What's the minimum spec for maximum Zoom performance?

Soldato
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I'm after a machine to hook up to a TV for Zoom calls and I was hoping people might be able to help me determine what the minimum spec is that I could get away with while still getting maximum Zoom meeting performance...

System Requirements:-

I'm after the oldest lowest spec processor and ram I can use.

Any help would be great.

I thought I'd try and collate what info I could find so it might help anyone else looking for the same details.

Here Zoom state their minimum spec:-

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-requirements-for-Windows-macOS-and-Linux

Processor and RAM requirements
Minimum Recommended
Processor Single-core 1Ghz or higher Dual-core 2Ghz or higher (Intel i3/i5/i7 or AMD equivalent)
RAM N/A 4 Gb
Notes:
  • Dual and single-core laptops have a reduced frame rate when screen sharing (around 5 frames per second). For optimum screen-sharing performance on laptops, we recommend a quad-core processor or higher.
  • Linux requires a processor or graphics card that can support OpenGL 2.0 or higher.

In terms of working out min spec for max performance, it seems the processor needs to be beefier for different virtual background settings:-

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360043484511-System-requirements-for-Virtual-Background

The punchiest is for "Video without a physical green screen":-
Video without a physical green screen
    • Zoom desktop client for macOS, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
    • macOS 10.9 or later
    • Supported processors (720p video)
      • Intel i5, i7, i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
      • Intel i7, i9, Xeon - 2 cores, gen 6 or higher
      • Intel i5 - 2 cores, gen 6 or higher, and macOS 10.14 or higher
      • Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except Atom and Y series
      • Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher
  • Supported processors (1080p video)
    • Intel i5
      • 4 cores or higher, gen 5 or higher; or
      • 2 cores with gen 7 or higher and 2.0Ghz frequency or higher
    • Intel i7 - 4 cores or higher, gen 2 or higher
    • Intel i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
    • Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except Atom and Y series
    • Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher
From that it looks like I need a 6th gen i5 and 4GB of RAM.

I guess my question is what, if any, performance increase will I notice if I go above those specs?

Microphones and headsets

As an aside, it would also be good to know if anyone has recommendations for decent value microphones and decent value, low-profile wireless earphones and microphone combinations.

I have a pair of SteelSeries gaming headphones which have good sound and a decent mic, but they aren't very well suited to company meetings because they're too big and intrusive - are there in-ear headphones that have good sound and a decent mic?​
 
Associate
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It’s a different one this question, very interesting. Unless you’re using second hand parts, we should probably think about what fen means what as well.

Sixth gen core was a reasonable performance leap over fifth, but you did get a couple of extra cores in eighth and ninth. To go the other way unless it’s an extended instruction set they’re after; Sandy Bridge wasn’t that much slower than Skylake, so you could prob alt make do with an overclocked 2600K.

From what I can see you’re right to concentrate on CPU as Zoom doesn’t use a great deal of GPU acceleration.

In terms of your actual question, the ‘sixth gen core or more’ is probably for smooth-ish 1080p video and is based on the slowest chips. So a 6600K would (I’m guessing) net you another 25% more grunt and always smooth 1080p. Above that and you’re looking for above 1080p capabilities, which zoom doesn’t support (yet).

So perhaps a 2600K-6600K if overclocked. Or an 8600K hex core because it’s relatively cheap?
 
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Sennheiser do a range of headphones/mic combo which you can find on the net starting at £20. This is the brand my wife was provided with by her employer and I think will give a good impression.

I put together a cheap office pc for my wife, you could say it was a bit over spec but I wanted it to be fairly future proof and the parts were reduced at the time. She uses Zoom at 1080p, several users and background, very smoothly, with a Ryzen 2600x (cost £120) and a Nvidia 760. You can pick up Ryzen 5 either new or second hand, the 760 cost £40 with a 2 year warranty.

 
Soldato
OP
Joined
25 Mar 2008
Posts
8,626
It’s a different one this question, very interesting. Unless you’re using second hand parts, we should probably think about what fen means what as well.
Sixth gen core was a reasonable performance leap over fifth, but you did get a couple of extra cores in eighth and ninth. To go the other way unless it’s an extended instruction set they’re after; Sandy Bridge wasn’t that much slower than Skylake, so you could prob alt make do with an overclocked 2600K.
From what I can see you’re right to concentrate on CPU as Zoom doesn’t use a great deal of GPU acceleration.
In terms of your actual question, the ‘sixth gen core or more’ is probably for smooth-ish 1080p video and is based on the slowest chips. So a 6600K would (I’m guessing) net you another 25% more grunt and always smooth 1080p. Above that and you’re looking for above 1080p capabilities, which zoom doesn’t support (yet).
So perhaps a 2600K-6600K if overclocked. Or an 8600K hex core because it’s relatively cheap?
Thanks. Yeah, I was wondering why they needed to specify "6th gen or above" - what you've said makes sense.
Sennheiser do a range of headphones/mic combo which you can find on the net starting at £20. This is the brand my wife was provided with by her employer and I think will give a good impression.
I put together a cheap office pc for my wife, you could say it was a bit over spec but I wanted it to be fairly future proof and the parts were reduced at the time. She uses Zoom at 1080p, several users and background, very smoothly, with a Ryzen 2600x (cost £120) and a Nvidia 760. You can pick up Ryzen 5 either new or second hand, the 760 cost £40 with a 2 year warranty.
The recommendation for Sennheisers sounds good. Thanks.
Does the 760 contribute anything? It's obviously handy for other uses, but, like @philo-sofa says, I believe Zoom uses CPU power rather than GPU (because it needs to run on company workstations with minimal graphics capabilities, I read).
 
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The Ryzen 2600x doesn't have built in graphics display so had to get her a gpu. You don't need an expensive one, £40 for a 760 got her up and running. I am sure that you can run on cheaper than I got her but its hard to find a ryzen apu in stock new at the moment so a Ryzen 5 and cheap gpu had her up and running
 
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