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I am looking at getting a laptop primarily to run my show.  The computer i have is a tad old and im not sure if it will work.  Again, this will primarily be a show run computer with occasional edits to sequences.  

Anyone have any suggestions as to RAM, speed and all that technical stuff that goes into it?  Not looking to break the bank.

Thanks in Advance!


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Mike    I have had a lot of budget buy success with refurbished computers.   Last year I had three shows running at the same time.  Two were on small form factor refurbs.  No problems with them.   This is what I purchased only the price was $209 last summer including win10 and KB&Mouse.  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAJP08V53206&Description=Lenovo Thinkcentre M83

At this low price you may be able to get both a laptop and a new show computer.        My setup has a lot of monitors but I also have some PCs which share monitors and I switch the display to the one I need to work on. 



Maybe here for a similar model but I have not purchased from them.


Edited by ItsMeBobO
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I have had luck with (Walmart-Joy systems) refurbs (they upped the RAM and HD along with a fresh OS install as well as pristine clean inside. Some refurbs, just wipe the outside down and fresh load the OS).

I really recommend staying away from a Laptop for a 24/7 computer. Cooling is the main reason. It is designed to save power, not cool the best. Just about any old monitor (with the right plug) can be used if the desktop computer basically , just RUNS the show (show design, is done elsewhere). I have even used VNC to remote logon / admin to systems located in 'out of the way places' (Garage, Basement ...)

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So my best bet would be a new desktop type unit.  That makes sense. Is there a limit to ram or speed?  Im not very computer savoy, just know what I need to know.  Trying not to buy a dud.

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The Official recommendation for the software is here.


However you will be much happier with something a bit more capable.

The PC used for shows can be quite modest and virtually any cheap mainstream box will do the job. Sequencing and editing will benefit from a faster machine and a decent $100  graphics card or better.

As channel count increases so do the demands on the sequencing computer, particularly when you get into pixels.

I also concur that a desktop is preferrable., has more upgrade potential.

My bare minimum specs for sequencing would be.....

Intel I5 3.2 MHz

8GB Ram

500 GB Solid State Drive.. Once you use an SSD for the system drive, you will never go back and they are getting cheaper all the time.

Windows 10 64 bit Home

Discrete Graphics card which supports Open GL 1.5 ( most newer ones do.)

On board graphics chipsets tend to be lower performance than even modest discrete graphics cards.

If you find something online, post it here and we can take a look.




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Also concur on a desktop over a laptop.  As a show computer you really don’t need anything overly high end.  My current show computer is an i5 desktop and I ran  a little over 66,000 channels on S5.  It was running less than 25% CPU load.


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Run my shows on an ANCIENT desktop, I2{I think} 2.0GHz, 2GB Ram, and 5 RGB controllers, along with 4 CTB16PC Controllers.  When sequencing saving and loading does get a little frustrating at times because it takes forever to save and load RGB sequences.  It's an old Dell Inspirion 530.  I still need to add two more RAM chips to it to get it to 4GB, that may help a little with the load/saving issues.

But it runs my shows just fine.  This one is an old tower case that sits on the floor under my desk.  And I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium in 32 bit mode.  For some reason when I had to reinstall Win 7 quite a few years back, it would accept the 64 bit version, yet that's what I had been running before a HD crash.  So not sure why it decided it didn't like the 64bit version.

But I have seen these old tower systems for as low as $50 used in some places from time to time.

Laptops are great for troubleshooting where you can take the system outside and run tests without having to try and run inside and out to check things out.  But as for running a show, Tower case systems or smaller footprint desktop system {as others have stated} are definitely better suited for that purpose.

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