When it comes to finding the best laptop for trading, understanding the unique needs and preferences of traders is essential. As an avid follower of financial markets and trading communities, I am well aware of the importance of a reliable and high-performance laptop for executing trades, analyzing charts, and keeping up with the latest market news. From participating in trading forums to watching the most popular trading streams on Twitch, I have gained valuable insights into the features traders look for in their ideal laptop.
In my quest to find the best laptop for trading, I have thoroughly examined an extensive laptop spreadsheet of recent releases, comparing specs and user-generated and professional reviews alike. My selection process focuses on the top laptops that meet the specific requirements of traders, such as powerful processing capabilities, sufficient RAM, multiple monitor support, and long-lasting battery life – all within varying price ranges.
Whether you are a day trader, swing trader, or long-term investor, the best laptop for trading will ensure seamless multitasking, quick access to trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 and Thinkorswim, and a crystal-clear display for reading intricate charts and graphs. While your personal trading style may influence your laptop requirements, this guide aims to provide valuable insights and recommendations to help you make the most informed decision on the perfect laptop for your trading activities.
As the laptop market has evolved over the past few years, it's become increasingly important to consider the right processor when looking for a laptop to use for trading stocks. The right processor is critical, as it can be the difference between success and failure in a competitive market.
Traders use a wide range of applications, from stock trading platforms to web browsers and video editors. As such, you'll want a laptop with plenty of power to handle the load, and the CPU is the most important component in any trading laptop. However, it's not the only one – the graphics card and RAM are also critical, and should be prioritized after the CPU, especially if you're using a dedicated GPU for trading stocks.
Apple has released MacBooks with their own ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2 system-on-chip modules. They offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life, but are not suitable for trading due to the closed nature of macOS. Similarly, while workstations are great for gaming and professional content creation, they aren't recommended for trading due to their hefty price tag and lack of portability.
Intel's 12th generation and AMD's 6th generation CPUs are currently the best options in terms of raw performance, thermals and power consumption. Intel's silicon chips have adopted a hybrid performance/efficiency core design, based on big.LITTLE technology, and AMD's Ryzen models offer good battery life in a PC laptop.
To help you decide on the right processor for trading, I've put together a table of recommended processors by price range:
|Price Range||Processor Model|
In the laptop GPU market, Nvidia continues to dominate. Their latest notebook cards are in RTX 30 series such as RTX 3070 Ti, and they recently released a few RTX 40 series cards, although these are not yet available on laptops (expected in 2023). Unfortunately, Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards, meaning an exact GPU wattage is now determined by a laptop manufacturer (OEM). This results in a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
If you're looking for a MacBook for trading, there's no need to get a dedicated GPU – and a dedicated GPU is not strictly necessary for trading either, although it can be helpful if you're using machine learning models or doing any kind of data science work.
When comparing different graphics cards, I use 3DMark scores because they're a good proxy for real-world gaming performance. Nvidia's graphics card naming convention is pretty straightforward – the higher the series, the more powerful the card. An "M" in front of an "XT" suffix on a card indicates a more powerful version of the chip (but it's not as efficient). And keep in mind that if you're looking for a high-end gaming laptop, expect it to be on the heavy side due to all those components packed inside it.
In terms of what I recommend when it comes to graphics cards for trading laptops, here's a breakdown of the best options at various budgets:
- GeForce GTX 1650
- GeForce RTX 3050
- GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
When it comes to laptops for trading, the most important hardware component to consider is the RAM. This is because trading requires a lot of multitasking and memory intensive applications such as data analysis, trading platforms, and large trading databases. Fortunately, RAM is a relatively simple component to understand. You just need enough to ensure that your system can handle the load you're putting on it.
Most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM and high-end – 32 GB or more. Latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5, though DDR5 is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology.
The minimum RAM recommendation for trading laptops is 8 GB, however, if you're looking for a mid-range laptop, I'd recommend going with 16 GB as a safe bet. For high-end laptops, you'll want to look for at least 32 GB. DDR5 vs DDR4 – there's no reason to get DDR5 unless you're going for a high-end laptop. If you're looking for an entry-level or mid-range laptop, go with DDR4 since it's nearly as fast and costs less.
