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Extreme High-End Workload: Gaming/ Streaming/ Video Editing PC Guide- Q1 2020

 

 

 

 

 

This guide is an ” Extreme high-end” all arounder rather PC- and not an extreme high-end gaming system. Such users can just pick up the graphics card recommendation here, swap it on the one in the mid-end gaming rig and call it a day. That’s why Ryzen 5 3600 is a gem of a CPU. It is too bad we dont have the Ryzen 7 3700 octa-core CPU. Maybe that’s the reason we don’t have them (yet)?

Streamers- The Current-Gen Content Creators

A lot of streamers re-upload content on Youtube post-editing for easier viewing. While some have editors (or have a hyperactive community to do it for them), many prefer to do it on their own. To have the livestreamed content suitable (and entertaining) for Youtube viewers, multiple editing is done via Adobe Premiere, Vegas Pro or any other video editing software. Either they download their livestreamed content from the platform or have a capture card to record on-the-fly. In both cases, the content is stored in the system. This is done either by using OBS’s built-in record function or an Elgato capture card. Many streamers prefer using the latter option to edit and upload better quality 4K videos, though the first generation Elgato 4K60FPS capture cards are known to produce a lot of heat. I think the MK2 capture card variants have fixed that issue.

They also play games on stream between 1080p- 1440p with dual monitor setup. Most often, such heavier-than-gaming workload users are not really keen on making upgrades with an exception to graphics card and memory after 4-5 years on the same system. With a combination of old, eSport titles and graphics-heavy AAA titles, this system will work smooth under the current workload.

This guide is perfect for such content creators. Otherwise, they can check out the mid-end build.

Streamers- The other content creators

Based on what I’ve seen on Twitch, there is a varying level of streamers. While most just play games, some of them use dual streaming via OBS (and its variants) to Twitch and Youtube, while playing games at high settings and resolution. Streaming platform support both x264 and NVENC encoding.

Dont be a hardware hoarder

This pretty much sums it up in a comical sense!

While most streamers would be happy with mid-end gaming/ streaming system to the R7 2700X combination of this guide, a lot of them have a problem of ‘hardware hoarding’. Performance-wise, you are getting an extreme-high end system either ways. This also applies for peripherals, including microphones. Manufacturers charge a premium for ‘gaming’ and ‘streaming’ centric components and peripherals. Some are justified. Some are just wordplay.

The ‘On-the-fly’ streamers(?)

There are also streamers like Cardboard_Cowboy, TheSushiDragon and Atomic Twins who have some interesting graphics and effects they make on-the-fly for entertainment. The twinsies also have a very active Discord community with a lot of interesting PC hardware related discussions in its Tech-Support section. With the community help, they did build on a system around Ryzen 7 2700X with X470 motherboard.

Using the twinsies as an example, the Ryzen 7 2700X + a good X470 motherboard is a better purchase decision. It is hard to beat US$179 for an 8-core/ 16-thread when The R7 3700X CPU costs a lot in comparison. Many would argue Ryzen 3rd (7 series at the least) gen came too soon. The argument between choosing Ryzen 2nd and 3rd gen vary because their logic, experience, workload, purchase decision, vary.

How to decide?

Having some choices are good. In the case, you’re not doing anything wrong with either the options I’ve given below. But you’re spending good money for a gaming/ streaming/ livestreaming/ video editing setup. Investing that money on a higher refresh 1080p/1440p monitor gives a far better experience to a user than a processor that saves less time than you sneezing in front of it. Streamers don’t just broadcast their content. They enjoy it at the same time. A computer is nothing more than a tool. And money once spent, you’re not going to get it back.

To see both the options, you can click one of the combos below which contains CPU, motherboard and Memory.

Processor: Ryzen 7 2700X

Motherboard: ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

2x 16GB DDR4-3200 C16 Memory Kit: Vengeance LPX  BK DC/ TridentZ RGB

A word or two about the CPU

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (8-core/12 thread) and the 3700X (8-core/16-thread) stallions. By the time 6-core CPUs are a standard for gaming, these will be very old. These are meant to be serious workloads with PC gaming. The Ryzen 7 2700X has a base/boost clock of 3.7 GHz/ 4.3 GHz, while the Ryzen 3rd generation has base/boost clock of 3.6/ 4.4 GHz 65W-TDP CPU. Both CPUs do come with good stock CPU coolers, but I recommend getting a better CPU cooler and call it a day. Despite CPUs far higher spec than the R7 3700X, these are practical and useful processors for multi-threaded and/or heavy-workload content creators.

A word or two about the motherboard

There’s really nothing to emphasize as googling for the motherboard reviews would do better justice. The primary objective was to have (at the very least) one Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 port.

CPU Air Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S CPU Air Cooler

Graphics Card: RTX 2080 Super XC Ultra/ RTX 2080 Super Twin / RTX 2080 Super Advanced Overclocked

While x264 encoding isn’t a bad (contrary to many Youtube vods) encoder, Nvidia’s NVENC offloads a lot of streaming encoding off the CPU. While is not a problem for many recent CPUs (since you can livestream on 1080p60 max irrespective of the platform and software with variable bitrate). It is something that many streamers look forward to when they are in the market just to buy a graphics card for an ageing system with good components and power supply. It is also ease of use and past experience with drivers that play an important role in making a purchase. AMD Radeon did promise to have better optimizations (starting with Radeon Adrelin 2020 Edition). But it also needs to work on having an NVENC-like encoder, then having OBS and others to provide the encoding option.

Nvidia did publish an OBS guide, but its best to get updated information from actual content creators who stream and make Youtube videos.

Storage:Crucial MX500 1 TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2/ Crucial MX500 1TB SATA III SSD

About having the option of secondary storage

The only reason I’ve included a 1TB SATA SSD is for storage. Since game streams are pretty long and the raw content stays for a while until the actual content is uploaded, its best to have a good read/write speeds. A SATA SSD is adequate for the intended use.

Power Supply: 650W 80Plus Gold: RMx Series RMx650/ Focus GX-650

Concerns about only a 650-Watt?

A 650-watt is more than enough for this configuration, even with upgrades in the future. Choosing a higher wattage power supply is counterproductive as such unit’s efficiency kicks in only when there’s a certain level of power draw from the components via the power supply.  Good power supplies are typically conservatively rated.

PC Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C/ Phanteks P600S

Limited PC cases with USB Type C 3.1 Gen 2 FP ports

This shouldn’t have been a thing since X470 days.

Yes, I did skip the H510. Not front airflow. Keep in mind, many such users would opt for an internal capture card.

It is unfortunate that at the time of writing, the number of Type C front panel PC cases are criminally limited. Personally, I would have not needed a PC case than the ones mentioned in the mid-end build guide. We need to bring back that internal USB header PCIe brackets, again. We do have them at Aliexpress, but with an equally criminally short cable.

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