Best CPU For Streaming

Best CPU For Streaming

Publushed by:

Martha Davis

Last updated:

Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

Short summary

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop Processor is one of the best CPUs you can get for streaming. Being one of the most powerful CPUs from AMD, it can provide unparalleled processing power while gaming.

So, you have to consider this option if you want to build a super-fast gaming desktop. AMD launched this processor back in 2019, but you can rely on its performance even on a 2021 streaming setup. When we consider the specs, this product does not disappoint at all.

The CPU comes with a 12-core, 24-thread design. Therefore, even when it comes to serious multitasking in a stream, the system can keep up with the demand. We must also appreciate the AMD Wraith Prism cooler attached to the processor. It comes with color-controlled LEDs that add a bit of aesthetic appeal to your PC build. The CPU has a wattage of 105 Watts, and you need an AM4 CPU Socket on your motherboard for it to work.

As we said, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop Processor is optimized for gaming-grade performance. It has a maximum clock speed of 4.6GHz and can reach high performance without breaking a sweat. In addition, AMD has coupled the processor with one of the most effective cooling solutions for Ryzen 9 processors. In short, this CPU can catch up when you want to stream in high FPS quality.

The CPU is part of AMD’s Zen Core Architecture, which is optimized for energy efficiency. Even if Twitch or other streaming software uses multiple cores, the processor can retain resource consumption efficiency. As we said, you can benefit from the high clock speed. Finally, the chip uses the AMD SenseMI technology that can jump-speed the performance using machine intelligence.

Because it is designed for enhanced performance, AMD has enabled easy-to-access overclocking. You can push the CPU into its complete form with a single button. It is all thanks to the Precision Boost 2 feature from AMD. Even if you do not want to push this button manually, the sensors attached to the CPU will take on-time decisions to keep the chip working at its maximum capacity.

Compared to the previous generations of AMD processors, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop Processor packs an improved GameCache system. It comes in handy for those who stream high-quality titles. The CPU, when coupled with a competitive GPU, can reduce memory latency during high-frame-rate gameplay. Long story short, your stream will stay super-smooth.

AMD has designed this desktop processor to complement the best streaming PCs out there. We must also add that it is straightforward to set up the processor since it uses clips instead of screws. In addition, you can use the Wraith Prism software to control the RGB lighting on these chips. The package contains all the tools you need to get started.

We mentioned that the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop Processor uses an optimized cooling system. However, you do not get the necessary brackets and adaptors to install the cooler on the CPU. If you have somehow lost the brackets/adaptors, you may want to get a fresh pair during the installation. Of course, it depends on the motherboard you are currently using.

Many users have added that the processor requires a BIOS update to work correctly. While it is not a big deal for experienced PC builders, beginners may have a tough time. Therefore, if you plan to use the chip with less-than-optimal compatibility, you should update the BIOS software in the first place. This extra effort will not be in vain, considering the fantastic performance of the chip.

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Recommended product
4.8/5
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

Runner-up: Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor

Short summary

If you think a gaming-focused CPU is not enough for your streaming setup, you must check out the Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor. Even though it belongs to the previous generation of Intel processors, the chip can provide enough performance for your content creation needs.

For instance, if you want to use the same PC for streaming and video editing, it would not be a problem. Like AMD has done with the winner pick that we have selected, Intel has optimized this chip for the perfect experience for creators.

The processor checks all the boxes when it comes to specifications. For instance, it comes with 10 cores and 12 threads, a little lower than our winner pick. However, the high wattage of 165W means that the processor can speed up the game when required. It uses an LGA 2066 socket, which is easy to install. Of course, it also means the overclocked CPU can support more PCIe lanes. The creator-friendly CPU has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz but can upgrade the game to 4.7GHz in overclocked mode.

The Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor is made for enthusiast customers and content creators. Though the chip contains fewer cores and threads than our winner pick, it can meet your performance needs without hassle. It uses the Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 to push the maximum clock speed up to 4.7GHz, which is more than enough for streaming and high-quality gaming.

Image enhancement and image tagging are two of the many things you should value while streaming. This particular CPU uses the Intel Deep Learning Boost technology to make things more accessible than ever. Therefore, if it is time to render the best content and enable motion-tracking, this processor would not let you down. To keep all these in check, the chip supports quad-channel DDR4 RAM as well.

