There are a few things to consider when choosing the best graphics card for your trading computer. The most important factor is the number of monitors you plan on using. If you only need one or two monitors, then a lower-end card will suffice. However, if you plan on using three or more monitors, then you'll need a higher-end card, or cards, that can handle the extra load.
Another factor to consider is the type of trading you do. If you're a heavy trader who needs to see multiple charts and data at once, then you'll need a card that can handle both a high level of information as well as more monitors. However, if you're a light trader who only needs to see one or two charts at a time on only one or two monitors, then you won't need as powerful of a card.
ThinkOrSwim’s Technical Support Team suggests graphics cards with the ability to compute data similarly to a processor using an NVIDIA technology called CUDA, which essentially allows you to run the math on your graphics card, so if you're using ThinkOrSwim, one of our T400/P620/T600 Graphics card options will be required when customizing your Trading Computer.
Using gaming video cards in your trading computer configuration is possible, but we don't usually recommend it unless your application demands it. Gaming cards operate hotter and have a shorter lifespan, making them more likely to fail. Reliability often takes a backseat to performance with gaming cards since they are designed for playing games at the highest framerate possible. Another deterrent is the cost: most mid-range gaming GPUs cost $500 or more each and may only provide two or three output displays.
The main advantage of Quadro cards over gaming cards is the stability and predictability of their drivers and hardware design. If you primarily use your machine for trading software, then we recommend Nvidia Quadro cards. If you would like to use your trading computer for gaming as well as trading, we have options for that as well. Please contact our sales team, and they can get your Trading Computer customized to fit your needs perfectly.
Here's a chart to break it down for you:
|1 or 2 Monitors||light trading||low- to mid-range graphics card
(2 monitor support)
|3 or 4 Monitors||medium trading||mid- to high-end graphics card
(3 or 4 monitor support)
|5 or more Monitors||heavy trading||high-end graphics cards
(3 to 4 monitor support per card)