [for a second screen]
- Cubi Cubi Computer desk
- Autonomous Ergochair 2
- The BenQ e-Reading lamp
What would be yours?
There’s no pressure in choosing your ideal trading setup. Keep in mind that it’s all about you.
You need a setup that inspires you to be productive, yet keeps you comfortable.
Safe Trading to all.