There’s nothing worse than having your CPU overload, resulting in a significant frame rate drop for your loyal viewers that have been watching your stream with intent. To get a stream up and running, you’ll probably be opening up a number of applications in addition to the game which is taking its toll on your PC. Optimising your PC to get it properly set up for streaming can create a smoother and more enjoyable experience for your stream channel.
We’ll be taking you through the necessary steps to get your PCs set up for streaming, as well as the PC specs you need to ensure you aren’t broadcasting a terrible quality stream to the world.
The Minimum PC Specs
If you’re already gaming and wanting to make the move into streaming some of your gameplay, chances are you have a decent PC with a processor and graphics card capable of keeping up. A future goal could be to set up two PCs, so that you can have a dedicated streaming PC. This helps to ensure that you can run your game smoothly on the highest settings without any noticeable lag, drops in framerate or other issues that could affect your stream. For the time being though, we’re going to take you through what you need for just one PC only.
The highly popular streaming platform of Twitch actually outlines the PC requirements in order to stream on their platform:
- As a minimum, they suggest that you have an Intel Core i5-4670 or the AMD equivalent.
- In addition, you’ll need at least 8GB RAM.
- For your graphics card, there’s a little more leeway, but you’ll still want a card that’s at least DirectX 10 compatible. Nowadays, a 12 is definitely more appropriate, especially with the designs of contemporary games getting more complex.
Check Your Internet Speed
Of course all of these PC specifications go out the window if you’ve got an internet connection that moves at a snail’s pace. Investing money into a reliable and high-speed internet service provider should be a top priority for you.
For HD streaming 1080p at 60fps, Twitch states that you’ll require around 4,500-6,000 kbps. For 1080p at 30 fps, this will be around 3,500-5,000kbps.
Choosing Your Streaming Software – OBS or XSplit?
Once you’re sure that your PC is fired up and roaring to go, you’ll need to jump into a desktop software that will help you broadcast your stream on Twitch. The two most popular options for streaming software are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit, with both having some unique advantages when setting up your stream. For the purpose of this article, we’ll help you get set up with OBS.
OBS has versions on Mac, Linux and Windows, so you’re covered no matter what you use! OBS is relatively simple to set up and essentially you’re creating a “Scene” which will be what your audience sees on your Twitch channel.
Combining Your Stream Elements Together
When you think about the top Twitch streams or other successful live streams that you’ve seen, chances are they’re a bit more than just a plain stream of a game. OBS gives you the ability to combine the different stream elements that you need to create a more engaging and appealing stream for your audience.
Everything from specialised Twitch overlays to the exact microphone that you’re wanting to use to provide the best sound quality, can be added together to form the scene in your OBS set up. Each element of your stream will be a new source, so be sure to add in all your elements and make sure that they’re running properly before hitting that ‘broadcast’ button.
Here’s a quick checklist, which will vary depending on the different elements you have to add in:
- Game source
- Audio source – dedicated microphone, headset, webcam or built-in mic
- Video source – webcam, DSLR camera
- Overlays – you can add graphics, overlays or other image assets in by adding a new source for each element
Going Live on Twitch!
Now assuming you have your Twitch account set up, going live is relatively simple. The Dashboard is an area where you can preview what your stream will look like. You’ll need to connect the OBS to your Twitch account in order to get things going.
- Click on the ‘settings’ in the left part of the dashboard.
- Look for a section called ‘stream key’ and copy the code outlined here.
- Open up OBS and click on the ‘settings’ in the lower right hand corner.
- Under the Stream settings, click on the Stream Type and select ‘Streaming services’, and select ‘Twitch’ as the service.
- You can then paste the stream key into the stream key field.
- Click apply and ok.
- Head back to Twitch and click on ‘Live’.
- Add a title and update information for your stream.
- Click ‘Start Streaming’ back in OBS.
- Check to see if your stream appears properly in the dashboard back on Twitch.
- If everything is ok, you’re all set up!
Building Your Stream Assets
After you’re happy with your setup and everything is running smoothly, you can work on building your repertoire of stream assets. Finding a quality Twitch overlays template and intriguing alert sounds can add to the overall professionalism and entertainment value of your stream.
Growing your Twitch stream from here takes a great deal of patience and consistency, ensuring that you’re always providing quality content for your viewers. Given the amount of streamers out there, if your content doesn’t provide value, people will simply move on to another channel!
Best of luck in getting your stream set up and hopefully you have found this guide helpful!