Computer Buying Advice
Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Daytraders
|If you are a daytrader or investor running real-time charting software, you need specific computer components. Here are our suggestions for a daytrader.|
A Daytrader's Computer
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Daytraders Have Specific Computer Needs
With all a daytrader must do during the trading day, the last thing you want to think about is your computer. If you are in the market for a new computer system, here is a quick lesson to help you wade through the ads and enable you to ask intelligent questions when you go shopping. You'll soon know more than many computer sales persons.
If you are (or want to be) a daytrader, focus on the following specifics:
Most off-the-shelf systems will not be adequate for your needs so review the ads carefully. Computer charting software is memory intensive, and running multiple charts in real-time is a drain on your video capabilities.
We have put together a short description of each component your system will need, along with average pricing as of the present date (January 22, 2000). Use this Shopping List as a guide when ordering your next system.
To find a good computer vendor, walk into any computer shop (some small shops are excellent) and tell them you'd like to discuss a custom computer.
The first thing they should ask is, "What are you going to use the computer for?" This is to discover whether you need more memory, better video, good sound, etc. If they do not ask you what you plan to do with the computer, get out of their shop and go elsewhere.
Check your community for a local computer magazine. Our local area has two - Computer Bits and Computer Source Magazine, both full of ads from local computer shops who are happy to answers questions.
Reading the Computer Ads
Here are several things to watch out for in deciphering computer store ads. This is an example from the Sunday Oregonian (January 23, 2000), Portland, Oregon.
Intel Celeron Processor 500 MHz -
15" monitor -
Rebates that include Internet access -
2 Mg or 4Mg Video -
Windows 98 -
Keep your eyes open. Many ultra cheap systems do not include a CD-ROM, modem, or sound card, all of which you will need.
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