So you’re looking to stream but don’t want to fork out thousands of dollars on a high end streaming set up? In this article I’m going to take you through the best settings to get the most out of a low end PC.

We’re going to go through step by step each settings page in Streamlabs OBS so you can follow along easily.

Streamlabs OBS Low End PC Settings

Settings – Video

The first thing we want to adjust is our Base Canvas resolution. To maximise the performance of your stream we will want to set this to 1280×720. Your stream might not look as crisp but it will run much smoother than in 1080p.

If you find that everything is running fine while streaming you can test running in 1080p later down the line.

Next Up is the Output Scaled Resolution. Set this to 1280×720 to start. This is going to give your viewers the best possible viewing experience. However if it’s still jittery or laggy try moving it down slightly lower. However you don’t want to any lower than 852x480p or your stream will look horrible.

For Downscale Filter select Bilinear if you’re not scaling between your base canvas and output canvas. If you are scaling from 1080p to 720p output tryout Bicubic for this setting.

FPS Type should be left at Common FPS Values and this should be set to 30. Do not set this number any higher as it will put strain on your PC.

Settings – Output

In here we have two options we need to choose between; streaming from our CPU or our GPU. This will depend on your build and will differ from person to person. If you find that your graphics card is bottle necking during games try option one (Software x264). If you find that your CPU is throttling then try option two (NVENC).

For both options you want to keep your Output Mode to Advanced and Audio track as 1.

Option One (Software x264)

Again just like with the video settings if 1280×720 is struggling we can adjust downwards to find a sweet spot for our computer.

If your stream doesn’t look great on a 3000 bitrate adjust it down slightly to 2500 to see if you get a smoother stream.

Option 2 (NVENC)

If your streaming from your GPU use these settings below:

If you find that your stream is running smoothly and you want to up the quality slightly you can change the Preset from performance to quality.

Settings Wrap Up

These are the main settings that are going to make the biggest differences on your stream. However there’s a few other things you can do to make sure your not bottlenecking your stream.

How To Improve Stream Performance On A Low End PC

Close Out Of Any Unnecessary Apps When Streaming

If you have any other apps open on your computer such as chrome, spotify or editing software make sure to shut these down before going live. Even thought these apps might not be doing much in the background they can still take up a considerable amount of your computers resources. Especially Google chrome that thing eats RAM like crazy.

Use A Simple Overlay

If you have an animated overlay on your stream this will take up a huge amount of resources on your computer. I would recommend just using a static overlay when starting out. You may not even need to use an overlay at all other than your camera if you use one.

Lower The Settings On The Games Your Playing

When streaming you’ll likely have to play your games on lower settings than you would when you’re not streaming. Knock down your settings a little bit in the game you’re playing and you’ll see a nice performance boost.

Remove Animated Alerts From Your Stream

If your alerts for followers or donations are animated you may want to move to a static option. You may find that when you get an alert through your game has a massive lag spike. This is because these alerts take up more resources than you would expect.

To Wrap Up

Hopefully this helps out a ton of you guys looking to get started with streaming on a budget. You don’t need the best gear to have a great stream. Just do your best with what you’ve got and put on a show for you audience. That’s the main thing when it comes to being a successful streamer.


James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.

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