Purchasing the Right Computer for ProPresenter
Making capital expenditures for production machines can be a laborious process. There is tremendous pressure to make the right decision and maximize your investment. For our customers, we have a page dedicated to minimum system requirements, but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. If you were purchasing a computer today, what would you need to get the most out of your purchase?
PC vs. MAC
The age-old question: Windows or Mac OS X? There are a number of factors that can lead someone to pick one over the other. The one we hear the most is the price. Apple computers tend to be at a higher price point compared to most PC’s but that is not the full picture.
In many cases, PC makers can hit lower price points because they’re using outdated chipsets and cheaper components. This makes those less expensive PC’s more prone to failure and replacement. Also, lots of Windows machines made today do not meet the minimum requirements for ProPresenter.
Macs, on the other hand, can run ProPresenter without much fuss. Their entire product line over the past 3-4 years meets or exceeds the minimum requirements, so you can purchase new or used without fear you won’t be able to use them. Also, their resale value is great so if you decide it’s not a good fit you can usually sell them for what you paid for them on the secondary market.
We recommend an i5 processor or AMD equivalent. In making that selection you would also want to look at the number of cores and not so much the processor speed. It can get a bit complicated but note that a brand-new dual-core at 2.3 GHz can easily outperform an older quad-core at 3.3 GHz. If you’re not 100% how to compare processors, check out geekbench scores of available models.
RAM (or Random Access Memory) is what the computer uses to stage and execute actions on your computer. Think of RAM like lanes on a highway. The more lanes you have, the more data can come and go simultaneously. While the minimum requirement for ProPresenter is 4GB of RAM for Mac and 8GB of RAM for Windows, more is definitely better. If you were to splurge on an upgrade we would say upgrading the RAM is the best dollar-to-performance benefit you can make.
ProPresenter has no requirements for hard drives outside of the free space needed to install the program (about 100MB). However, if you can configure your computer with a solid-state drive (SSD), you will experience faster performance and boot times.
For PC users, a dedicated/discrete graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.2 or higher is required (i.e. NVIDIA GeForce series or AMD Radeon series card with a minimum of 1GB of dedicated memory). ProPresenter for Mac does not require a dedicated graphics card but if you intend on presenting anything more than a single 1080 output we would highly recommend a Mac with a dedicated graphics card.