Appropriate CPU for Streaming/Recording/Encoding

So my bro is currently rocking a Core 2 Duo E8400 and a GT640.
You can probably tell he's looking for an upgrade. Something he can stream with.

Now, my question is what CPU would be able to carry out the hefty task of encoding captured video to h.264 at around 60-30FPS?

I've always just kinda gone for top CPU so my knowledge here is poor.

I need one that'll do the job but won't cost too much. Keep in mind I got dem Australian prices

What's the budget?

1 Like

Budget is: It will do the job for the cheapest price

[email protected] with [email protected]/s depending is all it needs to do without dropping frames or causing issues while he runs basic games.

Actually it's fairly simple...
FX6000 < FX8000 < i5 < i7...
So if you can't afford an i7 on 2011 socket, go for the cheapest i7 on 1151. If you can't afford that - step down to an i5... And so on and so on...
If your choice is the dual core i3 or the 8 core 8300 i would recommend the 8 core...

The budget is not REALLY the issue.
The idea is: What is the cheapest CPU that will do decent streaming without dropping.

An i7 would be overkill
not sure about the other CPUs or even if they'd be capable of encoding the video at that resolution, framerate and bitrate.

I would say get the cheapest i5 you can get your hands on... Actually if you ask me - i would say go 5820K and forget you ever needed a CPU for whatever. No botleneck, no nothing. But if you want to go the bare minimum - get the cheapest i5 you can find. AM3+ is really old now and lacks a lot of features... Just get an i5 and you will be set.

Yeah I was looking into the i5 series. Just wanted some confirmation that they'd be enough.

I found something interesting. Brand new i5 from the haswell series are more expensive then their Skylake counterparts

That's why i said the cheapest i5 you can find...
The thing is, theoretically the 8320 for example should be better. But the newer i5s have first of way faster cores and second - way way improved memory controllers and other communication modules improvements, that are lagging behind in the FX. Just don't step down to i3. Please, for the love of God, don't buy dual core in 2016 for streaming...

Wasn't planning to...

Couple of things: 1) If your brother is new to Twitch or not a very big channel he's not going to be able to upload anything over 720P @ 30 FPS. Not sure about YouTube. 2) Streaming with a i5 isn't a great idea. If he is streaming demanding games like GTA V or even Skyrim Remastered, you will notice some performance degradation (the games will "chug" a bit). It's also pretty noticeable when you are playing on-line games. Those that need a fair bit of CPU power.

I'd say get whatever works for you on a budget. Since you haven't laid that out (not sure why you are reluctant to spell out a specific dollar amount, but hey that's your call) For a entry level streaming box, I'd get a FX 8350, load it up with as much RAM as you can get (8GB minimum) and have a decent GPU (RX 470 seems like a good GPU for the money.) You can offload your encoding to the GPU in OBS, and if you go with Intel and use a CPU with a integrated graphics chip (iGPU) you can set it up to have THAT do your H264 encoding while your CPU focuses on rendering the game (your can only do this if you use the iGPU exclusively for stream rendering, and you need a dedicated video card). I've only gotten it to work WELL in Windows 10. The trade off is if you use the iGPU the quality isn't as good, and you'll need more upload speed.

Hope it helps.

you could get a x79 mobo and a 26XX series xeon used for around 300-400 aud maybe a bit more after shipping. it'll be older, but 6-12 cores with hyper threading. somthing like






wendell did something similar with a dual xeon build

1 Like

[email protected] to disk for youtube
While streaming it downscaled to [email protected]
Or that's the ideal plan

Skyrim remastered is not a demanding game, it's just poorly optimised

5820K / 6800K jack of all treads.

You're not wrong...

Yeah well with the upcomming black friday and cyber monday,
it might be interesting to look at those 2 cpu´s.
You maybe might find some good deal on those.
6 cores 12 threads overclockable.
i think a realy good cpu for the job.

But it depends on his budget ofc.

Budget is cheap enough
It's INCREDIBLY flexible

also now you're making me think of getting a new CPU (4 cores is enough tho)

I gotta agree with @fredrich_nietze; buy used. You'll save so much money buying used, and could potentially get a lot more performance. If you can't afford X79, go for good-ol LGA 1155 (second generation).

If you buy from EBay, you can get whole systems for real cheap (like $200) with i5/i7's second gen. If you want to install a graphics card, well, you'll almost guaranteed need to upgrade the PSU and do a bit of modding to get it to work, but it is doable (on some pre-built motherboards! Do some research! The Lenovo M81 allows you to upgrade to any PSU).

Look at a skylake I5. You'll get the best gaming chip around, and can use QuickSync in OBS to stream without putting much any load on the CPU. QuickSync basically does the encoding on the iGpu, eliminating any stress that was otherwise on the cores.

Buying used where I am is limited to $50 10 year old workstations or $3k 5 year old gaming systems