When we look at professional streamers, they usually have two PCs. One PC for playing games and the other PC for streaming. This is an optimal setup for streaming because it helps you in providing high-quality streams.
Instead of setting up a large PC for streaming, you might wonder, “why not go for a mini pc for streaming?”. It is absolutely a great choice and here we are to know all about having a mini pc for live streaming.
Are Mini PC good for Streaming?
Yes, mini PCs are good for streaming purposes. Their form factor and computing capabilities are right on point for live streaming games and other videos. Let us look at some of the specifications and parameters that make this a viable contender.
Specifications that meet streaming requirements
Recent products in the mini PC market have extremely good technical specifications which compel you to use them as a gaming PC.
The computing performance is very high and you might even push the PC to do some hardcore tasks.
If you look at the minimum requirements for streaming in sites like Twitch, you will find:
- A processor that is either Intel’s 8th Gen i5 CPUs or AMD’s Ryzen 5 Zen 2 CPUs.
- Minimum memory of 8GB
- Compatible with Direct X 10 or higher
That’s it! You don’t need a high-performing graphics card. A low-end card or an integrated GPU is enough so that you can use a second display with the mini PC for streaming. The usual broadcasting guidelines for platforms like twitch are:
- 4,500 to 6,000 Kbps to stream videos at 1080p with 60 fps
- 3,500 to 5,000 Kbps to stream videos at 1080p with 30 fps
We already discussed the gaming capacities of mini-PC and how efficiently they have evolved. When gaming at 4K is possible with such PCs, streaming with them works more efficiently.
Capture Cards for Streaming from Consoles and PCs
Streaming live gameplays don’t require GPUs because the rendering doesn’t take up any processing power. Instead, you can use a capture card that enables you to stream from consoles to a mini PC.
Capture cards are used for streaming videos from gaming consoles and PCs. It performs two things:
- Delivery of Raw Video Stream to PCs
- Pass through of Video signals
The capture card enables the PC to receive the recording in a converted format from a console. Once received the PC records and encodes the video for streaming.
The pass-through enables the proper viewing of the gameplay video in the PC monitor while it is recording the video stream.
Therefore, even if you use a mini PC, you can use a capture card for streaming from a gaming console easily.
There are external capture cards that you can connect to a console as well as a mini PC and enjoy high-quality streaming.
How to prepare mini-PC for streaming?
You cannot solely depend on a mini PC for both streaming and gaming. Because the mini PC cannot handle both tasks efficiently, you need a separate PC for gaming and a mini PC for streaming.
If you are playing with a console, then you can comfortably use a mini PC and use a capture card for delivering the video stream.
Anyways, you need the following hardware to prepare a mini PC for streaming:
- One PC and a Mini PC or Console and Mini PC
- Capture card
- Storage devices like SSD and HDD
- GPU for gaming PC (Nvidia better for streaming)
- Audio splitter
Software requirements for streaming
There are a few software requirements that you need to have before you can get started with streaming. You can find out below some of them.
- Intel QuickSync for Hardware encoding
- Nvidia’s ShadowPlay
- OBS – Open Broadcasting Software
When it comes to streaming, you need a lot of things in order to make it work. Here are the Peripherals
- Webcam – To capture you playing
- Microphones – To voice over your comments while playing
- Two Monitors – One monitor connected with the gaming console or PC and the other with a mini PC
- Keyboard – Preferably a gaming keyboard for the gaming PC
- Mouse – Gaming mouse for gaming PC
- Lightings – To increase exposure and provide captivating backdrops
You need all these things to prepare your mini PC for streaming your gameplay. Then sign up with a popular streaming community like twitch and download their open broadcasting software (OBS) to stream your live gameplay.
Benefits of mini PC for streaming
Mini PC doesn’t consume more power than a traditional desktop. Also, the recent PCs manage the thermals very efficiently even while performing hardcore tasks. Therefore, power management is excellent in mini PCs to use for continuous streaming.
Since there is no need to invest in a dedicated GPU for streaming, mini PCs are highly suitable to perform such tasks efficiently.
If you are using the mini PC only for streaming, then it is one of the best PCs you can have for live gameplay streaming because of the high specifications.
Companies like ZOTAC have released a high-performing gaming mini PC that can be comfortably used for 4K gaming. When that’s the case, they can also be easily used for streaming easily.
Can Mini PC Handle 4k Streaming?
Yes! Mini PCs are powerful enough to handle 4k streaming even if they have an integrated graphics card.
It is true that the Mini PC is a powerful device that can handle 4k streaming. However, you need to have a strong internet connection to stream in 4k quality.
If your internet connection is not strong enough, you might experience buffering and lagging while watching videos online.
Mini PCs are an excellent product to use as a streaming PC. You don’t have to invest in a traditional mid-tower PC setup. Instead, you can make use of this compact PC and satisfy your streaming needs. Also, you can have high-quality streaming without any lags.