Ryzen CPU

Once you get into the world of streaming and gaming, it absorbs you completely. At first, you are just an amateur who is quite happy with the equipment he uses, and the content he makes.

However, over time he did not even notice how he found himself on the Amazon and already ordered new advanced streaming devices for several hundred dollars.

One of the first nuances a streamer should take into account and invest in is CPU. This the core of any streaming build which is responsible for maintaining a smooth stream and high gaming performance.

After carrying on solid research, we are ready to bring to you the best CPUs for flawless streaming. According to our deep analysis and testing, we have found out that AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is out of the competition, and Ryzen 9 3900X comes in an honored second place.

Read further to get to know other streaming processors we recommend, and pick the best one to meet your needs.


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Sources researched

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Customer reviews

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Hours spent testing

12
Products tested

AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X

SaleOur Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X

  • CPU Model: Ryzen 9 3950 X
  • Cores / Threads: 16 / 32
  • Boost Frequency: 4.7 GHz
  • Game Cache: 73 MB
  • the most processing power you can get in mainstream desktop
  • deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in gaming
  • can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards
  • cool, quiet and efficient 7-nanometer technology

AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X was designed to exceed expectations and set a new standard for high-performance processors. All the advanced features of this CPU will contribute to professional content creation and top-quality streaming. One of the issues is the lack of a cooler. However, you will forget about it as soon as you find out that the Game Cache in this CPU allows you to increase the frame rate in the most popular games.

Ryzen 9 3900X

SaleRunner Up
Ryzen 9 3900X

  • CPU Model: Ryzen 9 3950X
  • Cores / Threads: 12 / 24
  • Boost Frequency: 4.6 GHz
  • Game Cache: 70 MB
  • Wraith Prism LED Cooler
  • ZEN 2 architecture
  • deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in gaming
  • can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards
  • great for 1440p and 4K gaming

This CPU is great for both streaming and gaming. In contrast to the previous processor, Ryzen 9 3900X has a cooler with color-controlled LED lighting. It’s made on a TSMC 7nm FinFET process and uses AMD’s AM4 socket. It stands out with fantastic single-core performance as well as multi-core multitasking performance. Fully unlocked.

Intel Core i9-9900K

SaleRunner Up #2
Intel Core i9-9900K

  • CPU Model: Core i9
  • Cores / Threads: 8 / 16
  • Boost Frequency: 5 GHz
  • Intel Smart Cache: 16MB
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • capable to stream 1440p and 4K games in good quality
  • built with Solder Thermal Interface Material that maximizes heat transfer from the
  • processor to the cooler
  • excellent for 1080p streaming

The Intel Core i9-9900K is a high-performing processor that stands out due to its powerful speed of 3.6 GHz that can be pushed up to 5 GHz with a good motherboard. In addition, it is known for significant single-core speeds and multi-core speeds as well.

Streaming and gaming with this CPU are promised to be fast and unimpeded.

Everything We Recommend

Our Pick
Runner Up
For Intel Fanboys
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor, Without Cooler
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X
Ryzen 9 3900X
Intel Core i9-9900K
Rating 5
Rating 5
Rating 5
Our Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor, Without Cooler
AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X
Rating 5
Runner Up
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Ryzen 9 3900X
Rating 5
For Intel Fanboys
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Intel Core i9-9900K
Rating 5

AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X is the winner among the best streaming processors. It has most of the advanced features such as 16 cores and 32 threads, 73 MB gaming cache, and 4.6 GHz boost frequency that makes it an absolute leader on the market.

Ryzen 9 3900X is a powerful CPU that is close on the heels of the winner product. Being a part of the new Zen 2 architecture with 70 MB gaming cache, and 4.6 GHz boost frequency, this processor can handle pretty much anything you want it to.

According to the manufacturer, Intel Core i9-9900K offers the next level of performance thanks to its advanced “filling”. This is one of the most outstanding CPUs for dedicated streaming PC.

Who Should Buy a Processor for Streaming

As obvious from the title, powerful CPUs are designed mainly for streamers gamers. To be more precise, for those gamers who are interested in improving their broadcasts and gaming experience. A powerful processor is one of the most crucial things to maintain a steady stream and high-performance of gaming. It is quite obvious that the more powerful the better. However, first, you should determine what games you are going to play or other actions you want your CPU to take. This will help you understand what features should be put first.

The simultaneous process of playing and recording a screen takes up a lot of computer resources. You need to create a video at the maximum graphics settings in the game to get a beautiful picture. Basically, CPU significantly affects performance.

If you just want to chat with the audience, sing or dance on camera, then the processor can be simpler.

To crown it all, everyone who has a motivation to be reputed as a professional streamer or gamer, and produce high-quality content should undoubtedly invest in good CPU.

