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Twitch specs

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  • Twitch specs

    @zips, Just wondering what your PC specs are and what software you use for Twitch streaming.
    "Crunch's First Officer"
    twitter: @signaprime

  • #2
    I have:
    i5-2500K (3.3GHz; boost up to 4.2GHz)
    GTX 770 (4GB)
    8GB RAM
    I use my small SSD for simultaneous local recordings while streaming to Twitch just as a backup for those games I want to also upload to YouTube.

    I use:
    OBS (Open Broadcast Software) (Not OBS Multi-platform)
    Streamtip Alerter
    and I pop out the chat from

    I have the game on my left monitor. I keep all three of those programs on my right monitor. I can easily read chat, I can see if someone ever donates, and I can quickly see if I drop frames, get disconnected from Twitch, or have High Encoding issues.

    The biggest roadblock is the CPU. You need the CPU both for smooth game performance and for the OBS encoding during streaming. 9 times out of 10 I run into "High Encoding" errors when streaming, meaning that the game is taking up a good chunk of CPU which limits the OBS use significantly. That's not good. In those cases, I have to make sacrifices in the games that eat up CPU, such as things involving NPCs (AI), number of NPCs on screen, distance scaling (because it limits how many physics objects load in at distance and thus reduces CPU), etc.

    I also have to make sacrifices to resolution of the game many times. While the steam output can be set to 720p while I'm playing 1080p, I find that playing at 720 and streaming at 720 helps in some cases.

    The SSD is very useful for local recordings while streaming if you want backups. If I tried to stream and save locally at the same time, the slower HDDs I have would be a major roadblock as well. However, this also requires more CPU usage. If you don't plan on uploading to YouTube or don't plan on making backups, not saving locally should also save on the CPU usage.

    I stream with x264 encoder at CBR of 2500kbps (Max bitrate) with a buffer size of 2600kb. Audio is MP3 (though I used AAC for the longest time at 112 bitrate. Not sure which is more beneficial for the CPU usage tbh) at 128 bitrate. 44.1kHz format, in stereo. Keep in mind that the max bitrate (2500 in this case) can also impact the "High Encoding" crap if set too high for your CPU to handle for some games. It can also affect viewers because unless you're partnered, your viewers do not have the option to set their own quality. If their net sucks, it will buffer for them regardless if your personal connection is just fine on the upload.

    I have also tried the Nvidia NVENC encoder for a time. The problem with that one is that while the performance is generally MUCH better than x264, the quality suffers greatly. You have to at least double, if not triple the bitrate to get the same level of quality on the video stream. At that point, it feels like the cons outweigh the positives (at least IMO). This may be a different case on the 9xx line or higher since I know they have some new features my 770 doesn't have for this type of thing.

    I typically also stream at 30fps, though if the game isn't too demanding I'll bump that up to 60fps. I do this in games where there isn't too much motion or the game isn't a CPU hog. I am doing this with Resident Evil 0 since most of that game is a fixed camera and static backgrounds with only the characters moving around. Fast moving scenes means the pixel data changes a LOT and that requires a lot more CPU cycles dedicated to encoding in OBS. Older games are usually okay for this as well. Dragon's Dogma is usually okay for me at 60fps 720p output while I play at 1080p. I did have to sacrifice distance scaling and shadow quality in this as some areas are wide open expanses with a tremendously long view. Again, more physics type objects or NPCs means more CPU eaten up. Shadow quality was lowered because the calculation of dynamic shadows has an impact on the CPU as well. It's honestly a case by case basis and you will find that you'll probably have to adjust for every single game.

    Under the x264 CPU Preset in OBS, I have it set to "veryfast" encoding. Profile = "main"
    I have also toyed around with the preset a few times. Veryfast seems to be the best balance of speed and quality for my case. Those with a fantastic CPU could probably bump that up to "faster." I have not done this ever. I have bumped it down from veryfast to superfast a few times to test. This has a tendency to help in cases where no matter what else you've tried, it still tosses up High Encoding errors. The problem here is that this basically tells OBS to say "screw it" to quality because it is basically like putting OBS into a lower priority mode for the CPU. In fast moving scenes this creates a drop in quality when there is a lot of action on screen and makes the stream look very blocky until things calm down.

    The short of it is: More modern games that are fast-paced shooters/racing/action/etc are usually a no-go for me at any setting because my CPU just sucks. I can't run the game and stream without making significant sacrifices to my gaming experience or to the viewing experience.

    Older games, or games with less on-screen action or movement are easier for me. It's all just a case by case basis on 720p @30fps or 720p @60fps for the output. I never waiver from the 720p though.


    • #3
      This is a really great and cool rundown of a lot of info about streaming, even though I'm not looking to stream, having done it in the past I feel like you really sumarized and put a lot of your streaming research into here. Thank you!


      • #4
        Hmm. I have the same cpu.
        "Crunch's First Officer"
        twitter: @signaprime