Finally, some laptops come with soldered RAM modules, so upgrading them is not an option if you need more than the stock amount. However, some laptops allow for upgradeable memory modules, which is always preferable if possible.
Below is an overview of what to expect at each price bracket:
Budget Laptops (under $500)
- 8GB RAM
Mid-Range Laptops ($500-$1,000)
- 16GB RAM
High-End Laptops ($1,000+)
- 32GB RAM or more
Q: What is the best laptop for trading?
The best laptop for trading ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. However, there are a few laptops that stand out in terms of performance and reliability. Some top options include the MSI GF63 Thin, HP Victus 15, ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74, ASUS ROG Strix Scar, Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16, and Dell XPS 17 9720. These laptops offer a combination of powerful processors, ample memory, and high-quality graphics to ensure smooth trading experiences.
What are the recommended specs for a trading laptop?
The recommended specs for a trading laptop include a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, a dedicated graphics card such as the GeForce RTX 3050 or RTX 3050 Ti, and a powerful processor like the i5-11400H or i9-11900H. These specifications provide the necessary performance to handle multitasking, real-time data analysis, and advanced charting applications that are commonly used in trading.
Can I use a laptop for trading stocks?
Absolutely! Laptops are an excellent option for trading stocks. They offer the flexibility and portability to trade from anywhere, whether you're at home, in the office, or on the go. With the right specifications, a laptop can handle the demanding requirements of trading platforms and provide a smooth and efficient trading experience.
What is the minimum RAM required for a trading laptop?
The minimum RAM required for a trading laptop is 8 GB. However, we highly recommend opting for at least 16 GB to ensure smooth multitasking and to handle resource-intensive trading applications effectively. More RAM allows for faster data processing and can prevent lag or delays when working with multiple charts and indicators simultaneously.
Is a dedicated graphics card necessary for a trading laptop?
While a dedicated graphics card is not essential for basic trading tasks, it can significantly enhance the performance and visual experience when using advanced charting software or running multiple monitors. For optimal performance, we recommend a laptop with a dedicated graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1650, RTX 3050, or RTX 3050 Ti, especially if you plan to use complex technical analysis tools or trade on multiple screens.
Can I trade using a MacBook, or do I need a Windows laptop?
Both MacBook and Windows laptops can be used for trading. The choice between the two largely depends on your personal preferences and the trading software you intend to use. Many popular trading platforms, such as MetaTrader and thinkorswim, are compatible with both macOS and Windows. However, it's essential to ensure that the trading software you rely on is available for your preferred operating system before making a purchase.
What are the essential features to look for in a trading laptop?
When selecting a trading laptop, there are several essential features to consider. These include a powerful processor for fast data processing, ample RAM for multitasking, a dedicated graphics card for enhanced performance, a high-resolution display for clear charting, multiple USB ports for connecting peripherals, and a comfortable keyboard for extended typing sessions. Additionally, portability, battery life, and a reliable internet connection are also crucial for trading on the go.
Are gaming laptops suitable for trading?
Yes, gaming laptops can be suitable for trading due to their powerful hardware specifications. Many gaming laptops offer high-performance processors, ample RAM, and dedicated graphics cards that can handle the demanding requirements of trading applications. However, it's important to note that gaming laptops often prioritize cooling and graphics performance, which can result in heavier and bulkier designs compared to traditional business-focused laptops. So, if portability is a top priority, you may want to consider a more lightweight and compact option.
How much storage space do I need for a trading laptop?
The storage space required for a trading laptop depends on your specific needs. Generally, a minimum of 256 GB of storage is recommended to accommodate the operating system, trading software, and other essential applications. However, if you plan to store large amounts of historical data or require additional space for media files, you may want to consider laptops with 512 GB or more storage capacity. It's also worth considering laptops with expandable storage options, such as SSD slots or external storage solutions, for added flexibility.
What is the best budget laptop for trading?
If you're on a budget, the MSI GF63 Thin is an excellent choice for a trading laptop. It offers a great balance between price and performance, with its powerful processor, 16 GB of RAM, and dedicated graphics card. Another budget-friendly option is the HP Victus 15, which provides good performance at an affordable price point of $880. These laptops offer solid performance for trading without breaking the bank. However, do keep in mind that they
6 Best Laptops for Trading
1.HP VictusHP Victus: Affordable gaming with trade-offs.
