As an avid streamer and OBS user, finding the best laptop for OBS streaming has always been a top priority. OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software, is a popular choice among streamers due to its customizable features and compatibility with various streaming platforms. In this guide, we'll focus on the unique requirements for laptops that can handle OBS streaming efficiently, while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for both the streamer and their audience.
To find the ideal laptop for OBS streaming, we've reviewed an extensive laptop spreadsheet of recent releases, comparing specs and user-generated as well as professional reviews. We've narrowed down the top laptops based on OBS-specific requirements, such as powerful CPUs, dedicated GPUs, and sufficient RAM to handle the encoding and streaming processes simultaneously. Additionally, we've considered factors like display quality, thermals, and battery life, which are crucial for streamers who need to monitor their content and maintain a professional appearance on camera.
As a streamer, you're likely aware of the importance of a stable and high-quality stream. This means ensuring that your laptop can handle multiple tasks, such as running the game or application you're streaming, managing OBS, and interacting with your audience through chat and other tools. We understand that the best laptop for OBS streaming should strike the right balance between performance and portability, allowing you to create engaging content, grow your community, and take your streaming career to new heights. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the top contenders for the ultimate OBS streaming laptop.
Processing Power: The Backbone of Your Streaming Setup
Live streaming has become a popular trend, and OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is one of the most commonly used software for it. But how do you decide on the right laptop processor for OBS streaming? Let's take a look at the latest processor options and which one would be best for your needs.
The latest options available for laptops include Apple's ARM-based M1, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max system-on-chip modules, AMD's 7th-generation Ryzen processors, and Intel's 12th and 13th-generation Core processors.
If you're looking for an entry-level setup, you can use a MacBook Air or a Windows ultrabook. However, if you're looking for a more powerful machine, don't forget to consider gaming laptops with high-end CPUs.
Do You Need a Fast CPU for Streaming?
While OBS can use multiple threads, it's not nearly as efficient as using other applications such as Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve. The CPU is still important for live streaming since we need to encode the video on the fly. However, it's not as critical as it used to be since most CPUs have good integrated graphics that can do the job just fine.
Performance Enhancements in Various Price Ranges
Multiple cores, hyperthreading, and other performance enhancements can significantly improve your OBS streaming experience. Here are some recommended CPUs depending on your budget:
In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the right processor for OBS streaming on your laptop, you need to consider your budget, the processing power needed for streaming, and performance enhancements that suit your requirements. Keep these factors in mind when making your decision, and you're sure to choose a processor that works for your needs.
Stream like a pro: The power of GPUs
When it comes to streaming with OBS, a dedicated graphics card is not always necessary, but it can improve performance in some scenarios. However, the CPU is still the limiting factor when it comes to rendering video or encoding audio.
Currently, Nvidia dominates the laptop GPU market, with the RTX 30 series cards comprising the majority of the current notebook GPU market. Nvidia has also released a series of GPUs with ray-tracing capabilities, including the RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080. However, these are not necessary for most streamers; even the GTX 1660 Ti is more than enough to get the job done.
If you're in the market for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card for streaming, it's important to consider how to select a discrete graphics card. One option is to use 3DMark scores because they're easy to find and don't depend on clock speed (which can be gimped by throttling). Additionally, there are GPU-specific tests available.
If you're looking for a gaming laptop that can also be used for streaming, make sure it has an IPS display panel (or at least a wide-gamut panel) and a fast GPU (RX 560 or higher).
Here is a list of recommended GPUs for various price ranges, grouped by laptop price category:
|Price Range||Recommended GPU|
|Minimum||GeForce GTX 1650|
|Recommended||GeForce RTX 3050|
|High-end||GeForce RTX 2060|
Remember that the wattage of a laptop's GPU can vary widely depending on the laptop manufacturer, so it's important to do your research and make sure you're getting the performance you need.
RAM up your streaming game!
