Choosing the best CPU for streaming means considering more than just which processor has the greatest raw power or clock speed. When streaming, especially at 1080p, 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.

Read Related Article: 10 Best CPU for Video Editing – Complete Guide 2020

Best CPUs for Streaming

With the release of the Ryzen 3000 processors (Ryzen third-gen processors), AMD enhances on what was already great Ryzen second-gen CPUs. Making the Ryzen 3600, Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 9 3900X, and Ryzen 3950X and the best value streaming and multitasking CPUs on the market.

However, Intel does provide the Core i7-9700K and i9-9900K CPUs as good streaming options. But, the Ryzen 3000 CPUs have further increased the gap when it comes to tasks that benefit from multiple cores and threads such as streaming.

Before the release of Ryzen 3rd gen CPUs, the i9-9900k was king, though the 2700X did provide much better value. However, the Ryzen 3900X is now the best streaming CPU. Though that may change with the release of the 3950X later this year.

Therefore, for streaming, photo and video editing, graphic designing, and other forms of content creation the Ryzen 7 3950X is the best multitasking processor over the Intel Core i9-9900k. The 3950X and 3900X also provide better value partly because they come with decent stock coolers, while the 9900K does not. However, the 9900K is still the best CPU when it comes to pure gaming performance.

Below, we have reviewed the 10 best CPUs for streaming on platforms such as Twitch, Youtube, Mixer, and more. These processors are also great for video editing, and 3D rendering, and other CPU intensive tasks.

  1. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Processor

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor, Without Cooler

AMD has had a solid lead over Intel as the go-to choice for streaming CPUs over the past few years. With the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, that lead is only going to widen.

With 16 cores and 32 threads, as well as the higher clock speeds, the 3950X will handle everything that you might ever think of throwing at it, including running all the programs that you want and need in order to produce a top-quality stream.

Speaking of streaming, streamers need all of the multi-threaded performance that they can get, and the 3950X has that in spades.

The only issue you’re probably going to have with the 3950X is the price and the lack of a cooler along with the package.

Considering that the third-generation Ryzen processors are known to get a little bit hotter than previous generations, especially at higher resolutions and when under load, which is where the 3950X will usually find itself being used, the total cost of the 3950X and a capable CPU cooler will probably break the $850 price mark or maybe $900 for a decent liquid cooler.

But, then again, this is 16 cores and 32 threads that we’re talking about.

If your goal is to pursue a career as a full-time streamer, or you’re planning on upgrading your streaming set-up to better cater to the needs of your audience, you won’t need to look any further than the 3950X.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads16 / 32
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.5 GHz / 4.7 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache73MB
Integrated GraphicsNo
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP105W
Process7nm
Check Price At Amazon Button
  1. Ryzen 9 3900X Processor

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X is part of the new Zen 2 architecture which brings quite a lot of improvements and puts a bit of pressure on Intel. It’s also one of the most expensive new AMD CPUs released, but with all the performance you’ll get from it, it may very well be worth the asking price.

The first thing you’ll want to know is that it’s made on a TSMC 7nm FinFET process and uses AMD’s AM4 socket. Yes, that’s the same socket that previous generations of Ryzen used, so you could use an older X470 or B450 motherboard with it. With a CPU this powerful, though, we’d recommend getting one of the newer X570 motherboards.

What makes it one of the best processors for streaming is the high core count – it has 12 cores and 24 threads, which is quite a bit by anyone’s standards. With a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a maximum boost clock of 4.6 GHz, it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, and it also has 64MB of L3 cache.

To round out the package, you have dual-channel memory support at 3200 Mhz, and a TDP of 105W. It’s an unlocked CPU, so overclocking is certainly an option, but you may want something a bit more powerful than the included Wraith Prism cooler for that. That included cooler is also a reason why the 3900X is a better value than the 9900K.

