Do you need the best laptop for streaming on Twitch, YouTube, or other streaming websites? Do you wish to stream your favorite games with less lagging issues with a laptop? or do you want to know what are the minimal laptop requirements to stream the game of your choice? Or you are a first-time streamer who is now looking for laptops to stream?
Laptop or Desktop For Streaming
First of all, if you can, we recommend streaming on a desktop rather than on a laptop. Desktops are just better to handle the heat because they are designed to have better hardware for a longer period of streaming. The CPU of a laptop will generate heat faster than a desktop.
This following HP Omen streaming rig, for example, is really designed to stream. It has an Intel i9 CPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and 2080 Super GPU, also a built-in Liquid cooling for its CPU, etc. Everything in this HP Omen is designed to be a streaming rig. If you are looking for a premium HP laptop that has touchscreen check this HP out, as it has the latest 10th generation of Intel i7 CPU.
However, after seeing the size of the streaming beast above, if you travel a lot, and need a portable device to game, then using laptops does make more sense. Who would want to take the bulky desktop to a new dormitory and stream your games there? There are many reasons why streaming using laptops is better than using a desktop.
The next thing is you will want to figure out these following; will you stream PC games professionally or just for fun? It is important because the more professional streaming you want to do, the more requirements of laptop specs you will need.
Before we jump into the list of best streaming laptops, let’s take a look back at the streaming world a few years or decades back.
Introducing Streaming World
Who would think that streaming video games will play a huge part in the gaming world? Currently, there are millions of people who watch the live streaming from PC gamers. They are many streaming websites, like Twitch, YouTube or even Facebook. These gamers viewers vary from their interests, from chatting, watching people who play classic games or even their own favorite heavy games. They are also coming from all ages.
At this point, it is probably the time that you may think about streaming yourself playing your favorite games and broadcast it live on the streaming websites.
Or you have been streaming already, and now you are going to college, and stay in a dorm and need a portable streaming laptop. Here, at PCsReport.com we want to help you to select the right laptop that has the right hardware to stream.
Why Streaming needs more resources
When you are streaming on a streaming website, it means you are transmitting audio and video data live or in real time. Basically, you record yourself playing games, and your computer will convert it into a video with its codex at the same time. Your computer will broadcast this video output in a real-time.
It works like a live program on TV, every technical thing is done on the fly, all at once. This is why streaming laptops must have proper specifications. The specs that can handle all of these complicated techie things all at once in real time.
Why are the specs of a streaming laptop important
This is the difference between the videos that are not live and live or real-time videos. Non-live videos on a website like YouTube are not recorded in real time. For instance, I record a video today. And once I finish capturing video, I save the video output file on my computer. The computer has done one task, which is recording or capturing my game screen. I then can decide when I am going to edit the video I just captured. I must edit the video to have a correct codex and the correct size so that I can upload it to YouTube seamlessly.
After editing or encoding the output video, I can eventually decide when I am going to upload it. I can do that tomorrow, or next week, or even next month. All of these are not in a real time. At this point, my computer has fewer jobs and need fewer resources to work. Much less compared with the computing process it will have to handle if I “stream” anything in a real time.
If your laptop fails to do this task then you are going to see some lagging issues. Additionally, you will have some pixel problems or inadequate quality of your video. All of these can cause problems for your subscribers or viewers. The specs of your streaming laptop play a very important role in your streaming success.
Having The Best Laptop For Streaming isn’t Enough
Before we actually go to the bare minimum specs to stream, we need to mention a crucial factor. In the streaming world, the most important factor is your internet speed. It all begins with the speed of your internet. If your internet speed is sluggish, even if you own the best laptop for streaming, it won’t bring much.
In our experience, the minimum internet speed should be 3Mbps that will enable you to stream simple games with 720p screen resolution. However, for the high quality of streaming, we recommend the minimum 6Mbps.
Using a wired Ethernet port to stream will also give you a more stable network than over Wi-Fi. Wi-FI eventually often causes some interruptions and lagging problems when the Wi-Fi network is not stable enough. If your laptop does not have an ethernet port, at least it should have an 802.11 AC network card.
Minimum Laptop requirements
For the other requirements of your laptop, there are no official requirements to stream. But one of the requirements from the games and the streaming software alone is more than 4GB of RAM specification. This said, if you have a laptop that has a 4GB of RAM, you will likely end to be frustrated to play a game with it. Let alone streaming. So better save your money and get a laptop that has a bigger RAM than a 4GB next time.
