Anyone with a decent gaming pc or console can be a streamer. Becoming a successful streamer is so much more then your gear. Yet, having the right gear is the first stepping stone to stardom. We will be taking a look at the minimum and cheapest pc builds to give you an idea on what gear do you need to start streaming.
Everyone will have their own ideas on what computers to build or buy for streaming. We will keep this as simple as possible and not take sides on the AMD and INTEL battle. Keep in mind if you have the money to buy 2 pc’s then it is best to have a dedicated computer for streaming and another one dedicated to gaming. This is not required nor needed to be a successful streamer. Let’s get started!
The Vital Parts
When shopping for a streaming computer whether you build it yourself or buy a pre-built PC you need to worry about 3 main components inside the PC. You will need a Graphics Card (GPU), a CPU, as well as some RAM. Many will state that your hard drive effects your stream and when looking at most computers in this day and age it is not required to have a $300 ssd just for streaming.
If you are looking to stream console gameplay there will be an added vital part but not 100% needed. That part would be a capture card. You can stream your console such as xbox and ps4 through their pc apps. This is the cheap (free) way of streaming your console but takes some time to figure out how to set this up. If you have the extra $100 for your stream rig we recommend taking the easy route and just grabbing a capture card from Amazon.
**There is no affiliate or referral links here! We will not gain anything from your purchases. As long as your able to get your feet in the door and know What Gear Do You Need To Start Streaming
Your graphics card may be the most important part of your streaming rig if you plan on playing games on the same pc as your are streaming from. Both playing games and streaming will mean you need a a card strong enough to support whatever you are playing along with rendering in OBS.
At minimum you will need a 4gb Graphics card. Anything less then 4gbs and we promise you wont be able to have a quality stream nor be able to play most of the popular games out now. Below we have listed the current cheapest cards for both AMD and NVIDIA. An 8gb gpu will assure you can play any game as well as stream it without lag on your end so we will list the cheapest 4gb as well as 8gb GPU.
This Gigabyte card is a steal for it’s current price! If you are looking for a cheap graphics card then almost any amd 4gb will suffice in your journey to streaming/gaming. This card is currently available on Newegg for a low price of 109.99 after mail-in Rebate (prices may change over time). Remember this card is for the minimum specs needed for a quality stream so there may be some dropped frames on gpu heavy games.
Having a little extra money to spend we highly recommend jumping the gun and picking up an 8gb AMD card. This Radeon RX 580 is currently one of our favorites for it’s price. As it stands any game we have thrown at it whilst streaming on the same pc has ran flawlessly with no dropped frames. The average FPS in-game on heavier titles such as BFV while streaming ranges from 100-160. Currently available on Newegg for $159.99 after mail-in rebate (prices may change over time).
Anyone looking to get a GTX for streaming and have a tight wallet on their build the Geforce GTX 1050 Ti will provide everything you need and more. Yes there are other models that you can go with but the 1050 will assure you are able to reach a great quality stream without frame drops. Currently available for $154.99 over at BH – Photo & video.
This card packs a punch! It may not be 8gb’s but for the price you really can’t complain. Most Nvidia graphic cards are a bit pricey and most would recommend a 1080 at a hefty price of $500+. If that is not your style then we recommend the RTX 2060 6gb. You will have a much better experience with this card when it comes to the price of $334.99 on Amazon. (Prices may change over time)
The battle between AMD and Intel has been going on for ages. No matter what side you take you have to admit, AMD will always be your cheapest solution. For any stream build this has to be the hardest part of building the PC. Let’s quickly go over why you need a decent cpu at a great price for streaming/gaming.
Your CPU is the most important part of your computer. This little chip is what will take on the most burden when streaming and gaming. A processor is used for exactly what it sounds like Processing. To be more exact processing your audio and video of your stream. The 8th and 9th gen processors from both AMD and Intel are amazing for very high quality streams and gameplay. Yet we don’t have over $1,000 to spend on them and don’t expect you too as well. Below is both AMD and Intel’s minimum processor needed to have a good quality stream as well as an upgrade from that cpu!
Currently AMD is by far the best choice price wise. On all the builds we have tested AMD has blown us away! The Ryzen 5 2600 will allow you to stream and game on the same PC with ease showcasing it’s 6-core 12 thread power. Currently available on SuperBizz for $145.99. If you looking for a bit more juice then this but don’t want to break the bank make sure to check out the Ryzen 5 2600 X.
The Ryzen 7 2700 doesn’t break the bank and yet gives you enough processing power to pretty much do anything at all. Whether your streaming or rendering video/3D work this CPU will amaze you. Currently available on Amazon for $209.99. For a bit more juice you can pick up the Ryzen 7 2700 X for only $30 more.
The i5-8600K is the bare minimum with Intels chipsets for streaming. Yes there are some that say they stream with an i3 but if you want quality streams with a ton less stutter/dropped frames then the i5-8600k will do just that. All intel CPU’s are pricier then any AMD chipset. If you can’t stray away from Intel and are streaming/gaming then pick this up at BH – Video & Photo for $279.99.
For about $100 more you can get what is known as a the Gen king. The i7-8700k is loved by many streamers and is still a relevant Intel cpu. Of course if money is not an issue we recommend getting the latest gen such as an i9-9900k. You can snag this cpu for $349.99 on Amazon. You won’t have any issues streaming or gaming on the same PC at all with this cpu.
When you are building or looking for a pre-built streaming rig Ram has to be the cheapest Vital Part in the PC. It does not matter if your computer is going to be a 2nd PC for your stream setup or if you will be gaming and streaming on the same PC. The minimum RAM you will need is 8gbs. Although if you are going to be streaming and gaming on the same PC we highly recommend getting 16gbs. This will assure no memory loss while streaming as most AAA titles now are huge memory hogs!
Before purchasing your RAM make sure to check if your motherboard requires DDR3 or DDR4. Knowing specs like this can be detrimental for knowing What Gear Do You Need To Start Streaming!
If you plan on rocking only 8gbs of memory you should think about getting just a single stick of ram instead of 2 4gb sticks. This will leave you open to upgrade with another 8gb in the future! You can currently get this amazing 8gb memory for only $31.99 over at Newegg.
Having the option to run 16gbs of memory is huge! This will allow you play your favorite games and stream with no lag. Most games now state they recommend 8gbs of ram minimum but when you play the game you may notice your memory is being maxxed out. You can pick up these two 8gb sticks of memory for only $61.99 over at Newegg right now!
Now that you have an idea on What Gear Do You Need To Start Streaming when buying and/or building your stream computer you are on the right track to stardom! Next you need to start planning your streams and what kind of theme it will be. Be sure to check out our How To Build Your Own Live Stream Community.