The $1,500 Build

If you're looking to set up the ultimate trading desk PC, this is the one. It's informed by three guiding principles: it must be fast, quiet, and classy. You'll have all of this and more for just $1,500, and indeed this system will instantly start paying for itself as it maximizes your trading potential.

For September 2019, this build offers the latest components to ensure that your trading will never get bogged down. It takes advantage of AMD's amazing new Ryzen 7 3800X eight-core processor, a true technological tour de force that simply blows away everything in Intel's stable. Have you noticed AMD's stock price lately, by the way? Yeah, this is the reason! The 3800X boasts the latest Zen 2 architecture and offers 16 total threads running at up to 4.5GHz. Translation: huge multi-tasking capabilities! Do you have ten windows open, full of charts, graphs, and news feeds? No problem, the 3800X can handle it! Backing up the CPU is 32GB of fast DDR4-3200 memory, giving you an awesome combination of speed and capacity. You'll seriously never run out of RAM, no matter how many apps or windows you have open! Also in this system is Samsung's ultra-fast 970 Evo Plus 500GB solid-state drive. When you're in the groove, you'll be getting huge streams of data hitting your drive constantly, and the 970 Evo Plus can keep up without breaking a sweat.

In the graphics department, we're focused on two things: ultra-high-resolution connectivity, along with tremendous efficiency. So we go with the GeForce GTX 1660 6GB, which provides three DisplayPort outputs each capable of handling three ultra-high resolution monitors simultaneously (and we recommend a jaw-dropping 3840x1600 ultra-wide monitor later in this guide, which is perfect for serious trading). The GTX 1660 also happens to be a very capable gaming GPU, in case you want to try out the latest games in your down time. To put the finishing touches on this build, we suggest you equip it with an ultra-quiet 550W Gold-rated power supply and install it in the stunning Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX tempered glass chassis. By the way, we also recommend Windows 10 Pro for this system, due to its enhanced security and networking features.

Want to see how this build has evolved over time? Then check out the $1,500 Stock Trading PC Archive. For extra help building your PC, check out our in-depth guide to Assembling a Ryzen-Based PC. And if you're looking to complete your system, browse our Monitor Buyer's Guide and Peripherals Buyer's Guide, although you'll find our favorite picks for a trading PC listed later on this page.

Pricing and availability for midrange components change constantly, and we use real-time pricing engines so you always see the most up-to-date prices available. Links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany are also provided for each component category, with regional substitutions made based on availability. To support this site, please use these links if you purchase any of the products we list. 

The $1,500 Stock Trading PC - September 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

    With eight cores and 16 threads that run at well over 4GHz thanks to its aggressive Turbo boost mode, the new Ryzen 7 3800X is resetting expectations in the high-end CPU market. It easily matches the performance of Intel's offerings, but comes in at a much lower price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Because this CPU comes with an excellent, effective cooler, so there's no need to upgrade to an aftermarket model.

  • Motherboard:

    ASRock X570M Pro4

    This new X570 model offers tremendous features for the price. It packs in dual M.2 SSD slots, a dedicated M.2 slot for a WiFi card, eight USB ports (including a Type-C port), and high-end audio.

    The Guru's Tip:

    It's very important to note that only X570-based motherboards will support the 3800X CPU out of the box, and this is the only micro ATX X570 board on the market. All older B450/X470 boards would require a firmware update, which can only be applied if you have an older CPU on hand.

    Video Card:

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 6GB

    Let's be clear here: while the GTX 1660 is technically a "gaming" card, we're recommending it primarily for another capability it offers: running up to three ultra-high-resolution screens simultaneously. That's thanks to its triple DisplayPort outputs, each of which can handle resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 (or 4 x 1080p). And with 6GB of memory onboard, it will never bog down regardless of how many pixels it's pushing.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Of course, this is actually a very potent gaming GPU as well, so during your off time you can easily catch up on the latest titles! It's so far superior to cards costing just slightly less that we can no longer recommend them.

