4 Great Budget CPUs for Streaming

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It’s always better to have a separate computer solely for streaming purposes. It will not only provide the best and lag-free playback to your viewers, but you can also crank up the bitrate to the highest quality you’ve always wanted when you were streaming on a single-pc setup. 

Many people don’t realize that streaming is taxing on a computer’s resources. Despite this, you don’t need a super-fast CPU to start streaming right now. If you’re a streamer on a tight budget, you’ll be happy to know that there are a ton of incredible CPUs on the market right now.

So, if you’ve decided to get a separate computer for your streaming setup and are unsure what CPU to look for, this guide will help you choose the best bang-for-the-buck processor for your streaming pc.

1. AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

Since it was first made available, the Ryzen 5 2600X has shown to be an excellent central processing unit (CPU). If you don’t already have a cooler for your CPU, the fact that this one comes with one will save you a significant amount of money. This CPU has some pretty impressive benchmarks in multitasking and streaming, thanks to its six cores and 12 threads operating at a base speed of 3.6Ghz.

This CPU can run Watch Dogs 2 at over 100 frames per second, an older game. The visuals of Watch Dogs, even though it is a more senior game, are still on par with most recent competitive titles like League of Legends and Valorant.

The speeds of this CPU aren’t very impressive, but at least it works rather well right out of the box. The previous iteration of the i5 processor had an essential speed of 2.6 GHz, which is slower than the Ryzen 5 2600X by a whole GHz. Therefore, overclocking this CPU will not provide you with a significant increase in performance; nevertheless, you won’t need it anyhow.

This central processing unit is powerful, but it’s no beast. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given that it’s a low-cost CPU. This processor outperforms a number of its i5 competitors when it comes to streaming video and audio. Although it does not provide the maximum frame rate for you, it gives a good quality stream, which is the essential component of a CPU designed for streaming video.

2. Intel Core i5 11400

Intel Core i5 11400

Don’t dismiss something just because it is first on the list. The Intel Core i5-11400 is an excellent choice if you have an Intel motherboard. It is one of the most excellent low-cost processors available for game performance.

The i5-11400 will support the majority of games. In addition, it can do many tasks at once, making it an excellent streaming device. Though you may not be able to crank up the visuals, most games should run well at medium settings.

One of the features I like most about this CPU is the included heat sink. Many new central processing units (CPUs) do not have CPU cooling; therefore, adding $20 to $40 to the price of the CPU itself is relatively uncommon. The Core i5-11400 gets another economic point there.

One major drawback of this card is its relatively slow base speed. You can’t expect to get top performance out of the CPU until you overclock it. The good news is that the card can be easily overclocked, and doing so will increase its performance by almost 2 GHz. You won’t find a better CPU for the price elsewhere.

3. Intel Core i5 12400

Intel Core i5 12400

This central processing unit (CPU) is available in two distinct variants, shown below. The 12400F (lower on the page) lacks integrated graphics, but this 12400 does. In theory, you shouldn’t need a graphics processor if your PC already has a dedicated graphics card. No, not quite. Purchasing a central processing unit (CPU) with built-in graphics is beneficial in a few different contexts.

This is the variant you should get if AMD manufactures your graphics processing unit. Many modern NVIDIA GPUs have encoders, which do the bulk of the work necessary for streaming. Therefore, CPU stability is not a significant concern. If your NVIDIA card stops functioning, having a CPU with built-in graphics is a good backup plan.

Though your motherboard has a flaw, your GPU can still not be recognized even if it is functional. If this occurs and your central processing unit lacks graphics processing capabilities, you are in for a world of hurt. Now that we’ve gotten everything out of the way, we can discuss the i5-real 12400’s performance. This is one of the most significant central processing units (CPUs) for the money you can spend on a gaming PC.

It has incredible processing power and is suitable for gaming and video streaming. A dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU) will significantly improve gameplay performance compared to the integrated graphics. When combined with a solid mid-range graphics processing unit, this setup should be able to stream any game at low to medium settings.

4. Intel Core i5-12600K

Intel Core i5-12600K

This CPU has six cores, according to Amazon. Multi-core performance refers to these cores’ multithreading. It now has four single-thread E cores. You want a nice blend of these two sorts of cores for gaming and streaming.

The i5-12600 Ks is quite fast. Four background cores make multitasking simpler with six game cores. Streaming requires a lot of multitasking. Switching between games, OBS, Twitch, etc., without lag is priceless, yet this CPU costs under $300.

As performance CPUs go, that’s a good deal. This CPU’s quality-of-life features go beyond simple performance. We’ll use the same technology for another five years, so there’s no need to future-proof your system. This CPU is compatible with DDR5 RAM, which is helpful for future-proofing. DDR5 is still in a shaky stage, but it’ll be the standard eventually, so choose a CPU that can handle it. This CPU supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, which will be mainstream soon.