The system's processor is a 200 MHz SH-4 with an on-die 128-bit vector graphics engine, 360 MIPS and 1.4 GFLOPS (single precision), using the vector graphics engine. The graphics hardware is a PowerVR2 CLX2 chipset, capable of 7.0 million polygons/second peak performance and trilinear filtering. Graphics hardware effects include gouraud shading, z-buffering, anti-aliasing, per-pixel translucency sorting (also known as order independent translucency) and bump mapping. The system supports approximately 16.78 million colors (24-bit) color output and displays interlaced or progressive scan video at 640 × 480 video resolution.
For sound, the system features a Yamaha AICA Sound Processor with a 32-Bit ARM7 RISC CPU operating at 45 MHz, 64 channel PCM/ADPCM sampler (4:1 compression), XG MIDI support and 128 step DSP.
The Dreamcast has 16 MB 64 Bit 100 MHz main RAM, 8 MB 4x16-bit 100 MHz video RAM and 2 MB 16-bit 66 MHz sound RAM. The hardware supports VQ texture compression at either asymptotically 2 bpp or even 1 bpp.
The system reads media using a 12x maximum speed (Constant Angular Velocity) Yamaha GD-ROM Drive.