Best CPU for Dedicated Streaming PC in 2022

guide on CPU for streaming content

A dedicated streaming PC lets you play demanding titles and transcode the video in real-time. To stream and game at the same time, you need to have a powerful CPU installed on your computer. Although you cannot ignore the role of your GPU to render the graphics, it’s the job of your CPU to do faster encoding.

In the case of gaming and streaming at the same time, the CPU has to do a lot of work. And if a CPU has more cores, this workload can be equally divided among them. And to achieve that, we’ve rounded up some of the best CPUs for dedicated streaming PC.

Also, the processors that are good for streaming and gaming should come up with higher single-core performance as well. Per-core performance is responsible for higher frame rates whereas the core count relates to efficient transcoding.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to buy a CPU that can game and stream. However, if your budget is too low, it won’t be possible to find such a processor. But if you have a decent budget to spend, at least for a six-core CPU, then you are good to go.

And if you have x264 software encoding software installed in your dedicated streaming build, then you rely on mid-range CPUs from Intel or Nvidia as well. The x264 based encoding software utilizes your CPU cores to distribute the workload.

The Best CPUs for Dedicated Streaming Builds

Here are some of the top picks from our side:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Best Overall CPU for Streaming PCs

Reasons to Consider

One of the best processors that let you stream and play games without putting a hole in your wallet. This CPU has enough cores and clock speed to be part of a custom build streaming rig.

Key Specs

  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • AM4 Socket Compatible
  • 3.6 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 4.2 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • 35MB Cache
The Best CPUs for Dedicated Streaming PC

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes with six cores clocked at 3.6 GHz to deliver great performance in gaming and streaming. To get the most out of this CPU, you will need a good gaming graphics card on your PC. A GPU like the RTX 2070 with NVENC will do a great job with Ryzen 5 3600 in boosting the frame rates.

One of the amazing features of this CPU is the 35MB of dedicated gaming cache. The GameCache gives the CPU enough space to deal with other important matters like streaming and multi-tasking. If you are streaming AAA or Esports tiles on your PC, then this might be the right CPU for you.

If you want to stream at 1080p with this CPU, make sure to have plenty of ram installed on your computer. 8GB is a sweet spot in this case, but keeping in mind the demand for more memory in AAA titles, we recommend you to go for at least 16GB of ram.

All in all, the Ryzen 5 3600 is one the best CPU to stream at higher settings. It’s not meant for 4K streams, but it easily passes the HD streaming test if you pair it with a good amount of ram and GPU. For entry-level streaming and gaming, this is one the best chip from AMD.

Benchmarks for AMD Ryzen 5 3600 at 1080p Resolution

GamesFPS without StreamingFPS with OBS x264 Streaming
Fortnite Battle Royale
15591
Battlefield V
15088
Overwatch
232143
Avg fps

Intel Core i7-10700K – Best CPU to Pair with Mid-Range Gaming/Streaming Rigs

Reasons to Consider

If you are a high-end streamer who needs to push higher frame rates in games without compromising on the video quality, this mid-range CPU is the right fit for you. It comes with 8 cores, hyper-threading support, and a clock speed that can reach up to 5.1 GHz.

Key Specs

  • 8 Cores & 16 Threads
  • LGA1200 Socket
  • 3.8 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • Boost Clock Speed up to 5.1 GHz
  • 16MB L3 Cache
Reliable CPU for mid-range dedicated streaming rigs

If you need a better performance than the Ryzen 5 3600, then we highly suggest you go with the Intel Core i7 10700K. This CPU is a great improvement over the previous 9th generation CPUs with the same amount of cores but higher boost clock speed and improved hyper-threading.

This is an eight-core CPU which means it has 16 threads for better multitasking. For playing the most demanding AAA titles, the Core i7 10700K gives you unbeatable performance. This CPU has enough resources to be part of a dedicated streaming rig.

Back in the old days, it was really hard to get every ounce of performance from your CPU in streaming. Now upper mid-range CPUs like the Core i7 10700K deliver great single-core performance in gaming while having enough cores and threads for ideal streaming your gameplay.

The Core i7 10700K comes with a nice boost clock up to 5.1 GHz. By using an affordable CPU cooler, you can overclock this processor to higher speeds for better performance. So if you are after a dedicated streaming/gaming system, this CPU might be the right catch for it.

Benchmarks for Intel Core i7-10700K at 1080p Resolution

GamesFPS without StreamingFPS with OBS x264 Streaming
Fortnite Battle Royale
14598
Battlefield V
180105
Overwatch
220110
Avg fps

Intel Core i9-10900K – A High End Intel Processor for Ultimate Streaming

Reasons to Consider

It’s a powerful CPU with 10 cores for games and 20 threads for dealing with multitasking. A kind of future-proof processor for HD streaming & gaming at a cutting-edge price.

Key Specs

  • 10 Cores & 20 Threads
  • LGA 1200 Compatible
  • 3.7 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • Overcloked up to 5.3 GHz
  • 20MB Smart Cache
powerful streaming processor from Intel to use in dedicated rigs

If you want the ultimate gaming and video streaming performance, then the Core i9 10900K has got it all for you. This is one of those CPUs that has taken Intel’s lost legacy back from the AMD in the year 2021. We managed to compare the performance of this CPU with the AMDs most favorite Ryzen 9 3900X. Now, the 3900X has two more cores as compared to the 10900K’s 10 cores.

The Intel 10900K has no parallel when it comes to playing demanding titles like RDR2, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Resident Evil: Village at 1440p settings. The Ryzen 9 3900X having more cores and threads, gives you more edge in video transcoding. So transcoding quality is way better if you go for a Ryzen 9 3900X

With Intel jumping over to 10 cores in a CPU like i9 10900K, you will definitely see a huge improvement in frame rates and HD streaming. Especially, if you want to push to higher fps and stream at 1440p quality, this CPU can easily handle that situation.

