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How To Setup Windows 8 For Trading

By Lawrence  

iStock_000004369160XSmallWindows 8.1 is here to stay and it is likely what we are going to get when you go buy a new computer. The problem with Windows 8.1 is that it is not production friendly for anyone who needs a computer for real work. Hence, it is important to make certain changes to the settings so that you get the best out of Windows 8 for your trading.

The User Interface

First, the Windows 8 overall user interface has to go. Booting Windows 8 into the classic desktop is a much better route for computers meant for trading.

Here is a quick reference from How-To Geek on doing just that – How to Optimize Windows 8.1 For a Desktop PC

Basic Performance Tuning

First and foremost, disable visual effects will boost your computer’s responsiveness by 10 to 25 percent depending on how fast your CPU is.

Here is the instruction from Microsoft on how to do that – Optimize Windows for Better Performance

Hardware Upgrade

Windows 8 need more memory to function than the prior versions of Windows. Given the same CPU, there is notable difference in performance when you have 8G of RAM instead of 4 RAM. Hence it is highly recommended to have at least 8G of RAM if you expected to run your trading applications all day with many windows opened at the same the time.

Disable Hibernation and Auto Sleep

Windows built-in hibernation and power saving mode for the monitors (auto sleep) may not be compatible with your trading applications. When Windows think that there is no activity on your computer but in fact you need your trading application to stay connected, it will cause all kinds of problems from ongoing disconnect with your brokerage and messed up chart windows. It is better to disable them so that your trading computer can provide a stable environment for your trading programs.

It is reported many times that the hibernation and auto sleep often cut off a computer from its active internet connection, especially wi-fi connections, which is vital for any trading application to continuously receive data from your brokerage or data feed.

Here is the instruction from Tom’s Hardware – Disable Hibernation in Windows 8 / 8.1

Here is the instruction from YouTube – How to Disable Automatic Sleep Mode in Windows 8

End Notes

There are many more changes can be made to further improve the performance of Windows 8 but those changes are not essential in comparison to the ones mentioned here.  I will write about those changes in a separate article on optimizing the performance of Windows 8.

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