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Separate computer for streaming [OoB]

yawumpus
  • 24 months ago

[OoB] is my notation for weird and other "out of the box" ideas. I might post more...

If you look at the "requested builds" you will see a large number (perhaps a majority) want to "game and stream". At least one comment mentioned a second computer, and I've since wondered how that would work.

Assumptions: "streaming" needs 4 cores, and rarely works better with more. It probably needs a healthy chunk of ram, but I haven't a clue. I've researched x264, but most commenters assume using Adobe products (both are unlikely to use more than 4 cores).

1a: Paying for "4 more cores" Intel style: i9 doesn't begin to make financial sense. If you can get away with the threads from an i7, that's about $100 bucks. I can't see games+streaming eating close to 12 threads, but expect at least some game+stream interference. Also expect to pay for more RAM.

1b: Paying for "4 more cores" AMD style: I'd just say go and grab a Ryzen 7, while expecting to buy either a Ryzen 5 or i5K for gaming (without streaming). Expect to leave a little bit on the table for gaming "future proofing", but don't be too surprised if future games scale to more threads than higher clocks (unlikely, but if you want to crank it up on an PS4/Xbox1...). PS: Expect to pay even more for RAM than Intel.

2: entire separate streaming build. Probably built around a 2200G (for 4 cheap cores and possibly use the GPU) or possibly an i57 or i38 if you simply have to use Intel. Note that the i57*** won't support DDR3, so it isn't a good means of escaping high memory costs. Don't forget 2200G's really want more expensive DDR4 (although not quite as bad as 2400G, maybe 80-90% of the speed is needed).

3: used i5. A quick look at Craigslist showed that you could get about 3GHz of i5 for $150. Don't expect much more than 8G Ram (you won't care about the HD. Possibly use it to store backups files from your main computer...).

4: Raspberry Pi (or higher powered edition of similar cost): Cheapest solution by far, but don't count on it getting the job done. Probably worth it in learning the ins and outs of streaming, but expect to shove the work back on your primary PC and stop dropping frames. Don't be surprised if this becomes the primary recommendation in a few years.

My guess is that #3 makes a lot of sense for those going with Intel for "higher per core performance" but still want lots of streaming performance. AMD will sell more cores than you can use for reasonable costs (option 1b), but Intel will charge you plenty (especially for cores 7&8). Option 2 simply piles on all those little costs until you are better off merely buying more cores and more DDR4. Option 4 is for the hardcore tinkering types, but I really have to doubt the little guy packs enough punch to do the job [if you really get into this, I bet you could get the job done by going more parallel and giving chunks of sequential frames to each pi-slice, expect to have to hack the software and have a bit of latency. I really doubt that latency will be much of a problem streaming, but some will be annoyed].

Anybody actually tried it? Any experience with a second box for streaming, or even pricing it out?

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Your options 2 and 3 both look good. Being the guy using 2 laptops at once, I would suggest the 3rd option (if you can get used to using 2 sets of peripherals at once).

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I just don't see option 2 as being cost effective. Maybe I ought to wade through "cheap 4 core" builds, but I can't imagine that it makes sense for any but the most extreme "gamer" Intel builds. Regulars here probably have enough in personal boneyards to build one for reasonable budgets, but not the people asking (I'm guessing).

I should probably make a separate comment that if you had to game and stream with a notebook, you should probably consider a second notebook for streaming. High core numbers are rare in notebooks and the whole i3/5/7 thing goes out the window. But people generally don't come to this site looking for "notebook builds".

I wonder if ITX builds would work for mobile streaming. Go completely headless, just 4 cores (probably some pentium or old i5) and some ram. Probably cheaper than a notebook. Use the onboard video just to set it up (and/or make windows happy, but I'm not a windows guy). Finally access it entirely over the network (probably wifi, although that makes me groan. But wifi is what you'd probably use if you used it on the go).

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, whoops. I meant to say options 1b and 3. But.... It all depends where you want to spend your time troubleshooting. Option 3 is simply hooking everything up. Option 1 is cheaper, but you'll sink more time into fixing errors when something goes wrong.

Your choice, but those are my recommendations.

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