Is High-End Hardware Worth the Expense?

Due to the wide range of computer hardware that is available, we are often asked about specific hardware recommendations for MediaShout systems. Frequently customers ask about purchasing or building a very high-end computer in an attempt to help MediaShout run better or allow the system to be usable longer. However, unless you have some other application for the computer that dictates higher specs (i.e. video editing), you won't gain anything by 'going extreme' with your hardware. And, as explained below, more hardware than you need won't make it run better.

MediaShout is a 32 bit application so it will make use of a maximum 3.5 GB of RAM, and it is not written to take advantage of multiple cores -- so you really only need 4GB of RAM and one fast CPU core to run MediaShout itself. We recommend a dual core system because those systems have a lot of other hardware benefits in the form of faster RAM, video card slot and communications. And Windows itself can take advantage of the other core(s) to a limited extent, so additional cores can be moderately helpful. But more than 4 is overkill for MediaShout's purposes. Likewise, Windows and other applications can take advantage of additional RAM, but if MediaShout is your primary application, 6-8GB will be all that you will need.

The premium computer systems that we sell use 3.1 GHz quad core i5 processors and NVidia GTS 450 video cards, and we've been able to play 1GB+ video files at 1080p HD output resolution. We actually tried hard to choke the system by creating unreasonably high bitrate test files (160,000kbps!), and it was VERY difficult to create any video playback issues. And while that is a well configured and very nice computer, it doesn't need 6 or 8 cores, or 16GB of RAM to achieve very impressive performance.

Occasionally customers over-spec a computer with the goal of getting a system that has a useful life of five years or more, but we don't recommend that. If you purchase or build a system that is upper mid-range now, and replace that system in three years with a system that is upper mid-range at that time, it will very likely be less expensive (or the same price) as an extreme high-end system that you get today. Hardware prices drop so fast, and the hardware gets so much better so fast, that you'd be better off financially to stick with upper mid-range computers.

If you have any questions about specific hardware, please contact our customer care team and we can help you with hardware selection.