The question of whether a Mac is superior to a PC in trading or vice-versa is a hotly debated one. For starters, the much higher price point for an average Apple computer certainly has a lot to do with their lower market penetration. However, for many traders who use a single machine for trading, cost might not be a major issue.
The average day trader and forex trader is more concerned about whether their trading software, indicators and trading computers give them a trading edge. The Mac is superior to the PC is several ways. Macs are generally easier to set up, start up, use and even maintain, compared to an average PC. A PC typically involves much more hassle to set up and boot, which can be a critical consideration during the opening bell ritual.
Download a quick PDF version of this post. Macs have a reputation for being true workhorses that rarely break down. Mac hardware is single-vendor-controlled—by Apple.
That dramatically cuts down on the hassles of installing and updating device drivers. Macs, on average, do not crash as frequently as PCs and do not need a lot of protective software such as anti-adware, antivirus, and anti-spyware that costs money and slows down machines. Windows PCs have hits and misses, with some brands being more reliable than others. Lower-end PCs, in particular, tend to suffer a rather sharp drop-off in reliability after the first two years of operation, with problems such as overheating and cracked cases.
Macs, on the other hand, tend to be uniformly good with superb longevity. A Mac will run for months with no need for a reboot. When it comes to satisfying the user, Macs beat PCs handily. Macs have ranked at the top of customer satisfaction surveys for more than a decade. Apple has an impeccable service record that many PC manufacturers would be hard-pressed to match.
Many Apple products, including Macs, come with a one-year limited warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support. A native application is software that is specifically designed to run on a particular operating system.
The latest Intel-based Macs can dual-boot Windows. The ability of Macs to run Windows natively is a big step forward. But, pure Windows machines still have an edge in this category. Some traders use multiple computers for trading and control all of them from one keyboard and mouse. But, for a trader who is using six machines, the cost difference between the Macs and PCs can be huge. Throw in the higher cost of software for Macs and the difference might be too big to justify using a Mac.
With PCs, you really do get the best of both worlds. You can go buy a PC and everything is installed from the factory and will work just like a Mac, right out of the box. Single-supported systems smack of vendor lock-in and have less expandability and fewer options. For traders who would like to swing for the fences by running Windows-based programs and applications on their Macs, there is an option of running Windows and OS X simultaneously, through virtualization.
Another option is the use of emulation software for Macs called Parallels. The software creates a full Windows desktop environment, by seamlessly creating virtual machines with no need for rebooting. You can expand your virtual Windows machine into full-screen mode and switch back to the Mac desktop simply by using the Command-Tab keyboard shortcut. Many people, though, prefer to switch back and forth between Windows and Mac desktops. This can be achieved by hiding Windows desktop and simply displaying individual Windows apps.
This is because you will be effectively running two separate operating systems on the same computer, thus sharing resources. For older Macs with limited processor power, running a virtual Windows machine can be a sluggish and pretty disappointing experience. Further, Parallels limits the number of monitors that you can use without seriously degrading the user experience to just two. The two products provide pretty similar features, though Parallels has a reputation for being a little more user-friendly than VMware Fusion.
Ultimately, Windows PCs continue to dominate the world of finance, simply because most trading apps are Windows-only programs. The average trader is, more often than not, a Windows user and most trading platforms are written for Windows PCs.
Even the trading programs that are written for Macs mostly employ a Windows-first approach. The versatility of the PC lends itself well to many trading platforms. If you do choose a PC for trading, go for a higher-end brand from a reputable manufacturer. That being said, if you prefer a Mac, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying the user-friendliness we have all come to enjoy from Apple—especially if you are unhindered by pro-Apple software.
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But does the prevalence of PCs necessarily make them better trading tools than Macs? Higher reliability Macs have a reputation for being true workhorses that rarely break down. Less Expensive Some traders use multiple computers for trading and control all of them from one keyboard and mouse.
PCs are more versatile With PCs, you really do get the best of both worlds. Converting a Mac to a Windows PC For traders who would like to swing for the fences by running Windows-based programs and applications on their Macs, there is an option of running Windows and OS X simultaneously, through virtualization. Which do you prefer and why? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply.More...