Choosing a processor for streaming means considering more than just which CPU has the greatest raw power or clock speed. When streaming, especially at 1080p or above, a good processor is critical to maintaining a steady stream and gaming performance.

A normal gaming rig doesn’t always need a beefy CPU. However, because streamers must run multiple demanding applications at the same time, a solid processor becomes the centerpiece for any streaming build. We’ve found the four best processors that maximize performance and support the best features that streamers need.

With the release of the Ryzen 2 processors (Ryzen second gen processors), AMD enhances on what were already great Ryzen first gen processors. Making the Ryzen 7 2700X processor the best value multitasking and streaming CPU on the market.

However, Intel has released the core i7-9700k and i9-9900k CPUs. The i7-9700k offers great single core and pure gaming performance. In addition, the i7-9700k streaming performance is still comparable to the 2700X and is great for 1080p streaming. It’s just that the Ryzen 7 2700X’s 8 cores and 16 threads still makes it the better choice for streaming.

The i7-9900K is now the best streaming and gaming CPU because it offers significantly faster single-core and multi-core speed. Which allows it deliver better streaming and gaming performance than the 2700X and i9-9700K.

Therefore, for streamers, gamers, video editors, and graphic designers the Ryzen 7 2700X is the best value processor. However, the Intel core i7-9900k is the best processor for those CPU intensive tasks, but at a must heftier cost.

Below, we have reviewed the 5 best processors for streaming, video editing, and 3D rendering, and other CPU intensive tasks currently on the market.

  1. Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9900K Processor

Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95WThe Intel Core i7-9900K is a fantastic processor for streamers and gamers. It features a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz that can be pushed up to 5 Ghz, resulting in a massive boosts in computing power.

Though this CPU has the same number of cores and threads as the Ryzen 2700X (8cores/16threads), it has significant faster single-core speeds and more importantly for streamers faster multi-core speeds as well. This allows that CPU to deliver better streaming and gaming performance than the 2700X and the 9700K.

Moreover, the 9900k is also built with a Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) to facilitate more efficient heat transfer better the processor to the cooler allowing for lower temperatures even when under load. Simply put, this is the best streaming and gaming processor currently on the market.

Intel i7-9900K VS Ryzen 7 2700X:

Intel i7-9900K Specs:
Architecture Coffee Lake
Socket LGA1151
Cores / Threads 8 / 16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency 3.6 GHz / 5 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller DDR4-2666MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache 16 MB
Integrated Graphics Yes
Unlock Multiplier Yes
TDP 95W
Process 14nm ++
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic single core performance

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 4k and 1440p gaming

Cons:

Minus ButtonSignificantly less price to performance value than the 2700X

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  1. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler - YD270XBGAFBOXStreaming demands alot from your processor for a great gaming and broadcasting experience. Fortunately, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 12nm Zen+ processor can handle thoses demands with ease.

It features 8 processing cores and 16 threads that provide a great multitasking experience. When you are running high-intensity games, Twitch overlay software, and broadcasting tools, this Ryzen 7 2700X processor can handle it all with ease.

This CPU is unlocked and ready for overclocking past the already high 3.7 GHz base clock speed. With the AMD Prism RGB cooler, overclocking to its turbo CPU frequency of 4.3 GHz is no problem at all.

Previously, the AMD line of CPUs has been criticized for their low IPC (instructions per clock) compared to Intel. However, the Ryzen 7 2700X boasts a massive increase to IPC over previous AMD CPUs. New Ryzen features like SenseMI allows the processor to intelligently manage performance, adjusting for temperature, voltage, and frequency to squeeze every last drop of power from the CPU.

For the best streaming in both OBS and XSplit, you will want to use the x264 encoder. Simply put, x264 encoding works better the more threads you have, which this CPU sports 16 of. This means that streaming in 1080p won’t be a problem.

For video editors, Ryzen 7 2700X is also a great value. Many major editing programs can capitalize on the octa-core CPU, allowing for a much smoother experience. Overall, the Ryzen 7 2700X is the best value processor for streaming, thanks to its eight cores, high clock speeds, and unique Ryzen features. It offers performance comparable to the 9900k, but costs significantly less.

Ryzen 7 2700X Specs:
Architecture Zen+
Socket AM4
Cores / Threads 8 /16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency 3.7 GHz / 4.3 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller DDR4-2933MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache 4 MB /16 MB (L2/L3)
Integrated Graphics N/A
Unlock Multiplier Yes
TDP 105W
Process 12nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 4k and 1440p gaming

Plus ButtonLess micro stuttering

Cons:

Minus ButtonSingle core performance is less then the i7-9700k

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  1. Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9700K Processor

Intel Core i7-9700K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 4.9 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95WHaving great in-game performance when streaming is crucial for streamers, therefore, a CPU like the Intel Core i7-9700K would be a great choice. The i7-9700K features a default clock speed of 3.6 GHz, however, this can be pushed to 4.9 GHz, resulting in massive boosts in computing power.

