Your Questions: Why Does Everyone Use Macs For DJing?

The ubiquitous backlit Apple... but is it necessary to use a Mac for DJing? Pic: Decal Bandit

The ubiquitous backlit Apple... but is it necessary to use a Mac for DJing? Pic: Decal Bandit

Digital DJ Tips reader Felipe writes: "I'm a Colombian follower and a few days ago I started thinking about buying a new DJ laptop, and read your post 8 Little-Considered Factors When Choosing A DJ Laptop. But I can't understand why everybody uses a Mac for DJing. I'm not a big fan of Mac, but I want the best for my DJing. Can you tell me what Macs have that make them so popular with DJs? What do they have that's so special against Windows laptops?"

Digital DJ Tips says:

Ah, the Mac vs PC question. As we teach at the start of How To Digital DJ Fast, many DJs choose Macs because they just want something to do the job needed to be done by a computer in a digital DJ set-up, something that does it with the minimum of fuss. Macs fit the bill, because OS X is often felt to be an easier operating system to use that Windows for non-expert users.

With a Mac you are guaranteed a high standard of construction, and they have universal audio drivers so you don't need to mess around installing ASIO drivers to get your computer's sound card to work with them, as you have to for some hardware when using it with a PC. Macs are also pretty much free of computer viruses, unlike Windows.

Having said that, Macs generally cost more than similarly specified PCs, and as you say they are not to everyone's taste. If you prefer using Windows, can't afford a Mac, and choose carefully, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't DJ with a PC - and many DJs do exactly that. After all, the actual components inside are often identical.

The bottom line is that DJs want absolute reliability, because their performances are mission-critical and they don't want the computer part of the equation to let them down. In my view, that's why those who can afford it tend to end up using Macs. But it's by no means necessary to do so.

So, Mac vs PC. What model of computer and operating system do you use to DJ with? What made you make your choice? Have you ever switched from Mac to PC, or the other way? What made you do that? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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  1. I use Alienware slightly tweaked to my liking. Never had a problem in 3 years with it!!! Not cheap, not light but awesome!!!

  2. Contrary to public opinion, Mac OS X computers can also get viruses. It's just that not a lot of people write viruses [they're pieces of code just like programs, just like Traktor and Serato] that attack Macs 'cause of the smaller target. Windows gets more viruses 'cause they have a larger audience and more to affect.

    That's why Macs can advertise that they don't get one wants to make viruses for Mac. But that doesn't mean they're immune.

    • It's not a matter of desire by hackers. Having used MACs since the early 90s, the OS has always been built to be more resilient to virus attacks than PCs. Steve Jobs has always maintained a locked down control over critical parts of the MAC to prevent even well intentioned programmers from playing with the OS. This is why more programers and hackers loved DOS and the WIndows - they're more open. That being said there have been successful virus attacks (early this year there was one) on MACs just much fewer of them.

    • Austin Blackwell says:

      True, that's the reason, but the fact still stands no matter what the reason. Macs get less viruses.

      • Actually the mac OS is based on Unix. Steve Jobs put a shiny interface on a system that has been around for ages and viruses nowadays are meant to make money... so called malware. As long as the market share of the mac computers is the way it is and I don't see that changing much because the mac OS isn't really geared for enterprise level, it is not a good target for viruses. Then again 64bit windows systems barely ever get viruses. So the virus thing is kind of a non-argument. I use a dedicated Sony laptop and have never had issues.
        At least I own my computer and don't just pay for the right to use it (yes, read your license agreement on any Apple product)

    • lordamercy says:

      That is a silly statement lol from what I understand Mac has less viruses because the only point of entry for a virus on a Mac online is through java. Nothing to do with the user base.

  3. My original PC laptop was a very capable laptop sporting an i7 and a very good graphics card (it was bought as a mid range gaming laptop before I started DJing) however in comparison to my current 13" mbp it pales in performance. Both Serato Live and Traktor run a lot smoother and there "feels" like a lot less controller latency in a mac (I saw "feels" because the actual latency times may be exactly the same, it just feels faster and a lot more responsive). I also find I can multitask a lot more on a Mac than I could on my PC laptop. I had to really run the PC close to safe mode as DJ software ate up a lot of processor resource. On the flip side, I did find that VDJ runs better on a PC.

  4. Windows really isn't much more complicated in terms of configuration. The manufacturer drivers are pretty reliable and if for some reason you don't like them, there's a very awesome (free!) tool I use in the recording studio called ASIO4ALL which, in addition to the expected in-out functionality, can also route input from multiple audio interfaces into one application, and then divert output back through various channels. Very useful stuff.

    If you're already quite comfortable with Windows, there's absolutely no reason not to buy an inexpensive but reliable Windows laptop for DJing. It will probably leave a much less sizable dent in your wallet.

    Gently off-topic here, but something to look forward at is the upcoming Microsoft Surface Pro - seems exciting to have a high-quality full-Windows 8 tablet running full-fledged DJ software like Traktor (I personally can't stand the iOS apps), on a device that is touch-based, highly mobile, aesthetically beautiful, and well-equipped with USB ports and whatnot. I'm definitely getting one to try out with DJing. If you think about it, having a very touch-capable device might make some lower-end controllers more attractive because you could perhaps trigger additional features missing from your hardware via touchscreen instead (if the onscreen buttons aren't too small as to be fiddly).

  5. I've been using Windows for djing for 10 years. I've spent countless hours tweaking, troubleshooting and fixing things to dj. Well, I bought a Macbook pro about a year ago and have not once had to mess with it for djing. I plug my NS6, Twitch or SL1 box in and I'm good. I like Windows for several strange reasons but OSX just works without all the headaches. Although, Virtual DJ isn't very stable but Traktor and Serato work flawlessly.

    • Agreed. I currently use a Windows laptop for DJing -- came cheap but have to disable some features and services for flawless DJing.

      But I've used a 5 year-old Mac from a friend and it just works so well, everything just plugnplay out of the box. I can run 2-3 other programs besides Traktor on it too.

      MacOS is very well optimized for the resources, that's the bottom line.

      The only reason I don't have a Mac for DJing is cuz I can't afford it. :(

  6. I think iTunes plays a part honestly, so many people already use it and the integration for the popular software choices is already in place; simplicity, reliability, and form factor are all there.

    That being said I've never enjoyed Apple terribly much, and willingly traded reliability for Windows quirks and customization. Might change depending on cash on hand, but for now my PC works admirably well.

  7. I have a modded Lenovo G550, it never caused any problems in the two years I've had it. IMHO the most important point here is to optimize and setup your laptop accordingly to the task at hand: turn off all unneeded services and options, dual boot, set latency/buffer options and all that jazz.. it makes any laptop a real reliable workhorse.
    On the other hand, I plan to buy a MacBook soon.. but only because of Logic Pro :)

  8. Mikee Holl says:

    I find my MacBook Pro way faster and more stable than any Windows machine i've ever used, and a lot less troublesome to install any controller i've bought, just plugged them in, and start playing, that simple. No need to install drivers and all that. I love my Mac! :)

  9. Mac is good because all the components are carefully chosen to work together. It's not always the same with PC, because it's not just one name who made PC, but a lot. So there is lot of shity PC. I have a lot of friend who were on cheap PC like Acer or HP (or other stuff you can find everywhere), and they complain about it and they finaly ended buying a Mac and screaming "Mac is better than PC". It's true if you compare what is not comparable :)

    If you prefer PC, buy a good PC. I personally use an Alienware, but I don't think they are the only really good PC (for me, they are the best), but they do the job very well, they are powerfull, with a design touch (not the same pure design as Apple but still pretty), and for the price, it's almost the same as a Mac (maybe less expensive for the same power).

    The real difference I see for DJing between Mac and PC, is (like for Serato) that with the Mac the keyboard is always the same, so you can easily find stuff to put on your keybord with all the shortcut. (But you can still use stickers for PC).

  10. Will Marshall says:

    To expand on the technical difference a little.

    OSX has been the "standard" operating system for audio work (in film etc) for years. Apple have given it plenty of built-in support for audio-related stuff: native MIDI, low-latency audio drivers, device aggregation, etc.

    It's basically rigged up out of the box with a full set of basic tools for pro audio work, which means things tend to "just work".

    Windows doesn't have any of this pro-audio stuff built-in, so it has to be added by hardware manufacturers etc. This does work, but not as well or as painlessly.

    There are also issues with the way Windows handles USB audio. The short version is that Windows doesn't have a concept of a "time-sensitive" USB device: e.g. one where a couple of milliseconds delay is a problem.

    For most USB devices (e.g. pendrives) it doesn't matter at all, but for audio it can be a problem, as Windows will sometimes delay the audio processing to do something else (e.g. handling network traffic) it thinks is more important, causing audio dropouts.

    My recommendation is to avoid using Windows for performance. It can work, but the risk of it not working is high.

    Since you don't need a fast laptop for DJing, you're better off getting a slow Mac than a fast Windows machine at the same price: the specs will be worse but the stability will be better.

    • > The short version is that Windows doesn’t have a concept of a “time-sensitive” USB device

      What you're talking about here is called isochronous data transfer. It does exist in Windows, and Serato and Traktor both use it. Hell, most audio programs probably use it, I just couldn't be bothered to look them all up.

      > My recommendation is to avoid using Windows for performance. It can work, but the risk of it not working is high.

