There are a few variables that will impact the minimum requirement of your streaming PC. The games you would like to stream and the desired video output quality. You will need at least 16GB of RAM, a 6-core processor, and an 8GB Video Card.
Hello, my name is Ty Robinson. I’m an IT professional by day and a PC gamer by night. With that combined knowledge, I hope to help you decide on the right parts and build to make the best streaming machine.
Throughout this article, I will go into what parts make up a PC, which ones you should purchase to get you the best streaming performance, and even have a build for you to view and buy.
Low-End Parts Can Lead to Lack-luster Performance
If you skimp out on the build process and clutch your pearls too close, you could negatively impact not only your streaming resolution and performance but also your gaming experience.
Some things your stream can experience on a low-end system are; heavy pixelation, low frame rate, stuttering, and stuttering.
The Parts to Build a Streaming PC
While every part of a PC is integral to its functioning properly, the parts you want to focus on for performance are the graphics card, RAM, and CPU. About 30-50% of your budget should be allocated just for the graphics card if constraints allow it.
Below is the list of PC parts needed for your machine to work and which impact gaming performance. The ones that directly affect your streaming experience are bolded.
The GPU is the powerhouse and main component when it comes to gaming. It works in tandem with the CPU to get you the best performance. The GPU is responsible for the video output and needs to be strong enough to handle the games you throw.
The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the computer’s brain. For games to run at their best, you need to take proper care that the brain is powerful enough for the task. CPUs handle all of your system’s processes.
Mid-Range CPUs can range from about $125-$300. When purchasing your CPU, keep in mind what level of GPU you have. If you purchased a mid-range GPU, don’t get a low-level CPU, you will want to make sure that you get a mid-range CPU to along with it.
GPU prices can vary greatly. Some of the mid-range ones cost about $250-$500.
RAM stands for random-accessed memory and is a crucial component in making your computer function.
RAM is the memory of your device. Recent titles use almost 8 to 12GB of RAM just to run. Choosing to go with 16GB should be the absolute bare minimum. To give you more flexibility you could go with even 32GB.
If you decide on 16GB of RAM, it will cost between $45-$60.
The Motherboard is the home of all of your PC parts. The motherboard is what handles the power distribution and allows all of the components of the computer to work with one another.
When you purchase your motherboard, you need to take proper care to purchase one compatible with the CPU you are getting. It can be either Intel or AMD, ensure that the motherboard and CPU will work together.
A normal mid-rangeMotherboards can cost between $80-$300.
PSU (Power Supply Unit)
The Power Supply Unit is what will power all the components in your PC. PSUs come with certain amounts of wattage. You need to purchase a PSU with the appropriate wattage for the parts that you have purchased.
If you have mostly mid-range parts, a power supply unit with 500w-650w should more than suffice. PSUs usually cost between $40-$100.
The storage is where everything you download on your PC will be stored.
When it comes to a streaming PC, I highly recommend going with a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are thinner, quieter, and faster than a spinning disk hard drive. SSDs do not have any moving parts, which means it lasts longer, but with that trade-off comes a price increase.
You should get at least 1TB of storage space, so you won’t have to worry about space when installing games. Motherboards come with multiple SATA ports, which you need for your SSD, so you can always add more storage space in the future.
I added a 2TB HDD in the PC build above so that you can save your streams without the size of those video files inhibiting your main SSD.
You can purchase an SSD depending on the storage size and brand for $50-$150.
Windows is the best operating system for gaming and streaming since it is the one best optimized for it.
Twitch Minimum Specs for Streaming
The minimum requirements to stream on Twitch are at least a 2-core processor and 4GBs of RAM. These are just to stream, not considering anything else you may be doing simultaneously.
With that in mind, when it comes to gaming, you will need to consider the resources that your Twitch stream is already eating up. You always want to look at the game’s “Recommended Specs” when checking to see what it will take to run.
So playing Apex at the recommended specs while also streaming will consume a minimum of 10GB of RAM. Since the above PC build has 16GB of RAM, it gives you some wiggle room to run other software in the background for your stream.
To build a good streaming PC, it is good to remember the kinds of games you will be streaming. The minimum requirements to stream on Twitch are at least 4GB of RAM and a dual-core processor. Making sure you have plenty of head space between them is the best practice.
The PC build I linked above would be an excellent streaming/gaming PC since it will handle almost anything you can throw at it!