It is impressive that the Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor supports up to 48 PCI Express 3.0 lanes. This number is not only higher than that of our winner pick but also practical. You can design your streaming PC however you like based on this enhanced support. It is also significant that the chip has an L3 cache of 19.25 MB, enabling a hassle-free user experience.

Despite being unlocked and overclocking-ready, this Intel CPU does not compromise compatibility. You can use the chip on any motherboard with an LGA 2066 CPU socket, which is not difficult to find. Alternatively, it is easy to find several adaptors to suit the system to your existing PC. You would have a smooth setup and user experience with Intel x299 Chipset-based motherboards in the market.

You can benefit from the Intel Overclocking Tools as a streamer. You can easily enable overclocking if you think you can use the extra push. The best part is that you can integrate these tools with your Windows PC without any extra effort. From the usability point of view, it is a significant improvement, indeed. You would have an easy time with a variety of Thunderbolt 3 accessories as well.

Compared to the specifications it offers, the Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor is not an affordable pick in the market. But, of course, you can benefit from the investment if you use it for resource-intensive tasks. On the flip side, though, you can find CPUs with more cores and threads at the same price range. However, you may not have all these creator-friendly options on those products.

You get the Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor in a barebones structure. Unlike our winner pick, it does not come with a cooling system. But, on the bright side, you can get one of the more effective cooling systems for your device. By the way, the chip can show serious performance improvement when coupled with a good amount of RAM.

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Recommended product
4.8/5
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

Alternative: Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor

Short summary

Let us say that you do not want to spend a lot on a streaming CPU. At the same time, you want to ensure a smooth gaming experience as well. In that case, the Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor makes sense as an alternative. 

 This K series chip from Intel packs more power than you would expect in the price bracket. It comes with 8 cores and 16 threads, accompanied by a high wattage of 125W. You would not have trouble fitting this to a motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket.

Despite being more affordable, the Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor has been optimized for super-elite performance. It is no joke that the chip can reach a maximum clock speed of 5.1GHz, thanks to the Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. In addition, quite conveniently, it supports up to 40 PCI Express lanes and an Intel Smart Cache of 16MB. Long story short, the chip can complement a streaming PC coupled with dual-channel DDR4 RAM and other performance-friendly hardware.

Even though the Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor does not cost much, it has been optimized for various gaming and content creation needs. Be it streaming, video editing, or multi-layer broadcasting; the chip offers unparalleled performance. If you have software that can use the multi-core infrastructure, you do not have to look any further.

In addition to the whopping clock speed of 5.1GHz, Intel has used the Hyper-Threading Technology on this chip. Therefore, you do not have to think twice when it comes to hassle-free multitasking. Once again, you can run streaming software and other resource-intensive tasks without buffering or frame loss. But, of course, you need a compatible GPU here.

Because the chip has been designed for unlocked performance and overclocking, you never have to worry about state-of-the-art speeds. In addition, the processor has built-in support for Intel Optane Memory, which can boost the overall user experience. In the end, since it can run at a base clock speed of 3.7GHz, you can use resources in a power-friendly manner.

The Intel Core i7-10700K Desktop Processor can get very hot when you put it under maximum load. It must be noted that the device does not come with a cooling system. Therefore, you should get a high-end cooling system for the chip. Experts recommend that you stick to liquid cooling if you expect top-notch performance from the chip.

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Pros

Cons

Recommended product
4.8/5
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

Alternative: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop Processor

Short summary

If you think our winner pick is too expensive for your streaming build, here is an alternative you can consider. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop Processor comes from a more affordable series of Ryzen processors from AMD.

Having said that, the chip has been designed and optimized for enhanced graphics performance. It also uses some of the best CPU-enhancement technologies from AMD, including the improved GameCache and PCIe 4.0 support.

Before we talk about the additional features, we should mention a few things. First, as you can guess, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop Processor is fully unlocked and suitable for overclocking. When overclocked, the 8-core 16-thread design can run at a maximum clock speed of 4.4GHz. It is also equipped with the Precision Boost Overdrive feature. Once again, the chip has been designed for delivering 100+ fps gaming on the desktop level.