    Memory:

    Corsair 4x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 White

    As a trader, you're going to have tons of browser windows and apps open at once, and you're going to want to flip between them in an instant. That means you need lots of high-speed RAM, and this 32GB DDR4-3200 kit will do the trick!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To run this RAM at its full speed, you will need to select the RAM overclocking profile in the UEFI BIOS. This is sometimes called AMP, XMP, or DOCP.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB PCIe

    During your trading hours, you're going to be downloading data every millisecond, and you need your data drive to keep up. That means you don't just want an SSD, you want an ultra-fast PCIe-based SSD. The 970 Evo Plus from Samsung is the right tool for the job, built on industry-leading 96-layer 3D V-NAND flash and the best controller in the business.

    The Guru's Tip:

    There's no need for huge amounts of storage in a trading system; speed and reliability are what matter, and that's what you get with this drive.

    Case:

    Phanteks EVOLV mATX Tempered Glass Gray

    For a PC case that's going to be sitting on a trading desk, three criteria must be met: it must be compact, quiet, and attractive. That's where the elegant Evolv mATX comes in. With a hinged glass door, brushed aluminum panels, and a sleek design, it will look great in your trading office. It uses dual 140mm fans for quiet and effective cooling.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case comes in three finishes (black, grey, and silver), which each provide a distinct premium look. All are available from the same product page.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-550FX

    The 550FX from Seasonic is the perfect power supply for this system. It offers Gold-rated efficiency (that's 90% at 50% load) and plenty of power (550W) in an ultra-short 140mm chassis, which makes it very easy to install. The best part: with the wattage this system will pull, the 550FX will never need to run its fan, meaning it will operate in complete silence!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Seasonic backs this unit up with a 10-year warranty. For a system that is likely to be powered on much of the day, that provides serious peace of mind!

    The 802.11ac CNVi Adapter:

    Gigabyte CNVi WiFi Wireless-AC Upgrade kit

    Add high-speed wireless networking to your PC with this cutting-edge card-based 802.11ac networking kit!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This drops right into the dedicated M.2 slot labeled "M.2 WiFi" on the motherboard, and then secures to the back panel of the case.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Flash Drive

    Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. It truly is the only OS to consider.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The "Pro" version of Windows includes features important to those who make a living off their PC, including Bitlocker data encryption and remote log-ins.

Optional Components

    The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard:

    Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Rapidfire Low Profile

    Featuring the exclusive Cherry MX Low-Profile switches, this keyboard combines the responsiveness of a true mechanical spring switch with the silence of a rubber dome model. It will make you type faster so you never miss a critical keystroke. Despite its gaming-grade reflexes and RGB lighting, this is also the perfect trading keyboard, since it's whisper quiet. Learn more in our full review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    By the way, we know RGB backlighting isn't the favorite of every professional, but don't worry - you can dim it or shut if off entirely!

    The Ultimate Business Mouse:

    Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless

    Nothing can bog you down faster when in the midst of a quick trade than a mouse tangled up on its cord. So we strongly recommend a wireless mouse, but not just any wireless mouse - the MX Master 2S from Logitech has an incredibly comfortable profile, ideal for use all day long. Its built-in battery will last up to 70 days before needing a charge.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This mouse can even track on glass!

    The Ultimate Trading Monitor:

    Dell U3818DW 38" Ultra-Wide

    There's a new king of trading desk monitors, and it's the Dell U3818DW! With a massive resolution of 3840x1600 and a highly-curved panel, the latest ultra-wide from Dell is the perfect trading monitor. It can easily support viewing three standard-sized windows side-by-side. We much prefer this monitor to 4K models for trading purposes, as running a typical 32" 4K (3840x2160) monitor at native resolution will make charts unreadable. You're much better off going with an ultra-wide model with slightly lower resolution.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you need to use DisplayPort to properly support this resolution, which is why we've made sure to equip this system with a video card that has a DisplayPort output. In fact, it has three, so feel free to add another one of these giant monitors to your setup!