A Traktor Tips reader, Cecil, writes: “I am buying a new laptop computer for about $700.00 and would like to now what is the best bang for the money. I know everybody said apple but i don’t have Apple money and with all the choice out there my head is spinning. Can you point me in the right place?”
Traktor Tips Says:
As I haven’t used a PC for a number of years now, I am not qualified to fully answer your question. What I can say however, is that the first Mac book pro lasted me 6 years,until I dropped it and even now it still works. It’s just missing the back casing. You might find a great used Mac for that price, but if you are looking for something newer and cheaper, I would simply take into account the following considerations.
- Weight – if your going to gigs to play, you want it light
- Reliability – you want a brand that is known for great build quality
- Storage – You want to allow room in your budget for an external hard drive for back up. This means you can maybe cut back on the size of the built in drive so you can store everything on your external. This is down to personal preference, but always have a back up of your music!
- Screen Size – Although you want it light, you will also not want a tiny screen that you have difficulty in seeing when placed away from the decks in a DJ booth.
- Specs – Always make sure you have the minimum specs, which isn’t hard to do these days when buying a new computer.
Whilst I am not familiar with particular brands, these factors might help you in narrowing down your choices.
Shop Amazon – Laptops Under $400
If any readers have some good suggestions and positive experiences of the PC’s they have been using, please help Cecil, by posting your suggestions in the comments below.
23 thoughts on “What’s Your Answer? What PC should I get for DJ’ing?”
I use an Dell M17X (“Alienware” actually) It has 16Gb of RAM with 1TB HD/250GB SSD and boasts an intel core i7-3720QM processor at 2.7Ghz with 3.2 Ghz burst capability(I told Dell when ordering what I needed and this is what I ended up with) I don’t think a mere MAC could touch it………hope not considering what it cost.
those alienwares do look awesome!
I use an HP Pavilion m7 laptop. It has 17″ monitor to facilitate seeing the screen better. It retailed at $800 (usd), but I was able to purchase the floor model from the big box store. So I was able to get it for around $700 (usd). Specs:*GB RAM, mobile version of Intel i7 cpu. Runs Traktor well, however, I have a problem with recording my mixes on the internal hdd.
Thanks for sharing – sounds like a good deal. What’s the issue with the recording?
The single best action you can do with any computer nowadays is to replace your system drive with an SSD. The CPU and RAM of today will not be the bottleneck. The disk is! Insert an SSD and your three years old computer will feel like new again. Keep your large music collection on external drives. The SSD will let your comp use swapping at such a speed you will never feel a performance drop.
Great advice Pelle. The SSD’s do make a huge difference. They’re still coming in quite expensive, but I’m sure they’ll drop with time!
Macbook pro… 8bg.. Thats all you need
Not even, I have macbook air 8GB ram. But this post is about PC’s, not macs. 😉
Do you use the air for strictly dj’ing or day to day computing, as well? Same question applies for pc’s. And… I understand that it’s for pc’s.. But, I’ve had 2-3 pc’s running Traktor since the 2.0.0 version and until I got my Mac. I had nothing but issues and at least 250 preferences to adjust to get it “just right”. Each experience is different, though. My Samsung NP-Q530 was the best PC, thus far.
P.s. Unless the laptop is needed ASAP… The time spent saving for a better machine. Can be used to learn how to optimize preferences, use Dj software and improve on the skills involved with digital dj’ing. It’s like getting the “cracked” version of Ableton and just messing with stuff vs. saving and learning tips, while doing so. Just an opinion, though. Go for the samsung with windows 7. 😀
Totally man – i can NEVER recommend a PC, I always have terribly frustrating experiences. This is why I opened it up to you guys!
I use an iMac for my day to day work, but the laptop does get some use for work too. I just make a separate account for my DJ stuff.
I have Lenovo Z580 whit the Intel Core i5, 8GR RAM and 1TB harddisk. I using this notebook for my DJing. I have Traktor 2 and Scratch Pro and every time I play, it’s running absolutely fast and great.
On the recs of the various boards and friends who are djs re: sound quality I picked up a refurb Lenovo/ IBM Thinkpad T61 widescreen (~$400) and upgraded the ram to 8gb ~($100) added an additional internal 500 gb HD ($60) and just added a $20 refurb mini docking station that added 4 more USB 2.0 ports (total of 7!) and also puts the unit in a better angeled position. Plan on eventually using a dedicated mac mini, depending on bonus this year.
Using NI Komplete Audio 6 with new X1 and F1 and Z1 (goodbye jogwheel, hello X1 touchstrip).
As a former vinyl DJ who learned to sample on a reel to reel machine with a razor blade I’m all about reducing the load and using the best tools out there.
DJ Halfheard (techhouse, noisecore/performance noise, sound design for theater)
I like what you say about reducing the load. This is good advice. The less load your computer experiences from the hardware, the better the sound is likely to be. Obviously the audio interface needs to be quality though.
thanks for posting your set up.
Asus is good… I went with HP and haven’t looked back… light as a feather, no heat, lightning fast TB hardrive, 8 Gs Ram… boots up in 30 seconds with Windows 8… no problem with Traktor interaction… I’ve got Pioneer DDJT1… pushed it to maximum playing 4 tracks simulltaneously all looping with effects… 40% CPU load… left the unit on for a week… still no heat, no drop in processing… AND the cost couldn’t be beat… priced an Apple and said buh bye
Sounds like a good deal.
I picked up an Asus this year for 600. Quad-core i7, 8gb ram…..haven’t had a problem with it yet!!
thats really affordable, thanks for sharing.
I have been really happy with my Sony Vaio for the past 3 years. Some Specs: Windows 7, Intel i3 core, 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB ram. I bought this laptop specifically for DJing. I only connect this to the internet to update traktor or to rarely download music. (I use a different computer for social media and to download all my music, even though I use trusted sites and pay for my music…I do not want to risk a virus) I did a lot of research before making this choice and really happy I went with the Vaio. Picked it up around that $700 price point (3 years ago)
Very wise not to risk virus, keeping your DJ laptop clean is very important, seems like you’re doing the right thing!
Just an interesting side note, I was experiencing audio glitches in Traktor, uninstalling FreeAVG fixed it. I guess it was taking I/O cycles because CPU and Memory were fine.
Thanks Sean Great Advice!