Ryzen 9 3900X Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads12 / 24
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.8 GHz / 4.6 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache64MB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP105W
Process7nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic single-core performance

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 1440p and 4K gaming

Plus ButtonBetter value than the 9900K

Cons:

Minus ButtonMay be expensive to some

Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. Intel 9th Gen Core i9-9900K Processor

Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
The Intel Core i9-9900K 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 i9-9900K Specs:
ArchitectureCoffee Lake
SocketLGA1151
Cores / Threads8 / 16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.6 GHz / 5 GHz
Memory Speed / ControllerDDR4-2666MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache16 MB
Integrated GraphicsYes
Unlock MultiplierYes
TDP95W
Process14nm ++
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic single-core performance

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 1440p and 4K gaming

Cons:

Minus ButtonConsiderably less price to performance value than the 3900X

Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. Ryzen 7 3800X Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
If you don’t want to spend as much, but still want one of the best processors for streaming, AMD’s Ryzen 7 3800X is a CPU you’ll want to take a closer look at. It’s a real powerhouse, and it also has the benefit of not costing too much either. It’s got plenty of cores for streaming, and it covers everything else fairly well, too.

Being a part of the Zen 2 lineup, it’s made on the TSMC 7nm FinFET process and is an unlocked CPU with 32MB of L3 cache. While the base clock is 3.9 GHz (which is quite a bit, actually), it can turbo up to 4.5 GHz, and you can also overclock it. You do get the Wraith Prism cooler, but for overclocking, something a bit more serious could help quite a bit considering the 105W TDP. The 8 core, 16 thread configuration should do the job quite well for streaming.

The processor relies on AMD’s AM4 socket, which is the same socket previous Ryzen generations used. AMD is staying true to their word that you can get one good motherboard ever since gen 1, and then just upgrade the CPU later on. If you want a streaming powerhouse, but aren’t really prepared to go all out on the most powerful models, the Ryzen 7 3800X is a great option.

Ryzen 7 3800X Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads8 / 16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.9 GHz / 4.5 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache32MB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP105W
Process7nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 1440p and good for 4K gaming

Cons:

Minus ButtonThe 3700X provides similar performance for considerably less

Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. Ryzen 7 3700X Processor

Ryzen 3 3700XThe 3700X is the slightly less powerful Ryzen 7 processor that AMD released with their Zen 3rd gen lineup, but that’s not to say that it’s bad – quite the contrary. It still has a high core count, great operating frequencies, and quite a bit of overclocking potential.

Compared to its more powerful brother, it also has eight cores and sixteen threads, but the frequencies at which it runs are a bit lower. Here you have a 3.6 GHz base clock and a 4.4 GHz maximum boost clock. However, this one only runs at a TDP of 65W, which is quite the difference. It also has 32MB of L3 cache and is made on the TSMC 7nm FinFET process. Just like the other higher-end models, this one also uses the AM4 socket and comes with support for dual-channel memory at 3200 Mhz.

Depending on what you want to stream if you’re playing something less demanding, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay for the higher-end model. The 3700X has enough cores and threads to allow you to run most modern competitive titles and stream them, without losing out on image quality. It’s certainly one of the best processors for streaming, especially if you don’t demand too much.

Ryzen 7 3700X Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads8 / 16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.6 GHz / 4.4 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache32MB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP65W
Process7nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 1440p and good for 4K gaming

Plus ButtonBetter value than the 3800X and 9700K

Cons:

Minus ButtonN/A

Check Price At Amazon Button

  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 95W
Having 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 multitasking performance than the Ryzen 7 2700X, the Intel i7-9700K is the best choice.

Intel i7-9700K Specs:
ArchitectureCoffee Lake
SocketLGA1151
Cores / Threads8 / 8
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.6 GHz / 4.9 GHz
Memory Speed / ControllerDDR4-2666MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache12 MB / NA (L2/NA)
Integrated GraphicsYes
Unlock MultiplierYes
TDP95W
Process14nm ++
Pros:

Plus ButtonFantastic single-core performance

Plus ButtonGreat multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat 1440p and good for 4k gaming

Cons:

Minus ButtonLess value compared to the 3800X and 3700X

Minus ButtonMulti-core performance is less than the Ryzen 7 3700X

Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Spire Cooler
Out of all the new processors that AMD released, the Ryzen 5 3600X seems to hit the sweet spot for quite a lot of users, streamers included. It targets Intel’s i7-9700K, beating it in some scenarios, while still costing quite a bit less. It comes with a good core count, great clock frequencies and AMD’s familiar socket, and is a great CPU for streaming.

