What is the best CPU for Streaming?

You’ve made the plunge – it’s time to start streaming for an audience and make some cash doing the things you love most – gaming and entertaining! But what is the best CPU for streaming?

And, is your PC ready for the strenuous demands of streaming high-quality content and pushing today’s advanced games? You’re going to need a high-quality CPU to do all that processing. Which one do you need? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to lay out some different options for getting into streaming, and realizing your dream of playing games and entertaining!

AMD vs Intel?

Ultimately, the decision to go with one of the “Big Two” chip manufacturers comes down to personal preference. The only advice we have to give you here is it might be advantageous to make sure your CPU and your GPU (graphics processing unit) are made by the same company. The big dogs in the GPU scene are Radeon (AMD) and NVidia, (Intel.)

You can choose either one, and they’ll work whether or not the CPU and GPU are made by the same manufacturer, but it never hurts to have similar chips and chip-sets throughout your PC to make things work together even better.

Entry Level

Perhaps you’ve decided you’re going to test the waters of streaming and you don’t have the money to invest just yet. That’s fine! Keep in mind that starting out, your most important factor affecting the quality and speed of your stream is your Internet connection. Be sure you’ve got a speedy one!

AMD Athlon

The Athlon series of AMD CPUs are tried and true, and will give you good performance for your money. Any of this series of CPU are suitable for your streaming needs, and won’t break the bank, to boot. The AMD Athlon II x 4 is a good place to start. Reliable, with quad-core processing, and affordable.

Intel i3

The i-series processors are the place to go for entry-level Intel CPUs. The Intel i3-8100 is a good quad-core processor to get you going. The only downside of Intel products is they are going to cost a little more than their AMD counterparts, but, you also get the benefit of Intel’s legacy of well-built processors.


You’ve said, let’s get serious. The title is “What is the BEST CPU for streaming?”

Look no further.

AMD Threadripper 1900x

AMD’s top-of-the-line series, Threadripper, delivers blistering speeds and as many as 32 cores of processing power for the most expensive model. Streaming quality content at the highest graphics possible with no hiccups, skips, or drops is going to cost a pretty penny, and these indeed cost some pretty pennies, with the cheapest model retailing at $300 in most stores. However, the voltage used by these CPUs is surprisingly low, and will help keep your gaming and streaming PC cool while you stream content, and will make rendering videos for upload later a breeze. There is very little to complain about here, and if you’re ready for the big first step of professional streaming, these are the CPUs to go to.

Intel i9 Series

Intel’s i9 series is about as as top of the line as it gets, with their cheapest model clocking in at a premium price of $490 or so. But, with premium prices comes premium performance. These i9 series CPUs come at close to 4 Ghz of speed out of the box and with 8 cores minimum. That’s 8 cores of performance making sure your viewers are seeing crystal clear details at high resolutions at all times. They run pretty cool, as well, using low voltages compared to other brands of CPU. 8 cores means 8 times the speed during rendering and streaming! If you’re looking for the best CPU for streaming, and we do mean the BEST, then the best i9 series you can possibly afford will set you on the right track.

The Bottom Line

That’s the long and short of it – AMD and Intel are the two main manufacturers of CPUs available today. Picking between them will largely be a matter of personal preference, though we do recommend that you CPU and the GPU in your PC match manufacturers, just for simplicity’s sake.

CPUs are a lot like any other high-end piece of equipment. You can spend as much money as you like, and you will get what you pay for. If you’re just starting out, start with something modest and build an audience. If you’ve got the audience and are looking to upgrade, go for the best you can afford. Your PC, and your fans, will thank you.