Building first ATX PC for twitch streaming - B450 TOMAHAWK
Posted on September 04 2018
With the release of affordable multi-core CPUs and the return of healthy competition in the processor market, streaming is no longer a task that requires pricey hardware. Nonetheless, choosing the right parts for your streaming PC is still as important as ever, especially when your choice not only affects your own gameplay, but it also affects your viewers’ experience as well.
Today, we'll explore the best hardware configurations for a dedicated PC build that allows a stable gaming and streaming experience on a budget.
If you're a gamer/streamer who’s looking to make smart purchases to stay within budget without compromising on performance too much, this ATX PC is perfect for you. Of course, we can make this PC much more powerful by spending more money, but that isn't the point of this guide. This build is meant for gamers who want to stream popular games to a live audience using a budget streaming PC.
Examples of Recommended Games to stream and play with this PC: Monster Hunter World, Prey.
Recommended streaming settings – 1080p 60FPS output.
This ATX PC Build can comfortably handle 1080p gaming in addition to streaming smooth software-rendered 1080p 60 FPS video to your viewers. Of course, this only applies for most popular competitive and eSports titles. If you’re looking to stream latest AAA games or looking to play at higher resolutions, you might need a bit more juice than this PC offers.
1. Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
The brand-new 2nd generation Ryzen processors feature enhanced clock speeds and lower temperatures to help you get the most out of your hardware. With 6 cores and 12 unlocked threads, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X excels at multitasking – making it an excellent choice for streaming and gaming without compromising on performance.
Although this processor already delivers a hefty clock speed boost over the last generation, new technologies like AMD Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) maximize the performance you can get out of your system. Simply couple this processor with one of the newer Ryzen motherboards (given below) to leverage AMD PBO to the fullest.
2. CPU Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB
Delivering cooling and gorgeous looks in one affordable package, Cooler Master's MasterLiquid ML240L RGB is one of the most attractive CPU coolers on the market right now! This closed loop liquid cooling system ensures efficient heat transfer without having to worry about cleaning or replacing coolants regularly.
Since AMD Precision Boost Overdrive’s (PBO) automatic performance boosts depend largely on the operating temperature of your CPU and system, a liquid cooling system like this one will ensure that your processor is performing the best it can – with absolutely no manual intervention.
Of course, if you’re prefer to take a more hands-on approach, you can tweak the performance yourself as well!
3. Memory: HyperX FURY DDR4 2400MHz 16GB (8x2) Kit
Multiple DIMM slots in motherboards, like the one we chose for this build, make dual channel memory a possibility. The HyperX Fury range offers a unique combination of affordability, high memory clocks, and reliability. The 16 GB total memory will be more than enough for your current gaming and streaming uses. In fact, this purchase should future proof your build for quite some time to come.
With all the excess memory, you can also set an optional 2GB DRAM cache as a last-level cache for ultra-fast data access as part of AMD’s StoreMI technology. Enjoy much faster game loads and start up times compared to other systems. Dual channel memory doubles the RAM access bandwidth available to your system. In simple terms, your system can send and receive more data from dual channel memory compared to a single channel stick.
4. PSU: Cooler Master MWE Gold 550W Fully Modular
Although performance levels at each price point have gone up considerably over the past few years, power draw hasn’t seen much change. Thankfully. Hence, even a 550W power supply unit like this Cooler Master MWE Gold Series 550W PSU can handle a powerful streaming PC like this one.
The Gold rating on this PSU indicates an efficiency of 87% at 20% load, 90% at 50% load, and again 87% at 100% load. What does this mean? The efficiency outlines how much of the power drawn is wasted. Hence, an efficiency of 87% means that only 13% of the drawn power is wasted. This is much lower than the cheaper Bronze rated PSUs that can waste up to 18% of the power drawn – driving your power bills higher than they need to be.
5. SSD: HyperX Savage 2.5" 240GB SATA
There was a time when an SSD was merely seen as an optional quality-of-life improvement. However, with applications and games becoming bigger and bulkier, an SSD speeds things up quite a bit. This Kingston HyperX Savage 2.5" 240GB SATA SSD is the perfect size to house your Microsoft Windows installation along with a few frequently played games.