However, the performance of GPU is another factor that determines the overall stream quality. If you have a good GPU installed in your dedicated streaming PC, your viewers wouldn’t see any glitches or lag in your stream.

The only downside to this processor is that it’s expensive. Not because just it costs around $500 to get one, but the LGA 1200 compatible motherboards that work with these CPUs are expensive as well. So both the motherboard and a Core i9 10900K would cost over $700.

But one thing is for sure, and that is there wouldn’t be any compromise on the gaming performance and stream quality.

Benchmarks of Intel Core i9-10900K at 1080p Resolution

GamesFPS without StreamingFPS with OBS x264 Streaming
Fortnite Battle Royale
135106
Battlefield V
175140
Overwatch
202130
Avg fps

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Best Bang For Your Buck Streaming CPU

Reasons to Consider

The CPU with great value for video transcoding due to the higher number of cores and threads. With 16 cores, this CPU is overkill for a dedicated gaming/streaming PC.

Key Specs

  • 16 Cores & 32 Threads
  • Socket AM4
  • 3.6 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 4.9 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • 72 MB Game Cache
Ultra high end CPU for streaming PC

The AMD 9 3950X is similar in specs to Ryzen 9 5950X but gives you more edge in the overclocking department. If you want to overclock your CPU up to 4.9 GHz, you can easily achieve that with Ryzen 9 3950X. With 16 cores and 32 threads, this CPU can let you stream your games at higher resolutions without any hassle.

The most incredible feature of this CPU is the 72MB of GameCache. This means there’s a lot of room for this CPU to deal with high-end video encoding and other related tasks. In terms of gaming, this AMD chip shows performance somewhat similar to the Core i9 10900K.

However, in video transcoding, the 3950X beats the 10900K with its abundant threads. And if you want extreme performance out of this CPU, then pair it with a high-end GPU from Nvidia’s RTX 3000 Series. A high CPU like this will make your dedicated streaming PC future-proof for a few more years.

Benchmarks of Ryzen 9 3950X at 1080p Resolution

GamesFPS without StreamingFPS with OBS x264 Streaming
Fortnite Battle Royale
148119
Battlefield V
180135
Overwatch
220119
Avg fps

Intel Core i5-10400F – A Wallet-Friendly Processor For Streaming Content

Reasons to Consider

If you are looking for an entry-level CPU to stream your content online, then the Core i5 10400F is a great deal to go with.

Key Specs

  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • 2.90 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 4.2 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • LGA 1200 Compatible
  • 12MB L3 Cache
cheaper CPU

The Core i5 10400F is one of the low-budget CPUs in the 10th gen lineup. It comes with six cores and 12 threads for playing entry-level games. If you want to push to higher frame rates, then you will need a good GPU and ram for optimal performance.

Keeping in view the number of cores and threads of this processor, it is obvious that you won’t get lags when streaming your content, at least at 720p. Also, it depends upon the type of game that you are playing and the resolution at which you want to stream your gameplay.

Although it’s a wallet-friendly CPU that costs less under $150, the motherboard that supports this CPU is expensive. Where most CPUs are still using the older LGA 1151 socket, going for an LGA 1200 would cost you more money.

But once you have an LGA 1200 compatible motherboard, you can easily install a modern CPU on that socket to improve your performance. After all, the LGA 1151 wouldn’t stay in the market forever and at some point, you have to upgrade to a newer socket.

Benchmarks of Core i5 10400F at 1080p Resolution

GamesFPS without StreamingFPS with OBS x264 Streaming
Fortnite Battle Royale
12072
Battlefield V
13073
Overwatch
190121
Avg fps

Factors to Look in a CPU Meant for Dedicated Streaming PC

Cores & Threads

More cores help in better gameplay whereas having enough threads help a CPU deal with multiple workloads at the same time. For a gaming CPU, 4 cores are enough, however, if you want to stream and game at the same time, you will need more than four cores. A six-core CPU lies on a sweet spot for streaming builds.

Clock Speed

A CPU with a higher clock speed and fewer cores is better than having a CPU with a lower clock speed and more cores. If you are using an x264 encoder, then you will see significant improvement in streaming with a higher clock speed CPU. And if you are using an NVENC encoder, then it will depend upon your GPU to encode videos.

Recommendation

Finally, these were some of the best CPUs for dedicated streaming PC on our list. If you are going for a low-budget streaming rig, then there isn’t any processor other than the Ryzen 5 3600. This CPU sits on the sweet spot between price and performance. With enough cores and clock speed, you get a reliable CPU for streaming your gameplay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is streaming CPU or GPU intensive?

If you are streaming through software, then obviously you are putting more stress on your CPU. Whereas streaming through hardware puts more load on your GPU. Therefore, it depends upon the resource through which you are streaming your content. If you are playing the game and streaming it at the same time, then you’ll need a good CPU and GPU.

How much RAM do I need for a dedicated streaming PC?

The Bare minimum for streaming is 8GB and the recommended amount is 16GB. If you are just streaming video content, then 8GB is enough to handle it. But if you are playing and streaming AAA games, then you must go with 16GB ram.

Will overclocking CPU help streaming?

Yes, overclocking your CPU will definitely improve your streaming experience. Especially, if the OBS and game that you are playing heavily rely on your CPU, overclocking can come in handy at this stage.

  • When it comes to building a PC from scratch, you go to Robert. Robert covers the topics of finding the best PC components solution, and writes detailed gadget comparisons.