Streaming 101 - A Guide for Beginners

Thursday, Aug 20 2015  -   Nolan Mercer


Streaming 101 - A guide for Beginners


Live streaming requires a lot of CPU power and internet in order to deliver high quality images. This usually means that the streamer will need a powerful PC with fast internet and all that will cost quite a lot. However, it is possible to stream with low-end PCs and slow internet but the video quality will not be that great. There are also different types of setups such as streaming with two PCs compared to one.

Minimum System Requirements

Pentium Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or higher


700Kbps upload bandwidth

Dedicated Video Card, 256MB VRAM

Windows XP / Vista

Recommend System Specifications

Quad Core CPU


1500Kbps upload bandwidth

Dedicated Video Card, 512MB VRAM

Windows Vista / Windows 7

Optimal System Specifications

Quad Core i7-2600 series CPU or better


5Mbps or better upload bandwidth

Dedicated Video Card, 1GB VRAM

HD Capture Card

Windows 7


Single PC vs Dual PC setups with Capture Cards

Dual PC setups with a capture card deliver a much better and higher quality stream. The reason behind this is that having a dedicated streaming PC while playing a game on your gaming PC allows all resources of the gaming PC to be dedicated to the game. Encoding uses a lot of CPU power, so in games that use a heavy amount of CPU or physics processing, there will be some possible stuttering depending on what you are playing and how your stream is configured. The capture card in the DUAL PC setup basically captures the gameplay from the gaming PC and transfers it over to the streaming PC. This allows the streamer to dedicate one PC to gaming and the other to streaming, meaning that things aren’t fighting for resources such as RAM and CPU.

On the other hand, some streamers only use one PC. The disadvantage to this is that one PC has to handle the game and the streaming. This can either affect the stream quality because the PC has to handle the game and vice versa. However, a single PC with a capture card can deliver high quality stream as long as the PC is powerful. Unlike the Dual PC, the capture card in the single PC wouldn’t be capturing the footage but it would rather take the capture processing off of the CPU so that it can better for run the game and stream. If you have the money, then Dual PC setup is better but a single PC with a capture card is also very good.


Bandwidth Requirements

The image above gives detailed instructions on how to setup up your stream based on your upload speed. Having the correct settings is very important when it comes to streaming. To get an accurate idea of what your upload speed is, head to



Streaming Software


XSplit Broadcaster is one of the most popular broadcasting programs on Twitch and comes highly recommended. XSplit Broadcaster is considered an all-in-one solution as it allows the broadcaster to edit their stream with multiple camera shots, graphical overlays, chroma key, and picture-in-picture effects, as well as encoding the video feed with highly flexible range of quality options.” –

Important Reminder: XSplit is free but it only gives limited options. To be able to access all the options, you need to buy a license.

Reliable source to setup XSplit:

Download Link:



Open Broadcaster Software is free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.” –OBS Project

Reliable source to setup OBS:

Download Link:








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