- Strong entry-level gaming
- Solid productivity performance
- Inexpensive for a gaming laptop
- Display and webcam could be better
- Too much pre-installed software
- Single-channel RAM in our review unit
The HP Victus provides impressive gaming performance at an affordable price, but compromises are made in other areas to keep the cost low.
HP Victus 15 I
- Strong entry-level gaming
- Solid productivity performance
- Display and webcam could be better
- Too much preinstalled software
2.HP Victus 15HP Victus 15: A budget-friendly laptop for gaming and work, with compromises in battery life and design.
- Excellent price
- Good gaming performance
- Can double as a work laptop
- Bad battery life
- Rather plain design
- Weak GPU yields unsatisfactory frame rates
- Screen only so-so despite 144Hz refresh rate
The HP Victus 15 is an affordable gaming laptop that offers good performance for its price. It can handle high-end titles and doubles as a work laptop, but it falls short in terms of battery life and has a plain design.
- Extremely affordable
- Capable in mid-range games
- Rivals are routinely faster
- Single-channel memory
3.ASUS TUF Dash F15ASUS TUF Dash F15: A balanced performer and budget-friendly option for trading.
- Lightweight and well-built design
- Good inputs and IO
- Choice between FHD 300Hz and QHD screen options
- Significantly more powerful than the previous generation
- Some quirks affecting everyday ergonomics
- Ports squeezed together on the left edge
- Caution needed with the FHD 144Hz panel option.
The ASUS TUF Dash F15 is a powerful and affordable laptop that is perfect for trading. It offers a lightweight and well-built design, good inputs and IO, and a choice between a FHD 300Hz or QHD screen. However, be cautious of the FHD 144Hz panel option and some minor quirks affecting everyday ergonomics.
HP Omen 17
- Exceptional processor (i9-12900HX)
- Exceptional graphics card (RTX 3080 Ti)
4.ASUS ROG Strix ScarASUS ROG Strix Scar: A Powerful Trading Laptop with Some Drawbacks
- Sturdy construction
- Fast Wi-Fi 6E
- Excellent response times and no PWM
- Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
- Limited display angle
- No biometric login
- Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads
- High heat and noise emissions under load
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar is a high-performance laptop that caters to the needs of enthusiastic gamers. It boasts a sturdy construction, fast Wi-Fi, excellent response times, and powerful hardware. However, it falls short in areas such as limited display angle, lack of biometric login, high heat and noise emissions under load, and subpar battery backup.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
- Fantastic value
- Top-tier gaming performance
- Middling screen
- A bit heavy
5.Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8: A powerful trading machine with a few drawbacks.
- Strong overall performance
- Big, bright, and fast display
- Per-key RGB lighting
- Some flex to keyboard deck
- Poor battery life
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 is a mid-priced powerhouse equipped with a 13th-gen Core i9 CPU and RTX 4090 graphics, making it a strong option for trading. It offers strong overall performance, a big and fast display, and per-key RGB lighting. However, it does have some keyboard deck flex and poor battery life.
HP Omen 17
- QHD display with 165 Hz refresh rate
- Expandable working memory
- Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
- High noise level
6.Dell XPS 17 9720Dell XPS 17 9720: High performance, stunning display, but graphics and cooling could be improved.
- Excellent 4K display with AdobeRGB
- High-quality case
- Thunderbolt 4 PCIe 4.0
- Very high system performance
- Lower graphics performance than the predecessor
- Performance not completely stable under combined load
- Not Wi-Fi 6E compatible
- 720p webcam
The Dell XPS 17 9720 offers an excellent 4K display with AdobeRGB and high-quality case, along with Thunderbolt 4 and PCIe 4.0 support. It delivers very high system performance and has a fast card reader, but suffers from lower graphics performance than its predecessor and has slightly weak cooling.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo
- Impressively thin, elegant design considering dual displays and sheer power
- Refined two-screen layout
- Eye-watering cost, especially as configured
- Awkward keyboard and touchpad layout
Table of the Best Laptops for Trading
|HP Victus 15||$880|
|ASUS TUF Dash F15||$1,160|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2,050|
|Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16||$3,390|
|Dell XPS 17 9720||$5,600|