These technologies are two main reasons why the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop Processor is suitable for all sorts of game streaming. Precision Boost ensures that you are running the processor at the best performance level at all times. At the same time, 36MB of GameCache will enable hassle-free performance regardless of the title you are streaming.

Even though the chip comes with 8 cores and 16 cores, you do not have to spend a fortune to set it up. Even when you want high-fps gaming on all days, this affordable processor can be set up. So, if you want to enable smooth streaming with an effective GPU, you can turn down the resolution as you wish. It is also significant that it comes with an AMD Wraith Prism cooler.

It is one thing that you can use the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop Processor with any AM4 socket. However, you can get better results from the chip if you have an x570 motherboard for the PC. In that case, the chip would bring you PCIe 4.0 support, which you cannot find on Intel chips from the same price range. Thus, it translates to an enhanced graphics performance at no extra cost.

Some customers have reported issues with the included Wraith Prism fan. Most people find it easy to run the system with the fan. However, if you want to upgrade the experience using a better cooling system, you may have a tough time. You should always keep an eye on the instructions before doing so.

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Recommended product
4.8/5
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

Alternative: AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor

Short summary

Suppose you want to build a streaming PC that does not consume a lot of resources. In that case, you should check out the AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor. It is one of the affordable CPUs from AMD but still packs enough resources to enable efficient multitasking and performance.

To begin with, it has 6 cores and 12 threads in total. Together, the chip can provide you sufficient resources even when handling too many apps at once.

Setting up the AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor would not be challenging, either, since it uses an AM4 socket. Moreover, compared to the other CPUs we have covered on this list, it consumes less power, as the TDP is set at 65W. On the bright side, you do not have to miss the new features from AMD, including PCIe 4.0 support. In short, the chip does not want you to make a lot of compromises even though it saves a lot of money.

The AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor uses the 7-nanometer technology that delivers an excellent level of performance without making too much time. So, even when you overclock the CPU, it would not create a lot of noise. It is a great feature when you look for the best CPU for gaming.

The chip has a maximum frequency of 4.2GHz, which is just amazing. As we said earlier, the 6-core 12-thread system does magic when it comes to stable frame rates and snappiness. In addition, the 35MB GameCache from AMD will play a crucial role in creating a smooth user experience.

Even though the base clock speed could be low, the AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor does not miss any chance to improve the speed. Instead, you can rely on Precision Boost Overdrive and PCIe 4.0 support to get the best out of the processor.

Some users are not satisfied with the cooler the AMD Ryzen 3600 Desktop Processor comes with. While the Wraith Prism cooler does a good job, it is not reliable when you need the best-in-class performance from the system.

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

CPU for Streaming FAQ

What CPU do streamers use?

As we said in the introduction, streamers cannot afford any delay. Therefore, they choose a CPU that offers top-notch performance.

In short, an ideal CPU for streamers must be able to handle multiple apps, including Twitch and others. More importantly, you need a more robust system with multi-core and hyper-threading CPUs if you want to stream games.

Is Ryzen or Intel better for streaming?

Both Ryzen and Intel manufacture some of the most powerful processors suitable for streaming. However, you will have to make the selection based on your requirements

For instance, most Ryzen processors come with PCIe 4.0 support and easy overclocking control, while Intel processors focus on performance alone. The selection also depends on the specific CPU model you want to get.

How many cores do you need for streaming?

Generally speaking, you should get a CPU with a relatively high number of cores if you want a smooth game or content streaming experience. However, it is also a question of whether the software you use comes with multi-core support.

For instance, if your streaming/broadcasting tools do not support multi-core processing, there is no point in getting a multi-core CPU. You can get the best performance with six to twelve cores.

Does streaming affect FPS?

Yes, if you are using the same PC for playing the game and streaming, it will affect the FPS of the game. As you know, streaming is a resource-intensive process.

Therefore, you should have a capable GPU and CPU if you plan to do both from a system. It is a reason why experts recommend getting the most powerful CPU for your streaming setup.

Conclusion

We hope you understand that there is more to streaming CPUs than the clock speed. While you should pay attention to the maximum clock speed of the processor, multi-core performance and compatibility are also pivotal aspects.

In the end, what is the point of having the best CPU if your streaming setup cannot leverage the resources?

4.8/5

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Desktop

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