Gaming and video editing are generally two of the heaviest workloads anyone can put on a CPU. In the case of live streaming, you’re cramming both workloads into a single process simultaneously, which can push the CPU to its limits.

Although there are just two major manufacturers of CPUs, choosing between different generations and value standpoints can still make any gamer extremely confused and overwhelmed with choices. In this article, I’ve collected the top 5 best CPUs for streaming on Twitch and YouTube in 2022 from both Intel and AMD for varying budget levels.

AMD or Intel: Which is Better for Streamers?

The debate regarding which CPU manufacturer is best—Team Red or Team Blue—is never going to be fully resolved. Everyone has unique preferences and their own user experience. However, when it comes to streaming, there are some differences you need to consider. Most importantly, multitasking. Let’s talk about it in the context of both manufacturers.


Launched in 2017, AMD quickly won the entry-level PC market by offering high-performance CPUs at much more reasonable prices compared to Intel. In line with that goal, Ryzen processors have always been known to have superior multi-core performance compared to Intel.

When it comes to streaming, multitasking is the name of the game. Thus, good multi-core performance is always welcome, whether you’re playing games, chatting, or browsing your music playlist.

Since Ryzen is also relatively new, if you own a first-gen processor and then upgrade to the latest one, you don’t even need to upgrade your motherboard since all processors share the AM4 socket as well.


Despite all the recent heated competition from AMD, Intel has still managed to maintain its reputation for manufacturing high-performance and reliable CPUs.

The truth is, while their multitasking power is awesome, Ryzen processors often fall behind in terms of single-core performance to Intel. If you want the highest possible framerates in your games, this is the metric to look for.

This is why, when you compare a Ryzen 9 3900 with an Intel i9-9900k, the 9900k will almost always outperform the 3900 in FPS in top modern games at Max settings. So, suffice to say, if you want to squeeze the most frames out of your PC, Intel has your back.

Although that’s great, you’d definitely be paying a lot for that extra bit of performance.  Compared to AMD, Intel processors generally retail at a premium.

What’s the Right Choice?

As with most PC components, there’s no “right choice” to be made here. It all just depends on your budget level and use case.

If you’re looking into the high-end market or have a dual-PC streaming setup, then going with Intel makes much more sense. On the other hand, if you’re a single-PC streamer, an AMD CPU will work just fine and will strike the balance between price and performance.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the top five best CPUs for streamers in 2022…

Top 5 Best CPUs for Streamers in 2022:

1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Best All Round


  • Socket: AM4
  • Cores and Threads: 6C/12T
  • Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz
  • TDP Rating: 65 Watts
  • Cooler Included: Wraith Stealth

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the definition of the term “bang for your buck.” There’s a lot of technical goodness packed into it: a base clock of 3.7 GHz, a boost clock of up to 4.6 GHz, 35MB of L2 and L3 cache, and it’s also built on AMD’s advanced 7nm tech.

AMD’S SMT tech also adds double the threads per core on the CPU. Since the 5600X has six cores, that means it also has over 12 threads. This means that at any point, you can execute over twelve strings of commands simultaneously. Of course, this is great for multitasking workloads like live streaming.

For such impressive processing power, the 5600X is also relatively efficient with a TDP of 65 watts. As such, the Wraith Stealth cooler that comes in the box should be sufficient for general workloads. However, if you decide to overclock it, you’ll probably need a third-party AIO or air cooler along with a few extra case fans.


  • Efficient power consumption
  • Unlocked like most AMD CPUs; easily overclockable
  • Great for multitasking workloads


  • Currently overpriced due to shortage

2. Intel Core i3-10100F – Best on a Budget


  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Cores and Threads: 4C/8T
  • Boost Clock: 4.3 GHz
  • TDP Rating: 65 Watts
  • Cooler Included: Intel Stock

When it comes to the sub-$100 CPU category, although AMD processors are generally more popular, the Intel Core i3-10100F is a solid choice too. Packing a 4C/8T configuration and a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.3 GHz, it’s not as powerful as the high-end options on this list but it’s enough for an entry-level streaming PC.

The optimal way to use this CPU for streaming is to pair it with a good GPU encoder from either Nvidia or AMD. This way the CPU is only used for gaming, the GPU can do the heavy lifting, leading to good streaming quality as well as a high gaming frame rate.

Overall, the Intel Core i3-10100F is the best CPU for streamers working on a tight budget. Just remember to pair it with a good GPU, and you have yourself a capable streaming PC.


