Mixing Music Videos with DJ software like PCDJ DEX 2 (and upcoming version 3) is much more demanding on your DJ computer’s resources than when mixing audio only.
When mixing videos, you are utilizing your machines video card to send the video output to a secondary screen — usually a TV. Most machines on the market come equipped with shared graphics memory video cards, which means you’re using your computers RAM (memory) for the OS, the operation of the DJ software and the video output. That’s a lot of demand.
While the more recent Intel HD 4000 series shared-graphics-memory video cards (4400 and up) are sufficient in higher end computers (with i7 processors and 8GB of RAM), it’s a safer worry-free bet to go with a DJ computer that has a dedicated graphics card — one with it’s own memory to specifically handle the secondary video output.
Going with dedicated graphics memory, as well as a machine that meets the minimum requirements of DEX (scroll down to bottom of page) should mean rock-solid stable video mixing throughout your gig, no matter the duration. The video cards GPU and built-in memory handles the video output exclusively, freeing up the RAM on your computer to manage the DJ software and OS tasks. However, out-of-the-box computers, MAC or Windows, are rarely road-ready. We highly recommend optimizing your machine for live performance with this helpful guide.
Laptop computers that come with dedicated graphics cards are usually labeled as “Multimedia” or “Gaming” – and do come with a higher price tag, especially on the MAC side. We find many customers try to save as much as possible on their DJ computer, and while it’s good to be frugal, this is one central component of your DJ equipment that is worth the investment. Many of the top DJ controllers on the market run around 1K, and you should pay around the same for a quality multimedia/gaming computer.
In short, it’s worth the additional investment if you plan to mix music videos – you want seamless video mixing without any dropped frames. The computer is the central piece of your rig so it’s money well spent.
Here are a couple example DJ computers that will work well for video mixing — we’re not saying buy these computers, but use as a guide when exploring options:
Windows: ASUS N550JK (Edit: I would suggest upgrading to at Solid State HD with this model, or at least at 7200rpm drive)
What else do you need to mix music videos? Here’s a previous blog post that explains it all — including where to get DJ ready music videos.