Made on the TSMC 7nm FinFET process, the 3600X is an unlocked CPU that comes with six cores and twelve threads. This should be quite enough for streamers, especially since they run at 3.8 GHz – and that’s the base clock. If you find yourself looking for a bit more power, you can expect it to turbo up to 4.4 GHz, which is excellent. In terms of memory, you’re looking at support for dual-channel, 3200 Mhz memory, and you’ll want it to be fast if you want to take advantage of it. The default TDP is 95W, and the included Wraith Spire cooler does a good job of keeping it cool.

All things considered, at the expected price, the Ryzen 5 3600X is going to be the CPU to go for, whether you’re a streamer who doesn’t want to break the bank or a gamer who finds that a 6 core, 12 thread configuration is actually enough.

Ryzen 5 3600X Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads6 / 12
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.8 GHz / 4.4 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache32MB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP95W
Process7nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonVery good multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 720p and Great for 1080p streaming

Plus ButtonGreat for 1440p gaming

Plus ButtonConsiderably cheaper than the CPUs above

Cons:

Minus ButtonThe 3600 may be of better value to some

Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
AMD’s Ryzen 5 has been the go-to for a lot of users, both in the first and the second generation. It seems like it’s the same situation with the third generation and the Zen 2 architecture as well, with the Ryzen 5 3600 being a great bang for the buck model for anyone, from gamers, to creatives, to streamers.

So, what does it offer? Being the slightly cheaper variant of the Ryzen 5 3600X, the Ryzen 5 3600 has slightly slower clock speeds. The base clock is 3.6 GHz, but if you find this not enough power, it can go up to 4.2 GHz, which should have you covered. When it comes to streaming, this, along with the 6 cores and 12 threads, allows the 3600 to give you great performance.

The CPU is made on the TSMC 7nm FinFET process and uses AMD’s familiar AM4 socket, for which there are quite a lot of motherboards out there. This is an unlocked CPU, so overclocking is certainly a possibility, but it may be smart to get a liquid cooler and replace the included Wraith Stealth. There’s also dual-channel memory support at 3200 Mhz, but fast memory is a necessity for great performance, so keep that in mind. All things considered, this may very well be the CPU to go for streamers on a budget.

Ryzen 5 3600 Specs:
ArchitectureZen 2
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads6 / 12
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.6 GHz / 4.2 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller3200 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache32MB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP65W
Process7nm
Pros:

Plus ButtonGreat multi-core multitasking performance

Plus ButtonExcellent for 720p and good for 1080p streaming

Plus Button

Great for 1080p and 1440p gaming

Plus ButtonConsiderably cheaper than the 3600X above

Cons:

Minus ButtonN/A

Check Price At Amazon Button

If you would like to read more about the latest Ryzen 3rd gen processors, you should check out AnandTech’s full review. We have also reviewed the best processors for editing your videos.

  1. AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler - YD2700BBAFBOX

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 may not be the value king of CPUs for streaming, but it’s not that far off.

Usually selling for half of what it used to these days ($150-$170 from $300) the 2700’s value as a streaming and gaming processor has only increased. In fact, the argument exists that it’s a better entry-point for streamers than the 2600.

For starters, you get 8 cores and 16 threads (versus 6 cores and 12 threads with the 2600). You also get a Wraith Spire LED cooler, which looks and cools better with less noise compared to the Wraith Stealth of the 2600. Plus, you get a much higher boost frequency of 4.1GHz, which, at the end of the day, negates the difference in base clock between the 2600 and 2700.

Compared to the 3700, the 2700 has even more value, because both are essentially the same.

Paired with a decent motherboard and even when using the stock cooler, it’s not unrealistic to expect the 2700 to run at a stable 4.0GHz on all cores, which, again, only further ups its value as a CPU for streaming.

If you feel like the 2600 will leave you wanting for more sooner into your budding streaming career, the 2700 is a logical investment for until you upgrade into something better and more powerful.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Specs:
ArchitectureZen +
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads8 / 16
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.2 GHz / 4.1 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller2933 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache20MB
Integrated GraphicsNo
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP105W
Process12nm
Check Price At Amazon Button

  1. AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler - YD2600BBAFBOX

The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 isn’t the all-new 3950X. It’s not even the 3600. However, it is the best budget CPU for streaming.

