I'm trying to start streaming

Note: Sorry if this is long and repetitive, I’ll try to keep this short, and I’m not quite sure how to format this.

Ok. So I want to start live streaming, but I’ve run into a few problems.

  1. Most games are so resource intensive that it steals all of my CPU and I don’t get usable footage.
  2. I can’t afford a capture card.

I have a much older PC that I want to offload encoding to, here are it’s specs:
Dell Dimension 8400
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 HT
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti (My old GPU from my gaming rig)
SSD: Some random 256GB SanDisk SATA drive that was fairly cheap
Mobo: Stock
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (I’m willing to install another OS if nessesary)

I’m having issues with this, too:

  1. This PC’s config is pretty much the definition of a bottleneck.
  2. Because of this stupid config, I want to offload as much of the encoding to the GPU, but OBS and VLC don’t want to cooperate

So, here’s essentially what I’m currently trying to do. I have OBS running on the Gaming Rig, configured to output a udp stream to the encoding machine using ffmpeg. I then run VLC 2.2.6 on the encoding machine (VLC 3.0.2 doesn’t even bother trying to render the video stream for some reason) which is then being captured by another instance of OBS, running on the encoding machine, which is then streamed to YouTube.


  1. VLC takes forever to start decoding the stream with hardware acceleration, and OBS and VLC both fight each other for resources.
  2. I’m limited to 720p at 30fps.

Gaming Rig specs:
CPU: Intel i5-4430
GPU: GTX 960
Mobo: Gigabyte H81M-H (idk rev)
HDD: Boot drive is 1TB WD Blue
OS: Windows 10 x64 Home

Are you asking for advice?

I won’t pretend to be a streamer, but I have seen enough stream setups to know as you said your older PC is the bottleneck. Either you need a better gaming PC to handle both gaming and streaming, or a better 2nd PC to handle the encoding and streaming.

I’d follow @Cosaga’s advice and seek out a better secondary computer. Dell T3500’s go pretty cheap these days and you should be able to get a quadcore Xeon for under $200. Someone near me is selling one with a 750Ti already in it for $180, and frankly anything is going to be better than that single-core.

Streaming 1080/30 with 4430 will be just fine. I used to stream games with Athlon X4 760K, which is about 73 thousand times slower performance wise…
If you play games, where 4430 isn’t enough for gaming, then you probably shouldn’t even consider streaming…

OK… 2 things.

  1. Why not encode on the GPU on your gaming system, if you’re just trying to encode on the GPU in the secondary system anyway. It shouldn’t impact gaming all that much, and quality will be the same because it’s the same encoder. Or use Quicksync on the iGPU for that matter…
  2. If you’re already doing the second streaming computer, then the setup you are using for it is basically garbage because taking the stream, decoding it, then capturing it via OBS and encoding it is a massive overhead.
    If you’re going the streaming-computer route then you’re much better off using an nginx as RTMP proxy. Here is a guide on that on the OBS forum:

Of course that still doesn’t solve the problem that a Pentium 4 is not exactly the most up-to-date hardware.

Smells like Ryzen all up in this thread!

What’s your streaming info? No that we can judge or anything, but check you out.