      It's not a "high risk" of not working. I can stress-test my S4 running at the smallest buffer/latency settings (5.3 ms total) running 4 sync'd and pitch-locked tracks with 6 effects and all 4 channel filters on and, although it sounds terrible, it doesn't drop out. Oh, and this is with networking on, Facebook open, Dropbox and Nokia PC Suite running in the background, no unusual system optimisation at all. This isn't even a dedicated performance install either, this is my gaming and schoolwork computer too.

      I honestly think my laptop's at a higher risk of physically dying of old age than ever quitting on audio performance.

      My recommendation is a Windows laptop, because
      a) it's a lot cheaper
      b) there's more software (audio and otherwise) available (for free, and otherwise)
      c) updates aren't like Russian Roulette (Traktor wouldn't work when the Lion (I think it was Lion) update came out, if you remember. Last I checked, Apple's also broken every application that depends on X (basically anything ported from Linux, plus some))
      d) Windows is far more widely used, so you can find more free help on the internet. Also, your friends/kids/neighbours/neighbours kids can probably fix any problem you run into, so you don't need to pay some Apple "genius" a ridiculous price to run through a basic troubleshooting manual.
      e) there's hardly any difference in technical capabilities between the two. Once you get over the interface, it's 99.9% the same.
      f) there's no compatibility issues with anything. People need to look for the Mac versions of things or make sure there's Mac compatibility. With Windows, you need to look pretty hard to find something that *won't* work.

      • What you're saying about the updates isn't true, I had all updates of lion and traktor worked with ALL of them. D also isn't very true you don't have to pay a shitload to repair it, you can find everything on the internet and if you actually had a big problem you would go to the store you bought it , say what's your problem and they repair it for free ( if your machine is still under warranty that said) , hell once my previous magic mouse his bluetooth was faulty and it wouldn't connect I brought it in and two days later I've got another one.. for free ! And b) everything you can find on a pc you can find on a mac, although gaming isn't the best experience on the os because of lack of support and games but that's my only downpoint so far..

  11. Please know that many DJs use a Mac because there is this really cool illuminated Apple logo on the front. There is no denying that many people use a Macbook, also, because others use it and it's stylish (or dare I say 'hip') to use one...

    • That's true. Apple hardware is sleek and polished, and that's indeed the very reason why Apple has done so well. If Apple products looked plain and boring like the average PC/laptop, they'd probably be out of business by now. I am a dye-hard Windows user BTW

  12. I use a Windows PC and it works great. The only thing is that I would suggest putting as much RAM as you can afford and the machine allows. Programmes like traktor are very memory hungry, so with my current machine I put 8GB into it and it's awesome.

  13. DJ Demonick says:

    I've always been a windows person, but since buying my Macbook Pro, I much prefer it, especially for DJ and producing. Everything just seems to work better, all the time, and certain things just make it smoother. For instance, I run VDJ Pro, and I organize my music in iTunes. I find iTunes pretty much sucks in Windows, It either crashes or takes several minutes to load. However, on a Mac, iTunes obviously runs flawlessly, allowing me to update my library on the fly.

    Another small but drastically important difference, at least from my old Toshiba, is that I KNOW that my Macbook is plugged in, there's a light right on the charger cable telling me so. No more mid-set power crashes.

    • I'm a Mac user and have terrible power management issues with my MacPro which results in the laptop emptying itself, refusing to wake up and not charging properly when up and running. Which was a rare intermittent issue until my charger was replaced under Apple's exchange programme for the mag-safe chargers that had a design flaw resulting in frayed cables and no power. With the new 'improved' charger, it is becoming useless for professional work.

      My iPhone is to be changed because of various problems and my MacPro visited the Apple store numerous times in it's first year to sort out various issues. And most people I know with Macs have also had problems of some sort, so don't think Apple=reliability.
      What is very true though is a quirk of human nature in that when people buy expensive products, they are far, far less likely to admit to niggles or drawbacks with said pricier goods. So if Macs have exactly the same % of failures/problems as a variety of cheap PCs you'd still hear more about PCs being crappy.

  14. If you want to simply take a laptop out of the box, install the software and start DJ'ing, then buy a Macbook.

    If you're familiar with Windows and can follow a few tutorials on how to optimise the OS, get a laptop with Windows.

    I bought a laptop dedicated for DJ'ing / production. No antivirus or firewall needed as it doesn't go online, no network drivers, no programs apart from Traktor 2 (and Foobar 2000 if I need to quickly listen back to a tune), all the bundled programs removed, registry cleaned up etc.

    It's quite sad, but I actually enjoy tweaking Windows and stripping it down to bare minimum. Like I said, there is a ton of tutorials on how to optimise it for music production / DJ'ing.

    • That sounds very reasonable, but how do you manage to keep it from going online? I'm sure you still hook it up to your local LAN to sync/copy data from your main machine. Even if it doesn't establish an internet connection it's not entirely safe. Other machines connected to your local network could be infected and thus are a threat, too.
      I'm just curious. How do you manage your music archive? USB-drives only?

  15. Tanmay Rastogi says:

    In my opinion, it all comes down to reliability, build quality and ease of use. I have used windows all my life, but I switched to mac (15inch quad core i7, 16GB ram) just about a year ago, I have absolutely no complaints at all. Sure, it cost me just over $2000, but it is something I use everyday to do something I love and I would hate for my experience to be hindered by unreliability of the windows system. The previous computer I had, I must have reinstalled windows at least 15 times, in its life. The hassle and waste of my time made me switch and I can assure you I will never switch back to Windows. Everything on the Mac just works flawlessly, not to mention the retain their value very well, so if you do need to sell your computer in the future, it could be worthwhile.

    All in all, for those that can afford mac, even the cheapest one, should go for it. The specs and stuff really doesn't matter much, most of the computers are well spec'ed for any application and you should have any problem.

    • I had to reinstall OSX at least 5 times on my MacPro and have uninstalled a few OSX updates as they have broken things. I always avoid OSX until about the 4th update, just like I would with Windows until Service Pack 1and also of note this was also recommended to me by a Genius at my Apple store to avoid the inevitable problems.
      In fact I'm still using OSX 10.6.8 as it's stable and functional and there's nothing in either flavour of Lion to tempt me to change.

  16. I changed my laptop soon, I'm a windows user.
    What I have observe is that, amd do worse in djing, even it was a dual core @ 2GHz with 3G of RAM.
    So one advice, get an intel when you choose your configuration !
    Now I own a Toshiba C855-12Q, i3 @ 2,3GHz, 6G Ram,and the intel hd 3000 video interface do well from ge force from the compaq with amd.

    Cheers !


    When I am asked this question this is how I normally address it.

    Most people given the chance to drive a Ferrari or a Ford GT40 would choose the Ferrari purely for the Prestige of driving a Ferrari although the GT40 is every bit as good a car, well to me it's the same with laptops, everyone wants a Mac.

    I currently run my old trusty Sony Vaio with Traktor and the only thing I did to my laptop was upgrade the ram to 2 gigs from the 1 gig that was installed although Traktor worked fine with just 1 gig of ram. I only use my laptop for home use and the occasional house party and for me everything works fine.

    My suggestions to the younger readers is this " THE LAPTOP" does not make the DJ so if your not actually playing live gigs in a club of whatever, buy a good Windows machine and the money you have saved buy MUSIC because it's the TUNES that make the DJ :)

    • I'm sorry, but my 1.5 year old Alienware is faster than the latest MacBook Pro, has a larger screen and a Blue Ray Drive for ripping clips to VJ with. It is red and has a velvetty feel to it that makes for a gorgeous, desirable piece of tech. My wife's Dell Adamo is beter looking than a MacBook Air and has 3 USB ports. There's a greater variety of hardware for the PC, cheap and expensive.
      I think people who think Mac is better than PC and vice versa have personal issues that they project onto everyone else, neither is better than the other, it's just a question of which suits you better. After all, 95% of all personal computers run Windows, the vast majority prefer PC and some of that tech costs more than Apple

    • only read the rest of your comment now - missed your point completely. Totally agree. I'm actually DJ'ing off an ancient VAIO that I also upgraded to 2 GB RAM and running Windows XP. One crash in 6 years - not bad. Apple Polly Logies for any offence I may have caused - I blame my lazy brain box :-p


      and THEN


  18. This may not be a huge breakthrough with Macs but do take note of the illuminated keyboards. Even though there are a couple of PC's with those, It may just be the critical component of a mac that a DJ needs because of his/her performance surroundings.

  19. I've been DJing with laptops since the mid 2000s, I started with a Dell Inspiron 6000 and an M audio 410 and virtual DJ. I now use a recent Macbook Pro, VCI 300 and have stuck with VDJ. Both laptops have been pretty robust, but beware with PCs! In between these 2 laptops I bought a Dell Studio 17, and that particular laptop was good for everything BUT live streaming music. I wrote a lot of angry e mails about that one LOL. I mean what in Hell! It was supposed to be a laptop for musical creation, A STUDIO 17, right? I am very happy with the Macbook although I am not a fanboy; So IMHO you can get a good PC but check reviews (Paticularly in the discussion pages for whatever program you choose to use) and if possible run DPC latency checker on the box before you buy it.

