With streaming becoming even more popular and competitive than ever, having a quality PC that can stream well is very important. If you want to make it big as a streamer on YouTube, Twitch or elsewhere, you need to deliver a quality broadcast to your viewers. That means no lag, no latency and no stuttering. But that also means you need a rig that can deliver.
Things can get a bit confusing when you're trying to figure out just exactly what you need. That's why we created this ultimate guide to help you build the ultimate streaming PC even if you are on a budget. In our guide we will help you create an awesome streaming and gaming PC at all price points. We also help you pick out all the accessories and extras that you will need such as a microphone, headset and webcam. If you're ready to get started, read on ahead and get ready to build your custom streaming PC.
section 1: example builds
If you're just looking for the quick solution, this is your section. We'll give you the best pre-constructed builds for streaming at all levels of gameplay and budgets. This is for the streamer who just wants to buy it and forget it. No need to worry about picking components or matching up parts. We do all the heavy lifting for you with these awesome streaming PC choices.
Entry level: the budget streamer (~$500 or less)
WHAT IT CAN HANDLE:
- 720p streaming
- League of Legends, DOTA 2, CS:GO, Hearthstone, similar games
Just because you have a smaller budget doesn't mean your streaming or gaming has to suffer. With this build from iBUYPOWER, you can easily play most popular games at medium to maximum settings at 1080p. You may find that newer and more demanding games will require you to turn down your settings, but you should still be able to stream most titles if you adjust your settings.
With a new AMD FX 6-core processor and an AMD R7 graphics card, this is more than enough to get you started with streaming and gaming. If you feel you need a little more power, the components can easily be upgraded.
mid level: the serious streamer (~$900 or less)
WHAT IT CAN HANDLE:
- 1080p streaming & gaming
- Most new game releases at high/maximum settings
This mid-level setup is seriously a contender. Just because it isn't thousands of dollars doesn't mean it can't perform. With an RTX 2060 graphics card, this setup can handle pretty much every game currently released at maxed out (or at least very high) graphics settings. This is a great option that will last any streamer or gamer for several years. It also packs a solid SSD for fast startup times and booting up your games.
extreme level: the professional streamer (~$1,200 or more)
WHAT IT CAN HANDLE:
- 1080p streaming & gaming
- Every new game at max settings
- VR gaming and streaming
This is for the gamer who considers streaming a career for themselves. If you are thinking about becoming a full time streamer, then this custom iBUYPOWER setup is something you may want to invest in. It comes loaded with an Intel i7-8700k processor, an RTX 2070 graphics card and 16GB of RAM. It will be able to handle any game you throw at it while simultaneously streaming at up to 1080p. Lag will be a thing of the past for you. If you're into VR, then this setup will easily handle it for you. This is the choice for someone who takes gaming and streaming seriously.
- (RAM) 32GB DDR4
SECTion 2: building your own setup
If you're more of a DIY person or you just want to customize exactly what's inside your PC, this section will help you piece together all the components you need at every price point. We've gone through all of the popular streaming setups and found the best components for processors, graphics cards, and more to help you pick out exactly what you need. Use our grid below to help yourself as you create your own ultimate streaming and gaming PC.
Section 3: streaming peripherals
Besides your streaming PC itself, you need a few peripherals if you want to start streaming. The absolute basics would be a microphone and a webcam, along with a mouse and keyboard for your setup. However streamers that take it more seriously may find they want additional components such as a streamdeck, green screens, acoustic paneling and more. All of these things can really take your stream to the next level, so it's important that you don't overlook them.
MID LEVEL: Blue Yeti
Perhaps the most popular microphone among Twitch and YouTube streamers, and for good reason. The Blue Yeti is a desktop microphone that has great sound quality and costs just around $100. It has a sturdy built-in desktop stand and allows you to control gain, volume and mute functions directly. It also has a direct, no-latency headphone output so you can hear exactly what you sound like.
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL: Shure SM7B
Used by many of the top streamers such as Sodapoppin, the Shure SM7B is an amazing device that delivers crystal clear sound to your viewers. It costs a lot, but it will give you studio-quality sound recording. You also will need to buy a mount or arm, as it does not come with a built-in stand.
One of the main attractions of streaming is that viewers get to see who is playing the game. It allows for a whole new level of interaction with your viewers and many streamers refuse to watch a stream without a webcam. For that reason, you want to choose one that delivers high quality video but doesn't take up space or break the bank. Below are our webcam suggestions for each price point.
BUDGET LEVEL: Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000
This little webcam packs a punch and does it for just under $30. It won't deliver amazing 1080p quality, but if you're just starting out and don't want to spend lots of money on a webcam, this will do a great job. It's perfect for streamers looking to upgrade from their built-in laptop webcam.
MID LEVEL: Logitech C922x
This is a very popular webcam and if you've ever watch a Twitch streamer, chances are they were using this webcam to stream with. It's less than $100, delivers 1080p quality and was specifically designed for streaming by Logitech.
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL: Razer Kiyo
Razer really knocked it out of the park with this one. It's a webcam specifically designed for streamers and delivers 1080p video easily. But the most impressive part is the built-in ring light. That means even if you're streaming in a dark room or without extra lights, you get amazing video quality and studio lighting all from this little webcam.
Once you have your webcam and mic setup, you may find yourself wanting more peripherals to enhance your stream. This can be anything from green screens to streamdecks. All of these, while not necessary, can really add an extra edge of quality to your stream that your viewers are sure to appreciate. And honestly, many of these things are not expensive at all. It's definitely a great idea to incrementally upgrade your setup as you continue streaming.
STREAM DECK: Elgato Stream Deck
This is the de-facto best stream deck out there. They invented the product after all. Lots of professional streamers use this to conveniently trigger sound effects, scene changes in their broadcasting software and other fun interactive things for their stream. It comes in both the normal size with 15 customizable buttons and the Elgato mini which has 6 buttons.
GREEN SCREEN: LimoStudio 9x15' Chromakey
A green screen is what allows you to "cut out" the background image so you have just your face (or whatever you camera captures) on your video instead of your actual background. This is great for creating cool background video effects or just removing the background of the room your stream in. If you're interested in more in-depth information on green screens, check out our mega-guide on picking the right green screen for your stream setup here.
KEYBOARD & MOUSE
These two are pretty dependent on the person, and you should choose what works best for you. If you want to try out keyboards and mice that professional streamers are using, check out our section on professional stream setups where we list all the gear, peripherals and PC specs that the pros are using.
That's about it for our mega-guide on how to create an awesome gaming and streaming PC setup for just about every budget. Remember, you don't have to get everything at once and you can build your setup piece by piece. This helps if you aren't sure what you need or want just yet. But it is important to invest in your stream if you want to take it seriously. Your viewers will definitely appreciate it and keep coming back if you do!