When you're trading stocks or cryptocurrency, having a powerful processor can make all the difference. Working on a computer with the right processor or CPU allows you to execute trades quickly and efficiently. However, not every processor is suitable for day trading. After all, when day trading, you need to prioritize speed, calculation ability, and often an ability to multitask.
So, which processor is best for trading? In this article, we'll explain why having the best processor for day trading is so crucial. Then, we'll dive a bit deeper into some of the best processors for trading to help you find the perfect computer setup for your needs.
While there are many components that make up a computer system, none are as critical as its CPU. The processor is like the brain of the computer. The CPU, or central processing unit, is responsible for a majority of the intensive calculations required to run computer programs and process data. It carries out instructions from software and ensures that everything runs smoothly and quickly. So, the faster your processor is, the faster your computer can function and the faster you'll be able to execute trades. This is why it's important to choose an appropriate CPU when upgrading your trading workspace—you can't have an effective trading setup without a high-quality one!
There are three vital specs to consider when selecting a processor. These include:
One important note: the newest processors are not always the best choice. Finding the processor with the right specs to match your software is very important. To find the best processor for your software, consider the needs of the software. Some trading programs don’t, or can’t, use multiple cores. Others can be run on less powerful, slower processors.
Many trading platforms can only utilize one CPU core at a time. Some popular single-threaded trading platforms are: Thinkorswim, TradeStation, and eSignal. If you are using a single-threaded platform, you should purchase a processor with a high clock speed. The clock speed is measured in GHz; the higher the number, the better. For example, an Intel Core i9 10900K/KF processor has a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz and a turbo of 5.3 GHz. The turbo frequency will ramp up as your trading platform requires more to be done. When you increase the processor GHz, you increase the amount of work it can achieve in each clock cycle.
Some trading platforms are able to utilize more than one CPU core at a time. These are known as multi-threaded applications. Multi-threading is the ability of a program to use more than one CPU core simultaneously. Some popular multi-threaded trading platforms are: NinjaTrader, TradingView, Multi-Charts, and MetaTrader. If you are using a multi-threaded platform, you should purchase a processor with many cores and a high GHz. The number of processing threads is important because the more threads you have available, the faster your trading platform can ramp up operations, saving you time. The Intel Core i9 12900K/KF processor has 16 cores and 24 threads, making it ideal for crunching numbers while also delivering a turbo speed of 5.2GHz.
Trading computers come equipped with either an Intel or AMD processor. Both companies make processors at multiple levels, varying in terms of speed and performance. Keep in mind, however, that many trading platforms built their platforms using the compiler that Intel created, and they take advantage of key Intel features. While AMD has closed the performance gap and leveled the playing field, Intel is still a better choice in many cases.
Below is a list of the best processors from each company that are suitable for trading at all levels.
Intel is a popular choice for everyday PCs and trading computers alike. Intel processors provide premium performance and speed, but have a premium price.
At Falcon Trading Systems, you can customize your trading computer to provide the speed and efficiency you need or desire. Our Intel CPUs include:
The Intel Core-i5 10600K / KF is the minimum Intel processor that a trading computer should have. It provides enough power and speed to get the job done, making it ideal for beginner traders, hobbyists, and those on a budget.
As one of the most powerful CPUs available, the Intel Core-i7 12700K / KF is good for all around, multi-purpose use. It can reach speeds of up to 5 GHz, allowing the processor to manage large workloads with ease.
The Intel Core-i9 12900K is the top-of-the-line choice for traders. It has some of the highest clock speeds around. Plus, Intel's new hybrid performance architecture integrates two types of cores for smooth and efficient performance.
AMD processors are another highly powerful option for use in trading. These CPUs offer great performance and suitable speeds but at a more affordable price point than Intel processors. We offer two excellent options for AMD processors at Falcon Trading Systems: the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. Let's take a closer look at the specs of these top-notch CPUs:
The Ryzen 5 5600G from AMD is an excellent choice for new traders who are building their first trading setups. The CPU provides all the power and speed necessary to run popular trading programs and more.
While this is generally a good processor, it’s not the best for trading. Falcon Trading Systems does not offer this as an option because its singe-threaded process performance isn’t powerful enough for trading programs. While many trading programs are multi-threaded applications, they still rely on single-threaded processes. When these processes cannot calculate the data fast enough, it brings even the most robust trading platform to it’s knees. This is another example of who Intel still dominates the Trading Computers space.
So, which processor is best for trading? It all depends on the type of trading you plan to do and the software you will use. Both Intel and AMD offer some spectacular processors, but one may be better suited to your needs than the other.
Intel processors dominate in terms of sheer performance. The Core-i9 12900K, for example, offers 16 cores at speeds up to 5.2 GHz, making it one of the fastest and most powerful processors on the market. The brand also makes great processors for hobby traders who don't need quite as much power.
For beginners, the Intel Core-i5 10600K / KF and the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G are both great choices. When it comes down to price/performance ratio, AMD's Ryzen series offers arguably more bang for your buck thanks to their competitive pricing when compared to similar low end Intel models.
In the end, both Intel and AMD CPUs have options for beginners in day trading. When you start looking to purchase a dedicated trading computer, there are more factors to consider. Intel processors are a better option for new and seasoned traders. Intel makes a range of high-powered CPUs that are ideal for all types of traders who prefer top-of-the-line performance. AMD processors are good for those concerned about price, but with the understanding that the Ryzen still can’t keep up with Intel in most cases.
Still, no matter which type of processor you choose, you know you'll be getting a great product when you shop at Falcon Trading Systems. Visit us today to find the best processor for trading and browse all of our high-performance trading setups!