  20. Mac = security snob,
    You cannot just plug any iphone/ipad to any mac and expect to just drop and drag any files you want from mac to your gadgets, vice versa, its really frustating

    But then again if its in the future u want to get into producing, mac is your weapon of choice,
    In windows environment, my personal experience, runnin an ableton LIVE theres a multiseconds delay when you push your MIDI controller key(keyboard and such), theres like multiseconds delay before u can hear the sounds came out
    Not the case with mac

  21. I have never used a Mac so I am forced to accept the claims of those who have, that they work right out of the box, effortlessly. Also, I am forced to believe PCs do not work this way because a lot of people claim so.
    My personal experience however, tells me that a considerate, knowledgeable guy with a PC running laptop (considerate meaning not installing all the trashware found on the internet, knowledgeable meaning know some basic stuff about the Windows OS, how to keap it clean and maintained) can achieve anything possible with minimum of fuss.
    As for the comments in the mindscope of "Mac = Ferrari, PC = Ford), I apologize in advance but I think they are biased, uninformed and misleading to say the least (I could say more, but I dont want to destroy the polite and kind "atmosphere" here in DDJT)

  22. Light the blue touch paper and stand well back!!! Ha Ha!!

  23. The article is right but they miss some important facts.

    Macs are more stable and reliable than PC's because Apple works in a closed eco system, meaning, they code OSX with specific parts and specs in mind, they control every part of the manufacturing, so logically, their software ends up much more stable.

    Windows is used by a ton of manufacturers with different hardware and specs so things tend to bug a lot and have performance issues.

    So are Macs stronger than PCs?

    Straight out of the box, yes.
    But, if you choose a decent PC manufacturer like Asus, and take sometime to tweak your pc for max performance you'll get the same stability that you get in MACS.

    So long story short, if you prefer to coff higher amounts of money than have some work, buy a mac, if not buy a PC.

    • Absolutely true, I use ASUS ROG exclusive for dj with a game booster program that shut down any unnecessary program and non-critical system for maximum performance, (sorry MAC but you don't even come close)lol.

  24. I'm a long time mac fan from a design background. Back in the day windows didn't cut the mustard for that task, and I've stuck with it with dips into the windows world several times and a little linux too for server stuff.

    What I found is that out of the box, driver issues with installed hardware is never an issue, where I've had night mares getting web cams that came with the machine work with the OS the manufacturer installed or the networking doing a lot of really wonky stuff.

    I've had issues with Macs, but the amount and ease of resolving them has been super easy in comparison.

    I'm currently DJing on an underpowered 5 year old machine that was consumer level and midgrade at the time I bought it with Traktor. If my tracks are all scanned and ready to go I never get any issues with drops or snags, if Traktor has to do work, I get issues when loading new tracks, especially if other applications are open. Again this machine is way old and underpowered RAM wise, but still does the job.

    If you can pick up an used mac and mess with it on the cheap I would recommend it, as DJ software isn't horribly taxing on resources if you aren't trying to do much else other than DJ.

  25. I've allways been using PC's, after Amigas and Atari Falcon, for audioproduction. Now, however, I'm looking to move on to Mac. My setup requires use of the audio-routing software Jack, to hook my DJ-software to Ableton/Reason/Renoise with audio and sync. On PC this is a nightmare with tons of latency, wich renders it useless. On a mac this works perfectly right out of the box, because of Core Audio.

  26. I've had to use both systems for school and work for a very long time. I do have a preference towards MACs - for me less hassle and easier to maintain. That could be a personal thing because I've learned many tricks with the MAC. PC however alludes me. Overly complicated UI and file structures makes diagnosing problems way too complicated for a lay person. So deciding what system I wanted to us to DJ was simple - MAC. Close friend recently bought an PC by Dell and loaded Tracktor on it. It has been one driver problem after another. System crashes etc. I'm experienced enough to know this is not always the case. But when it happens what a pain in the ass.

  27. I dj'ed with a Toshiba and windows, separate partition only traktor, windows stripped to the bare minimum. Worked like a charm.
    The other partition for day-to-day was was reinstalled every 12 from scratch because it was becoming to slow.

    I dj with a macbook pro because it just works.
    No tweaking, no separate partition, it just gets the job done without a glitch.

  28. I would recommend a Mac if you can afford it. I started off with PC's for school, then a Mac for work then when I changed jobs I stuck with PC's for 14 years. For home, I just couldn't afford to buy a Mac so I went with PC's for the same14 years. I've had high end Dell's, HP's and while they work with DJ software and production software, sometimes there is a lot of tweaking to do.
    I recently bought a second hand Mac still under AppleCare. It's been chalk and cheese for me. The Mac is so much easier with setup and and also stability. In addition, I have bootcamp installed so I have Windows 7 installed and some PC apps that are not available or that I already had PC versions for that did not automatically provide a Mac version.

    It's the best of both worlds for me. Along with true plug and play and also stability.The battery life Is also fantastic if your are ever in a pinch - recently ran my Mac for 3 hours straight off battery while DJing with CDJ's after Another DJ offered me a set but didn't t have a free outlet (bad planning on his part).

    If you can make a stretch, go Mac. If its just too much for your budget get a high end PC laptop.

    BTW, I got my Mac via eBay and a lot a patient searching waiting and bidding. There are lots people looking to sell their great condition macs to upgrade (as I will be doing someday soon).


  29. Reading every ones comment I see the trend mac or gaming PC.. I also use a alienware and love the lighted keyboard effect i mapped to VDJ....any high end gaming pc will do the job they are made for long hours of pushing a system to its brink thats because gaming takes ram and cpu so running a dj program is nothing for these machines 0/ hats off to my fellow alienware users !!!!!

  30. When I first started DJing I purchased a new HP pc that met the requirements of running Serato Itch. It was a dual core processor, 4gb of ram and so on. I had the pc for about 6 months and it kept crashing and freezing on me while playing music in Serato even though I made sure every other application was not running. I decided to purchase a Mac but did not have the money to purchase a new one so I started searching and found a good deal on a used one that my friend had purchased new 3 years earlier. It was a top of the line model when he purchased it and all the specs on the MacBook were better than my 6 month old pc, but to make a long story short the MacBook worked flawlessly and never gave me one problem and while I am not a Mac lover, I will use them for DJing.

  31. It was a 15" MacBook Pro

  32. Bikram aditya says:

    I use both mac and a pc ,but I must admit Mac osx is flawless,no virus complaints like a pc

  33. A lot of the bigger named DJs are seen using mac as when they're producers they are logic users which is mac only and therefore it would make sense to have macbooks as their laptop as well so they can work on logic when touring. (Obviously not all producers use logic this just applies to the producers who do)

  34. beaubryte says:

    I can make every entry level windows laptop working with Traktor. Sometimes it takes a few days, but I always get it running smoothly.

  35. I've used both for years. My desktop is an iMac and my laptop an Alienware. I must admit that I really disliked Windows until Windows 7. But now I find myself using my Windows 7 machine a LOT more than my Mac. For those users who changed to Mac before Windows 7 and have not used Windows 7, you're in for a big surprise. Windows has come a very long way in the past few years...I've not had to do any tweaking in W7 while performing. Just check "high performance mode" and you're good to go. I've also never installed additional drivers on a W7 machine.

    I think both platforms are great. It's just a matter of personal preference...

  36. DJ Forced Hand says:

    I used to DJ with PC laptops, and while they were cheaper and more flexible with programs and hardware etc., both showed me exactly how CHEAP they were. My first laptop had a hinge failure, followed by the power connector failure and ultimately, the battery and hard drives failed on me so I moved on to a new computer an HP (which had windows Vista)... This was a great computer for playing music and pretty much everything else until it simply didn't turn on. HP was very obstinate about not fixing something that was obviously their screw up so I bought another motherboard from China installed it and the computer worked again... but only for 6 performances. When I showed up to my 7th performance, the computer simply would not turn on (again). I picked up a used 2008 MacBook Pro, upgraded the ram and hard drive and have had ZERO problems since.

    Now I'm sure there are people out there who have great experiences with Windows Laptops, but when I am scheduled to DJ, I can't be worried about "Will the computer even turn on?"

    • I have a top of the range Mac Pro, top of the range 17" MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4s and a old iPod nano. The only one that hasn't had serious issues and multiple trips back to Apple store is the Nano.

      Previous Mac laptops had hinge problems - which cost a fortune to fix as Apple wouldn't admit to the problem. They been forced to replace the original mag safe design with one that doesn't break and currently my Mac Book Pro has problems turning on/charging with replacement charger.

  37. Anal0gK1LLER says:

    Let's be honest here, with standardisation across the information technology sector since the early 00's and the adoption of intel processors in Apple hardware a few years ago, the availability of almost all DJ and DAW software across both platforms, from a technical perspective, there is no justification for favoring a Mac over a PC.

    A Mac Book Pro is a status symbol more than anything esle and the glowing apple on brushed aluminium has become iconic in the DJ and music production world.

    The recent high court judgement in England and Wales in the Apple vs Samsung case says it all.

    Basically Apple design and manufacture "Cool" products. So cool in fact that other manufacturers are designing products which "are not as cool".

    To read the full judgement and the notice posted on Apple's website last week (I'm surprised they didn't do this sooner because the story broke a long time ago and I saw it as something as a coup de grace when it happened) you can follow this link:

    In the same vein (could read vain) Mac = Cool, PC = Not as cool.

    Simple as that. And in a sector which goes for style over substance (Technics vs Numark/Vestax, Pioneer vs Denon), it's only to be expected that the Mac Book Pro prevails.

