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Best CPU for Streaming – Complete Guide

As the gaming realm evolves with the introduction of top-tier processors, so does consumers’ hassle for choosing the best gaming and streaming CPU among a multitude of choices.

Many times, streamers struggle to decide between AMD and Intel. And often, end up buying chipsets that don’t meet their needs.  This can lead to fps instability, bottlenecking, and overall performance degradation.

Everyone loves overclocking. And with streaming, having an unlocked processor will push your streaming power to the next level. It allows you to maintain games at a high refresh rate and transcode it to the highest possible quality.

To help you overcome such issues, we’ll be diving deep into the best CPU for gaming and streaming, so you can make your experience much better.

What Is the Function of a CPU?

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component of a computer system, which handles obtaining data, processing it, and giving instructions to the other components. A CPU repeatedly goes through this loop to carry out complex jobs like running an operating system, game, or streaming. 

For instance, when you hit any key on the keyboard while streaming your favorite game. This key translates into binary data(101101). The CPU then determines how to display the inputted letter on the screen. 

CPUs perform a wide range of functions. However, with streaming, the CPU contributes to data receiving and transcoding from the streamers’ end to the audience. In this way, data flows become more swift and efficient.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best CPU for Gaming and Streaming

Before choosing the perfect option, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to ensure that whatever CPU you are going for is compatible with your needs. 

Here are some significant factors to consider before choosing a CPU:

  • Core and Thread Counts

Streaming is a complex job that involves several factors. CPU cores/threads are one of them. The counts of cores and threads strongly correlate with how many applications you can perform.

A Hexa-core CPU facilitates increased multitasking. You can operate complex applications, play games, and stream without lag or flaws. 

Streaming with an octa-core CPU is the real deal. It enables you to play, stream, and perform additional operations like recording, 3D rendering, etc, without compromising your video’s caliber.

When it comes to threads, 16 threads are recommended in streaming. However, 12 threads could handle the streaming workload as well. And provide a decent experience.

  • Clock rate

The clock speed determines how many cycles your CPU performs per second. Increasing a component’s clock rate and operating it faster than it was intended to be used is known as overclocking.

There are chips available on the market that can be overclocked. These CPUs are “unlocked processors” with up to 5 GHz turbo rates. These numbers can increase even further with overclocking.

It signifies that overclocking could be a gold mine for Twitch streamers if they have the required components and expertise.

  • Cooling

Another critical factor to consider is purchasing a cooling system capable of handling your broadcasting needs. Using a CPU cooler that doesn’t offer the best for your system can result in adverse effects such as CPU burnout. 

  • Performance Vs. Price

Whether you are looking for something with high cores and threads or want better overclocking speeds, it’s crucial to choose a CPU under your budget. Setting a specific price will help you narrow down the best choices for your needs.

5 Best CPUs For Gaming and Streaming 

1. AMD Ryzen 9 7900X

Specs

  • 12 Cores
  • 24 Threads
  • Overclock speed 5.7 GHz
  • Base clock 4.5 GHz
  • L3 cache 64 MB

Pros

Powerful enough for gaming and streaming

competitive pricing range

high clock rate

Cons

It is necessary to have an AM5 motherboard and DDR5 RAM.

According to the preliminary benchmark results, this chip is a strong contender for the best CPU for productivity. This is excellent news for streamers and video producers who wish to boost their PCs to the newest and best models available.

Streaming is CPU-intensive when employing standard encoders like h.264, and the Ryzen 9 7950X handles it admirably.

Performance

Thanks to the updated architecture and 5nm technology, the R9 7900X performs noticeably better than the Ryzen 9 5900X. In contrast to the more costly Core i9-12900K,  the Ryzen 9 7900X performs adequately, outperforming it by 5% at standard settings and tying it after overclocking.

2. Intel Core i5-12600K

Specs

  • 10 Cores
  • 16 Threads
  • Base clock 3.7 GHz
  • Overclock speed 4.9 GHz
  • 20 Mb of intel smart cache

Pros

Supports DDR4 and DDR5 memory compatibility

Excellent value for money

5.0 PCI Express support

Cons

Still more power-hungry than Ryzen

No CPU cooler is included

This is yet another high-performing, decently-priced chip that can be overclocked to deliver even more performance. It is capable enough to handle streaming and games simultaneously without delay.

Core i5-12600k is a way-fast chipset for your upcoming gaming rig. In terms of multi-thread performance, it outperforms AMD Ryzen 9 3900 and Intel Core i9-10900K

Performance

According to Intel, Its base power consumption is 125 W, while the maximum turbo power consumption is 150 W. The Core i5-12600K is developed with Intel’s 3rd gen 10 nm design, promoted as Intel 7, for more than adequate energy efficiency.

3. AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

Specs

  • 8 Cores
  • 16 Threads
  • Essential clock speed 3.6 GHz
  • Overclock speed 4.6 GHz
  • 16 Gb of L3 Cache

Pros

Performs comfortably under stress tests

Includes Wraith Stealth cooler in the box

Solid 1080p streaming

Ample margin for overclocking

Cons

Limited compatibility with motherboards

The Ryzen 5000 Series’ positive momentum has reached AMD’s most budget-conscious CPU, The “Ryzen G series.” Although the eight-core Ryzen 7 5700G can occasionally feel overkill, the cost is competitive with other eight-core choices.

The Ryzen 7 5700G quickly gets streamers’ Choice as one of the market’s fastest and most cost-effective IGP-equipped desktop chips

The 5700G’s performance is excellent for an 8-core CPU and is equivalent to a Ryzen 7 5800X in multi-threaded applications. You can expect fantastic performance in 1080p gaming and impressive HD streaming quality by installing a decent Graphics Card.

Performance

What separates this chip from other Ryzen 5000 series components is the built-in graphics – Vega with eight compute units clocked up to 2 GHz. This makes the 5700G a perfect streaming CPU that can deliver high-quality streams without issues.

4. Intel Core i7-12700K

Specs

  • 12 Cores
  • 20 Threads
  • Base Clock speed 3.60 GHz
  • Max Clock rate 5.00 GHz
  • 25 Mb intel smart cache

Pros

Overclocks to 5.0 GHz, which aids in streaming

Supports both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM.

Integrated graphics outperform earlier UHD Graphics systems

Cons

The package doesn’t include a CPU cooler

A little power-hungry

The Intel Core i7-12700K is a high-end CPU designed for gamers and streamers. HyperThreading is supported by the performance cores, enabling the simultaneous processing of 20 Threads.

When overclocked, this processor reaches 5 GHz, providing all the extra power required to stream 1080p games. And there’s no doubt in claiming that the Intel Core i7-12700K is the optimal CPU for streaming. 

Performance

The Core i7-12700K is remarkable compared to AMD’s processors but potentially even more so compared to Intel’s flagship. 

That indicates the 12700K delivers a gaming experience comparable to the 12900K but for $180 less. The Core i7-12700K outperforms the Core i7-11700K by 18% and the Core i9-11900K by 9.5%, leaving its predecessors in the dust.

5. AMD Ryzen 5 5600

Specs

  • 6 Cores
  • 12 Threads
  • Base Frequency 3.7 GHz
  • Overclock Speed 4.6 GHz
  • L3 Cache 32 Mb

Pros

Competent gaming and streaming capabilities

Great price point

Bundled CPU Cooler

Compatibility with 300-series motherboards

Cons

There is no integrated GPU

Poor value proposition compared to Intel chips

With a potent combination of performance in both gaming and streaming, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600 earns the top spot as the overall best AMD CPU for streaming. To replace Intel’s high-end and expensive chip sets, the Ryzen 5 5600 is an excellent value-oriented substitute.

When employing the appropriate cooling and motherboard, you can expect long-term boosts from the Ryzen 5 5600, which has a 3.7 GHz base and 4.6 GHz boost clock.  

And When it comes to gaming and broadcasting at the same time. AMD’s creation of the Ryzen 5 5600 marked their change.

Performance

Benchmarking showed Ryzen 5 5600 outpaced Intel 12 gen. We also tested it against the more costly Ryzen 5 5600X, observing a minor performance difference. When streaming, it had no trouble rendering AAA titles. We observed stream delays were much shorter, and the quality was smoother.

AMD vs. INTEL

One of the most heated discussions among PC enthusiasts is the AMD vs. Intel debate. The top-tier CPUs from AMD and Intel offer the most remarkable results for multithreaded operations and demanding games.

However, there are a few differences between the two brands.

  1. Intel CPUs are widely available as they allow users more options for PCs and a broader spectrum of capabilities. In contrast, AMD CPUs lag since these processors require expensive motherboards.
  1. AMD graphics processor is better and ideal for streaming. It improves the visual display and allows experts to further expand these capabilities with overclocking. In comparison, Intel is a better option for streamers or renderers.
  1. AMD is far more affordable for a regular streamer than Intel. On the contrary, Intel demands a high price due to its market dominance and excellent CPU manufacturing reputation.

Which One Would Serve You More as a Streamer?

A higher number of cores and threads is often advantageous for streaming. Better streaming performance is associated with a higher core count.

Yes, AMD Ryzen tends to be superior to Intel while streaming since Ryzen typically has more excellent multi-core performance AND better price/core.

Alternative – Get a Pre-Built Streaming PC

To minimize the burden on the primary gaming machine, some streamers use an alternative approach: building a dedicated streaming pc. 

This way, the primary computer bears the gaming load while the other handles professional video streaming. Additionally, it does not need to be extremely powerful.

If you’re unsure and are looking for a prebuilt pc for streaming. Consider going through our detailed list of the best pre-built streaming PC to help you narrow down what’s best for you.

Conclusion

In terms of streaming, the right CPU is incredibly crucial. When coupled correctly, the outcomes can lead to high-quality stutter-free gaming and streaming experience. 

After going through our detailed guide, narrowing down the perfect option should be more accessible, allowing your streams to stand out whether they are audience- or quality-related.

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