I will be trying out a new idea while developing the SHMUP: Develop it as though I am creating it for a console, where the console is my specific computer. The plan is to add in support for other hardware afterwards. This should also help me determine the system requirements, as I will be a lot more familiar with what the game requires.
So the first step is to learn about my computer's hardware, which I have been doing for the last couple weeks. So far I have studied system memory and chipset architecture, although there is still more to learn of course. I probably know enough in these areas for the moment though. I am currently researching CPU architecture, and if you are doing the same I would highly recommend this article: The Microarchitecture of Superscalar Processors