Until about last year Twitch recommended these specs;
CPU: Haswell Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD Equivalent
RAM: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium or up
Twitch also stated that the GPU of your laptop is not the main factor but they have recommended a graphics card that works with DirectX 10 or higher.
More Power The Better
As we mentioned previously, the better your hardware, the smoother you will be able to stream. So to have the bare minimums specs ed laptop is ok. But to be able to have a smooth streaming channel, you will want to have the laptops which have more power. Those that have minimum i7 or AMD equivalents CPU with enough cores (8-cores CPU if it’s possible).
Then the minimum 16GB of RAM. Keep it in mind, when you stream, you don’t just play games. You’ll need your laptop to do the encoding, and other processes in the background (for example, chats). All of these tasks, have to be done all at once in a real time. This said, 16GB of RAM is the minimum of RAM, 32GB will be better.
The 2020 ASUS TF 17.3 inch model has 24GB of RAM, somewhere in between. More than adequate to stream on Twitch.
The Laptop’s Memory
Also for the RAM, we recommend the dual-channel RAM. It means, your laptop has two or more slots of the installed RAM. 2x 8GB of RAM can stream better than a single-channel RAM (eg, 1x16GB of RAM).
Furthermore, if your game uses GPU or APU that requires the primary RAM to be the vRAM, your RAM speed will make a huge difference. For instance, your game FPS will be better on a 2666MHz RAM than on a 2133MHz.
For the Graphics Card, the newer model is the better. Even if Twitch stated, it is not the main factor, however, in our experience, GPU is indeed an important factor to play computer games.
Best Streaming Laptop List
We have done numerous research to pick the best streaming laptop list as following. We break down the streaming laptops category under 1K, around 1K, and more than 1K, as well as the specs comparison table.
See more comparisons here.
|Best Price||Best GPU||Best Seller||Streaming Pro|
|Model||ASUS FX505DT-AH51||ASUS TUF FX505DV-PB74||ASUS Helios PH315-52-78VL||CUK MSI GS75|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H||AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H||Intel i7-9750H||Intel i7-9750H|
|Graphics||GTX 1650||RTX 2060||GTX 1660 Ti||RTX 2080|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 2400MHz||16GB DDR4 2400MHz||16GB DDR4 2666MHz||64GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage (SSD)||256GB NVMe||512GB PCIe||256GB NVMe||2TB NVMe SSD|
|Screen (inch) – Refresh rate||15.6 – 120Hz||15.6 – 120Hz||15.6 – 144Hz||17.3 – 144Hz|
|Price (when we wrote this post)||$699.66||$999.99||$999.00||$3,099.99|
Price can change every time.
From the table above, from the under 1K price category, we pick the ASUS TUF FX505DT-AH51 model over the Lenovo Ideapad L340 and the ASUS TUF505GT-AH73 as the FX505DT-AH51 has 8GB of RAM and 120Hz refresh rate screen as well as easy upgrade access. (The Lenovo L340 has only one RAM slot, while the TUF has dual-channel RAM slots).
In the ~1K price category, we pick the FX505DV-PB74 ASUS TUF model as the best laptop with the best GPU as it has the newer GPU, the RTX 2060 while the others in the table do not have this GPU. Then, we also pick this PH315-52-78VL Helios model from Asus as the best laptop for streaming as it has the GTX 1660 Ti graphics and stunning 144Hz refresh rate screen.
For the category of streaming laptop that has more than 1K price tag category, we choose the CUK MSI GS75 model as it has the top line specs such as the RTX 2080 GPU, massive 64GB DDR4 2666Mhz, monster 2TB SSD storage, and the 144hz screen’s refresh rate. It is indeed an expensive device almost as expensive as a business laptop, but for the professional streamers, we are confident to recommend this model.
After you found your laptop winner, now it is time to set up your streaming session, it is incredibly easy! Follow this video on how you can set up your computer to stream on Twitch.
Now after seeing the comparison tables, there are highlights on the best laptop for streaming Twitch. As those have better specifications than the others. Even though the competitor models are really close to each other, comparing the price and the spec highlight will help you to decide.
We understand that there are tons of similar products out there. Every single product has its own highlight of specs and price. We have compiled them and put them on the table so you can easily compare each other and to eventually use them with the favorite streaming software like the OBS on your favorite streaming website, Twitch or YouTube.
How to easily choose them? First off, you will need to focus on what you really need other than gaming and streaming. For instance, will you be happy with the 256GB storage? Will you be able to do the upgrade? Will you be pleased with the performance to stream from the cheapest laptop on the table? These questions will help you to know your real preference to find your best laptop for streaming.