€440ish Laptop for dedicated streaming | Looking for suggestions

I was about to buy a desktop (GTX 760, i5 3570k) to sit alongside my main build to use it as a dedicated streaming computer. I can get it for €440 but I wanted to know if there’s any similar spec laptops out there as that would really make it easier to physically fit in the workspace and already has a keyboard/screen.

For capturing I was thinking a device like this instead of an expensive capture card because I’m on a budget.

Worth noting that the desktop is from family hence the price. Considering that, would it be a good idea to still buy it off them (they don’t need it) and resell it? Specs:


i5 3570k


P8Z77-V LX


Asus GTX 760 2GB




1TB HD Western Digital WDC WD10EZEX-60M2NA0

No need really, for a Dual-PC-Setup (why do you need that anyway?) you can just use NDI or a local nginx (with rtmp) Server and you can do it without a capture card.

You can stream essentially (visually) uncompressed data over the LAN, grab that on the second PC (or Laptop) and use it as a source.

That’s the old-school setup before capture cards became cool (for a reason I will never understand?), and it still works.

PS: The thing you linked is for video output, there’s a reason capture cards cost a ton.

I think I tried NDI in OBS once and it didn’t seem to work but it was on an under-powered laptop and an ISP-provided router. If I end up getting the laptop and it works via LAN then cool, I can save money on the device. My main concern is with either a laptop or desktop purchase.

Honestly I don’t think I would invest 440€ into a Gen3 Intel anymore… That CPU isn’t even 50€ on ebay (Germany), plus a motherboard maybe another 50-70, plus cheap GPU and RAM, you wouldn’t even come close to 440.

As for PC vs. Laptop. Well, the thing is… yes it works on a laptop, but that also means it will run warm, especially if you’re software encoding because that’s full load on the CPU.

Heat also means wearing the battery out. A lot of laptops will refuse to boot with a worn out battery these days.

Also regarding mouse and keyboard on a streaming-PC, you know you can just RDP into the stream PC and control it there, right? Or Anydesktop, Teamviewer, pick your poison.

So you think I shouldn’t get a laptop but also not this desktop? Interesting. So some kind of small form factor desktop box? Open to suggestions that are in the price range i mentioned :slight_smile:

Good idea with RDP but at the same time having an outright decent laptop isn’t a bad idea, compounded value. Where as a little desktop box would only have one use for me, streaming.

Well, sort of. It depends on the laptop of course. There are some where cooling is actually not terrible, but unfortunately on many it is.

As for small form factor, usually the smaller it gets the more expensive it is. maybe take a look at the NUCs, Zbox, DeskMini?

AsRock DeskMini A300
Ryzen 5 1600 12nm or Ryzen 3 3200G
Crucial BasicBitch 8GB 3200MHz

Should be good to go with a used GPU or something (or without if using the APU).

I actually have a device like one of those but it’s under-powered for streaming. I was hoping for specific recommendations as I don’t actually know what are good minimum specs for streaming; all I have experience with is my main system which can either do decent gaming OR decent streaming, not both at least for modern games or high resolution/medium graphics.

I should also mention that even through NDI, OBS drops frames for me when I try to run content at my native resolution (2560x1440). That is, even when not encoding/streaming, just outright having 1440p game running will cause huge drops in OBS’ framerate, even if OBS is only set to output 720p. This is one of the reasons why I brought up a capture device so as not to run OBS on the main PC.

I was going to xrandr mirror the main display (I have 2 physical) to the virtual 3rd display device which would be the capture device going into the streaming PC. Apparently it’s awkward to get a mirror’d display on a 3-display setup, at least with any distro I’ve seen. Hence why I was going to outright set it in xrandr, probably having to use the zoom feature of it. It’s all very trial and error, and I really wasn’t sure if it would all work out in the end, hence why I wanted some compound value with a laptop purchase so even if it didn’t work out completely I’d still be left with a laptop I could do some work on, rather than a mini PC which I wouldn’t know what to do with.

Edit: I see you added some specific recommendations, thanks! You don’t have to use only German sites btw (although I am familiar with that one). I’m not German I simply use the Amazon.de sometimes because they can stock things the .co.uk doesn’t.

