Best budget streaming PC setup


Corsair PC with RGB lighting
Credit: Corsair

Do you want to start streaming on a budget? You don't need the absolute best hardware to stream on Twitch or YouTube.

If you want to start streaming on a budget, you came to the right place. In this article, we walk through some great budget streaming PC setups that can easily handle streaming and recording.

Since most NVIDIA graphics cards support HVEC encoding, we recommend looking for a PC that uses an NVIDIA card. AMD cards also can encode streams but not as fast. We will discuss video encoders later on in this article.

Without further delay, let's get into some budget streaming PC setups. Whether you're looking to build a new system or upgrade, these builds will point you in the right direction.

Best budget streaming PC setup

1. Skytech Gaming Nebula Gaming PC

  • Intel i5 13400F 2.5GHz (10-core CPU)
  • NVIDIA RTX 4060
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB NVME SSD

The Skytech Gaming Nebula is well-known for creating prebuilt PCs for a variety of purposes. For just under $900, this prebuilt has all the hardware you need to stream most games at 1080p or even 1440p. The case also includes RGB fans for RGB enthusiasts.

2. ViprTech Ghost 2.0 Gaming PC

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 4.4GHz 12-Core
  • RTX 3060 12GB
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB NVME SSD

If you prefer white PC cases, the ViprTech Ghost 2.0 Gaming PC is a great option for up-and-coming streamers. It's powered by a Ryzen 5 5600G CPU, which is one of the best-value CPUs on the market. For the graphics card, it has an RTX 3060 12GB. The prebuilt also comes with 32GB of RAM. Overall, it's a hard deal to beat. While it doesn't use the latest components, they still hold up quite well.

3. Cyberpower PC Gamer Master Gaming

  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600 3.8GHz
  • NVIDIA RTX 4060 8GB
  • 16GB DDR5
  • 500GB NVME SSD

This is another great budget PC option. The Cyberpower Gamer Master Gaming PC utilizes DDR5 RAM, which is significantly faster than DDR4. It also uses an AMD Ryzen 5 7600 CPU. The downside to this build is the limited storage, although that can be upgraded or swapped out later on.

4. iBuyPower SlateMesh Gaming PC

  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600 5.1GHz, 6 Core
  • RTX 4060 8GB
  • 16GB DDR5 RAM
  • 500GB NVME

The iBuyPower Slate Mesh Gaming PC is one of the most popular budget prebuilt PCs on the market. It houses practically all the components you need to run a stable quality stream. One great thing about this build is its customization options. You can choose from a variety of configurations. Another upside is DDR5 RAM, which runs at 5200MHz.

5. Skytech Gaming Azure Gaming PC

  • Intel Core i3 10105F 3.7GHz (4-core)
  • GTX 1650 4GB
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 500GB NVME SSD

For an extreme budget streaming PC setup, we have the Skytech Gaming Azure Gaming PC. It doesn't have the flashiest hardware under the hood, but it's a good option for people on a tight budget. Bear in mind, that the GTX 1650 is a little dated and will likely struggle to run the latest games.

Minimum PC streaming requirements

When it comes to streaming, you want a PC that can handle games and streamings simultaneously without frame drops. If you're PC can handle modern games without any issues, it likely can handle a stream too.

Having said that, let's cover some of the basic requirements for a reliable streaming setup. The requirements also vary depending on the software, we will use OBS Studio, the most popular streaming software, for our examples.

Minimum requirements:

  • 4-Crore CPU: Intel i5 2500k or AMD Ryzen 1300x
  • 4GB of RAM (Recommended: 8GB)
  • Graphics card: GTX 900 or Radeon RX 400

As for the recommended hardware requirements for streaming, it's hard to say because there are so many capable parts. Generally, the higher the CPU core count, the better.

It's also a good idea to opt for an NVIDIA graphics card because they use the HVENC encoding for better performance and streaming quality. To give you an idea, a budget CPU you could use is a Ryzen 5600 paired with an RTX 3060.

You might want to run through this checklist for tips on how to fix stream stutters.

PC streaming internet speed requirements

There are plenty of budget PCs that can handle streaming without any issues. The hardware requirements to stream are not particularly high.

Your main concern should be the stability and speed of your internet connection. In this case, your internet's upload speed is important. It's recommended to have an internet upload speed of at least 20mbps.

Of course, internet speed requirements will vary depending on your output resolution. If you're streaming at 4K requires significantly more bandwidth than streaming at 1080p.

Ideally, a LAN cable should be used when you're streaming because it provides the fastest and best connection. WiFi can drop at random times, which will interrupt your stream.

What is a stream encoder?

OBS offers the option to select the preferred encoder method. It can be tricky to choose what's best for your setup and stream quality. Let's review your options.

x264

x264 is one of the most popular encoders. In most cases, x264 is a solid option. However, it tends to utilize more of your CPU. If your CPU is already under heavy load, you might encounter stuttering and framerate drops.

HVENC

HVENC stands for Nvidia Encoder and it's designed to encode videos as quickly as possible. HVENC is usually much faster than other encoding methods and it delivers decent image quality. For that reason, most streamers prefer to use NVIDIA graphics cards.

Are AMD graphics cards worth buying for budget PCs?

AMD has an encoder built into AMD graphics cards but it's not as fast as NVIDIAs. It's called a Video Coding Engine (VCE).

However, the workload can be offloaded to the CPU. Most AMD CPUs have plenty of cores and power that can be utilized by a CPU-based video encoder. It shouldn't hurt performance either.

If you have an Intel CPU and an AMD graphics card, you can get the best of both worlds. Intel makes chips that have great video encoders. Most Intel CPUs that support Quicksync, can handle encoding relatively well.

So, ultimately it boils down to what works best for your system. If you're buying a new PC setup for streaming, we recommend buying an NVIDIA graphics card.

Either of these budget streaming PC setups will be able to handle a high-quality stream with no issues. You might have to play around with some settings to find what works best for you.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Buying Guides and PC Gaming page.