    FYI : I'm running a Max Spec Mac Book Pro. Love it. It's a beautiful object. My only complaint is that when I initiate my morning routine, it's bloody freezing on the old thighs for a few minutes. Pretty sure other Mac owners will know what I'm talking about!!! :-)

  38. There are sooo many different pc's with different hardware & specs that when you buy a pc, you're basically taking a chance. Some work perfectly, others will have to be tweaked & made to be "dj only" in order to be reliable and there are some that will just give you endless headaches & never be reliable. When you buy a mac you know what you're getting (most of the time anyway). It's a machine that is trusted by the majority of the people in professional industries like film, photo & music. It is NOT an image thing, it's about being able to edit a $300 000 advertisement or dj in front of 10 000 people with confidence that makes the extra cost worth it. If you're charging for your gigs - use a mac!! If you happen to buy a mac & think it's not worth it, sell it & get almost all your money back - Core Audio - All The Way!!!

  39. dj salseando says:

    My day job is a software developer (for 20 years) on work-supplied Windows PCs, by night I dj using my own gear, Apple Mac's. DJ'ing is a mission critical application, a crash or a system-slowdown is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances.

    OS X as a proper kernal based operating-system has been by design, inherently more stable than the various versions of Windows that have been written. Certainly Microsoft has made improvements, introducing sand-boxing, administrative accounts, etc, but its always better to design-in security from the start, not tack it on later. In fact OS X is built on Unix BSD, designed in the 70's at the University of California, Berkley, and has stood the test of time in terms of reliability.

    My experience, in 6 years, I've had no crashes and only 2 instances of Macs freezing. Both were due to trying to rip new CDs which had (unnoticed) serious surface damage.

    By controlling the hardware-software ecosystem Apple also has the advantage of ensuring that the operating-system and is 100% compatible with all the hardware currently supported; it built all the machines after-all. Microsoft by comparison has the nightmare of trying to ensure compatibility with a huge variety of machines produced by numerous manufacturers.

    To date there has not been any viruses produced in the wild for Apple Macs. (I believe security researches have been able to create one for demonstration purposes in the past.) The security issue earlier in 2012 was a "trojan" which requires a user to install it, not a "virus" which can replicate and spread by itself.

    I would also argue that Macs are not more expensive that Windows machines. If you perform a hardware component break-down, looking at the cost of processors, screen, keyboard, etc, then the Mac may appear more expensive than Windows. But thats because most people fail to consider the value of the operating-system which is what gives the machine its character. OS X for me is far more valuable than Windows due to its stability, security, ease-of-use, graphical innovations, etc.

    Until recently I was dj using a 2006 vintage Black MacBook, a Core-2 duo machine that has been successfully upgraded from Tiger, to Leopard, to Snow Leopard, to Lion. I've never had a problem while dj'ing from small socials to 1,700 capacity clubs; something that promoters notice.
    I think I've gotten value for money from it and I keep it as a backup to my new kit, another Apple Mac.

  40. I've used both Mac & Windows; my windows machine was strictly DJ, I never had a problem. I switched to a 17" MBK Pro, the machine has runflawlessly with one exception, the HD failed after 14 months. I realize the HD can fail on any other machine as well, so I can't necessarily blame Apple for that.

    I have a Lenovo gaming laptop as a backup, which I actually love using as a normal DJ laptop. But it was somewhat of a pain setting up my Denon MC6000 controller due to the ASIO drivers. But on the other hand, updating the firmware on my 6000 was a pain on the MBP; I ended up using my windows machine for the update.

    The MBP pro is great because everything is plug & play. But a nicely spec-ed windows machine that's only used for DJ-ing is a great machine as well, maybe requiring a little extra computer know-how.

  41. Mauri Moore says:

    If you love Windows , buy a Mac and install parallels .
    I have a Sony Vaio (big one) , an Alienware (BIG BIG) and a Macbook pro .
    I miss some windows software ...because of this , i have windows parallels installed .

  42. Until Mauri Moore's post the majority of the posts were the differences between MS Windows and Apple OSX operating systems with the difference being you typically use a hardware platform of PC for one and the Apple Mac for the other.

    But when talking about the Apple Mac hardware it does have a better 'construction' control by Apple as Phil pointed out - and that is why one would want to by a Mac. But even with the better construction, unfortunately; Apple can't make up their mind from one year to the next on what and how many connections should be available :( ... but that is a different topic.

    So if you are looking for 'hardware' reliability - Apple provides a better constructed product and that is why you pay the price you pay. And unlike Mauri who uses Parallels, with Apple's OSX BootCamp you do get the both of both worlds - Windows and OSX on one machine. So, if you are a diehard Windows person; then you can load Windows on a fresh Apple Mac and use it while you get comfortable with OSX or discover you don't like it :) ... but at least you got the 'better' hardware to run your desired O/S.

    Btw, Late Model 2008 MacBook PRO, BootCamped Win7Ultimate and OSX Snow Leopard ... 4 yrs and solid performance on both platforms.

  43. I just know that I have owned PCs all my life but now that I have a mac I don't want anything else. It's not perfect but I don't run into nearly as many issues as I do with my PCs.

  44. Mac book pro 15 inch connected via lan to two cdj2000 and djm900. Excellent gear!!!! Do the job smoothly all the way. However rekordbox from pioneer has bugs and either freezes or chashes at times (unexpectedly). So I had to have a third player(cdj350) with a pen drive plugged in standby just in case!!!!
    In the end, I think, after having used both windows and Mac, ... Well , Mac is more reliable by far.

  45. It's really funny because im using a laptop that in comparison to those stated above is like using an abacus. Its probably over 10 years old and the specs are pretty poor.I am using traktor pro 2.5 and a stanton djc4. I was running windows vista and traktor was not running that good and kept crashing on me.Up until i installed my old copy of windows xp now i can't complain about anything. Traktor runs smoothly the sound is good and i'm a happy dj for a frection of the price. It just goes to show it's not all about the price and spec of the laptop but how it is set up!!!

  46. if you want to do word documents or start a bussiness so need to do spreadsheets etc... then get windows. If you doing design or music mac all the way. they are built better than window products 10fold ad are solid as a rock. People are put off by the high price tag...but with anything in life the best doesnt come cheap.

  47. groovemixer says:

    I've been a Mac user for just over a year now and will never go back to Windows!!! I've had very few problems with my Mac compared to my Asus 17" laptop. Not to say Windows is garbage but I would recommend Mac for DJ'ing anyday! Once you go Mac you'll never go back!

  48. Foldabledisco says:

    I use MAC and and Í'm satisfied about it.
    What I don't like about Apple:
    *People who treat this company as a religion.
    *Shifting their design from performance to exterior or looks. I don't care if my computer is 3 mm thinner, it has to work flawless under any condition.
    *Apple care program, why? We pay a lot for those things just give us proper warranty and service for a reasonable price.
    *That brings us to the price, come on how much profit makes that company?
    On the other side if people are willing to lie a whole night before a store to get their products... You can ask what the madmen gives to you.

    I worked with Windos laptops and it never worked total flawless for me. Those little glitches and freezes once in a while.
    I had those rather sweaty moments that my laptop decided that the party was over for tonight. My software gone... Rebooot the whole thing and start the software again. Never happened with my Mac, till now.

    I'm curious about alienware though, I'm going to check those out.

  49. lordamercy says:

    If you DJ professionally buy a Mac. The windows os doesn't mix with djing, yes you can tweak it, turn shit on and off but at the end of the day DJs use Macs for a reason. I have a 08 MacBook white I paid 300 pound for its never missed a beat, unlike any windows based laptop i've ever used/had.

    Check any DJ forum and they will show you tips on how to tweak your windows based system for djing and how much crap you have to do to get a reliable platform to DJ from. no need with osx as there's nothing running in the background to mess with your set. Yes you can get a windows based machine to work but really just buy a Mac and use your time djing/producing

  50. It's no secret I'm a PC guy. I've praised my Thinkpads enough.

    I'll say it again, the secret of using Windows is to buy and set up your system the way you would a Mac:

    - Buy a laptop with high-quality hardware. You'll have to spend some money on it. Some $400 laptop from Walmart won't cut it.

    - Get a full version of Windows. Don't just accept the OEM version you get included. If you're ordering online, order with a full version of Windows. Most manufacturers bog down their OEM versions with bloatware. You are better off with a clean version.

    - Know how to maintain and tweak your OS. If you hate messing with computers, then buy a Mac. If you know how to clean your hard drive, defrag it, tweak the settings, then you can do much with Windows.

    The reason why Macs appeal to many is Apple does all of the above right off the bat. They do not put cheap/low-grade hardware in their Macbooks, and they don't allow anyone to bog down MacOS with bloatware. That's why you get the "it just works" experience.

    Since I'm good with Windows, and I look for more/better ways to use it, I never have issues. The ONLY time I ever had crashes was because my computer overheated...which was not the fault of Windows. A cooling platform fixed that.

    • @D-Jam agreed.

      Though I do think many DJ folks, well certainly the pro's, are not IT folk they dont have the time, knowledge nor inclination to want to tweek a PC. Instead they are busy gigging, looking for new music or producing etc So hence why Mac's are so suited to them. However, on here I think we have more 'IT geeks', I dont mean that in the perjorative, who are able to tinker and run scripts that down services etc. So if you fall in that camp then by all means get yourself a PC, but if your not, then like me and get a mac, simples!

  51. "The bottom line is that DJs want absolute reliability, because their performances are mission-critical and they don’t want the computer part of the equation to let them down."

    And that is exactly why I prefer to know what is happening within that startup sequence and choose myself what services/drivers/hardware should work or not and also stripped that OS down to what I need to use and nothing more.

    Mac users go to : Applications/Utility/Console and enjoy all that errors log lines... and good luck to clean all the source of these entries.

