Desktop or Laptop: Which Way for the Online Trader?

Everybody loves the fact that we can now get out of the house with our laptops and still get some useful work done. The generation that attended college when laptops had finally become powerful and cheap enough for every student to afford one are in the workplace now, and it hasn’t left the portable workstation behind.

Today’s life calls for constant connectivity in order to keep up with everything that’s going on in this 24-hour world, and a great solution has been the laptop, tablets, and the smart-phone. A question comes up for many traders on the financial markets, however, and that’s whether or not laptop computers match up to their desktop counterparts when it comes to trading.Laptop

Online trading has become a very popular endeavor for those looking to either make a living or simply earn some extra money. Thus, the question of which type of computer is most suited for the job becomes a pertinent one, especially considering that their trading activities may become a significant part of their lives.

To that end, we’ve prepared this piece looking into the merits and demerits of laptop and desktop computers from the perspective of online trading participants to help you decide just which one would suit your purposes best.

Let’s do it.

Desktop Computers

For most of the general public, were they to be asked to picture a busy trader at work, they would either come up with a vision of shouting people on the busy trading floor of a stock exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange, or perhaps an office trader with a desktop computer with multiple screens on his work-station. These would have all sorts of graphs, counters, and charts displayed. Very few would picture someone sitting in a Starbucks with a laptop parked next to their sugar-free caramel herbal latte.

It’s understandable. Online trading is a rather new development to the general public, and the possibility of doing it effectively on a laptop computer is even more far-fetched. Desktop computers do, however, have a lot going for them when it comes to getting your trading done effectively.

  • Expansion Capacity

The most obvious difference between a desktop and a laptop is their size. Desktops can be as large as you’re willing to have them, and this space can be used to expand various attributes of the computer with additional RAM, video cards, motherboards, graphics cards, hard-disks, connectivity ports, and such. You can build up a desktop computer to the very peak of performance without having to replace the entire setup. Online traders who rely on such tools as personal algorithms and custom algorithms might require this capability in order to accommodate the RAM and power-hungry requirements of such operations.

  • Turbo-Charging

When a computer is pushed to perform near its upper limits or even beyond what the manufacturer recommended (e.g. through over-clocking the processor), the danger lies in the risk of overheating the computer. Desktop computers can be tweaked to deal with this limitation as they have enough room within their casings to allow the installation of more powerful fans or liquid cooling systems t o handle the extra heat effectively.

Laptop Computers

Laptops have one major attribute in their favor when it comes to online trading, and that’s their portability. Nothing quite matches up to a good laptop when it comes to the convenience of mobility. For those looking for a laptop suitable for online trading, the thing to keep in mind is that you should not sacrifice computing power and speed for increased portability.

Even though laptops are basically designed for maximum portability, you should am for something that can handle the sometimes demanding requirements of online trading operations. Consider something along these lines or close to it and it should work just fine for the average trader.

  • RAM – A minimum of 16GB will accommodate your extra processing requirements such as live-trading and exchange floor streaming.
  • Screen Dimensions – 15 to 17 inches should be just about enough for you to keep an eye on everything you need to be on the lookout for.
  • Multi-Monitor Capabilities – Get your hands on a laptop with enough USB slots to accommodate extra USB monitors so that you can have the convenience of multiple displays when carrying out your online trading.
  • Processor – Processors should be the latest and most powerful you can get your hands on, such as the Intel mobile i7

The Final Word

At the end of the day online trading requirements vary according to the style, skill, and trading methods being put in use. While laptops will obviously beat desktops when it comes to portability, they are entirely outclassed when it comes to almost every other metric.

Consider the intensiveness and power demands of your operations, and then make the decision. The more complex and involved your operation is, the more you should lean towards a desktop computer as your main online trading station.

Image Credits: Laptop from ImYanis/Shutterstock

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