CPU Speed for Netflix

By Angela De Schrijver

before you break out the popcorn, make sure your computer can run Netflix.
i Popcorn and beer image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com

With the unlimited monthly streaming plan from Netflix, you can watch as many movies and TV shows as you want at any time and on one of more than 800 supported devices, including your Windows-based PC or Mac. However, if your computer fails to meet certain minimum system requirements, it won't be able to run Microsoft Silverlight, the video-delivery platform Netflix uses to stream and play videos, as of December 2012.


To use Netflix on a Windows-based laptop or desktop, your system needs at least a 1.6-GHz processor and a minimum of 512MB RAM. If you’re running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you must use Internet Explorer 8 or higher or the latest versions of either Firefox or Chrome to play videos. You can also watch Netflix videos in Windows Media Center. If you use Internet Explorer with Windows XP, you need at least version 7.


If you’re a Mac user, your operating system must be OS X version 10.4.11 or later and have a minimum of 1GB RAM in order to play a Netflix video. Mac users must watch in Safari 4 or higher, or like Windows users, the latest versions of either Firefox or Chrome.

Internet Speed

Even if your computer meets the minimum system requirements, you may experience buffering or loading issues while attempting to play a Netflix video if your Internet connection is slow or interrupted. Although Netflix may work with all levels of broadband Internet, the company requires that you have a speed of at least 500 kilobits per second, or 0.5 megabits per second. However, Netflix recommends a broadband speed of at least 1.5 Mbps.