System requirements and recommendations

Operating system: Windows 10

BITTSy is designed to run on Windows 10. Original development started in Windows 8, but later switched to Windows 10; testing in Windows 8 has ceased, and Windows 10 is our only recommended version. No versions of Windows prior to Windows 8 have been tested. Regular Windows updates should not affect the functionality of the BITTSy application.

Sample computer specs

BITTSy itself does not require specifications beyond a basic desktop computer. However, depending on needs and preferences for particular studies and research programs, you may decide to use BITTSy on a more powerful system, or upgrade particular components to meet certain specifications. If you are in a position to purchase a PC for running BITTSy studies, here are some questions you may wish to consider.

Memory, processing, and graphics processing power

These specs will mainly come into play for loading and rendering video stimuli from your file system and ensuring BITTSy runs smoothly while your operating system runs other processes in the background. Nothing particularly high-end is needed here, but you may want to opt for something mid-range as insurance that there will be no noticeable blips in execution.

Tip: Systems that are marketed as budget gaming computers prioritize the same important functions needed for many experiments (good time resolution for inputs from the keyboard for live coding, fast graphics rendering), are highly customizable, and often offer a great balance of specs for their price.


The accuracy of keypress timing for live coding depends partially on the quality of your keyboard. Using a bottom-tier keyboard (such as the basic keyboards that are included with a computer purchase) can result in a small additional delay in BITTSy receiving and logging that input has occurred. Many keyboards designed for gaming will list their key response times, but there are diminishing returns from more expensive models; testing various models at UMD has suggested that mid-tier keyboards work fine for live coding purposes.

Display outputs

BITTSy is capable of displaying stimuli across multiple screens (computer monitors, TV displays, or a combination of both). If you are interested in using BITTSy for studies that utilize visual stimuli, ensure that your system can support the number of monitors you would like to use (plus one, for the experimenter's control monitor). Many basic computers will support a dual-monitor setup (suitable for a standard visual fixation or preferential looking procedure), but adding more screens may require a more advanced graphics card and graphics processing power. (More specifically, if you wish to run HPP using side monitors as attention getters rather than using lights, you would need 4 monitors: 3 in the booth and one in front of the experimenter. So your graphics card would need to have places for 4 monitors to plug in.)

Example graphics card from UMD lab: AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 with 8GB GDDR6 (3x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0)

Audio outputs

In addition to standard stereo audio (2.1), BITTSy supports multichannel audio, such as 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. If you wish to make use of audio outputs beyond a two-channel system, check that your computer has (or can be upgraded to) a surround-sound capable card.

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