Should I upgrade my current computer or replace it?
In general, you want to replace hardware and operating systems rather than upgrade them. There are few circumstances where upgrading an existing computer makes more financial sense than replacing it. Our recommendation is to replace rather than upgrade. If you have any doubt regarding whether you should upgrade or replace, please call TaxSlayer Pro Technical Support. We will gladly answer any of your questions.
TaxSlayer Pro recommends you develop a regular computer replacement plan. The useful life of the average computer is 3 to 4 years. This assumes you are buying good quality computers using recent generation technology. If you buy computers that are below our recommended specifications, plan on replacing them every year. TaxSlayer Pro recommends you plan on replacing the oldest 25% of your computers every year to avoid large budgetary impacts.
What are the recommended System Requirements to run TaxSlayer Pro?
See here for the recommended and minimum PC requirements to run TaxSlayer Pro.
Should I purchase a desktop computer or a notebook?
The answer to this question can be loaded with qualifications. In general, notebook computers use lower powered processors and slower hard drives than desktops to increase the life of the notebook’s battery. Our recommendation is to use a notebook for TaxSlayer Pro only if you are going to be taking the computer out of the office. You must accept the slower performance for the added benefit of portability.
Most TaxSlayer Pro users should be using a desktop computer. They are usually cheaper and faster than a notebook.
Which CPU is best?
While TaxSlayer Pro does not recommend specific brands or models of processors or CPU (central processing unit), TaxSlayer Pro’s staff has found a series of popular processors that it wishes you to avoid purchasing. The AMD E series of processors is found in many inexpensive desktops and laptops. But the TaxSlayer Pro staff has found it to be singularly under powered and cannot recommend you purchase a computer using this processor.
The processor you purchase should be a recent model released in the last 1 to 3 years. It should have 4 or more processor cores. Each core is a separate processor within the CPU that can perform a calculation. More cores means faster processing.
Many of the processors from AMD such as their A8 and A10 series, or FX series, or Ryzen series should be fine.
Almost any Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor should be fine.
If you have any question about a processor’s suitability for use with TaxSlayer Pro, we suggest checking the web site https://www.cpubenchmark.net/. This site benchmarks processors and assigns them a PassMark score. The higher the PassMark score the faster the processor.
For optimal performance of TaxSlayer Pro we recommend you use a processor with a minimum PassMark score of 7500 in your transmitting computer. We recommend you use a processor with a minimum PassMark score of 5000 in any workstation.
Which operating systems are compatible with TaxSlayer Pro?
See here for a list of the supported Windows operating systems.
How much memory or RAM do I need?
The minimum amount of RAM needed to run TaxSlayer Pro is 4GB (gigabytes). For optimal performance TaxSlayer Pro recommends 8GB. The basic rule is to buy as much RAM as you can afford. But, at the same time don’t go overboard. The performance difference between 16GB and 24GB is minimal, and the money would probably be better spent elsewhere.
How much disk space do I need?
The amount of hard disk space used by TaxSlayer Pro will vary from customer to customer. Most TaxSlayer Pro Classic users will use approximately 1GB (gigabyte) of disk space per year of TaxSlayer Pro installed.
Customers who have an unusually large number of clients or TaxSlayer Pro Premium users who take advantage of Paper Cut to scan client documents can use a good deal more disk space. A good rule of thumb for these users might be to plan on using 3GB of disk space per year.
What type of monitor works best with TaxSlayer Pro? What is the recommended screen resolution?
Almost any monitor made in the last few years will work fine with TaxSlayer Pro. The program requires a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768. The only problems we have seen is from some laptops with lower screen resolutions.
Should my network be wired or wireless?
Office networks boil down to two types: wired and wireless (WiFi). TaxSlayer Pro endorses the use of wired networks rather than wireless networks for multiple reasons.
- Reliability – Since wireless networking uses an unlicensed part of the radio band, there are many things that can interfere with the signal. Wired networks are not subject to this interference.
- Security – The radio signal of a wireless network connection leaves your physical office and can be intercepted. Wired networks are not subject to this type of interception.
- Performance – Wireless network constantly adjust their speed to match the current conditions. One moment it is running at 1 Mbps, the next it is running at 100 Mbps. Later it may not be operating at all. Wired networks offer a constant and reliable connection speed.
Wired networks vary in their maximum speed. The most common speed found today is 100 Mbps (megabits per second) with 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) gaining in popularity. 100 Mbps is more than sufficient for the operation of TaxSlayer Pro. If your network speed is equal to or faster than your internet service download speed everything should be fine.
Do I need internet access to run TaxSlayer Pro?
TaxSlayer Pro requires a good internet connection. “Good” is defined as a broadband connection from a reputable internet service provider that delivers the service by means of DSL, cable, or fiber connection.
In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband to be a minimum of 4 Mbps (megabits per second) download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. In 2015 the FCC revised those numbers to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
TaxSlayer Pro recommends a minimum download speed of 4 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps. That said, faster is always better!
Satellite internet service should only be considered if DSL, cable, or fiber service are not available.
TaxSlayer Pro does not recommend the use of wireless internet service providers. Wireless internet services are generally supplied by cell phone companies and are subject to the same limitations as WiFi, i.e., reduced reliability, security, and performance.
Dial-up internet service does not provide sufficient speed for use with TaxSlayer Pro and should not be used.
What kind of printer works best with TaxSlayer Pro?
The best printer for TaxSlayer Pro is a black and white laser printer of at least moderate speed. TaxSlayer Pro does not recommend inkjet printers, especially for check printing. While a few state tax forms include colors other than black, TaxSlayer Pro does not require a color printer.
What type of security or anti-virus software should I use?
See here for more information about security software and good security practices.