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Trading laptop - Alienware or Falcon Trading Systems?
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Trading laptop - Alienware or Falcon Trading Systems?

  #41 (permalink)
Legendary Market Chamois
Chicago, IL
Trading Experience: None
Platform: NT8,NT7,TWS,FOREX.COM app
Broker/Data: InteractiveBrokers, NinjaTrader Brokerage FOREX.COM, IQFeed
Favorite Futures: The one I'm creating in the present....ES, ZF, ZN, ZB, FX pairs
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addchild View Post
I'm genuinely surprised by all the people recommending spending hundreds of extra $$ to buy a laptop/desktop from someone who specializes in "trading computers".

I put trading computers in quotations because that's not a thing (at least not in terms of laptops and desktops). A desktop for trading might be optimized to handle lots of monitors, but you can configure a desktop like that from many builders who won't charge you a premium for attaching trading to the name.

The speed of your computer wont really make a difference for scalping, other than ensuring it is fast enough, and any modern 4-6 core laptop cpu will be more than fine. A few extra microseconds of time spent processing data on your local computer is dwarfed by the time the orders will spend traversing from Fort Worth Texas to Aurora Illinois.

As for your external monitor the on-board graphics of intel cpu's are more than enough to drive a 1 or 2 external 4k monitors.

SSD and RAM are the largest quality of life features you have control over, 32gb of ram would be great, and will keep your computer feeling speedy for many years. As for the ssd get however much space you need, but there is no reason to have a spinning hard drive in a modern desktop/laptop.

By that same logic there is no such thing as a gaming computer

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I buy Falcon because I demand an edge from every single aspect of my business.

The same reason Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch buy from them.

Thatís all. One mans edge is another mans (fill in the blank).


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  #42 (permalink)
Raleigh NC USA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker/Data: Optimus
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aadbosma View Post
Just an idea.

You might consider buying a cheaper laptop and use a VPS close to the exchange computers?

This is a very sound idea.

I know you are looking for a transportable laptop. There are a couple of things you should take into consideration when designing a PC. ( I build my own)

1. CPU you are crunching numbers and this is more like a work station and definitely not gaming. Look at the software that you will be running don't forget operating system and things like mail. For each one to run with maxed out CPU's how many processors do you need. It could be 4 or 32 and everything in between. Some CPU's are designed for work stations and will perform much better than a gaming CPU.

2 RAM is going to be a function of the software utilization as well. This may require an inquiry with the tech support and ask how much RAM does each package need for max speed. What ever the total is double it and then round up. With every update every package will need more and more RAM. This method will give you at least 3-5 years growth. Paging even to an SSD will be a noticeable slowdown.

3. Storage SSD is the right way to go for speed. Don't learn the hard way that an SSD can crap out and you lose everything (this is where the VPS comes into play.) Always have a regular hard disk on your machine where you back everything up daily. (This can be external)

4. Graphics should be a workstation card and you will want an IPS monitor. Give some consideration to mounting in portrait mode.

5. Trading, your computer plays a small piece of the speed equation. The real issue is execution time. How long does it take for your instruction to reach the exchange. Brokerages spend billions to try to improve there execution time. This includes how fast the receive the information as well as the time it takes to send your trade and process it. This is another reason to consider VPS. When there is high volume days the transmission times will really slow down.

I've told you more than I know

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  #43 (permalink)
Elite Member
Bay Area California
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Blash View Post
By that same logic there is no such thing as a gaming computer

Attachment 266938

Attachment 266939

or a PointOfSale computer
Attachment 266937

I buy Falcon because I demand an edge from every single aspect of my business.

The same reason Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch buy from them.

Thatís all. One mans edge is another mans (fill in the blank).


Sent from my iPhone using

You're right, a gaming computer is just a moniker for a computer with a dedicated graphics card. Any you are probably better off spending your money on a gaming computer than a trading computer because at least that niche is saturated enough that the premium you'd spend over the parts alone is very slim.

As for POS computers that was really just a way to sell software, it doesn't seem to equate here. That would be like if Ninjatrader only ran on computers they sold.

There is absolutely no advantage/edge to be had buying a computer from Falcon, they don't do anything special, they just assemble computers.

