Computer Upgrade For ThinkOrSwim


New member
2019 Donor
Curious to hear people's experience with new Apple M1 Chip performance on ThinkorSwim despite it having to use Rosetta 2.

I am on the fencepost of buying a M1 Macbook Air for ThinkorSwim so want to make sure it performs well.

Thinking of getting base model Macbook Air + 16gb ram.

Thanks in advance!

@BenTen anyone you may know who has experience with ThinkorSwim on M1 Air or MBP?

Join useThinkScript to post your question to a community of 21,000+ developers and traders.

@corello Here are the TOS computer requirements:!/system-requirements

You only need to meet the TOS requirements listed above. Anything beyond that will not provide any great benefit given that most operations occur on the TOS servers.

@corello I use Last year Intel Version MBP 16' Specs below, as well as a Custom Build Dual Xeon, Server Board with 256GB RAM and Dual x M4000 (2 x 8GB) GPU.

That said, what I have found out is, TOS is and will continue to use Java AWT for GUI, Until it is completely re-written. What this means is, We can only use single Core, no matter how many core you have in the system. Modern OS (Windows/macOS and even Linux) are designed to select the best CPU core to run any application, so Multi core helps.

What is best for TOS is not more Cores, but more GHz per core. I would pick a CPU that can scale up to 5Ghz even if it only 4 Core over CPU that can only do 3.8 Ghz 10Core. I would honestly consider building a PC with AMD CPU. GPU isn't critical either, since all TOS do is a 2D Graphics. I haven't tried a M1 Mac yet, but I might soon, will let you know when I have more info.


Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro16,1
Processor Name: 8-Core Intel Core i9
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 16 MB
Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled
Memory: 32 GB
Boot ROM Version: 1037. (iBridge: 17.16.16610.0.0,0)
Hardware UUID: 2513B3D6-152A-59AE-8AE8-EDA951609B45
Activation Lock Status: Disabled
GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (8GB)

Surprisingly, although I have two relatively powerful trading workstations I do most of my work and trading on a paltry 5 year old Dell Inspiron i3 upgraded to Windows 10 with 8G RAM and a 500G SDD, with 100mbs broadband... I can run one or two instances of TOS with multiple chart panels open and my fan NEVER runs... It also has Firefox and Google Chrome running 24/7 with 6 to 8 open tabs each... Waiting on the TOS servers is my only bottleneck, not my PC's or broadband... The only downside is that the laptop has lower graphics capabilities than I'd like but I manage just fine...

I'm an IT Consultant and I perform cleanup maintenance every weekend... I do not recommend using any Norton or McAfee products as they diminish performance more than they provide protection... I run the default Windows Security that comes with Windows 10 and am very diligent at being careful where I point my web browsers... I clean up more PC's that run the aforementioned commercial packages, by far... When I prep a new PC's for customers I remove the pre-installed trial security packages and insure that Windows Security has taken over protection... My actual trading workstations only run TOS...
Ah, I remember those Windows days of constant clean up and maintenance.

I think the high end x86 MBPros have GPU cooling issues. CPU is not taxed much with ToS but once the GPU starts getting utilized, fans get excited. I can hide ToS and hear alerts, meaning runs in the background, and fans calm down.
Ah, I remember those Windows days of constant clean up and maintenance.

I think the high end x86 MBPros have GPU cooling issues. CPU is not taxed much with ToS but once the GPU starts getting utilized, fans get excited. I can hide ToS and hear alerts, meaning runs in the background, and fans calm down.

I don't perform cleanups out of necessity, it's just force of habit - like changing underwear and brushing my teeth... But you'd be amazed at how some of my customers can muck up a computer without even trying... They never learn, no mater how much I reiterate things to them, but it keeps me in business...
I know this is discussed from time to time, I have not seen any recent discussions. I am going to upgrade my PC and I would like some input from the group as to which computer system you like. The best to run many monitors and trading platforms. THANKS!!
I moved your thread here, to see what upgrades other members have done.
You can search the forum for additional threads like this.
I remember back in the day, AMD CPUs would sometimes have compatibility issues with certain apps. Has anyone noticed any compatibility or stability issues when running TOS on a Ryzen computer?

