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 3000 processors (Ryzen third-gen processors), AMD enhances on what was already great Ryzen second-gen CPUs. Making the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X 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 3900X is the best multitasking processor over the Intel Core i9-9900k. The 3900X also provides better value partly because it comes with a decent stock cooler, 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 7 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. 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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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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 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

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  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

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  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

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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.

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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?

jason emerson
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jason emerson

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
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regian

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

Jtrip
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Jtrip

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
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Parker Jones

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
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shadowx16

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
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Kevin

i7 8700k or i7 9700k for streaming?

Deepak Sen
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Deepak Sen

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