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  #44 (permalink)
Denver, CO
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TS and MD/IRT with IQFeed
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ, RUS, CL, US
Posts: 40 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1 given, 18 received

Iíve been very happy with digital storm custom computers. Theyíve lasted twice as long as my prior dells.

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  #45 (permalink)
San Francisco, CA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja Trader, TOS
Favorite Futures: rty, cl, gc, nq, ym, dax, es
Posts: 49 since May 2011
Thanks: 27 given, 57 received

I noticed most of the good intentions attempting to provide good suggestions. I suppose if one is willing to spend any excessive amount of money just for the sake of having a 'super computer' that is one thing. However if you wish to be practical, that is another story. Perhaps reality falls somewhere in between.

I personally believe in the latter. Anything over 4 processors, 16G RAM, SSD and a very high speed internet is adequate. And as some have suggested, VPS is a bonus.

The reason I say that is because I am software development engineer. I worked for Hewlett Packard before personal computers were even conceived. We built computers to compete with IBM. They were usually an overkill and with the upmost quality in order to compete. When HP built their first personal computer, it was build with the same characteristics and way over priced. Hardly anybody purchased it. Eventually, they lowered their quality standards and purchased Compaq company so they could build competitive personal computers.

By the way, I do not want to push a particular brand (unlike some who keep pushing for Falcon, are they reps?). I have 2 laptops and I am running both at least 16 hours a day with complex power hungry programs I wrote for NinjaTrader and ThinkOrSwim. In fact, for about 6 years the first laptop was running 24 hours a day auto trading.

The oldest laptop is 11 years old. The newer one is only 3. I have no complaints. They both happen to be Dell, but I am not pushing for Dell. Call me lucky.

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  #46 (permalink)
Rochester NH/USA and soon to be Inglis FL
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, TOS
Broker/Data: TOS,Infinity,NT
Favorite Futures: ES,YM,NQ
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I use CyberpowerPc laptop, It works great for me.

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  #47 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: ATAS
Favorite Futures: 6e, es, zn
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Hello, interesting thread.

I have a friend with a highly specced alienware laptop, who needed to update/ upgrade the size of his SSD-- apparently there is something about the security on these computers that makes it very hard to do. So basically he's up for a new laptop because the part can't be upgraded easily. His specific issue was related to some specialised software he uses that needed a large amount of data stored on the operating system disc-- I'm sure this wouldn't apply to most of us.

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  #48 (permalink)
Long Beach, CA
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader
Favorite Futures: Futures
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Posts: 35 since Jun 2010
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Beware of Intel chip machines

There is a major security issue for Intel Chips. I suggest you do your own research. (Tom's Hardware & Youtube). I am bring this up, because I was about to purchase a NUC minidesk unit, which would be a replacement for my tired Toshiba Satellite i3. When I discovered the info on the intel chips I scraped the NUC idea and researched AMD minidesk A300w, with a Ryzen CPU. I can get a barebones box with power supply, and then I add the CPU, RAM, Storage (M.2 & SATA) x 2., OS, keyboard/mouse, for approx. $700. The size of the box is 155 x 155 x 80 mm., so it is very portable.

I trade the ZB, UB on NT7...will be changing over to SC.

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  #49 (permalink)
Buffalo, NY
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: Emini ES, NQ
Posts: 2 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 3 given, 1 received

I picked up one of these for $350 on slickdeals back on Nov and it's more than sufficient:

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  #50 (permalink)
Sarasota, Florida
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS, IB, TS
Broker/Data: TD Ameritrade, IB, TS
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ, YM, RTY
Posts: 16 since Jan 2018
Thanks: 15 given, 11 received

Better off with a PC manufacturer

Currently shopping for a replacement desktop and Here is what I found.

1.PC manufacturers such as Dell or HP offer more spec's for the money.

2. Falcon and such still selling older hardware for the same money if not more, which very soon will be out of date. For example graphic cards with DVI on them. Monitors are over priced as well.

3. Falcon and such will charge more for cables and accessories.

You can easily get a decent PC, then shop around for monitors and accessories for less money, and overall you will have a set up that is up to date and it will be quiet a while before you need to upgrade.

Really no need for an overkill spec's . Like some mentioned above, any average system will do handle all trading needs comfortably.

Good luck.

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