Thinking of going with Ryzen for my next build, but if it's going to cause any issues with a mission critical (for me) app like TOS, then I'll stick with Intel.
I found Mobius's comments on PC computer specs needed for running TOS to be succinct and accurate.
This is helpful for anyone thinking of upgrading their computer.


Last edited:
After I upgraded to a current gen Ryzen computer, I saw a lot of improvement in terms of the amount of chart lag while running a bunch of complex indicators simultaneously.
What CPU did the old PC have, and which Ryzen processor does the new PC have?
I've made this type of upgrade twice. I don't recall my old machine's cpu but it was a gaming laptop from maybe 2017, and I upgraded to a laptop with a Ryzen 4800U about 1.5 years ago. The difference in chart lag was massive. I then got about four months ago a laptop with a Ryzen 9 series chip (5900HX) and it was a noticeable improvement over the 4800U but perhaps only because I have a lot of concurrently running studies that use the SecondsTillTime functions and others which are huge resource hogs (and I'm running dozens of studies concurrently on a 1min chart which may be more resource intensive than higher time frames, not sure if that is making a difference). For more standard chart setups it's surely overkill having such a powerful gaming laptop. I also found that having 32gb ram helps and a very powerful gpu is probably also helping although I'm less sure about how much difference the gpu is making.
I am going to upgrade my PC. Any advice on a great system that will drive multiple monitors/charts etc.?

ToS Current Requirements:!/system-requirements

Keep in mind that Scwab is building a combined platform debuting late 2023 which should be multithreaded.
Like @petergluis, the 4k monitors are game changing. I can have TEN lower charts!
To run the higher res monitors get the best graphics card that you can afford.
Thanks guys!
i went middle of the road, not too expensive. some day i will upgrade to something like petergluis mentioned.
i have an i7 lenovo laptop with a USB-C dock , driving 2 tv's , 32" and 48"
my usable resolution is limited by the laptop , 1920 x 1080, which isn't bad, i can read it.
the dock is capable of double that 3840 x 2160
the dock has graphics hardware and gives me an ethernet port.

Similar threads

Not the exact question you're looking for?

Start a new thread and receive assistance from our community.

87k+ Posts
353 Online
Create Post

Similar threads

Similar threads

The Market Trading Game Changer

Join 2,500+ subscribers inside the useThinkScript VIP Membership Club
  • Exclusive indicators
  • Proven strategies & setups
  • Private Discord community
  • ‘Buy The Dip’ signal alerts
  • Exclusive members-only content
  • Add-ons and resources
  • 1 full year of unlimited support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is useThinkScript?

useThinkScript is the #1 community of stock market investors using indicators and other tools to power their trading strategies. Traders of all skill levels use our forums to learn about scripting and indicators, help each other, and discover new ways to gain an edge in the markets.

How do I get started?

We get it. Our forum can be intimidating, if not overwhelming. With thousands of topics, tens of thousands of posts, our community has created an incredibly deep knowledge base for stock traders. No one can ever exhaust every resource provided on our site.

If you are new, or just looking for guidance, here are some helpful links to get you started.

What are the benefits of VIP Membership?
VIP members get exclusive access to these proven and tested premium indicators: Buy the Dip, Advanced Market Moves 2.0, Take Profit, and Volatility Trading Range. In addition, VIP members get access to over 50 VIP-only custom indicators, add-ons, and strategies, private VIP-only forums, private Discord channel to discuss trades and strategies in real-time, customer support, trade alerts, and much more. Learn all about VIP membership here.
How can I access the premium indicators?
To access the premium indicators, which are plug and play ready, sign up for VIP membership here.