With the rise of popularity in live streaming and the evolution of the technology, almost any part of your computer can be used as a component for live streaming. With that, live streaming work horse machines are becoming both more common and more advanced. So, how do users know what the specs should be for a perfect live streaming computer?
Streamgeeks recently posted a great article to function as a resource for users building an ideal live streaming work station. We're taking a look at some highlights from that article, below.
How to Choose a Live Streaming Computer
There is now a wide variety of options for live streaming work stations, so where do you start when picking your machine of choice? This will depend on how you are hoping to stream. Users using a software encoder like Wirecast, OBS, vMix, Ect, should start by consulting the minimum specifications to run the software of choice.
For example, Wirecast recommends an i5 computer processor @ 2.5 Ghz for streaming in 720p and an i7 computer processor @ 3.0 Ghz for 1080p streaming. Each of these specifications also requires a minimum of 4GB of ram and 2 gigabytes of free hard drive space.
What CPU do I need to Live Stream?
Generally speaking, live streamers should be using an i7 processor with atleast 16 GBs of Ram and a Solid State Drive rather than a Hard Disc Drive. This is true for any live streaming project that extends to two or more cameras being brought into your production hosted by your computer.
What Graphics Card Do I Need to Live Stream?
The graphics card is one of the most essential components of a live streaming computer. Different cards will work best with different software encoders. For example, vMix will require an NVIDIA GTX 1600 for streams using four or more cameras, however streams with less cameras and inputs will require a less powerful graphics card.
How Much RAM Do I Need?
The same logic can be applied to choosing DRAM, which is the computer’s system memory, as opposed to the dedicated video memory found in a GPU. Like with VRAM, clock speed and memory quantity are the most important factors for streaming. Where DRAM differs from VRAM, is the amount of it that is required for smooth system performance. The simplest streaming setups using 1-4 cameras at 1080p will require 8-16 gb of DRAM, while using more cameras at 1080p or multiple 4k cameras will require around 16-32 gb of DRAM. More intensive multitasking situations, like Gaming in 4k while streaming multiple 4k cameras simultaneously, or Using VRAM intensive programs while streaming such as Video editing or CGI software, can require 32-64gb of VRAM for optimal performance.