  • Budget-friendly price tag
  • Low power consumption
  • Reliable


  • Locked; can’t be overclocked other than with a Z-Class motherboard

3. AMD Ryzen 3 3100 – Best Value for Money


  • Socket: AM4
  • Cores and Threads: 4C/8T
  • Boost Clock: 3.9 GHz
  • TDP Rating: 65 Watts
  • Cooler Included: Wraith Stealth

CPU performance is generally linear and easy to estimate on paper. More cores, more threads, and a higher clock frequency generally translate to better performance, all other factors staying the same. However, the price-to-performance ratio starts to go down after a certain point. The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 hits the sweet spot in that regard.

Although it has a lower boost clock compared to the Intel Core i3-10100F, it makes up for that with overclocking capability, PCIe 4.0 compatibility, 18MB of GameCache, and DDR-3200 support. You also get a fairly decent Wraith Stealth cooler in the box. Considering it has four cores and eight threads, that should be more than enough for cooling.

As with the Intel Core i3-10100F, it’s also recommended that you pair a powerful GPU with the 3100. Since it doesn’t have an iGPU, not only will it allow you to play games but also stream without any hiccups.


  • Excellent multitasking performance
  • PCIe 4.0 compatibility for quick storage
  • 18MB of GameCache for faster gaming


  • Mediocre boost clock

4. Intel Core i7-12700K – Best High-End Intel CPU


  • Socket: LGA 1700
  • Cores and Threads: 12C/20T
  • Boost Clock: 5.0 GHz
  • TDP Rating: 125 Watts
  • Cooler Included: None

For all the Team Blue fans out there, the Core i7-12700K is the best high-end Intel processor you can get right now. It is an unlocked CPU, and can be overclocked from its base clock of 3.6 GHz to over 5 GHz, a 35% jump in performance.

Plus, the 12 core and 20 thread configuration will also help you accomplish a bunch of workloads besides gaming and streaming, like music and web browsing. What sets this CPU apart from the pack, along with all 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs, is compatibility with DDR5 RAM. Of course, you need a Z690 motherboard for that, but the feature is there nonetheless and will allow you to access next-gen memory speeds.

All in all, the Intel Core i7-12700K is a value-packed and impressive CPU. It also presents a fun challenge to PC enthusiasts and anyone with a high-end AIO cooler since it has such a wide scope for overclocking too.


  • Impressively high boost clock
  • Compatible with next-gen DDR5 RAM
  • Solid multitasking performance


  • No stock fan included in the box

5. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best High-End AMD CPU


  • Socket: AM4
  • Cores and Threads: 12C/24T
  • Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz
  • TDP Rating: 105 Watts
  • Cooler Included: None

Last but not least comes the Ryzen 9 5900X from AMD. With a base clock of 3.7 GHz along with a boost clock of 4.8 GHz, it’s the best high-end CPU you can buy in 2022 from Team Red.

Packing over 12 cores and 24 threads, it can easily power any game you throw at it with OBS slow preset at 1080p resolution and a high bitrate. Everything from Ashes of Singularity to Batman Arkham Knight. Plus, with over 70MB of L2 and L3 cache, it’s also highly capable of professional workloads too.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a high-end CPU from AMD, you can’t really go wrong with the 5900X. Although the 5950X is more powerful, you’re getting the best bang for your buck with the 5900X.


  • Impressive multi-threading performance
  • Extremely powerful and capable
  • Efficient power consumption and low heat generation


  • No stock fan included in the box

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Overclocking Worth It for Streamers?

The craze for overclocking has gone viral recently, and for good reason. Sometimes even a minor push in clock speed can give you a smooth streaming experience and stave off the need to upgrade your CPU for a while. It’s definitely worth trying out for any PC enthusiast.

Almost all AMD CPUs are unlocked out of the box and can be overclocked if you wish to do so. However, with Intel things are a bit more complicated since not all of them are unlocked; and even if they are, they can only be overclocked on a certain motherboard. For example, the i3 10100F from this list can only be overclocked on a Z-Class motherboard.

Once you make sure your CPU is unlocked, you can overclock it by tweaking the settings in your motherboard’s Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) or Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). Of course, higher power usage translates to higher heat generation. So, you also need to have a capable cooler on hand too.

It’s important not to push your CPU too hard, otherwise, you risk a BSOD or a sudden drop in performance. Overall, overclocking is worth it for live streamers. Just try to find a stable balance between speed and heat, and do it under the supervision of an expert if it’s your first time doing it.

Wrap Up

Whether you are a professional eSports player or just a gamer who needs a value-packed CPU for streaming, I hope this article guided you in the right direction and helped you take your PC to the next level.

Although your CPU only makes up around 30% of your total PC budget, it’s still important to research and make sure you find the right one to avoid any issues down the line. Let’s break down all the CPUs we talked about in this article:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5600X is Best All Round
  • Intel Core i3-10100F is Best on a Budget
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is Best Value for Money
  • Intel Core i7-12700K is Best High-End Intel CPU
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is Best High-End AMD CPU

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