    I know both system very well (IT guy), I can fix and hack both all day long, I had Mac for my personal use but re-sale them, also had hackintosh but gone too. Nothing can value the ease of fix, turnaround, shortcuts, fine tune that Windows can offer, even Linux (not as easy as Windows).
    My daily computer is a Mac, and yes I already have trouble with it.
    A computer is a computer, be it Win, Mac, Linux, Android or whatever...

    05/30/2008 is the date I bought my Lenovo for Djing and it is still running fine. I have paid something around 450€, at that time nothing could beat that price/performances/reliability ratio.

    Why should I fix something that is not broken ?
    - well built
    - reliable
    - cheap
    - ugly (they surely won't stole it !) lol

  52. I have used both PC and MAC extensively. I do computer repair so I end up with a lot of free computers left behind by customers.

    Since I have not paid for any of my laptops, I think I can offer a completely unbiased opinion of them. I use Traktor, VDJ and Serato Intro on them and as you know these programs don't take a powerhouse laptop to run, but they must be consistant.

    My Windows laptops handle them just fine. I optimize one of them for performance but even on a laptop with a standard Win7 load it runs fine. USB latency and all that stuff is the same across both OSX and Windows.

    Many people have a placebo effect mentality with Macs. Yes they are expensive, the exterior build quality is very nice. But anyone who says that a Mac is faster than a PC just because it is a Mac just simply does not understand how computers work.

    Apple started using Intel hardware years ago and you can build a PC with the exact same parts. This is where the placebo effect comes in. From working on laptops every day I can honestly tell you A COMPUTER IS A COMPUTER. Granted you have to shop around and buy a decent Window's laptop as there are many cheap models.

    I like OSX and Windows 7. I can't say which is "better" but I can tell you there is no clearer, factually faster or better OS. You can prefer one or the other, but they can both be made to do almost anything the other can.

    For public performances I use my MacBook Pro. Why?
    Because as a DJ you are judged (often harshly) on your equipment. Unfortunately club owners and promoters have fallen into the stereotype of modern Dj's having a glowing apple in front of them - and thats why I use it. My MBP is no more reliable (my last one died after 3 years) than a PC but is WAY more expensive to buy parts for and much more difficult to work on hardware-wise.

    Anyone using a Mac for just Dj'ing in Traktor/VDJ/etc. is using it for the logo on the front unless you are terrible at maintaining and/or setting up a computer. Using it for the brand is fine as it may be required for your line of work - but PC's do the job just as fine. With the price tag of a PC, it's clear that should be the only choice.

    With my own money, I would never buy a Mac unless I started making serious bank from DJing - which I don't.

    I encourage everyone to use PC's more and maybe the stigma people have about DJ = Macbook will fade.

    • I used 3 Windows laptops before the Mac and I always ran into the same thing - Windows was great for Virtual DJ, but terrible for timecode. I can't say I was great at maintaining them, but I was better than the average shmo. It comes across as pretty insulting to generalize people like that.

  53. im right with you Spark.
    i am also an IT/tech nerd guy. "Macs just work" until they dont, then youre screwed. My PCs run and when they fight back, i can replace whatever is not playing nice or just gut it and start again.

    my Mac has been very reliable for daily use, wife and kids love it for its simplicity. but when it failed recently, it was not a fun or quick fix. my old Dell laptop just keeps chugging along. and yes, it is ugly as hell and no, no one will steal it haha


    • I have a pc running traktor just fine but i'm always hearing about tweaking your pc.How do u know what to remove or disable so that u can tweak for the best performance?I don't i would ever by a mac bc of the huge price bad

    • Jason Ross says:

      +1 on the big love for Dell! I love DELL as they are basically the AntiMac. As uncool as you can get, but they last FOOOOORREEEEVVVEEEERRRR. I kid you not. My main laptop now for DJing/living/almost everything is a DELL XPS 15 2nd gen. 2 years ago the only other machine 'slightly' better was the top MacBook Pro 'Thunderbolt'. That cost over 2 grand, my dell cost me 800 from DELL outlet. The internals CPU, GPU, chipset, etc were almost IDENTICAL! I also have an 8yr beast DELL desktop replacement laptop, runs WIN7 without a hitch at FULLHD and powers my 1080p 50" TV without a problem F*** Macs, DELL rock!

  54. Mac's start at £1000. Spend that kind of money on ANY operating system and you'll get brilliant performance and reliability.
    The problem most DJs/people have is that they compare a £200 laptop from tesco with a £1k Mac and in that battle a Mac will always win. Compare a MacBook with a Dell XPS around £500-£600 plus, and then you have a fair fight.

    • Mr Rav3n, I believe you are the FIRST to admit to the REAL issue of Mac over WIN - and I'll second that!

      I'm a bit of an IT nerd myself, yet never experienced a MAC, due to their affordability.

      As a DJ moving into the digital realm, I first started with a Desktop PC, then progressed to the more expensive Laptop, given that I'd had no negative experience with the PC.

      That is where my issues began with windows, and I spent more time over three years, maintaining and optimising the Windows environment, than I did, actually playing live each week.

      My first MAC was an used iMAC 20" from eBAY, and when I reloaded it, the love affair began, and for many reasons. I then purchased a used MBP, and have continued to enjoy a hassle free experience with DJ Software.

      However, it didn't take long to admit, that my need to outlay as little as possible for my computers, was the mistake I made, that cost me considerably in the end.

      A Windows 64bit Laptop that is in the same league as a MBP, WILL do the job, and do it nicely.

      Spend a little more for the RIGHT specifications, and the choice of a PC or a MAC, will simply come down to personal taste!

  55. I use mac because of the ease of use.

  56. I'm a Detroit DJ using the PC platform, and have for years. I'm all about the "mission critical" aspect of the computer, so I believe if you're a serious DJ, you should have a lappy dedicated to the DJ function, and nothing else. I use a Toshiba Satellite, which I've completely stripped of all other extraneous functions. It's now not even capable of doing a wireless connection; and I don't need it to.
    CPU-wise, the system doesn't even break a sweat, and has never crashed (knocking on wood now).
    I went with Windows because of my business background, and I have more familiarity with Windows than Mac. I have no problem spending the extra money for a Mac, but will do so only when it offers functionality that Windows can't or won't offer. My peers in town who run Macs report very high CPU usage, and problems integrating certain video functions, which I use all the time.
    The "no virus" issue is appealing, but since my machine never connects to the internet, my virus scans always come up with nothing found.
    Have fun everyone!!

    • I'm the same as DJDoug.
      Dedicated laptop just for DJing (Hercules RMX and VirtualDJ Pro), turned of every windows feature I don't need, and have a virus checker installed but with all scanning disabled.
      I only turn the scanning on when I'm copying new music to the hard drive.
      I've only had one crash in 3 years, and that I put down to loading a track that I hadn't analysed first.
      Oh, and my laptop's a Toshiba Tecra with winXP SP3.

  57. trashbaby says:

    If you are using a all-in-one DJ controller, consider a laptop with USB2.0 ports. The drivers for USB3.0 give terrible audio dropouts, and the S4 doesn't work when connected. No problems with USB2.0. New macbook pro's have USB3.0 only and thunderbolt. Any mac users that can confirm this is still an issue, let me know.

    I can't wait for Ableton 9 with Push. Going to add to my Vestax VCM-600 and Komplete audio 6.

  58. HP ProBook 4530s - Core i3 2.3 GHz - 500 GB HDD,this is the laptop i use with itch and it works flawless doesn't break a sweat i don't like macbooks never had just my opinion though

  59. I see all the comments on Macs and PCs to use for DJing, but I would like to know if anyone has ever used a Linux distro on their laptop for DJing such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, or Slackware. Also, since Mac OSX is based on BSD-Unix, has anyone used the PC-BSD OS to setup a laptop for DJing?

    I am curious because Linux and BSD OS's do not cost a dime to download and use, and they can be stripped down to just the software that you need to use for whatever task. I know Ubuntu has a studio production version of their OS, but I don't know if Traktor, Serato, or VDJ makes versions of their software for Linux.

    Can anyone help?


  60. A computer is a computer whether if it's a pc or a mac, if the end users does not know how to take care of their lap top, it will be the same no matter what os system you use or what lap top and brand you choose.

    I have met so many DJ's that have no idea how a computer work, and in many cases, they always look for someone to help them set up their system, and once it's running they are happy. Those Dj's, are usually, I would say 90% of them, mac dj's. They have the believe that if it's a mac nothing could or will ever go wrong.

    I've been DJ-ing for a long time with PC laptops, and up to know, I've never had a problem, why, simple; I take care of my lap top, I don't download thousands of programs, or applications to it. I do the routine virus scans, and I purchase my music from trusted sites, not just any link with a free download.

    It's a personal option as to what OS system you want to use, or what brand of lap top. However, if you don't know the basic of computer, even an apple will become rotten if not well taken care off. End users should break the myth about apples being indestructible, and learn a few things about computer in order for them to understand that a MAC is the only lap top for dj-ing.

  61. Ever since I change to apple in 2006, I have not looked back. I have never had any issue with my Mac, it still performs to the same level it always did 6 years ago. It is trouble free and reliable. I wish each USB port was powered though, but nothing an external powered hub won't fix. PC's are way more susceptible to viruses and I have spent more time troubleshooting PC problems than using it. Using a Mac is like using an invisible computer, you don't realize you're using a computer, you can pay more attention to the actual task you are doing than the computer itself. Seem less and smooth.

