Your DJ laptop specs should be what’s listed below or better.  These are general guidelines. Be sure to check your DJ software provider’s website for updates and recommendations regarding your laptop or  device.

Mac or PC: Which should you buy?

That is a personal choice. Some DJs use Macs and some use PCs. I personally use a PC because that’s what I’m used to. As long as you have a good quality laptop and you’re not running a lot of unnecessary programs while DJing you’ll be fine. When I’m at a gig I only run my DJ software and 1 or 2 other programs. For example, I might have Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox open so that I can connect to my record pool to download music.

I use an HP Envy, which is a gaming laptop, although I’m not a gamer. I like it because is starts up really fast. Your choice of laptop brand is personal. So instead of focusing on a specific brand let’s look at brand specifications.

Make sure your laptop has the following specs:
Memory: At least 8 GB of RAM (the more RAM the better).
Video Memory: At least 1 GB of RAM. 2GB for video mixing.
Processor: Intel i3 or later, (1.5 GHz) processor (faster is better).
USB Port: Available USB 2.0 port.
Free HDD Space: At least 10 GB of space. For better performance you should have at least 20% free hard drive space.
Operating System: Check  your software provider’s site.

Most of the specifications above are a little higher than what the DJ Software recommends. For example, Serato DJ and Virtual DJ recommend 4 Gigs of RAM. I’m recommending 8 gigs. The more RAM you have the better. Think of RAM like money. Can you have too much money? Probably not. Therefore, you cannot have too much RAM. It’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.

The same applies to hard drive space. Serato DJ recommends that you have 5 gigs of hard drive space free. That’s to install the software and related programs. You should have a lot more than 5 gigs of free hard drive space.

If you have a Windows laptop and you want that laptop to perform really well you should have about 20 to 25% of the hard drive free. So if you have a 100 Gb hard drive you should have around 20 to 25 Gb free. The extra space is needed so that you can properly defragment your hard drive and so that it can perform better.

Speaking of hard drive space – If your music collection is large (more than 20 Gigs or so) you should store it on an external drive. You can find great deals on external hard drives at your local electronic store or on Amazon. I use a 1 Terabyte Toshiba portable external drive that I got from Amazon for $50.

As far as laptop specs are concerned – If you have a laptop that meets the above recommended specs then you’re good. If on the other hand you need to purchase a laptop let’s look at one approach to finding a good deal.

Laptop Search

When you use your preferred website for purchasing a laptop you should be able to filter or refine your search.

For example if you use Amazon – on the Amazon site, if you enter “laptop” in the search box, after the search results display you’ll see a lot of options for filtering or refining your search. Notice over on the left it says “Refine by”.

  1. Below where it says “Computer RAM Capacity”, check the 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB boxes. You can check higher if you want more RAM. 
  2. Below that, where it says “Computer Processor Type” check Intel Core i5 or i7. If you see later processor types (above i7) you can check that as well if you like.
  3. Next scroll down to where it says “ Customer Review” and click the top option (4 starts and up). 
  4. Finally, scroll to near the top of the page and find the drop down list that says “Sort by” and select “Price: Low to High”. 

After you change the “Sort by” option you should have a list of laptops with good specs, good reviews, and a good price. You simply have to decide which specific laptop brand to buy based on your budget and personal preferences.

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