PC System Requirements for Cygnet and the Games

The RECOMMENDED computer requirements for Cygnet® and its feedback animations are:

  • Windows 10 - 64 bit
    Users of Apple Mac computers must install Windows via Bootcamp.
  • Intel® CoreTM i5 or greater, recommendation: quad-core i7 (The I7 processors for notebooks with numbers ending on Y,M or U are dual core and the ones ending on HQ and MQ are Quad core)
    We explicitly and exclusively recommend Intel processors!
  • 8 GB RAM
  • VR Ready Graphics Card:
    NVIDIA GTX 1060 or greater
    or AMD RX-480 or greater
  • Sound card
  • DVD ROM Disc Drive
    Notice: If you use the AdvancedMediaPlayer for feedback, we strongly advise to use an external DVD drive for this purpose, because the DVD drives of most computers are not made for heavy use. Further notices.
  • Second monitor with 1080p resolution and an HDMI connection

The MINIMUM computer requirements are:

(this is the minimum to run Cygnet, for a smoother experience and support for all modern feedback options including VR, please consider using recommended specs above)

  • Windows 7/Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 (Home or Pro)
    Users of Apple Mac computers must install Windows via Bootcamp.
  • Intel® CoreTM i5 or greater
    We explicitly and exclusively recommend Intel processors!
  • 4 GB RAM (may only support 32-bit Cygnet, 8 GB is recommended for the 64-bit version of Cygnet) 
  • Graphics Card: The most important factor in selecting a computer for Cygnet is the graphics card. Running the usual Cygnet dual-screen setup with high-end 3D graphics on the second monitor is very demanding on a modern computer. Consider using a VR-ready graphics card like the ones recommended above. At minimum look for an AMD or NVIDIA cards with at least 2 GB dedicated video ram.
  • Laptop Graphics cards: "integrated" graphics memory is not supported.
    (Dual graphics cards that switch between a low power and high power chip are supported but require special video driver configuration. Please contact tech support for driver version and links)
  • Sound card
  • DVD-Rom Disc Drive - required if you want to use DVD movies
  • Netbooks or Nettops are probably not suited; we recommend Multimedia or game computers. These are usually also quite cheap. 
  • Malware protection: s. notices further below.

Please note that the Cygnet® software and feedback games are continuously enhanced and thus, the requirements for PCs might change.

In the following, we like to give a couple of recommendations if you are looking for a appropriate computer for your Neurofeedback system. These days, you can use almost any PC for neurofeedback. However, there are a few considerations and recommendations:

  • Cygnet is qualified for 32 and 64 bit operating systems. Only with the serial QIK devices that we sold a few years ago there is an incompatibility with 64bit systems. For this issue we offer a special USB-Serial adapter. We now sell only USB QIKs.
  • For convenience reasons and because they allow a higher mobility, we recommend to use a notebook. Desktop PCs can be used only stationary and have no integrated monitor.
  • Don't get a notebook with low screen resolution. Most cheap notebooks come with 1366 x 768 pixels, we recommend at least 1600x900 or better Full-HD (1900x1080), otherwise all windows overlap all the time and you'll have to scroll a lot. Of course, the optimum screen resolution depends on your eyes.
  • If you intend to use the notebook mostly stationary, consider a 17" screen. You will not regret it. A desktop computer should better be provided with a 24" screen.
  • DVD player: Further notices here.
  • If you have a chance, check for the noise of the built-in fan. Some computers produce quite noticeable noise with can be annoying in a quite practice room.
  • SSD hard drives came down in price quite substantially. They are still more expensive than conventional mechanical drives but produce no audible noise and increase the speed of a computer substantially.
  • When choosing an anti virus software it should be kept in mind that the "real-time capability" of our neurofeedback system (NeuroAmp amplifier and software) is an essential prerequisite for the successful application of neurofeedback. All processes of other software that run in the background (and this addresses particularly the virus protection programs), can interfere the "real-time capability" or even prevent it. An example are McAfee security products that can interfere with Cygnet® dramatically and unfortunately very often are pre-installed on new computer systems. But also the anti virus software "Avast" and "Kaspersky" have led to problems with Cygnet, for example the startup procedure of Cygnet was interrupted showing the error message "Invalid Exit Code -2".
    Our recommendation: The protection, which is integrated in Windows since Windows 7 ("Microsoft Security Essentials") is sufficient for most applications. Cygnet was developed and qualified on computers that either use "Microsoft Security Essentials" or "Norton Internet Security" for virus and firewall protection. Our experiences are exclusively constrained to this protection software and therefore we recommend only the mentioned products.
    More information on this topic and what to do if you experience problems in our May 2017 newsletter here.

The rest is up to your taste: size, weight, battery lifetime, etc.
We are happy to review your computer choice and comment if it is suitable or not.

Before downloading the newest Cygnet® version make sure, your pc complies to the pc requirements.

We recommend local professionals to supervise your pc

In general we recommend to have your computer serviced by a professional, unless you enjoy maintaining your computer by yourself. It is a similar situation as with cars, where most people go to a garage.

  • PC installation
  • Computer safety
  • Backups

The list below shows some specialists, we already worked with.
Please click on the links for more information

Swisscom MyService. Pilot program by Swisscom (only in Switzerland, but not need to be customer of Swisscom). Maintain computer- and entertainment technology in private households (currently CHF 19/month) and small companies (currently CHF 69/month). Customers tried it and told us enthusiastically about it. The current prices, please check at the Swisscom MyService website.

 

Gidman, Gideon Zimmermann, Bern (CH)

EEG Info Neurofeedback certification
 
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