  62. I use a customized HP Pavilion DV6 laptop with a quad-core I7 processor a terabyte drive, 8 gigs of memory, 2 USB3 ports for high speed transfers with external USB3 drives and internal beats audio which is not necessary but was part of the base configuration. I spent 2/3 on what a MAC would have cost and it works great. Be aware that some DJ controllers and programs have issues with AMD processors, so stick to the Intel processors. If you run with a PC, disable the wireless and make sure all pending/downloaded OS and program updates have been run before your gig. Also disable any programs that could potentially start scan at a scheduled time. de-install all bloatware that may come with the system. Dedicate your laptop only to your DJ software.

  63. mac/pc dj-ing is very risky.
    Both systems fail, there too many fanboys of mac or pc.
    I people that have crashed on mac's and pc's.
    There is no "sure" system.
    Your only alternative is cdj & analouge mixer...

  64. I used to use my DEL laptop when i used to do my gigs and found that the memory used to be at 70% with be antivirus running in the background. But since i have purchased a MAC the memory used in maximum at 5% and there is no Antivirus. The fact about having virus for MAC is a whole new dissuasion. Until such time i do not need an Antivirus software i think my MAC does the trick for me. I practice on my DELL and do my gigs on the MAC.

  65. Well the MACs are nice but when they crash they really crash. The other night I was at the club. It was about 12:45am and the dance floor was packed. Then all of a sudden the sound and video started to flicker. Within 30 second his MAC became a paper weight. There was no music for 3 minutes and 34 seconds. Imagine what happened to all the people dancing?

  66. I used all versions of Microsoft OS from MS-DOS (I'm that old) to Windows XP both in my day job as an IT systems designer and as a home user. After retiring early, my desktop and laptop PCs both broke within a month, so I bought a MacBook to find out what all the fuss was about. That was >4 years ago and I would never choose to go back to a Windows system, and the idea of risking DJing with one gives me nightmares. It's a matter of opinion which is the "better" option, but from my own experiences, I just don't trust Windows not to "take its ball home" at the slightest excuse.

  67. if I may chime in... I am not to any extent an IT guy but just your average computer user. Truth is find what works best. More people use Macs for many reasons and one of those is that they make solid computers for the average user. I hear IT guys always talk about how PCs and Window based systems are so superior but ultimately the proof is in the pudding Macs are solid and with AppleCare that's a nice insurance to keep you on stage.

  68. I think the point is that most people don't want to have to 'learn' computers to DJ/produce. The fact of the matter is that Macs are kind of built for the person who wants that plug and play instantaneous thing. I personally wanted something that I knew worked well with music programs and macs are just that. People who scoff at Mac users miss the point. I've never been good with computers and am not the kind of person who wanted to learn them either. Macs are built better than most PCs, as they should be for the price, but they also are less susceptible to viruses. This is a fact.

    If someone has the money and doesnt want to put the effort of learning how to use a PC (which is needed imo) I would recommend Mac.

    And ultimately most serious DJs who use Traktor/Serato use Macs. This could be due to the shiny apple or as I suspect its due to the fact that Macs are (1) sturdy and (2) reliable.

  69. I'm not sure if this has already been said, but the biggest benefit of Macs is COMPATIBILITY. Let me explain...

    When companies release a new software or hardware product, with Macs, there is a small and finite number of systems that they have to test and qualify. They can guarantee performance on X number of systems and systems do not vary all that much and are also not released at a rapid rate like PCs.

    This is not the case for PCs. There are several PC manufacturers that have several different computer models that are also refreshed/updated/rereleased every few months. Sometimes, they are updated without any announcement. This is a nightmare for compatibility because there is no way that a company can guarantee performance on every machine. They can take the Mac approach and say "we guarantee performance on this machine and that machine", the likelihood of anyone getting those specific models in the small time frame that it is available is pretty slim.

    So long story short, Macs are "better" (focus on the quotations) for the sake of compatibility, but there is absolutely NO reason that you can't use an equally spec'd PC to achieve the same performance.

    • A PC user says:

      MAC is not always that compatible or transparent. Case and point: The latest MAC OS is not compatible with the current version of Serato he uses. He owns a Macbook pro and was going to purchase the DDJ SX which runs Serato which is his software of choice. He now has to wait for Serato to be "updated" by the company before buying his DDJ SX.

      • The software will be released by Serato simultaenously for Mac and PC.

      • In this specific example, the user should run an OS that is compatible with the software that he uses. The only time this is not possible is if the MacBook Pro shipping with OS X 10.8 and cannot be downgraded to a previous OS.

        Generally speaking, users should be running an OS that is compatible with their software. It's not Apple's fault that Serato isn't qualified to run on their latest OS.

  70. Eurotrash says:

    I love how PC fans say they love their machines, as long as they download this or that, and do this or that, or know how to do this or that.

    I use a Mac cuz I want only want to install my DJ software, plug in the sound system and rock the house. I don't want to even have to think about my computer.

    • Thats is so true... a loot of the comments above are from IT-Experts, that know a lot of the systems. But i am focusing on the music and not on tweak here, tweak there.
      I am an admin in a german Group on Facebook, there are always questions from PC Users, that ask me "hey what can i do, i have latecy Problems on my all new PC Notebook, but why... it is an Core i7, 8GB RAM, SSD and so on." thats one of the main reasons i like my Mac... there is no Problem like this. I used a IBM ThinkPad before and it was a real good Machine, but not that stressfree as my mac, for me.
      But if you like PC or Mac is more an Personal question and even depends on financial possibilities. i would never change my Mac back to PC, but thats personal.

    • Jason Ross says:

      i completely respect your opinion, but for the the SINGLE SADDEST aspect of many Mac users (not all) is the "I dont want to know how anything works" attitude!

      Knowing how something works IS A GOOD THING, not a bad thing. I find it sad and troubling that so many are happy to be ignorant, why not add a little more knowledge about how shit works!

      • I don't have a Mac but I am looking at this article to help me decide whether its worth investing in one. The Mac users arguments have sound logic and what a lot of the technicians are missing in their arguments is, time investment has more value than money. Once time is spent it cannot be re-earned. Money can be spent and earned and you can buy other peoples time with it. If I can earn money knowing how something else works that isn't IT why not let somebody else who specializes in IT deal with the IT while I deal with DJing. The more time we spend on our core skills the better we will be at them. No need to understand how whatever thing works unless it benefits me from knowing considering my needs. I need to spend time on being creative with my mixes research music, organise gigs, market self promote not fiddling with stuff on my OS. Just sayin you may become a better DJ therefore get better hire rates if you concentrated on your performance side and then you could afford to pay someone else to deal with the technical stuff.

  71. I use a 300 quid toshiba satellite, with a last generation of i5 processor. no problems with powering traktor. no denying that its an ugly budget beast but it is fit for purpose. if suddenly came into a lot of money then I would buy a Big Mac. a better experience all round I think

  72. DJ Malarky says:

    Bottom line is whatever works for you the dj/user!!! And by the way macs are not virus free by any means. More people in the world simply use pc's so you dont hear about the volume of mac issues. I like them both but since I am a mobile dj business owner and provide the systems, i send out pc's as they are more affordable. I haven't had any issues as of yet with either pc or mac systems running various dj software programs.

    • March Maester Gifu says:

      Thank you. It kills me when I see people claim Macs as virus-free. That sort of thing is what caused a ton of Mac users to end up with their computers hijacked by that bitcoin mining botnet a while back. What's worse is, at least last I checked, Mac's customer support is trained to redirect and/or ignore any mention of viruses on customer systems.

      I prefer PCs due to affordability as well as the tweaking aspect. If my laptop is a main piece of my toolkit I feel better knowing I can go in and tailor it to my exact needs.

  73. Not a tech guy, but a DJ for many years now (1976) and started using a computer for djing in 2005 running Traktor on a PC w/Windows XP and it also worked fine until it didnt, then i tried to repair but the motherboard was fried so i had to get a new one, by that time Windows Vista was out, it didnt work with the software at the time so i bought a used Mac, and whoever is saying its not faster it is lying, more stable AND easier to repair , i've changed memory, hard disk and keyboard myself, no hassles with OS with serials , authentication and so forth, i keep a back up copy of my drive and can exchange it easylly, forget anti-virus (the real reasin many computers crash and perform slugishly) tech guys that say its cheaper to fix PC its because they dont know Mac, im a professional and cant jeopardize my performance, that said its anyone choice if they use PRO equipment or settle for cheaper hobbyist alternative.

  74. Also PCs come with a range of proccessor, not all suitable for DJing and the ability to exchange the hard drive into any other Mac is priceless, try that with a PC.

  75. Another thing to consider is midi
    OSX has a wonderful internal architecture for handling midi and rewire, and in my experience, windows requires seperate drivers for many devices, another reason that we chose OSX is that if we happen to also work on production, windows doesn't do logic, OSX does for $199

  76. Okay, I'm late as usual. For those of you who are talking about crashes, I want to make this one little suggestion. STAY OFF THE PORN SITES! That alone could be why your computer keeps crashing. Whether this be Mac or PC. And another thing that could cause nasty viruses? TORRENT SITES! These two alone should be reasons why your DJ laptop should be dedicated to just your gigs. And don't try to BS me. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. As for my gigs, I use a PC. I'm too broke to buy a Mac.

  77. I run a variety of DJ software & production software and when I tell people that sometimes programs work better on PC they act like that's just not possible. It goes to show how the perception is Mac is always better. What finally got me to break down and buy a Mac Book Pro is Boot Camp & that I can basically have Mac & PC device all in one. I also agree a lot of people expect a good DJ would have a Mac so perception (unfortunately) does play into it.... although I might be running Windows 7 on the damn thing.

