Processors (Intel® Core™, Intel® Xeon®, etc); processor utilities and programs (Intel® Processor Identification Utility, Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility, Intel® Easy Streaming Wizard, etc.)
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Choosing the best processor for budget live streaming PC


Hello all,

I've been attempting to live stream Fortnite on twitch, using a i7600k + GTX 1080.

I notice that when I stream at 720p 60FPS, I get a noticeable frame rate drops intermittently that cause stuttering that has a big impact on gameplay.

I have it working with an older laptop using an Elgato HD60S, but it's only got a 2.40 GHz Intel CPU and the CPU actually overheats and reboots when streaming.

I'm looking into building a dedicated PC.

Picking the right CPU is important... There are lots of videos and articles online, but a lot of them are dated and technology moves fast.

Do you guys have any preferences to which CPU with dedicated graphics would be best for live streaming without using a GPU?

I'm looking at the i3s as they aren't very expensive. I'm not exactly sure which one would be the best as they have different features with # of threads, cores, cache etc.

From research it seems that more threads/cores the better.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Super User Retired Employee

I cannot answer is specifics, but there are generalities that can be mentioned.

In your example, what runtime environment are we talking? Windows 10? If this is the case, you may be seeing the effects of all the crap that Windows 10 is doing in the background (you know: collecting all of that personal usage information to send to Microsoft).

In a lot of cases, when I see folks complaining about frame rates, stuttering, pixelization, etc., it is as a result of some sort of transcoding going on in the background that, for whatever reason, is not (or can not) be done by the GPU. Whether we are talking about the embedded GPU or an add-in GPU really doesn't matter; once it becomes a CPU task, performance can suffer. It is thus important to look at what is happening and what needs to be supported and ensure that the transcoding that will be necessary is stuff that can/will be done by the GPU.

When we talk about the embedded GPU, we have to remember that the same kind of reductions in CPU execution capability (cores/hyperthreads, clock rates, etc.) that we see between the Core i5/i7 processors and the Core i3 processor is also happening within the GPU. While Core i3 processors are still rated as being able to handle multiple streams of 4K, results can be mixed (read: fat chance).

Hope this helps,