The recipe is fairly simple as long as you have a high quality motherboard and tier one parts within it to start off with. Try to follow this recipe with a mass marketed laptop (I.E. a name brand computer) and your results will be anywhere from less than good to just plain terrible. it cannot be overstated how much more performance you get from a high quality pre-tested computer.
Since you are at M-Tech doing your shopping we can safely tuck that worry away and focus on the simple recipe for creating the best speech recognition laptop computer in the world. (Yes we said world)
1: No less than 16GB of system RAM. 32GB will pay for itself almost immediately and don't think there's too much RAM. Plenty of people find out that 64GB of DDR4 RAM is next door to Nirvana. Don,t be fooled by those saying 8GB or 16GB is enough. Those are the words of somebody who has never experienced 32GB or more in an all powerful M-Tech laptop. Nothing boosts your speed as much as free RAM. You want more RAM than you need so you can turn off page filing and virtual memory. You need excess RAM for this to be possible.
2: Your primary drive must be a Solid State Drive. Since you cannot use more than 50% of the drives capacity without harming your drives performance. The rule of thumb is to make sure to buy double what you think you will need. A popular configuration is a 250GB size drive and an additional Hard Disk Drive or SSD for your data. This separates your data from your system and allows you to use a smaller SSD than you would if you were trying to also save all your user data on the primary drive. The benefit to having two drives is well worth the cost and in many cases actually saves you money. If you have to buy a much larger drive to make sure there is room enough for all your programs and all your data and still not go near the 50% mark, then a 2nd drive (a HDD) is often a cheaper way to go since the larger SSD's are still fairly expensive where a HDD is fairly cheap. There are so many other positives to having a two drive system, you really should call and talk to a technical adviser to get the full scoop on your system configuration.
3: The CPU. There is a reason the CPU is third on the list and not first. As vital as the CPU is, it still takes a backseat to the RAM and the SSD. However, should you choose the wrong CPU and it can all be for nothing. So lets talk about your microprocessor a bit (Pun intended). Two things matter to a program like Dragon. First and foremost is the L3 Cache. This is the buffer of memory that resides on the CPU itself. Think of it as a gas tank for the CPU The larger the L3 is the longer the CPU can work on your data before it has to stop and re-fuel. You have two options that work for DNS, 6MB and 8MB. Of course the 8MB is 25% more efficient and thus the best choice, if only it was that easy. You see the L3 is also very costly to upgrade. So many people find themselves just upgrading the second aspect (clock speed) of the CPU that is also important. For most programs your CPU speed is not important. Almost every CPU is faster than your programs need it to be. However, audio manipulation programs (Dragon is in that category) break down the data into very small byte sizes (yes another pun) and so it benefits from a CPU that can handle a lot of small pieces of data very quickly. So a cheaper upgrade option is just making sure you have the fastest CPU you can afford. That and make sure it is never less than 6MB of L3 Cache and you have the basic recipe for a smooth functioning speech recognition platform. One small point to consider. If you re going to go with the slowest CPU that has 6MB of L3, then it would behoove you to make sure you have done everything else correctly By this we mean , make sure you have 32GB of RAM or more and a fast SSD that is not close to half full. Try to cut corners and you will pay the price one way or another.. Pay now with proper components and a good configuration and you can be assured of not paying with the time and frustration that goes hand in hand with someone trying to manage their work load on a laptop or desktop computer that is ill equipped to handle the job of speech recognition.
Let's talk briefly about the posted minimum recommendations for Nuances Dragon Naturally Speaking (and really all software)
Virtually every software made boast ridiculously low system requirements to run their software. This would leave one to believe their netbook or tablet or worse yet there Best Buy bargain of the week would be plenty powerful enough to run DNS. This is like saying that a horse and buggy is sufficient to drive to work and back. Sure, it will get you their but absurdly slow and painful to the backside. Same thing with these 'modest' system requirements. They may run the software without critical error but in no way, shape or form does it run the software in a manner that will please you.
Why do software companies suggest super low end specifications? The answer is painfully obvious,sales. If Nuance or Microsoft or any other software company were to tell you what they want you to have for a computer, many people would say, " I don't have a computer powerful enough to run DNS but Microsoft speech recognition says it only needs a few MB of RAM and drive space. So I guess I better go with the software that my computer is powerful enough to run." No software wants to lose potential customers because they would have to buy a new laptop for Dragon Naturallyspeaking. The truth of the matter os they wish they could tell you what they really want your computer to be but wont until you have already purchased the software. Then when you complain that it isn't fast enough or smooth enough to be a professional replacement for your companies transcriptionist, at that point they will break the news to you. "Your software is running as advertised, we never said it would be fast enough for your personal needs though. You are too short of critical resources to go any faster. if you want faster, upgrade your laptop or buy a better computer." In fact, if you ask Nuance or the leading internet authority on Dragon naturallySpeaking, they will encourage you to buy, you guessed it, a M-Tech Laptop.