So what exactly is the difference between a gaming vs streaming PC?
Streaming and running games are very different tasks for a PC to perform, and require different hardware in order to carry out those tasks. Pro streamers tend to use secondary builds to process their streams in order to save the performance from their gaming PC exclusively for games.
However, it is possible to build PCs that can do both – all of our Gaming PCs can be customized to be perfect for streaming, as well.
What hardware does Streaming Really use?
The three places I would suggest investing in a dedicated streaming PC are: Your Processor (CPU), your Memory (RAM), and your Capture Card. If you are building a dual-use system for Gaming and Streaming, your GPU and SSD will also be important.
Streaming relies heavily on your CPU to process the video and audio that you’re broadcasting. For dedicated streaming PCs, this should be your largest investment. High end CPUs with more cores will help encode high-quality streams and recordings, while preserving resolution and frame rates. Our PCs are equipped with the latest Intel and AMD processors, so that you can game and stream easily.
Your PCs memory is responsible for temporarily storing program instructions for your CPU to follow, so great RAM helps a great CPU perform at its maximum.
As you open up any software program, your RAM takes instructions from that program and stores them in order for your CPU access and follow them, without also needing to hold them. Not enough RAM will cause slow or halted performance because it will cause your CPU to work harder.
Games these days use quite a bit of Memory – GPUs typically have their own memory built in so that your system’s RAM doesn’t take the complete load. If your system is meant to run games and streams, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough – at least 16 Gigabytes to start, although more is better.
If you’re looking to go for an all-out performance setup for your streams, a Capture Card is a great way to connect a dedicated streaming PC to your gaming PC.
Capture Cards help receive the video from your gaming PC and send it to the CPU on your dedicated streaming system for encoding. Many full-time streamers take this approach to maximize performance on both systems.
You may like to use a GPU in your dedicated streaming system, but you won’t need the same performance that you’d want for a gaming PC. In fact, some streaming PCs don’t require graphics cards at all – they use on-board graphics processing in their CPU.
If you need a system that can do it all, however, you’ll want a high-quality GPU and CPU to handle the load of your gaming and stream encoding. Many of the latest-gen GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA are perfect for this use.
Your hard drive is critical when it comes to running streams, because it will store your OS, your game files, and the software you use to stream. A high performance SSD will be able to cut down on load times for your games.
If you are recording as well as streaming, you’ll likely also want a high performance HDD, or traditional hard drive, in order to store those recordings. Higher read and write speeds (the rate at which your hard drive can store or produce information for you) will ensure that your recordings are preserved with high quality.
While many pro streamers use a dedicated system so their game performance doesn’t suffer, it is completely possible to build a PC that can game and stream with ease. Check out our Gaming PC collection, and customize them to your liking.