In addition to offering a great bargain with respect to storage space per dollar spent, the Kingston HyperX Savage series is known for blazing fast performance – leaving many competitors trailing. Although this SSD certainly isn't the fastest one available in the market, its SATA connectivity and price makes it an excellent option for those who want spend their money smartly and want to use one of the many SATA connectors available on the MSI B450 Tomahawk motherboard.
6. HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Although an SSD takes care of some storage, it is by no means meant for storing large files like movies, shows, or even some less-frequently-used games. This Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM is nowhere close to the speeds offered by an SSD, but it is reasonably fast in the world of hard disks.
The 2 Terabyte storage capacity of this drive makes it an excellent companion to the 240GB SSD we recommended for this PC build (above) – allowing you to store more data cheaply.
7. Cabinet/Case: Cooler Master MasteBox TD500
Building a PC takes time, effort, and money. We say, don't shy away from showing off the results of your hard work! The Cooler Master TD500 cabinet helps you do just that. The transparent side panel shows off your neat cable management and gorgeous lighting in all its glory, while the front panel houses 3 fans for optimal airflow.
This Mid-Tower ATX cabinet is built for ATX motherboards like the TOMAHAWK and supports a broad range of peripherals. Although it's not as expansive as a full tower cabinet, it can still house a reasonable number of peripherals without running into heating or crowding issues.
The diamond-cut design aesthetic adds further flair to your already-gorgeous gaming PC – ensuring envious glances from onlookers.
MSI Product Introduction
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK
An ATX PC build can’t be complete without an ATX motherboard. MSI’s B450 TOMAHAWK features the latest chipsets from AMD – giving users access to exclusive technologies like AMD Precision Boost Overdrive and AMD StoreMI. Streamers will love the boost in performance that they bring.
Moreover, the new motherboard is now equipped with heavy plated gaming heatsinks and extended heatsink designs that reduce the overall operating temperature of your system.
Add to this a plethora of Turbo USB 3.0 Gen 2 ports and blazing-fast Turbo M.2 slots (speeds up to 32 Gb/s) for your SSDs; this motherboard is ready to tackle any challenge you can throw at it.
MSI's CoreBoost Technology is especially useful for streamers using Ryzen processors as more power phases deliver continuous power to the CPU with pinpoint precision – reducing operating temperatures and upping performance. Not only does this make your stream smoother and more stable, but it also enhances gaming performance on your end with better fluidity and higher frame rates.
BIOS Flashback+ is yet another nifty little MSI feature that protects you from bricking your motherboard due to a bad BIOS update. Simply roll back a bad update and you’ll be up and running in no time. What’s more. You don’t even need a CPU, RAM, or graphics card installed to pull this off.
The LEDs on this motherboard give it a classy glow – visible clearly if you’re using transparent panel cabinets like the one we recommend for this build.
Graphics Card: MSI Radeon RX580 MECH 2 8G OC
Another essential part of any gaming PC, the graphics card is responsible for driving, well you guessed it, graphics. Since graphics are an integral part of gaming, choosing the right graphics card is paramount. The MSI Radeon RX580 MECH 2 8G OC is a mid-range card that can comfortably tackle gaming in 1080p.
Although you can also use it to power your streaming output as well, we recommend using the CPU for a much smoother and lag-free viewing experience for your audience.
In addition to ripping through most competitive games comfortably thanks to its factory overclocked clock speeds, this graphics card can handle all the latest AAA games as well – ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
Monitor: MSI Optix MAG271C
Skimping on the one thing that you will have your eyes glued to every moment you're gaming will only spoilt the experience. The MSI Optix MAG271C is a no-compromise option for gamers who want to experience the full thrill of gaming with a quality Full HD (1080p) LED monitor that displays every scene in sublime detail.
The curved screen is designed to bring about true immersion – giving you the feeling of being right in the thick of battle or a scenic setting. This is furthered by the edge-to-edge design of this monitor. A 144 Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time ensures you have an edge in most competitive gaming titles. You can catch even the minutest enemy movements and react faster than ever, in addition to experiencing one of the smoothest gaming experiences you have ever witnessed.
Build configuration overview
To see more about MSI's latest motherboard, visit our GamersGoLive landing page for complete information
Read more: The best budget streaming PC guide - mATX: B450M MORTAR