When it comes to streaming on OBS, having enough RAM is crucial to ensure a smooth streaming experience. While it's not as important as the CPU or GPU, it's still an essential component. Here's what you need to know when deciding on the right laptop RAM for OBS streaming.
How much memory is needed for OBS?
Most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM, which is sufficient for basic streaming needs. However, if you're running multiple applications simultaneously, it's recommended to have at least 32 GB of RAM to ensure optimal performance.
DDR5 vs. DDR4
The latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, but DDR5 is still relatively new and expensive. However, for streaming on OBS, RAM speed is no longer a top priority. Even if you're going for a high-end model, the difference between DDR5 and DDR4 is negligible at best.
When it comes to RAM, frequency is also an important factor to consider. Higher frequency RAM can improve performance in certain scenarios, but it's not always necessary for streaming on OBS.
ECC (Error-Correcting Code) memory is another consideration for those who need it for their workloads. However, it's not necessary for streaming on OBS.
How to know if a laptop has sufficient memory for your needs?
Before purchasing a laptop for OBS streaming, make sure to check the recommended system requirements for OBS. This will give you a good idea of how much RAM you'll need for your specific use case. Additionally, check the laptop's specifications to ensure it has enough RAM for your needs.
Table of what to expect depending on your budget
|High-end||32 GB or more|
In conclusion, if you're looking for a laptop for OBS streaming, we recommend a minimum of 16 GB of RAM. For optimal performance, go for at least 32 GB of RAM. For those with higher workloads, consider a laptop with 64 GB of RAM. Remember to consider your budget and specific needs when making a decision.
Streaming Laptops: Your Top Questions Answered
Q: What are the best laptops for OBS streaming?
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo are currently some of the best laptops for OBS streaming on the market, with powerful processors, high-end graphics cards, and ample amounts of RAM.
What are the minimum laptop requirements for OBS streaming?
The minimum laptop requirements for OBS streaming are a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, and an i3-1115G4 processor. However, these specs may not provide the best streaming experience, and it's recommended to go for higher specs if possible.
How much RAM do I need for OBS streaming on a laptop?
16 GB of RAM is the minimum amount required for OBS streaming on a laptop. However, if you plan to multitask or run other resource-intensive programs, it's recommended to go for 32 GB or even 64 GB of RAM.
Can you stream on a laptop with OBS?
Yes, you can stream on a laptop with OBS. However, you need to make sure that your laptop meets the minimum system requirements for OBS streaming, especially in terms of graphics card, RAM, and processor.
What specs do I need for OBS streaming on a laptop?
To achieve a smooth and high-quality streaming experience on a laptop, you need at least a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, and an i3-1115G4 processor. For better performance, you should consider a GeForce RTX 3050 or even a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, 32 GB or 64 GB of RAM, and an i5-1135G7 or i7-11370H processor.
Is a dedicated graphics card necessary for OBS streaming on a laptop?
While it's possible to stream on a laptop with an integrated graphics card, it's not recommended as it may result in lower quality and lower frame rates. Therefore, a dedicated graphics card such as the GeForce GTX 1650 or higher is highly recommended for OBS streaming on a laptop.
What laptops can handle streaming with OBS?
Laptops that meet the minimum system requirements for OBS streaming, such as the HP Victus 15t, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, the GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar, and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo, can handle streaming with OBS.
How to choose a laptop for OBS streaming?
When choosing a laptop for OBS streaming, you should consider the system requirements for OBS, including the graphics card, RAM, and processor. You should also look for a laptop with good cooling and battery life, as well as a comfortable keyboard and display. Finally, you should compare prices and read reviews to find a laptop that offers the best value for your budget.
How much does a laptop for OBS streaming cost?
The cost of a laptop for OBS streaming can range from around $900 for the HP Victus 15t to $3,170 for the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo. However, there are also many other laptops on the market at various price points that can handle OBS streaming.
Can a budget laptop handle OBS streaming?
