At the time of this posting, I’ve only been streaming for a few months. Despite that, I’ve had a lot of questions about my Twitch streaming setup and the equipment I use. Before I get into the details, please understand that while I’m a beginner steamer, I’m somewhat proficient in video editing, software needs, and computer parts. I built my computer originally in 2016 and have been slowly building up my equipment over time. None of this came together overnight.
Please note: This post does not seek to completely inform the reader or claim to be a source of authority on the subject. It serves as an artifact of my experience and might be helpful for anyone who is considering a Twitch streaming setup.
What Streaming Hardware Do You Need?
I didn’t realize when I started streaming how CPU intensive it would be. My first few games weren’t graphically challenging, and I think I was able to get away without many issues because of it. However, when I tried Ori and the Blind Forest, the problems popped up like daisies. What no one told me is that a lot of modern games rely primarily on your CPU to render. Turns out replicating physics can be demanding on hardware.
The act of transcoding a stream and audio is also very CPU heavy. Recording footage and uploading it doesn’t even compare to live streaming on Twitch. So if you plan to live stream CPU intensive games, make sure you have a powerful CPU to keep up. Streaming a talk between you and a few people on Zoom is less intensive, and you likely won’t need as powerful a setup.
If you want to stream games, you’re also going to need a decent graphics card.
My Computer Specs
|CPU||Intel Core i7-12700 2.1 GHz 12-Core Processor|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black 60.09 CFM CPU Cooler|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte B660M GAMING X AX DDR4 Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard|
|Memory||G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory|
|Storage||Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive x2|
|Storage||980 Pro SSD 1TB (MZ-V8P1T0B) – M.2 NVMe Interface SSD|
|Storage||Seagate Barracuda 2 TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive|
|Video Card||ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti OC|
|Case||Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case|
|Power Supply||EVGA G1 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply|
The Software I use
|Capturing software||OBS + StreamElements|
|Local Bot||Mix It Up Streaming bot|
I’m not completely satisfied with my current computer hardware, and I plan to upgrade my graphics card first. Rumors suggest that graphics card prices will drop within the coming months. I’m hoping to snag a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 when they’re closer to MSRP. In March 2022, I updated my motherboard, CPU, CPU cooler, and ram. My new motherboard allows for additional M.2 drives, and that will be my next purchase after a GPU. Otherwise, I’m pretty pleased with this setup.
GPU Update: I snagged a new graphics card in April 2022. I replaced the 1070 with a 3070 TI. I wish I could have waited to go for a 3070 (no TI) instead, but I’m an impatient person.
Streaming Equipment and Peripherals
|Keyboard||Corsair Gaming K70 Mechanical Keyboard Backlit Red LED Cherry MX Red|
|Camera||Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920|
|Ring lights||Cheap Amazon buys. Not even worth mentioning.|
|Microphone||AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone|
|Microphone arm||RODE PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio|
|Monitors||Predator Gaming Monitor with G Sync|
|Monitor arm||Huanuo Dual Monitor Stand|
|Monitor arm reinforcement||Huanuo steel monitor mount reinforcement plate|
|Speakers||Logitech Z533 60 W 2.1 Channel Speakers|
|Headphones||Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones|
|Stream Deck||15 buttons|
I have a lot of opinions when it comes to my auxiliary hardware, so buckle up.
First off, you can totally stream with only one monitor. I did it for a month. It was a headache and a half, but I managed. Twitch has streaming tools you can access on mobile devices, and for some streams I used my phone. For others, I used an iPad. None of them were perfect, and I’m much happier with two monitors.
I get asked about my microphone a lot. I opted for the AT2020USB+ after doing a lot of research over the course of one day. It’s a great mic, but I don’t love it for streaming. On the positive side, it hardly picks up any background noise. I currently share an apartment with loud, often unruly, neighbors, and so far their noises haven’t made it on stream. My issues revolve more around how clunky it is and the fact that the pop filter I have for it covers half my face while streaming. Perhaps my inexperience is showing here, and I’ll feel differently once I’ve nailed down my settings.
Microphone update: I found out this microphone has a front and a back. It’s quite clear on the mic itself which portion is the back, but I didn’t realize that the top isn’t for input. The front of the mic is actually on the side of it. I’ve adjusted my setup and it seems to have solved a lot of my sound issues. Streaming is a constant work in progress.
If you’re going to be on camera, lighting is one of the most important factors to consider. I figured a couple of cheap ring lights would be fine, but I was wrong. My main ring light is directly in front of me, when I really need lights off to the side. As it currently stands, I’m often blown out by the lighting or I have harsh shadows. Adjusting this is a low priority at the moment, but I’d like to get the Elgato key light in the future — it works with my Stream Deck!
The mouse is fine and responsive, but it only has two side buttons. I’ve always wished it had 3-4 instead for more shortcuts when gaming.
My final issue is with my keyboard. It functions fine, but the keys are annoyingly loud. I don’t think it’s the end of the world for viewers to hear me click-clacking, but I’d be happier with a more stealthy accessory.
One Final Piece of Streaming Advice
Wireless peripherals are more popular than ever for their flexibility and convenience. But when something is wireless, there’s a higher likelihood of connection issues. The last thing you want to worry about live is no mouse, keyboard, or microphone inputs. If you have the option, choose corded equipment where possible. By doing so, you’ll also avoid latency issues.
Hope this helps! Find me on Twitch!
I never really thought about how CPU intensive the streaming side of things would be, so its good to know that. I also very much agree with that final bit of advice. My computer can handle Bluetooth, but it has always been a spotty connection (possibly location, and other interference). So I hard wire everything.
Something to note that I have found out – once you get a 30 series Nvidia GPU, youll have access to Nvidia Broadcast. It uses a little of the capabilities of the GPU to do things like Smart Noise Cancelation and Background Blurring. In running a TTRPG, its done a good job at both. Not sure what would happen if you were streaming something and it was resource intensive game. It does completely remove my Cherry Blue keyboard, which I really appreciate.
Thanks for sharing! Its interesting to see your streaming set up. I would not know where to begin, so its nice to see what you have accomplished so far 🙂
Thanks for the info on the 30 series! I’m eager to update, but I’m trying to remain patient as prices come down.