    Also as someone else mentioned, I treat my DJ laptop as an instrument and not to be used for non-musical stuff. It's stripped of all non-music related programs and RARELY do I take it online unless it's for necessary software updates, downloads, etc.

  78. Same old story, I have been using Mac's for years. Generally because Apple did everything you knew it would work as opposed to PC's where each company sourced different components and put them together and hoped they worked and hence driver problems. This is still the case therefore I have stuck with a Mac.
    What I would say as above people do not compare like with like - people compare higher spec Macs with cheaper basic Pc's hence the Pc seem to lose - If you spend £1000 on a Pc - Serato will run as well as it does on Mac

  79. Funny thing is most people here who say mac is better defenitely have no clue how to operate a pc.

    If you want a stable pc/laptop for your gigs DON'T browse for porn, dont install games and running AV's might be a no no (depending on specs ofc). Av is also only needed when you browse the internet especially wen you download alot of them pirated warez. It's not like a pc will catch a virus when you just use it to produce or spin tunes.

    A windows laptop with an i5 or better and more than 4 gigs of ram will blow away any mac anytime.

  80. "Macs fit the bill, because OS X is often felt to be an easier operating system to use that Windows for non-expert users."

    Just install OSX on an intel compatible laptop (dell and lenovo are best.) Next, install XP and/or Win7 on a different partition and you will HAVE IT ALL. go even further and install Linux to do your web surfing and music downloading.

    The debate is really core audio versus ASIO. some people have great luck with ASIO but a lot of times soundcard drivers are the culprits...not Windows or Mac.

    i used to DJ with Serato Scratch Live using a Pentium III Sony Vaio and 512MB of ram running XP. it was ROCK SOLID reliable. i have a MacBook (non intel) and it also works. it's all ego boost.

    the one thing that is useful when many people use the same product is that you can borrow each other's AC Adapters, USB cables etc. that's all.

  81. I am both a PC and a Mac user. I have built a PC for my studio and use a Mac for DJing on.

    I use a Mac to DJ from because it is the most straight forward platform to work on. Most of the DJ software available has been designed with Macs in mind first and PC's second. I would much rather use a PC as I can control more within the OS, but the reality is, I find that the Mac just performs to the requirements that I need it to without any tweaking. Another thing is that my Mac is built like a tank and offers premium features (back lit keys, Aluminium body, high quality screen etc.) which do improve the over all experience of using the laptop.

    The only thing I do is run a program called Onyx on my mac once a week or before Gigs to ensure that the hard drive and all permissions are running efficiently.

    I'm a PC guy but the reality I have found is that you have to use the right horse for the course.

  82. DJ Bass Ed says:

    I have a 7 year old Toshiba Sattelite that i gutted, reformatted, and personally tweaked. WinXp SP3 running VDJ Pro. The screen is fried so I have it hooked to an external LCD. The laptop sits on my setup upside and slightly open for cooling. I constantly get people coming up and asking, "Is that a laptop?!?" I chuckle and say "yes. My whole system is jerry-rigged" Every response is usually along the lines of "wow..well, sounds great! Keep it bumpin!" It cost $80 for the monitor and that's the only thing I had to buy to make the system functional. It's never let me down. Macs aren't my thing. Eventually I'll invest in a new PC when this thing finally takes it's last breathe. =)

  83. Some of the former reactions came from people who clearly mentioned themselves that they have IT background. That is the part that is very important to be aware of.
    FIRST of all I would like to remind them that not all people (especially “part-time” deejays) have the time and knowledge to “tweak” one sole dedicated laptop for live performances. I have to mention that most people have the tendency to “surf” around and thus load up their laptops with more software which is natural because you want to use it for more stuff on the road. The windows platform has the tendency to handle these software changes MUCH less friendly than Mac’s. Usually that is the main cause for crashes and malfunction of the laptop. I use a custom build PC in my digital studio and I don’t really care if it crashes and restarts because at that moment I don’t have a crowd in front of me. The point is that many PC’s because of their different configurations need a lot of tweaking to make them foolproof.
    SECOND I don’t know if the same people who are talking about those machines have “high’ expectations in terms of running with little latency, lag, overheating issues, battery drain etc. Many deejays I know have shown me their laptops and when I just lay my hands on them I immediately feel the difference between theirs and mine. Your expectations and demands on the machine will immediately dictate how great you perceive the laptop to be. Are you video-mixing? Do you need a non-glare screen? Are you running big samples? Are you back spinning, sampling and looping? Using just the “play” and “start” buttons and not having a hurry to see the waveform appear?
    I use Serato Scratch live, also video-mix and also use Itch depending on the situation or set-up in the club etc so my laptop (Mac book Pro, by the way… with a non-glare screen for daytime spinning) is not solely used on a dedicated controller but also with the SL4 box through HID mode connected to Pioneer 2000 cd players.
    My waveforms load instantly, my visual platters turn as if they are the decks themselves and I did not EVER have a crash from SERATO with either one of my Mac books.
    I am NOT endorsed by Apple and I really hate I-tunes but I can tell you that I had my bad experiences with non Apple brands laptops and that for live experiences I trust Mac books Pro more than any other brand. Besides that I really needed the non-glare screen (Mac Book option) as daytime beach parties are tough to spin without this type of screen.
    I think that for “PROFESSIONAL” performances you need a dedicated laptop whether it’s a Mac or a PC machine. The minute I plugged in the MC book Pro my problems were gone.
    THIRD is the cost factor that many people mention that maybe is a factor when you are NOT depending on this laptop to make a decent income BUT just like a “good” carpenter, electrician, policeman, fireman etc you need good tools that will not let you down easy, or give you stress. If you don’t pay attention to this you will be punished as one day things will happen. (I carry a slim 500 GB USB hard drive with me that I can directly plug in into the pioneer 2000’s, spinning with my controller I always have my daily use Mac book Air with me). If you pay the same amount for a windows based laptop that you would pay for a Mac Book Pro you would get probably a very good “high performance” laptop.
    On the road I love to use my favorite windows based related software on my Mac (especially ACID, Sound Forge Pro, Waves and Tag n Rename) and I do that through parallels software (it stays a hassle) so believe me if I could use rock stable windows based laptop I probably would to. For now my negative experiences with my former windows based (Dell and Sony high end!!) laptops just turned me far away.
    Guys we are human, we are going to do shit on our laptop that we are NOT suppose to do and when I did that on a Mac it did not give me problems. It did when I used a regular windows laptop.
    By the way I do 8 hour beach club gigs spinning also videos at parties (SL4 box with PIO 2000’s in HID mode). Not one problem so far on the Mac book pro. By the way I feel that with controllers the load is less on the laptop. Please remember that this is just my personal experience. Greetings from Curaçao.

  84. whiterodec says:

    I completely understand why djs with pro aspirations choose for macbooks if they have to rely on their portable pc: they are well built and they use a reliable operating system. Do you want to loose your reputation as a dj just because of your laptop? I don't.

    In the market of the windows laptops most of the manufacturers compete on price. The manufacturers that set on quality are a minority - most win laptops are made of cheap plastic and lack any decent design. If you need a realy reliable laptop for linux or windows platform you should look at the Thinkpads. Well designed, reliable and modular and as such also easy to repair/maintain. If you don't want to pay the premium price you find them easily in good shape on ebay.

    A second issue is the operating system. You simply can't rely on windows if you have to use your laptop on stage. Windows is just not built as a reliable real time operating system. Maybe great for playing games or running some office software, but using it in a live situation in front of hundreds of people? No way. I have to use Windows for the job but for my home pc I moved to Linux since a long time since it is 1000x more stable.

    As long as commercial dj soft wont be available on Linux, dj's will have to use macbooks. Just because they have no choice. Probably also why clubs keep buying cdj2000's. There is not much else that is a bit reliable (well cdj2000's are not as cdj1000's anymore - I hope the nexus is better). There is just a lack of competition in the upper market segment. Apple and Pioneer got that segment for their own since Matsushita (technics) left it. (Denon made the mistake of setting on price so they lost the upper market now completely to Pioneer by building in China and not upgrading their terrible display).

  85. I would say, 4 years ago...There was not question. Mac products, period. As vista was dead faster than Windows ME, there in lie the problem. Apple products still had lower latency and minimum issues with Audio overall. With the release of Windows 7, I think the product offering for DJ's got a LOT better, and functionality was on par.

    Ancillary items such as MP3 work, etc, etc, have come along for windows products as well. I've noticed folks are moving away from the itunes integration and managing their own music. (At least I've told all of the DJ's I know -- manage your own music, it's easier to work with).

  86. I think we're now at the point where it probably does not matter as much. When Windows went to Windows 7 it pretty much (outside of the universal audio drivers on MACS) equalized them... well not really, Windows still have to deal with more virus exploits and an IRQ system (which is probably the real adavantage with a MAC, because the hardware itself in no way shape or form is superior)... You ever notice how MACS come out the factory with some of the cheapist most generic parts none to man... and still cost 2x as much as a comparable Windows unit... Mac's are running on a real time operating system... not having to deal with the bottlenecks of an IRQ system, makes them perform a whole lot better than Windows.

  87. B.B. Koning says:

    I'm late to the party.

    The fellow DJs I know all primarily work on macs, because they play the reliability card.

    With the newest mac laptop models (not all, but some of them), you cannot upgrade anything on them at all, save maybe the memory.

