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If you are looking to live stream on your PC, there are a few requirements that you will need to take into consideration. This article is designed to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about streaming with computers.
The first question that many people ask themselves when they want to get started is if their computer can handle streaming at all. The good news here is that pretty much any computer made in the last 5 years should be able to do it without issue; however, not every CPU or GPU configuration will be equally fast. If you’re not sure how powerful yours is, this article may help!
Can My PC Stream?
The short answer is yes as long as you have the ability to connect to the internet. However, there are many variables that you need to take into consideration including what type of stream you are going to do, what software you will use, and the video quality of your stream.
Types Of Live Streams
There are 2 basic types of live streams. You can stream live events or you can stream a conference call, webinar, or live stream as you are gaming. Each of these has different requirements for live streaming.
PC Requirements For Streaming Live Events
When streaming live events, the biggest effect on your PC is the software you are using to stream the event. The most common software programs are OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), vMix, Wirecast Studio, and Streamlabs OBS. Here are the PC requirements for each.
OBS PC Requirements
- DirectX 10.1 compatible GPU
- Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10
- Intel CPU (PPC is not supported)
- OpenGL 3.3 compatible GPU
- macOS High Sierra (10.13) or later
- OpenGL 3.3 compatible GPU
- X window system
OBS does not give a recommendation for RAM but I recommend 4GB or better.
vMix PC Requirements
|One Channel HD||Four-Channel HD / One Channel 4K||Eight Channel HD / Two Channel 4K|
|Operating System||Windows 10 (64 bit only)||Windows 10 (64 bit only)||Windows 10 (64 bit only)|
|CPU||Quad-Core 3.4 GHz||Six-Core 3.6 GHz||18 Core 3.0 GHz|
|Memory||8GB DDR4||8GB DDR4||16GB DDR4|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or higher||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or higher||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or higher|
|Storage||Dedicated SSD for Replay 200GB and higher.||Dedicated SSD for Replay 500GB and higher. 1TB recommended.||NVME SSD with minimum 500MB/sec Read/Write.|
|Storage Connection||Internal SATA or M.2 only||Internal SATA 3, M.2 or faster only. (M.2 recommended)||M.2 only|
Wirecast Studio PC Requirements
- Windows 7 or newer or macOS El Capitan or newer
- Intel Core i7 CPU at 3 GHz or higher (for full High Definition 1080p streaming)
- Integrated or discrete graphics card compatible with DirectX 10
- At least 4 GB of RAM
- 2 GB of free disk space
Operating System: Either Windows 10 or macOS 10.14 or higher
- RAM: 8GB
While the minimum requirements may work well for you if you primarily host Just Chatting streams on Twitch, if you want to stream games or digital art creation or use animated overlays, advanced plugins, or other features to enhance your stream, they recommend the following minimum specs for your streaming PC.
- Intel® Core™ i5 or higher (11th or 12th gen)
- AMD Ryzen 5000 series or higher
- Nvidia RTX 20 or 30 series
- AMD RX 5000 or 6000 series
- RAM: 16GB+
- Storage: 512GB SSD or more
PC Requirements For Zoom Conferencing
Zoom has become the most popular software for conference calls, meetings, and webinars. Here are the requirements you will need to stream using Zoom.
Supported operating systems
- macOS X with macOS 10.9 or later
- Windows 10*
- Note: Devices running Windows 10 must run Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise. S Mode is not supported.
- Windows 8 or 8.1
- Windows 7
- Ubuntu 12.04 or higher
- Mint 17.1 or higher
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 or higher
- Oracle Linux 6.4 or higher
- CentOS 6.4 or higher
- Fedora 21 or higher
- OpenSUSE 13.2 or higher
- ArchLinux (64-bit only)
Supported tablet and mobile devices
- iOS and Android devices
- Blackberry devices
- Surface PRO 2 or higher, running Windows 8.1 or higher
- Tablet PCs running Windows 10 must run Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise. S Mode is not supported.
- Tablet PCs only support the desktop client.
- Windows: Internet Explorer 11+, Edge 12+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- macOS: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- Linux: Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
Processor and RAM requirements
- Single-core 1Ghz or higher
- Dual-core 2Ghz or higher (Intel i3/i5/i7 or AMD equivalent)
- 4 Gb RAM
PC Requirements For Streaming Gaming
Two of the popular software options for streaming your gaming have already been mentioned under live events. They are OBS and Streamlabs OBS. However, a third one for gamers should be mentioned. That is Twitch Studio.
Twitch Studio Minimum Requirements:
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
- GPU: DirectX 11 compatible
- RAM: 4+ GB (2GB free)
- CPU: 4 core Intel or AMD
Twitch Studio Recommended Specifications:
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 10 series or newer, AMD RX400 series or newer
- RAM: 8GB+
- CPU: 8 thread Intel or AMD
To Make Sure Your PC Can Stream
Live streaming computers have a variety of requirements that depend on the software you use to stream. OBS, vMix, Wirecast Studio, and Streamlabs OBS all have different minimum PC requirements which can be found in this article. If you want to host live events or do Zoom conferencing for your business with zero lag time or if your main concern is sound and video quality while gaming we recommend that you get a computer with an i7 processor or better with a minimum 16Gb of RAM.