Just like many of you, when I watched my very first stream my first thought was, “Wow, this is so amazing! I need to do this!” So I went to google and literally typed in how to stream on twitch.tv. I was shocked at how much information was out there. My mind exploded with all the information in front of my eyes, and yet I still had NO clue what to do. Is my PC strong enough to stream? What webcam is best for the money? Do I need a real mic or can I use my headset mic? WTH was an OBS? Open Brain Surgery? Well it certainly felt like it at times!
You can literally stream with any sort of computer or laptop, however that doesn’t mean you should. I know one streamer in particular that streams on a 5 year old laptop with less than 2 gb of ram, and if you play a high powered game (ARK, Evolve, GTAV, Dying Light, etc) it will freeze. The ideal mid grade PC would include at least these the following parts:
FX 6300 processor
8GB DDR 3 memory
80GB SSD harddrive
500GB 7200RPM hard drive
AMD Radeon R270 video card
8GB DDR3 memory
80GB SSD harddrive
500GB 7200RPM hard drive
Geforce GTX-960 Video card
Each person has a different budget in mind when they are looking for a new gaming computer.
I had my husband, W1ndex put together a few examples for you here:
Low Budget Gaming PC with a $550 budget - my reasoning for this build.
Mid Budget Gaming PC with an $800 budget - my reasoning for this build.
High End Gaming PC with a $1200+ budget - my reasoning for this build.
Top Quality Gaming PC with a $2000 budget - my reasoning for this build.
*This is for the tower only, not monitor, or any accessories.
One of the most important peripherals to have as a streamer would be a webcam. Sure you can stream without a webcam like Lirik, however you will most likely not have the same success story. Most streamers now will need to have a webcam because it helps the audience (your viewers) get to know you on a more personal level and it’s more engaging to see how the streamer reacts to the game. Knowing this, you don’t need to run out and pick up a brand new HD cam. Any sort of webcam will do in a pinch, but just like the PC builds if you purchase a better quality camera you will have a better quality stream. I would suggest picking up at least the Logitech C310 webcam, it’s the best quality you can purchase for $30 (I also do not recommend you use the mic on the cam while streaming. But we’ll get into that below).
The next piece of hardware that you will need will be a microphone. This is a very crucial choice as the majority of the stream you will be talking and interacting with your audience (viewers). You won’t want a mic that will crackle, hum, or pop; or even worse, echo or make you sound like you are in a box. There are several options on mics that you can use that are of decent quality. The built in microphone on your headphones/webcam should be considered only as a last resort as they make you sound as if you are in a tunnel, the mid grade ones will be around $50 such as this Antlion Modmic 4.0. *Bonus* it attaches to your headset via a magnet which makes it sleek & sexy looking. (If you want to hear it in action, listen to one of Malicee’s streams/highlights). Another option would be a Blue Snowball (usually $50-$60). You can hear that in action in AutumnDoll’s stream/highlights. If you are looking at top end, the creme de la creme, you would want either the Blue Yeti or an Audio Technica 2020 (AT2020-USB) DO NOT GET THE PLUS (it’s more expensive for a feature that not many streamers actually use).
I personally use the Blue Yeti, and I absolutely love it. However, I will let you know that the yeti will pick up everything in the room. Those of you who frequent my channel already know that you can hear Kitten cry over the baby monitor or my ceiling fan squeaking as it rotates. With any professional mic that you pick up you will need a pop filter (it filters out that puff of wind that certain letters/words have). If you want to use a “cheap” pop filter you can wrap a few (3-4) tissues or a thin (clean) sock around your mic and put a rubber band around the base of it, or you can pick up a pop filter for $10-$20.
I know what you’re thinking, this is all good information Kitty but I’m not a PC streamer, I’m a console streamer, I need information on capture cards. Sadly, I never streamed on a console before and I’ll admit that I know absolutely nothing about capture cards or anything dealing with streaming from a console. I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging so I asked one of my console streaming friends DiamondRyce to put together some information on that for you. You can find all that information here. Thank you again DiamondRyce for putting all that together in short notice!
If you guys have any questions on anything from this post please feel free to post them below in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them, and if I cannot, I’ll find someone who can! Next week we’ll dive into OBS and XSplit; how they work, and what the differences are.
Until next time…