Technical specifications

Minimum Computer Set-up

To run one of our courses, we recommend that you use a computer with at least the following:

  • Processor: 2.5GHz (The processor is the brain of your computer. It reads instructions from your software and tells your computer what to do.)
  • RAM: at least 1GB memory (or RAM as it is also known) is the part of your PC that is used for short term storage of data
  • Hard Disk Drive: at least 2GB free space (A hard drive (or hard disk) is the part of your machine that is used for storing programs and data.)
  • Operating system: Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8.

How do I find out if my computer meets the recommended processor and RAM sizes?

To check your processor speed and RAM size:

  • Click on the “Start” button at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.
  • Right-click on “Computer”.
  • Select “Properties” from the menu; this will give you a pop-up showing what your processor speed is and how much RAM you have on your computer.
  • Click “OK” to close this pop-up.

To check how much free space you have available on your hard disk:

  • Click on the start button again but this time left-click on “My Computer”
  • Now move the mouse pointer over the icon for Local Disk (C:) and leave it there for a moment, this will make a small pop-up appear telling you how much free space there is left on the disk.

How to check your screen resolution, video card and sound card

Your computer screen resolution needs to be set to at least 1024 x 768, follow the instructions here if you want to check or change this.

Your computer also needs to have a video card with at least 256MB of RAM and a 16 bit or greater sound card. You can find out if your computer’s video and sound cards meet this by looking at the information which came with it, or by contacting the retailer or manufacturer.

How to check the speed of your internet connection

You’ll need an average internet connection speed of at least 256kbps. If you’re struggling to find out what your current internet speed is, you can find out by using an internet speed test.

If you want to check your internet speed click on the link: http://www.connectionanalyzer.com/

How to check if you need software for your course

You may need to install some software to run your course. We generally use Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader but some courses may require different software.

If you do need to download software then use the ‘Update My PC’ tool and this will do this for you or you can do this manually via the links on the ‘Do I need particular software to access my course?’ help page.

What if my computer doesn’t meet the minimum specification?

Even if your computer doesn’t fully match our minimum specification, you may still be able to run your course, but it’s likely that it will run slowly. Your course may also work if you’re not using a supported operating system or browser but we can’t guarantee this.

To see which ones we support please see the ‘ Which operating systems and browsers are recommended for runninglearndirect courses?’ section of frequently asked questions.