Top 6 Best CPUs for Streaming

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

Sale
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

  • CPU Model: AMD Ryzen 7
  • Cores / Threads: 8 / 16
  • Boost Frequency: 4.5 GHz
  • Game Cache: 36 MB
  • AMD Wraith Prism cooler with color controlled LED support
  • AM 4 Socket
  • unlocked for overclocking
  • cool, quiet and efficient 7-nanometer technology

AMD RYZEN 7 3800X is quite an economical processor but still very efficient. It has got enough cores and threads, as well as enough game cache. All the features mentioned above make this machine a budget-friendly powerhouse.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Sale
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

  • CPU Model: AMD Ryzen 7
  • Cores / Threads: 8 / 16
  • Boost Frequency: 4.4 GHz
  • Game Cache: 36 MB

This CPU for streaming and gaming is a much cheaper option than the previous one, and slightly less powerful. However, it remains an excellent processor in all other respects such as overclocking potential, the number of cores, and the volume of game cache.

Intel Core i7-9700F

Intel Core i7-9700F

  • CPU Model: Intel Core i7
  • Cores / Threads: 8 / 8
  • Boost Frequency: up to 4.7 GHz
  • Intel Smart Cache: 12 MB
  • compatible with Intel 300 Series chipset based motherboards
  • the thermal solution included therefore stable under heavy load
  • Intel Turboboost

Intel Core i7-9700F offers blazing-fast performance for gamers and streamers. Despite the lack of processor graphics, this CPU provides good overall productivity. The lower clock speed in comparison with other Ryzen models is not very noticeable even during heavy gaming.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

  • CPU Model: Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Cores / Threads: 6 / 12
  • Max Frequency: 4.4 GHz
  • Game Cache: 35 MB
  • AMD Wraith Spire cooler
  • supports PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards
  • AMD StoreMI and SenseMi Technology
  • System Memory Specification 3200MHz

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X can boast of good cores, clock frequencies, and efficient streaming functions. Thus, they make it a great option for Twitch streaming and gaming. This CPU offers high-definition gaming, and still remains relatively advanced processor in the desktop PC gaming segment.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 X

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 X

  • Cores / Threads: 8 / 16
  • Max Frequency: 4.3 GHz
  • Game Cache: 20 MB of combined cache
  • Wraith Spire LED cooler
  • compatible with Windows 10 64 Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64 Bit, Ubuntu x86 64 Bit
  • computing platform with X470 and B450 chipsets
  • capable to overclock freely

Here is one more representative of AMD Ryzen. When it comes to the features, it is “well packed” and quite productive as for its price. This CPU can be a great option for gamers and streamers who are not ready to invest more in the purchase of a processor at the moment.

Intel vs AMD Ryzen for Twitch Streaming

Intel CPU

Two companies are currently fighting for leadership in the markets of processors. They are Intel and AMD who are known as the main manufacturers of processors for desktops. Historically, it has established that Intel occupies the first positions with its top-end product, and AMD is budget-friendly. However, you will change your mind if look at AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X or Ryzen 9 3900X. Both Intel and AMD have their advantages. As tests show, the performance of one core is still higher at Intel and delivers discrete 3D graphics performance. However, AMD CPUs have the best graphics integration. When it comes to the overclocking performance, it is recommended to purchase AMD. Unlike its competitor Intel, AMD creates processors that can operate at different clock speeds, which gives ample opportunities for overclocking. In turn, Intel processors do an excellent job of rendering any picture, therefore, they are better for so-called “heavy” games.

There are a lot of games are sharpened only for 4 cores, so there is no point in 6- and 8-core processors. You will not lose if you choose 4 cores with good architecture and high performance.

In a word, this is you who decide which processor is better based on personal requirements and expectations.

How we Picked and Tested

We did our best to consider absolutely various CPUs from the point of view of their features. To make a clear picture of this coveted piece of equipment, we discussed all the nuances of a perfect CPU for various purposes with professional gamers, went through a lot of product videos, studied the distinctive features of processors presented in this guide, investigated lots of reviews, and assessed value for money of each item. What is more, we closely studied the market to compare old and new models to select the most reliable ones. In the process of testing, we paid much attention to the processors’ performance during streaming, playing “light” and “heavy” games. All the products presented in this article proved themselves to the maximum extent possible.

7 Things you Need to Know Before Buying a Streaming CPU

Ryzen CPU

We have already cleared up that a processor is a centerpiece for any streaming build, and it is vital to have a good one. Here are several important items to take into account which will prevent you from wasting money when choosing a streaming CPU.