Yes, a budget laptop can handle OBS streaming, but you may need to compromise on some performance aspects such as graphics card, RAM, or processor. It's recommended to go for higher specs if possible for a better streaming experience.
5 Best Laptops for obs streaming
1.HP Victus 15Affordability and performance meet in the HP Victus 15, making it a solid budget gaming laptop with a few compromises.
- Excellent price
- Good gaming performance
- Sturdy build and impressive display
- Bad battery life
- Lack of key backlighting
- Rather plain design
The HP Victus 15 offers great value for its price, delivering respectable gaming performance and handling routine tasks with ease. Its sturdy build and impressive display optimize the gaming experience, but the lack of key backlighting and subpar battery life are drawbacks to consider.
- Delivers smooth gameplay at 1080p.
- Fast SSD.
- No VRR to reduce screen tearing.
- Some performance loss on CPU under load.
2.ASUS TUF Dash F15Affordable and powerful, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is a well-balanced performer for those on a budget.
- Lightweight and well-built
- Good range of screen options
- More powerful than previous generation
- Competitive pricing
- Some minor ergonomic quirks
- Ports tightly packed on left side
- Be cautious of the FHD 144Hz panel option
The ASUS TUF Dash F15 is a lightweight and well-built laptop that offers good performance at a competitive price. It has a range of screen options to choose from, although it's advisable to go for the FHD 300Hz display. While there are some minor quirks and the ports are tightly packed on the left side, overall, it's a solid choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option.
Lenovo Legion 5
- Solid gaming and productivity performance
- Handsome 16-inch screen with 165Hz refresh
- A tad overweight, with enormous power brick
- Noisy cooling fans
3.HP Envy 16HP Envy 16: A powerful laptop with high-end features, but with some drawbacks.
- Plenty of CPU and GPU power
- New 120Hz screen refresh rate
- High-res webcam
- Sleek design
- Merely adequate base screen
- Optional OLED has fewer pixels than before
- Bulky and heavy
The HP Envy 16 offers plenty of CPU and GPU power, a new 120Hz screen refresh rate, and a high-res webcam, making it a great choice for creative apps and light gaming. However, it falls short with its merely adequate base screen, optional OLED with fewer pixels, and bulky design.
ASUS ROG Strix G15
- High-performance CPU and GPU
- Good workmanship and design
- Limited connectivity
- Coil whine in certain situations
4.Lenovo Legion Pro 5Lenovo Legion Pro 5: A well-built and competitively priced laptop with good performance, but beware of hotspots and limited battery life.
- Good build quality and design
- Good screen and IO
- Competent CPU with multiple GPU options
- Competitively priced
- No Thunderbolt or biometrics
- Some hotspots while gaming
- Poor speakers
- So-so battery life
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is a mid-tier laptop that offers good value for its price. It has a solid build quality, a good screen, and plenty of performance. However, potential buyers should be aware of the hotspots during sustained loads, the limited battery life, and the lacking speakers.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
- Strong performance for the price
- Quality build and port selection
- Display quality and battery life are just decent
- Bulky and heavy
5.Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16: Impressive Performance at a Fair Price
- Strong overall performance
- Big, bright, and fast display
- Per-key RGB lighting
- Some flex to keyboard deck
- Poor battery life
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 offers strong overall performance and a big, bright, and fast display. With its fair price tag, it provides a great value for those looking for a high-end gaming laptop. However, it does have some drawbacks, such as a keyboard deck with some flex and poor battery life.
- Slim and portable build for a 16-inch laptop
- Midrange gaming performance at a reasonable price
- All-AMD configuration is outperformed by Intel and Nvidia competitors
- Unimpressive 144Hz refresh rate and full HD resolution
Table of the Best Laptops for obs streaming
|HP Victus 15||$880|
|ASUS TUF Dash F15||$1,160|
|HP Envy 16||$1,800|
|Lenovo Legion Pro 5||$2,630|
|Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16||$3,390|