Which laptops are best for live streaming

Streaming laptop: requirements & the best models

Using a laptop for live streaming makes perfect sense due to its high flexibility. However, laptops tend to be less powerful than classic desktop PCs, which is why you should know what to look out for when choosing the best model. In this article I have summarized the most important requirements, give examples of the technical specifications and also recommend a few models so that you can get to your streaming laptop quickly and easily.

Recommended streaming laptops

In brief, a few models that I would recommend depending on the requirements and application. I unreservedly recommend the Alternate shop, as I have already bought various products here myself and have always received quick, uncomplicated help in case of problems.

I explicitly do not recommend individual devices here, as these are always sold out quickly. Therefore, behind the links there are search results for which I have selected the hardware parameters so that the devices are ideally suited for streaming!

High end

Those who do not want to make compromises will be delighted with one of these devices *. Due to the strong CPU and GPU, you can stream both via the CPU and the graphics card. The latter makes sense especially when streaming games, since the CPU is then completely available for calculating the game.

Middle class

Those who are looking for a solid streaming laptop but do not need an absolute high-end model are well served with one of these models *. Even if you want to stream games, you can do this via the CPU for less powerful games. If you need more power for a game, you can also use NVENC and stream it via the graphics card.

Budget / inexpensive

If you are looking for an inexpensive streaming notebook, one of these devices * will still have enough power for a high-quality stream. However, this model is not recommended for streaming games. If you are planning other broadcasts anyway and don't want to stream games, you can start your live streaming very cheaply with this laptop.

Requirements for the technical specifications (specs)

So that you understand which hardware components are how important for the selection of the right laptop, I will go into the essential components and explain their importance for live streaming.

Processor (cpu)

With live streaming, the encoding, i.e. the calculation of the stream, is by far the most performance-intensive work. Classically, this is done by the CPU, which is why the notebook's processor should be correspondingly powerful. Encoding can also be distributed over several cores without any problems, which is why a multicore system is the right choice.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

The main memory is more of a downstream component for live streaming. It depends more on whether you need to have other applications running in addition to your streaming software. For example, if you have to access a video conference from another software or use other programs to integrate content into your live stream, it can make sense to buy a little more RAM. If you only use the streaming software and do not run any other programs in parallel, you can save money with less RAM.

Graphics card (GPU)

The graphics card is primarily used to compose the scene. Even the simplest graphics cards and many current onboard graphics cards are capable of doing this. However, if you prefer to relieve your processor and also want to use the graphics card for high-performance encoding, it makes sense to use a current RTX graphics card from NVIDIA. These belong to the Turing family and therefore offer the best quality when using the NVENC encoder.

Stream games on a notebook

If you want to play games on your laptop and stream them at the same time, you should definitely choose a processor that is as powerful as possible. The more powerful the game, the more important it is to have a very powerful CPU. A good alternative is to buy a notebook with an RTX graphics card, as described under “Graphics card (GPU)”. This gives you the opportunity to use the very efficient NVENC encoder. This means that most of the power of your processor is available for calculating the game. This makes the game more fluid or a higher number of frames possible and the stream is stable and fluid. You should also set the RAM to at least 16GB so that there is enough available for both the game and the streaming program.

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This post has 2 comments

  1. what about streaming old console games?

    1. Hi Flo,
      the higher the graphic complexity of a game (fast movements with detailed graphics), the more power is necessary for good image quality. For this reason, computers that are far less powerful are required for old retro games. Accordingly, you should also be able to achieve good results with one of the budget models listed here.