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How Much System Memory Do You Need To Purchase For Your Trading Computer?

Trading Computer Memory Selection

When purchasing a trading computer, one of the most common questions is: "How much memory do you need for trading?" The answer can vary depending on many factors, including trading style, number of monitors, platform, whether the computer is left on for weeks on end, or if you are backtesting on the Trading Computer.

We'll do everything we can to help you figure out how much memory your trading computer needs so that you can understand what's going on behind the scenes and how much memory it requires.

The first thing to grasp is that the Trading Computer runs two types of programs: 64-bit and 32-bit. This is crucial because different trading platforms are written in one of the two architectures.

32-bit programs can, at max, allocate 4 GB of system memory per process Tradestation is a 32-bit program, and one of the ways that they get around this limitation is to launch multiple 32-bit processes. Still, we have only ever seen Tradestation consume 6GB of memory at max. So if you are running a program that is 32-bit on your trading computer, you can get away with 16GB of memory pretty easily as the max for the program is typically 4GB + 4 GB for Windows leaving you with 8 GB for browsers and other applications.

Fun fact: 64bit programs can consume up to 16 billion gigabytes now that's a lot of memory.

If you're using a 64-bit trading platform, there are some things to consider. First and foremost, we must understand how many HD displays you will be utilizing with the trading system. Though a 4k monitor counts as four HD monitors, each additional HD monitor you operate will increase your system memory usage at an approximate rate of 0.5GB per monitor. So if you're running the Big Six Monitor Array, that's 12GBs of memory. How you utilize the platform has an impact as well. If you have a lot of tick charts or use a specialty indicator package that can easily increase your memory requirements to 1-1.5GB per HD monitor. That would be 36GB of memory usage for a Big Six Monitor Configuration on your Falcon Trading Computer.

Suppose you leave the computer on for a whole week. In that case, it will easily double your memory requirements as some trading platforms have memory leaks and will gradually consume more and more memory, leaving the trading system unusable as it runs out of memory to devote to the trading platform.

So how much memory do you need?

The minimal amount of RAM for a Trading Computer is 16GB, 32GB is ideal for the average trader, and 64GB is typical if you have many monitors and leave your trading computer on for more than a week without restarting it. A trader that utilizes Matlab or Multi-Charts and does extensive backtesting may benefit from having extra memory; therefore, 128GB would be optimal.

Another thing to consider when selecting system memory is memory speed. We at Falcon think exceeding factory limits with your system memory is not recommended and is known as overclocking. Overclocking your system RAM can improve performance, but it comes at the cost of dependability; we work directly with the memory makers to acquire the unique SDRAM chips that match our performance and reliability standards.