  • Clearly define what you are going to do with a processor. For example, if you play those so-called “heavy games”, it is impossible to buy a cheap CPU and expect a miracle in the form of its high-performance and appealing picture on the screen. On the other hand, there is no sense to invest in a powerful processor if you are from the “Just Chatting” category on Twitch.
  • There is no objective answer to the question “Is Intel better than AMD?” Intel outperforms AMD when it comes to 1080p gaming because of higher clocks. Nevertheless, AMD is faster at video editing, delivering more cores and general performance.
  • If you are going to seriously engage in streaming or gaming, don’t be stingy, and invest in the latest-gen that will serve you longer than a previous-generation chip but cheaper.
  • Mind overclocking. Sometimes you overpay for this unnecessary feature. What is more, do not practice overclocking if your CPU is weak for it. There is a danger to damage your processor by pushing too much voltage through it. AMD CPUs are overclockable to some extent but to make it with Intel, you’d better spend extra on an enhanced cooling system and an overclocking-friendly motherboard.
  • Clock speed is more important for gaming but the core number is needed to handle time-consuming workloads. In a word, a clock speed ranging from 3-4GHz with four to eight cores is plenty for general gamers and ordinary computer users.
  • More threads equal better multitasking and enhanced performance on heavily-threaded apps. Usually, those users engaged in video editing and transcoding strive for getting CPUs with more threads.
  • The Thermal Design Profile/Power (TDP) is the maximum amount of heat that a CPU generates. If you are going to practice overclocking, it’s necessary to be aware of your processor’s TDP to get the right cooling and power equipment to support your CPU.

Is Streaming CPU or GPU Intensive?

Both the CPU (central processing unit) and the GPU (graphics processing unit) are processors. They have a lot in common but at the same time, they were designed to handle different tasks. The main function of GPU is the rendering of 3D graphics and visual effects and solving specific tasks. In fact, the focus of the GPU is on operating a huge number of independent tasks, therefore, it contains a large amount of memory. The advantage of GPU is incredible speed. However, GPU can perform only a part of many CPU operations. CPU is the “brain” of a PC and can solve a wider range of tasks. CPUs operate at higher maximum frequencies and can control the input and output of all computer components.

Basically, streaming CPU is more intensive than GPU. Nevertheless, a computer must have both types of microprocessors for proper and efficient operation.

How to Lower CPU Usage While Streaming

Having even the most powerful processor, there is a chance to cause overwork and as a result, get slowdowns which are a nightmare for every streamer and gamer. Take all possible steps to lower CPU usage while streaming not to damage it ahead of time.

  • One of the most obvious recommendations is not to force the processor to do more than it is capable of. For example, do not practice with overclocking and avoid pushing too much voltage through the processor. For proper overclocking, the processor must have a certain architecture and meet specific requirements not to be damaged.
  • Use Streamlabs OBS, checking the box “Use optimized encoder settings”. Most streamers are quite familiar with Streamlabs OBS and use it daily. If you check the box mentioned above, Streamlabs OBS will use a proprietary algorithm to tune your stream according to your requirements. Basically, the algorithms adapt to user requirements by proposing presets, representing a generalized use case. Streamlabs OBS video encoding optimization will not affect the visual quality of your stream but at the same time lower CPU usage.
  • Close down all the apps that are not necessary for your stream but consume CPU power. To check these apps on Windows, open Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc, and on macOS, the task manager is called System Monitoring. The easiest way to do this is to enter a search query “system monitoring” in Spotlight.
  • There is one more tip – limit the frame rate in your game or stream. It is always a good idea to reduce the frame rate at a reasonable level and prevent your PC from overworking.

In case, none of these recommendations helped and your CPU still hits 100% usage, the only solution is to upgrade your system.

What CPU Should I Get for Streaming

We have collected the best existing processors for gaming and streaming in our article at the present time. Therefore, you have an opportunity to get acquainted with the specs of each CPU and choose the best according to your requirements. If it is not enough, look through the reviews by professional streamers keeping in mind clock speed, thread count and other basic and important features of advanced CPUs. For us, AMD Ryzen 9 3950 X is the best streaming processor being a powerful machine with great features. Meanwhile, Intel Core i9-9900K can ensure stable operation when streaming at maximum quality and resolution in the most difficult games. Processing video in 4K resolution will take a minimum of time.

To cut a long story short, you should do some research for your part parallel with turning to our pieces of advice. And the most suitable CPU will follow.

Sources

CPU cooling system
How to Buy the Right CPU

About the author
Marina Hikm
Marina Hikm
Content Contributor for OneTwoStream
Marina is a leading social media expert who managed online presence for several local and international brands.
Being a typical representative of Generation Y, Marina is an inquisitive explorer of the world and a supporter of constant self-education and self-development.