I wanted to look up the essential and recommended hardware requirements that I need to configure Blue Iris for managing my multiple security cameras.
But there is much conflicting information and fluff available on the internet, leading to a somewhat diluted experience.
So I figured I make this article to let the users of Blue Iris get a general idea of what the recommended system requirements are.
The minimum Blue Iris hardware requirements are 2GB RAM, Windows 7, and a Dual core processor. But the recommended system requirements to run Blue Iris optimally are 8GB RAM and above, Windows 8.1 or above, and a Core i7 or comparable Ryzen 7 processor.
Minimum System Requirements to Run Blue Iris
As it is with any piece of software, there is a minimum system requirement configuration that is required for Blue Iris to function.
This doesn't mean that this configuration is all it needs to work flawlessly, rather this is what the Blue Iris program needs to boot and perform at the essential scale.
The minimum system requirements for Blue Iris, according to its website are as follows:
- 2GB RAM.
- Windows 7.
- 2GHz Pentium dual-core processor.
According to the Blue Iris website, this is all that your computer needs in order to manage one to three USB/network IP cameras.
Unlike Blue Iris, Zoneminder and most other monitoring systems work only on Linux-based systems. Hence, giving Blue Iris a definite edge over most options in the market.
Recommended System Requirements to Run Blue Iris
That being said, there is a huge difference between the performance and capabilities of a Blue Iris running on a minimum requirement system and a powerful one.
With a boost in the right areas, you can see a massive boost in the overall smoothness of operation, and also increase the number of cameras you can control.
The recommended system requirements for Blue Iris, according to users are as follows:
- 8GB RAM or above.
- Windows 10 or above.
- Intel Core i7 or above, with QuickSync or a comparable Ryzen CPU.
Depending on the configuration, you can manage medium (7+ IP cameras) to large (20+ IP cameras) systems with ease using the recommended settings.
CPU for Blue Iris
Since Blue Iris deals with managing multiple live streams from various security cameras, there is a significant requirement of CPU power for proper working.
In fact, one can even go as far as to say that CPU power is one of the most important aspects when it comes to running multiple channels of IP cameras.
There are two main aspects of a CPU that you need to consider when it comes to judging its processing power:
- Single Thread Performance.
This is important for working with high-resolution video footage at high frame rates. A single thread performance number below 3000 can cause stuttering.
- Multi Thread Performance.
This is important for adding more cameras, concurrent viewers, and better AI analytics response times, amongst many other benefits.
Intel's QuickSync feature is a reliable feature that can be used for hardware-accelerated video decoding, improving performance at a lower expenditure.
It is not a necessity, but it does improve video playback performance compared to CPUs in the same price category.
Judging from the above-mentioned specifications, an Intel i5/i7/i9 processor or comparable AMD Ryzen 5/7/9 CPUs should get the job done easily.
But if you don't have the highest-end processors at hand, and plan to implement Blue Iris on a budget, then that is also possible thanks to sub-streams.
Substream is basically a secondary stream from your IP cameras that are of a lower resolution and bit rate, compared to normal streams.
But they are much easier to process than the main streams and can reduce CPU usage up to 20x in some cases.
They might also lose some extra information, such as motion-sensing data from cameras.
Any quad-core desktop CPU that has been manufactured after 2012 should work just fine in handling substreams of up to 64 IP cameras at once.
They do come at the cost of quality, but for some users that is a small price to pay.
OS for Blue Iris
Blue Iris is a program made only for Windows, so Mac users will have to look elsewhere for a program to manage multiple IP camera streams.
Although the minimum system requirements mention Windows 7 being compatible, users do not recommend it.
Users have experienced multiple difficulties with hardware acceleration not working with Blue Iris in service mode.
Windows 8 is an operating system that Windows themselves have sworn to forget about, so the next best-recommended OS is Windows 8.1
If possible, always be on the latest Windows or the Windows operating system that most currently use on their Windows machines. Windows 10 or 11 should work fine.
RAM for Blue Iris
RAM is important when it comes to managing multiple IP cameras at once.
The recommended RAM to run a medium(about 7+ cameras) setup simultaneously is 8GB RAM.
Anything less than 8GB RAM won't be able to handle more than 7 cameras, even if the CPU is high-end.
If you plan to implement a high-end system, with 20+ IP cameras then it is best to go for 16GB of RAM.
You can't go wrong with higher-capacity RAMs if your CPU supports it, but the speed of the RAM is also a prime thing to consider.
DDR4-rated and above RAMs will be fast enough to work with a large Blue Iris system.
GPU for Blue Iris
GPU or graphics cards are not that important when it comes to the raw performance of streaming multiple IP cameras at once to multiple users.
In fact, it is often regarded as something that can potentially waste electricity for a system whose sole purpose is to use Blue Iris.
But having a GPU onboard can help in improving AI processing speeds, and has been proven in multiple case studies as such.
If you still have queries on implementing Blue Iris, you can contact Blue Iris support.
I hope my article on discussing the various system requirements for implementing Blue Iris has been a fruitful read and has aided you with the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there a subscription plan for Blue Iris?
Blue Iris does not operate under a typical subscription plan model, rather you will have to purchase its license and then pay a monthly fee for security updates.
The LE version of the Licence (for 1 camera) can be purchased for $34.95 and the Full Version of the license (for up to 64 cameras) will cost you $69.95.
Either license is all you need for the first year after purchase and will charge $30 every year for further security updates.
Can you still use Blue Iris after the license expires?
Blue Iris can be used without issues even after its license expires, but you won't receive further security updates.
Does Blue Iris run on a Virtual Machine?
Blue Iris will run fine on a VM (Virtual Machine).