Games that have a lot going on “behind the scenes” (heavily used physics, complex AI, large amounts of data, etc.) are going to benefit the most from this type of processor. Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 allows this processor to even further increase processing speeds during peak loads.

The Intel i7-9700K only has 8 threads, meaning that it is less ideal for heavy media production or certain video streaming codecs than the Ryzen 7 2700X above. Though this is still a great CPU for streaming and gaming as it now has two more cores for a total of 8.

With this processor, will have no problem hitting 4K in-game with the appropriate GPU. You will also be able to produce smooth live streams at 1080p 60fps or better considering this chip’s impressive power.

For streamers who want that high resolutions and framerates when gaming and are willing to sacrifice slightly less multi-tasking performance than the Ryzen 7 2700X, the Intel i7-9700K is the best choice.

Intel i7-9700K Specs:
Architecture Coffee Lake
Socket LGA1151
Cores / Threads 8 / 8
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency 3.6 GHz / 4.9 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller DDR4-2666MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache 12 MB / NA (L2/NA)
Integrated Graphics Yes
Unlock Multiplier Yes
TDP 95W
Process 14nm ++
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic single core performance

Plus ButtonGreat multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 4k and 1440p gaming

Cons:

Minus ButtonMulti-core performance is less than the Ryzen 7 2700X

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  1. AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler - YD2700BBAFBOXIf you love the Ryzen 7 2700X, but don’t want to sink quite as much cash into your processor, then the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor is a fantastic choice.

While the Ryzen 7 2700 has lower clock speeds than the 2700X, it sports all the unique features of the Ryzen 7 line including 8 cores and 16 threads for multi-tasking superiority, SenseMI for intelligent performance management, and impressive IPC speeds. It also comes with a fantastic AMD Spire RGB cooler that provides ample cooling even at max frequencies.

It fits in the standard AM4 socket and supports DDR4 RAM, making it compatible with most modern AMD motherboards. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor is a desirable choice for a streamer looking for a capable CPU but needs to save a bit of cash for other PC components or upgrades.

Ryzen 7 2700 Specs:
Architecture Zen+
Socket AM4
Cores / Threads 8 /16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency 3.2 GHz / 4.1 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller DDR4-2933MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache 4 MB /16 MB (L2/L3)
Integrated Graphics N/A
Unlock Multiplier Yes
TDP 65W
Process 12nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonGreat multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 720p and Great for 1080p streaming

Plus Button

Great for 1440p and 4k gaming

Plus ButtonConsiderably cheaper than the CPUs above

Cons:

Minus ButtonSlightly less powerful then the 2700X, but still has great value

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  1. AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Processor with Wraith Spire Cooler - YD260XBCAFBOXThe Ryzen 5 series has a lot to offer when it comes to price-to-power performance. The feature set is generally the same as the Ryzen 7 series, including support for the standard AM4 motherboard slot and DDR4 RAM.

This means that the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X processor will be right at home in any high-intensity rig, able to make use of its 6 cores and 12 unlocked threads for premium streaming efficiency.

It is also good to note that the Ryzen 5 2600X features a fantastic 4.2 GHz precision boost clock speed that requires a thermal solution. Luckily, AMD has also included an AMD Spire cooler to that is more than capable of cooling the high temperatures produced by this mid-ranged beast.

Ryzen 5 2600X Specs:
Architecture Zen+
Socket AM4
Cores / Threads 6 / 12
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency 3.6GHz / 4.2GHz
Memory Speed / Controller DDR4-2933MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache 3 MB /16 MB (L2/L3)
Integrated Graphics N/A
Unlock Multiplier Yes
TDP 95W
Process 12nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonGreat multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 720p streaming

Plus Button

Great for 1080p and 1440p gaming

Plus ButtonConsiderably cheaper than the CPUs above

Cons:

Minus Buttonnot great for 4k gaming if you want 60fps or better.

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If you would like to read more about the latest Ryzen 2 processors, you should check out AnandTech’s full review.

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jason emerson
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jason emerson

The 2600x is good for 4k gaming too. At 4k the GPU becomes the bottleneck. Even the 2080 ti. IDK about streaming at the same time but gaming it’s good.

jason emerson
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jason emerson

Do you have some benchmark links I can check out?