The 2600 were already in the running as one of the best value CPUs for streaming back when it first released in 2018. The lower price tag that it now comes with these days only increases its value proposition more.

Hence, why we called the 2600 the best budget CPU for streaming.

With 6 cores and 12 threads, the 2600 is capable of handling the average streamer’s needs. Sure, it’s slower than the newer 3600 and that of Intel’s comparatively priced offerings in gaming and streaming. However, you have to keep in mind, this is a $100ish CPU we’re talking about here.

If you’re willing and able to spend more, you’re free to do so.

But, for those who are thinking of streaming and want to test the waters without diving in head first, the 2600 is the ideal choice, especially when you throw in a reasonable 4.0GHz overclock on all cores using the same stock cooler.

As an added bonus, it runs on the same AM4 architecture as the other Ryzen chips.

What this means is that, if you ever think of upgrading your processor to something more powerful and capable down the line, you won’t have to worry about

Talk about value, eh?

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Specs:
ArchitectureZen +
SocketAM4
Cores / Threads6 / 12
Base Frequency / Boost Frequency3.4 GHz / 3.9 GHz
Memory Speed / Controller2933 MHz / Dual-Channel
Cache19MB
Integrated GraphicsNo
Unlocked MultiplierYes
TDP65W
Process12nm
Check Price At Amazon Button

Read Another Related Article: 9 Best Motherboard CPU Combos: AMD and Intel

2 4 votes
Article Rating

Leave a Reply

27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jason emerson
jason emerson
1 year ago

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
jason emerson
1 year ago

Do you have some benchmark links I can check out?

jason emerson
jason emerson
1 year ago

Won’t let me reply for some reason. Thank you, I’ve just never heard that as everyone says that the difference between Intel and Ryzen largely disappears at higher resolutions. I game at 1080p on both of my ryzen systems, one with a ryzen 7 2700x and gtx 1070, the other with a ryzen 5 1600 and rx 480 so I don’t have first hand knowledge of 4k. What do you think of the ryzen 1600 for 1440p? I’m hoping to go 1440p this next year, move the 1070 to the 1600, and grab either a gtx1080 or 2070 for the… Read more »

regian
regian
1 year ago

If i use a ryzen 7 2700x with a rtx 2070 will that be good for streaming and gaming

Jtrip
Jtrip
1 year ago

Do you have any articles on dedicated streaming /editing pc for console gaming? I currently have a elgato hd60s, blue yeti mic, elgato stream deck, and logitec c920 Webcam. Looking for build suggestions,

Parker Jones
Parker Jones
1 year ago

Which would be the best for streaming, gaming, and some video editing between the ryzen 7 2700x and the i7 9700k? Money is not a problem. just need to know which overall will give 1080p 60fps streaming capability, a great looking game on my end, and an easy time editing videos.

shadowx16
shadowx16
11 months ago

i need a guide to biuld a good pc to stream 1080 60 fps on youtube and be cheap
around 500 or 600 dollars

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago

i7 8700k or i7 9700k for streaming?

Deepak Sen
Deepak Sen
10 months ago

Ryzen 2600 rx 570 , 16 gb ddr4 3000mhz ram can i stream with this specs.

Travis
Travis
7 months ago

Ryzen 7 3800x paired with a 2080 Ti and 3200mhz RAM with cas latency of 16 I should be able to stream 1080 60fps? I may just get a regular 2080 rather than the TI 2080. But I rather just go all out. Money isn’t too much of an issue.

Alex F
Alex F
7 months ago

I am building a new streaming/video editing pc, My current is a ryzen 7 1700x and a rtx 2070 with 16gb ddr4 ram. I am about to sell that and go buy a 1070ti sli with 32gb ddr4 and either a 3700x or i7 9700k. Which should I go with?

Faizan Siddiqui
Faizan Siddiqui
6 months ago

I want to know whether is ryzen 5 3600 better than ryzen 7 2700x for streaming when paired with rtx 2060 with 16gigs of ddr4 running at 3000mhz

Gabriel Ries
Gabriel Ries
5 months ago

The R 3500 is good for 720p60 or 1080p30, because it’s a 6/6…

Efe
Efe
4 months ago

If i use 2070 super with 2700 non X without overclock is that good to stream games?