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Computer Requirements 

Below are basic requirements and recommendations for computer hardware and software. Also see Network and Computer Setup. Enterprise organizations may be interested in HardwareRequirements.pdf.

Server:  The 'server' is the computer that runs the MySQL server program and store the files and the database. In a small office, it may be the same computer as the office server, but it does not have to be. We recommend having a dedicated server to protect data. A basic server could be a workstation, but this is more susceptible to issues, for example if you browse the internet, receive emails, etc. See Network Basics for information on different types of networks.

Any mid-range computer sold within the last few years will meet the minimum requirements. Computer speed, memory, video capability and hard drive capacity will affect program performance. 

Older computers: An older computer slower than 700MHz will probably not be able to run Windows. Also a computer that old will probably be deficient in memory, video, and hard drive. Memory for older computers is significantly more expensive, and it is usually more cost effective to buy a new $800 computer than to put a few hundred dollars into an older computer to upgrade it.

Open Dental (and MySQL) can run on a Windows Virtual Machine/Server. However, if other services also run on the same physical server, these services may use up resources that result in slower MySQL service, and thus slower Open Dental.

Internet: For the best access to service and updates, you should be connected to a high speed internet connection. Consider this a requirement.

Monitor: Minimum resolution of 1024x768. All LCD monitors support this minimum resolution.
We recommend 19" or greater LCD monitors set to a resolution of 1280x1024 so you can see more information on the screen. These are available at online stores such as www.tigerdirect.com for under $200. Get one with speakers built in.

Memory: 4 - 8 GB is best. 512 MB memory is absolute minimum.
Open Dental uses approximately 60 MB of memory. The minimum requirement for Windows 8 64-bit is 2 GB of RAM. For good performance, we recommend at least 4 GB and for optimum performance 8 GB. If you run more programs than you have memory, your system will run very slow because it is transferring memory back and forth to the hard drive.

Operating system: Any of the following operating systems are supported:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2012 (and Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • Windows Server 2008 (and Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Windows Vista

The following operating systems were formerly supported. They are no longer supported because Microsoft has stopped supporting them.

  • Windows 2000 (July 13, 2000)
  • Windows XP (April 8, 2014) (cannot be used for eServices)
  • Windows Server 2003 (cannot be used for eServices)

All of your machines do not have to have the same operating system. If you are purchasing new equipment, we recommend the lastest version of the Windows operating system.

Home editions of windows are sometimes unacceptable because of connection and networking limits, especially with Windows XP. The best editions are Pro, Business, or Ultimate. Any version of Windows 7 will work unless you are using a domain instead of a workgroup (using Windows Server software).

As an alternative to Windows, the server can run Linux or MacOS-X.

Maximum number of simultaneous connections for a windows file share:

  • Windows 10 All editions - 20XP Home Editions - 5
  • Windows 8 All editions except RT (Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro) - 20XP Professional - 10
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (not available in US and most other developed countries, cannot create can only join network, do not use for your OD server)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium - 20
  • Windows 7 All editions (incuding Home, Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise, N, VL) - 20
  • Vista Home Basic - 5
  • Vista Home Premium -10
  • Vista Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise -10
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials - 25, No CALs needed up to 25 users.
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, EBS - No limit, need CALs for workstations
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials - 25, No CALs needed
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008, 2011 - 75 need CALs
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 FE- 15 need CALs (Client Access License)
  • Linux - No limit

Processor: The newer and faster, the better. We recommend Intel. 

Video Card: Now that monitors are bigger, a video card can help. It does not need to be high end. We recommend NVIDIA. 

Hard Drive: Open Dental takes up far less than 1 GB, so any hard drive will work.


Notebook Computers:  Any fairly new notebook, laptop, or Tablet PC that runs a full version of Windows (not Windows 8 RT) will work. Must support our minimum screen resolution of 1024x768.  

Because of the large LCD monitors now available for desktop computers, notebooks may not be the best choice. If you get a desktop computer instead of a notebook, you get a more powerful computer with a larger screen at a lower price. Also, watch out for mini notebooks with screen resolutions less than 1024x768.

Before using a Tablet PC as a Kiosk device, see Tablet PCs.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432