Oh may I ask how much you think the PC in the OP is worth? Family will probably be willing to sell it to me with whatever I value it at. They trust me and the amount I mentioned in OP was actually just from my own research but apparently I was wrong :crazy_face: Should be noted that the PSU isn’t listed because they never told me what it was lol

That’s odd. Even when not encoding? Just capturing?

Not sure what you’re using, on Fedora KDE it’s like 3 clicks to get this working.

You can just substitute geizhals.de with skinflint.co.uk :wink: Same people behind it :slight_smile:

Not sure… going from what I posted above 300 maybe? If even… not sure, I’m really bad at evaluating used hardware.

The specs sound like a generic office PC, so I would probably value the PSU at 0 :rofl:

If by ‘capturing’ you mean just outright having it in the preview? Then yes.
If I run a game @ 2560x1440p and OBS open (not encoding/streaming/recording) the FPS counter will be dropping heavily. So if it’s struggling even while idle I know I cannot begin recording or streaming.
I can stream most games running at an internal resolution of 1920x1080 and OBS outputting at 1280x720(not scaled, outright set to 720p as I noticed scaling from native is still terrible).

So essentially I can’t stream any game while enjoying the full resolution of my display as the stream suffers too much. For modern titles like Doom Eternal I actually have to play it at sub 720p :rofl: Some games just destroy OBS while others like Warframe can reach triple digits locally @ 1080p and maintain 60fps 90% of the time on 720p OBS.

Manjaro Gnome. Here’s the options I’m provided with on 2 physical display setup

And here’s the mirror option

From the looks if it, it will only mirror, join or single display the entire setup. I don’t think it will allow a 3rd display to be special. But I think xrandr will be able to do that through something like

xrandr --output captureDevice --same-as mainDisplay --scale #

Mh, never seen behaviour like this, but might just be hardware related. Maybe also a compositor thing? I’m not sure.

Mh, don’t know anything about GNOME unfortunately. On KDE you just go into the setting and specify a “mirror of …” option where you choose which display you want to mirror. For example I have 3 Displays + TV, I can just set Display 2 to be a mirror of Display 1 and the other 2 are independent.
If it works with xrandr for you though, guess that’s the same.

KDE that’s Plasma desktop, right? I think I have that installed and I can try see how it performs with OBS.

Tried various OBS settings with Plasma and it’s the same thing - low FPS if any game is running native res. Tried with compositor on/off. Low FPS even when not encoding. 20fps if I start recording with FFMPEG VAAPI encoder.

Mh OK then it’s probably just the hardware. So yeah you’d need some kind of capture device. And as I said earlier the thing you linked is for output, not input. It’s essentially a small 2D-only GPU.

And if you want to capture 1440p you’re looking at the Elgato 4K or Avermedia 4K (the others only support 1080 and nothing above), which IDK how Linux support is. Unfortunately the Blackmagic 4K cards don’t support 1440 (or 4K60 for that matter).

I thought it was just an available, EU version of this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4SM7H6/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_Ez3IEb5QQCKKV but I guess not.

As for the capture devices only accepting 1080p, can’t I just say that’s what the output is? They appear as monitors to the system, do they not? I was hoping they’d just pick up a mirror of my main as 1920x1080 via the --scale option and then I’d let OBS output it as 720p… although I could probably get away with 1080p stream on my internet connection if I actually got the encoding process fully onto the dedicated system.

Well sure you can, but since you’re mirroring you will also have to game at 1080p. If that’s not an issue for you then go for it. Mirroring takes the same signal and outputs it to 2 different connectors, I don’t think you can apply scaling in between. Tho I might be wrong with that, I’m not sure.

Oh, it was my guess that a mirror of 1440p on a 1080 device would cause the image to bloat outside the bounds, which I thought I could correct with scaling option. Man, this seems like it’ll require too much expensive hardware. How hard is it to just stream some 720p 60FPS gaming on a high-res machine :sob:

Monitors will do that because they have an integrated scaler. If you can find a capture card that does this, shouldn’t be a problem.