Gaming Laptop Streaming – Is It Possible?

Streaming is a very intensive task that is heavy on the CPU, it can use up to 8 cores so it’s important you have a computer that meets this requirement. It’s not unlikely that someone with a gaming laptop would want to stream on it after all it’s capable of gaming so why not share that content.

The specification requirements for streaming completely depend on how you’re going to stream, software encoding via 264 requires a decent processor whereas hardware encoding requires a decent graphics card. Additionally, there are PCs that are made entirely just for streaming, they can get away with only 6 cores.

Answer: You can stream on a laptop because it works just like how a normal PC works. Laptops come with many different specifications like normal PCs, so you should be careful what type of laptop you pick up, this is what this post is aiming to help you understand. Gaming laptops can have processors from Intel or AMD, something like this can make a big difference when it comes to streaming.

Can You Stream On A Laptop?

are laptops capable of streaming

It is absolutely possible to stream on a laptop as laptops and normal desktop computers work the same. The only difference is what’s going on inside, laptops come with components that are essentially weaker than their desktop counterparts, but this doesn’t make streaming impossible. As long as your laptop CPU has enough cores, at a decent clock speed, you’re good.

You can even use your laptop as a dedicated streaming machine if your main PC is a desktop. You will still require a capture card to send the data over to the laptop for it to encode. Specification-wise, your laptop should have at least 6-8 cores to be a viable dedicated streaming PC.

Streaming on a laptop can be expensive and that can get you questioning whether it’s worth it or not. But the main benefit to streaming and gaming on a laptop is its portability. A normal desktop will outperform a laptop in gaming and streaming scenarios, but a laptop will always win when you’re on the move.

What Are The Ideal Specs For Streaming

The ideal specs for a single streaming laptop would be to have 8 cores and at least 8GB of RAM, once you meet these requirements, streaming shouldn’t be too hard. If you don’t have at least 8 cores, then you can run into performance issues with your gaming and streaming.

The graphics card isn’t important when it comes to streaming with a software encoder, the X264 encoder uses only the processor to encode the stream, this is why we recommend you have a decent processor with enough cores. With a laptop, you’re most likely going to be streaming with OBS, therefore using a software encoder.

The higher the resolution you stream at, the more powerful your components need to be, but most people don’t stream past 1080P. Just ensure your components are strong enough to stream at your desired resolution or your stream will experience pixelation, stuttering, ghosting, and low frame rates.

Nowadays, the ideal streaming resolution is 720P @60FPS on twitch and this is if you are not a partner. A mid-tier AMD or Intel-based laptop can get away with streaming at this resolution, you don’t require anything too extravagant, but to game and stream comfortably, we’d recommend the ASUS ROG Strix G15.

ProcessorSpecsResolution (X264 Encoding)
Ryzen 5 5625U6c/12t1280×[email protected]
Ryzen 7 5800H8c/16t1920×[email protected]
Ryzen 9 5900HX8c/16t2560×[email protected]

Most twitch streams are not at the 2K resolution so you will not require a super-powerful laptop to run it. Even if you could stream at 2K comfortably, some of your viewers might not even be able to run it at that resolution, so it can be seen as pointless.

If you’re wondering if streaming with the integrated graphics is good, the X264 encoder will be using mainly your CPU, so the integrated graphics will not be used anyways. You will need to use a hardware encoder to leverage your integrated graphics, something like Intel’s QuickSync is a hardware video encoder that can use the integrated graphics.

Intel Or Ryzen Based Laptops For Streaming

For streaming on a laptop, a Ryzen based laptop is better because streaming is a task that always benefits with more cores, and Ryzen on average typically offers more cores than Intel. This isn’t to discredit intel because they do have decent multi-core processors, but Ryzen on average has more and better options.

To go into more details about why more cores are important for streaming, the encoder which OBS uses is made to use mostly the power of the CPU in a multicore fashion. Unlike gaming which uses a limited amount of cores/threads, x264 encoding will use as many as possible.

Don’t feel like it isn’t possible to stream effectively on an Intel-based processor as there are some great options such as the Intel Core i7-12800H. It has 14 cores and 20 threads, so if you can find a laptop that uses this processor, streaming really shouldn’t be an issue if you pick an appropriate resolution.

Additional Tools For Effective Streaming

best streaming setup

To really enhance your streaming experience for both you and your viewers, there are some optional things you can do. Employing these tactics can really push your stream quality up, and that plays a big role when it comes to maintaining a loyal audience.

A Second Monitor

While it isn’t absolutely necessary, having a second display is extremely beneficial for engaging with your audience. Without two monitors, it will be hard to keep up with the chat, and read donations, and if you can’t do that, your reputation as a streamer will not be good. Keep in mind, you will be streaming on a laptop, so a second monitor can be a massive upgrade from your typical small laptop screen.

Reliable Internet Connection

To stream effectively, you need a reliable internet connection that comes at a decent speed and won’t cut out randomly. Having poor internet will directly result in a bad stream, and your stream will face issues such as instability, freezing, and poor quality. With that being said, we recommend you have at least 10MBPS of internet upload speed.

Dedicated Camera And Microphone

Having a dedicated camera and microphone can push your stream quality up especially if you’re streaming from a laptop. Many laptops have poor webcams and microphones which won’t suffice if you’re a professional streamer. Dedicated cameras and microphones will offer clarity which your audience will really appreciate.