What Computer Do I Need For a Visualizer?

3D visualizers are cool, but can your computer run it and how do you know if you have enough computer that can handle a visualizer? In this post, we’re going to discuss the key factor that is needed to run your visualizer.

There are generally two types of people when it comes to selecting a computer for their visualizer. You have those that want to purchase the best gaming computer for their visualizer or you have those that are eyeing up that 5+ year old computer sitting in the corner. How do you know which one would be a good fit?

System Requirements

When looking at visualizers, you may notice that most of them don’t offer a minimum hardware requirement. Or when they do, it seems to be very vague. Sure, you have the PC and Mac system requirements and maybe some graphic information, but that’s pretty much it.

We’re going to dive more into suggestions on what you may need but a good piece to note is that the visualizer programs are constantly improving. Not only with their ability but also becoming more efficient for the computer’s sake. For a lot of us that want to make what we already have work, it’s a relief.


When discussing visualizers just remember it’s all about the graphics. I’ve had students that are able to run their visualizers on a fairly old computer and it’s able to do it well. So, what’s the difference? It’s all in updating your graphic cards.

Depending on the graphic card, there might be a little lag when moving some items around or if you turn everything on at once but the visualizer is able to do what it’s designed to do.

In my personal opinion, updating the graphic cards is a better and more cost efficient approach than investing in a brand new computer. Some new computers come with a entry level graphic card and that will still give you issues when working with a visualizer.

While there’s no guide on what a “good” graphic card is just know that you have the options to decide what you want from your computer and visualizer. If you’re on a budget, you can always dial down the lighting and the stage but still be able to design and visualize your lights. It might not be 100% on point but you’ll get the general idea of how your lights will look.

A common suggestion I share is that if you’re working with a small to medium size stage, I recommend using a standard computer and consider investing in a $100 – $200 graphic card. This will get your computer and visualizer what it needs and be able to perform very well.

Just know that whichever route you decide to take that your visualizer will work regardless. It might lag at times when trying to do certain actions but it will always do what it’s meant to. You can always upgrade your graphics down the road.

PC or Mac?

The age old question that always comes up is PC or Mac? I always like to shar that I began as a loyal Mac user but over the years I shifted to being a PC user. I use PC for just about everything and it does a very good job.

If you’re a loyal Mac user that is completely fine. There are visualizers you can use such as the Capture or Chamsys MagicVis. But with a PC, you’ll have access to more.

When it comes to purchasing a PC there are going to be many options. Just know that most brands have low end units and high end units. Do not purchase the low end units. Instead, I recommend aiming for the middle range.

Lastly, laptops or desktops? Laptops are great for mobility but the downside to laptops is that is generally harder and more expensive to upgrade your graphics. This makes desktops more ideal as it’s easier to work with and less expensive when you want to make upgrades.

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