    But I also have friends who do an amazing job in the clubs using moderately priced PCs without issue.

    For my part, I have a semi ancient Toshiba laptop. It used to have a windows 32 bit OS version of 7, and it was a nightmare to use Traktor.

    I spent a little under 200 USD, upgraded to Windows 64 bit, 8 gigs of memory, and now it is like an entirely different machine.

    Traktor is so much smoother, as well as outside activities not related to DJ stuff.

    If you gave me the choice, I would much rather spend 2000 dollars on a top shelf Alienware computer versus a very limited mac.

    I speak both languages, but feel more comfortable with tweaking windows. For now, I will stick with it.

  88. Hi I am in the process of upgrading my laptop from what I am presently using to either a Macbook Pro or I3/I7 laptop. Unfortunately I am working with a tight budget & can only afford a second hand Mac or PC & for the money will only be able to to buy an older model Mac(2006-2008) or a more recent PC I3/I7... Can I please get some advice on this issue I am faced with- older Mac or newer Pc?

  89. Great posts all and I have found this really interesting. I've only been djing (loving it) for 6 months and used VDJ with VMS2. Used a really old laptop and experienced glitching issues. Upgraded to Samsung 3 series with i5, 6gig, 500 hard drive - WIN7, 64 bit OS. Still had issues and put it down to software/controller issues. Moved to Tracktor Pro with s4 have used it half a dozen times with no issues. I'm still a little jittery due to old problems. Here's what I do before gigs -Turn off all wi fi, AV, disable ACPI and Bluetooth in Device Manager. PC is set for high performance, Windows updates is set to never check and processor schedule is set to background services. I think I have covered all bases and done all I can, but welcome your views on if I need to do more. I may move to Mac when this one packs up but as it is only 3 months old, I dont anticipate this will be for a couple of years (hopefully)- Really appreciate the vast amount of expertise on these forums and looking forward to some feedback. Cheers, Rob

  90. Mac is just solid because it doesn't take any settings changes from users. It's a closed box that you cannot modify, and therefore is really reliable when it comes to not crashing during the set.

    I'm an IT guy, and I have never been able to run traktor on my PC, it gives me a blue screen concerning the ascio driver for the sound card.

    I always tell my friends :

    office work / internet / games : PC
    audio / video : Mac
    Data storage and databases : Linux.

    It's as simple as that, each brand is made for a different usage.

    But having the blue screen of death is something I simply cannot afford during a mix, which is why I choose mac. I never update Itunes, quicktime or anything else (apart from traktor), never install anything on it, I don't even browse internet with that machine.

  91. There is one thing that is often overlooked. It's how well the Mac OS conforms to "Human Interface Guidelines." (HIG) The HIG are what create the difference between a routine task taking one click or two. One click or two might not seem like much but when it applies to something that you do a thousand times a day it adds up. Compile that with other, less obvious HIG aspects of the OS, such as menu placement, default icon placement, etc and it adds up.

    To me, "easier to use" means I get more done more quickly. But when someone has more powerful hardware it also means that they get more done more quickly. So, what is the difference? Both are more powerful in their own way and both let you get more done, more quickly.

    The difference has to do with the Human Interface. How does the human control the hardware? The easier it is for a human to control the hardware the more powerful the human becomes.

    Humans. Not computers.

  92. What about those new tablet PC's? I know in February Microsft will launch their Surface Tablet running Windows 8 Pro, would that be a better option to take instead of a laptop (Mac or PC)?

  93. hey guys....i work with a 400 euros laptop,acer aspire 5738z,duap core..3gb ram....win7 .... i have it..since 4 years ago and i work in greece/rhodes so in tha summer season(6 months) i work every night,sometimes even 2 locations the rest 3 days/week!!!
    my set up is 2 x cdj 400 pioneer & vdj pro !!!
    i also use to have:
    traktor duo sistem +x1 ctr(sold out)
    ddj t1 pioneer(sold out),
    ddj ergo pioneer(sold out) !!!
    in last 4 years of dj with my acer laptop i used ... vdj,traktor,serato...
    all of them were great and the laptop works fine all the time...btw i still use it (and also for social life,movies...)
    so....from my point of view...


    AND THATS IT !!!

  94. Joe Smith says:

    Windows RULES unless you only require basic functionality.

    DJ needs a Macbook for the same reason a business man needs a suit.
    People take you more seriously when you arrive with what is perceived as superior equipment. Emphasis on the word PERCEIVED.

    Macbook Pro using Windows 7
    Runs well after all drivers were installed.

    Was not able to use OSX because not a lot of software options available AND there were no 64-bit drivers for my Pro Sound Card.

  95. I have both a macbook pro and win 7 64 pc.. honestly i like both... i dj with my mbp ... bottom line is if you need win 7 os you can always install it on your mac... and it will run fine .. but try installing osx on a pc...??? hell its a mess.. lol . mac is awesome

  96. Well I think most DJ's using mac over win pc is simple to answer. When people see a dj using a mac they think he must be good because they are using what piece of equipment is popular. There is 90 percent of pc user who have a win os versus 10 percent of mac os users that is why there is more viruses for win os and not mac. now a day u can get win7 with a i5 processor and 4gb ram and a ssd hard drive that will run faster and be way more stable for a dj. end of story they both do the same thing it just up to the user what they like.

  97. what i've noticed is people with windows laptops tend to have more backups like cd players or in some cases backup laptops. personally i couldn't work if i was constantly worrying that my laptop was going to go down. thats why i paid the extra money for the mac. i bought peace of mind.

  98. I moved from a Samsung Series 5 laptop to a Macbook Pro back in November 2k13 for djing and haven't looked back yet!

  99. If I were to opt for a MacBook, I would be only able to afford the 2014 MacBook Air 13-Inch (i5 Haswell Chip, 4GB Ram). That too would mean crossing the limits of my budget. A more suitable option for my budget would be the MBA 11-inch (Similar Specs but a smaller screen resolution). What would you suggest? Is there a huge benifit of having a bigger screen resolution? I will also be using a second display at home. So not a problem there but I'm talking live performances.

  100. I must say that I am surprised at the poor level of reasoning of *some* people on here who claim to have a University education.
    1. As few have already pointed out one should compare like for like. A £1000 mac versus a £1000 Windows PC. A £500 mac versus a £500 Windows Pc. The debate would pretty much end there in favour of the Windows PC.
    2. It is often said that those who buy Windows laptops have financial constraints restricting their choice. It therefore goes without saying that such people who have already started off buying a laptop as cheaply as possible may subsequently attempt to acquire their software as cheaply as possible. Again this is not comparing like for like when a BOOTLEGGED/free download version of VDJ or the latest Windows 8 etc starts to fail (BSOD). Crack codes for pirated illegal free software are rampant on the net. Windows pc users frequently (as a result of peer pressure) fall into the trap of acquiring such software. After all, why spend hundreds of pounds on software your friend has just downloaded for free? Despite this well known user malpractice Windows still does its utmost best to run the illegally acquired software without problems. When such illegitimate software frequently crashes or worse (eventually stops working) users BLAME Windows! It's insane. Worse still....mac users start boasting, "You see! You should have bought a mac". Duh!!!!
    This point needs to be honestly addressed by those who wish to compare reliability. Nothing downloaded illegally for free comes without risks! Free legal trial versions of software was NEVER meant to run like the FULLY purchased versions for obvious reasons. Buy an i7 Quadcore processor, 12GbRAM, Terabyte SSHD, 17.3" screen, Nvidia G-force windows pc laptop and PURCHASE your DJing software, PURCHASE your music, PURCHASE your movies, PURCHASE your antivirus and STOP visiting PORN sites behind your wife's back & you will have a STABLE, RELIABLE very powerful upgradeable Windows PC laptop. Otherwise expect Karma in the form of a BSOD with only yourself to blame! Now I'm off to buy a mac..............(I'm joking! The only mac worth buying as a DJ is "Return of the Mac" by Mark Morrison.)

  101. Stephen Iddison says:

    What about Mindows or a Wac...truth be is everything....but serving it is another story...and it is the root of all no I won't be robbing Tosh to buy a Mac....I will do the right thing by Jesus and that is where the true peace is and be happy with what I have...W7 PC...gratzi!

  102. Emanuel Langston says:

    as all the comments have shown, there is no right answer, it just comes down to what you can get and what you're comfortable with. i have used pc's but switched to a mac after my controller wouldn't run because the pc had an amd processor. really, not trying to be an apple fanboy, but the difference is noticeable. it really is just plug and play with your software and hardware on a mac. and everything just runs smooth as butter. now, would i pay two grand for a plain looking 13 inch macbook, hell no! the mac mini is the way to go, all the great features of the mac, way less expensive, and only need to bring a monitor and a few accessories. i have two mac mini's old style and the newer style. one runs serato and the other is traktor. i would never switch back to windows for djing, cause the mac is just better.

  103. Payam Masjedi says:

    I have the experience to work on both Mac and Windows with the same software (Virtual DJ). I agree that Mac version is well optimized and it doesn't lag when searching or applying effects. Although it isn't obvious in Windows 10 version, but you see it if you look closely. But I prefer Windows 10 because (personally) I feel more in control and I can easily change a setting even in the middle of my live mix, where in the Mac version, it was (a bit more) difficult for me.
    But one thing to consider, VDJ works perfect on Windows 8.1 ane even faster and better than Mac; So I might downgrade my Windows 10 to 8.1 for the optimized performance and lag-free OS.

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