Streaming PC games to a live audience is becoming all the rage. But if you’re looking to both play and stream on your PC simultaneously, you should pick your components very carefully to ensure that both you and your viewers can have an enjoyable experience.
Thanks to the return of healthy competition in the processor market, building a streaming PC is no longer out of reach, even for those on a budget. This dedicated PC build attempts to identify the best parts needed to build an mATX Streaming PC – a smaller form factor for those who want powerful performance in a compact microATX (mATX) cabinet.
Note: You can also install a mATX motherboard inside a regular ATX cabinet if you so choose.
Who can make best use of this mATX Streaming PC?
Gamers who’ve always wanted to stream their gameplay to a live audience but find themselves on a tight budget will find this build guide extremely helpful. Not only does it meet most common streaming PC requirements, this build also equips you with one of the best streaming PCs you can own at this price point.
The brand-new 2nd generation AMD Ryzen CPUs with high core counts and improved clock speeds seem like the perfect fit for those who want to play and stream their games to viewers across the world. Although the build we detail below can handle streaming and gaming most competitive games quite well, streaming more demanding games might not be that smooth an experience.
If you're looking for something a bit more powerful, check out our Best Budget Streaming ATX PC Guide
Examples of Recommended Games to stream and play with this PC: Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends.
Recommended streaming settings – 720p 60 FPS output
This mATX PC should be able to stream most competitive games at 720p without affecting either your own gaming experience or your viewers' experience. Nevertheless, the hardware in this PC is quite capable of giving you an enjoyable 1080p gaming experience in all games, regardless of whether you stream or not.
1. Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600
A 6-core, 12-unlocked thread CPU like the Ryzen 5 2600 will serve streamers quite well as its multitasking capabilities allow for a smooth gaming experience while you’re streaming to your viewers. Equipped with much smarter technologies compared to previous generation when paired with the right motherboard, these 2nd Generation Ryzen processors truly re-define the phrase ‘bang for your buck.'
Although the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 features slightly lower clocks than its souped-up elder brother, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, it is more than capable of handling both gaming at 1080p and streaming at a steady 720p 60FPS simultaneously. In fact, since like all Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 5 2600 features unlocked cores as well, you can overclock it to get a bit more juice out of it!
2. CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler
The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU comes with a free AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler. Unlike other stock coolers however, the Wraith Stealth is no slouch when it comes down to ensuring efficient cooling of your processor.
Of course, being a relatively smaller air cooler, it won’t be able to handle any serious overclocking. But for your purpose of gaming in 1080p and streaming in 720p, the automatic overclocking technology that comes with all 2nd Generation Ryzen CPUs is more than capable of tackling the tasks at hand. Please do note that newer Ryzen features work only when you pair the 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU with new 400-series motherboards, like the MSI B450M MORTAR above.
3. Memory: Kingston HyperX FURY Black 8GB (4x2) Kit
Since the MSI B450M MORTAR motherboard supports dual channel memory, we suggest grabbing an 8GB RAM kit, i.e. two sticks of 4GB memory. The Kingston HyperX FURY brand is known to work quite well in conjunction with Ryzen processors and these motherboards – making them an excellent budget buy for our build.
Although memory clock does affect Ryzen performance by a good bit, consider your budget before settling on the clock speed you want for your build. The HyperX FURY’s low latency and nippy clock speeds will pair well with your brand-new Ryzen processor – unleashing its full potential for a smooth gaming and streaming experience.
4. PSU: Cooler Master MWE Gold Series 550W
Multicore streaming systems like this one might’ve drawn a lot of power in the past, but thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. Thanks to massive efficiency improvements over the years, this Cooler Master MWE Gold Series 550W power supply should provide more than enough power to your hardware.
The gold rating is considered the value buy in terms of power efficiency. It guarantees close to 90% efficiency under standard operating conditions, i.e. only 10% of the power drawn goes to waste. Since this efficiency is second only to the pricier Platinum-rated power supply units, the gold-rated PSUs are widely considered a smart choice for any PC.
A near-quiet Silencio fan reduces noise and brings down temperatures to allow for smooth all-round functioning of your PC without wasting too much power. Cooler Master’s 5-year warranty should give you more than enough peace of mind to enjoy your gaming sessions without a worry in the world.
5. HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Although the absence of an SSD will make boot times, game loads, and general responsiveness more sluggish, nothing can beat the storage per dollar spent offered by traditional hard drives. The Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM HDD is one of the faster HDDs in the market today, offering a great balance between performance and price.
While the 1TB storage will ensure that you seldom run out of storage space on your PC, the 7200 RPM drive ensures that your PC has access to one of the best HDD speeds available – at a reasonable price. Yes, there are faster and pricier HDDs out there, but I think you’d be better off looking at SSDs at that point.
6. Cabinet: Cooler Master Masterbox Q300L
The Masterbox Q300L from Cooler Master blends gorgeous looks and efficient airflow to create the perfect cabinet for any microATX PC. While the transparent side panels allow you to show off your rig in all its glory, the patterned magnetic dust filters help keep dust away from your hardware.
The open, perforated design at the top and front facilitates airflow to keep your components cool so that you can enjoy your games uninterrupted. Furthermore, a case with good airflow is paramount if you don’t want to run into thermal throttling (automatic performance reduction due to heating) issues down the road.
MSI Product Introduction
1. Motherboard: MSI B450M MORTAR
The robust, yet gorgeous MSI B450M MORTAR motherboard not only grants access to the latest technologies available to 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processors, but it also strikes a fine balance between providing a plethora of expansion options and stunning looks. This mATX motherboard is perfect for any PC. It’s stuffed with features and is still a very affordable option.
MSI CoreBoost combines precise engineering with a digital power design comprising of more phases that facilitate better overclocking at relatively lower temperatures. It will allow for better performance that can improve both your gaming and streaming experiences.
AMD's StoreMI Technology and the availability of Turbo M.2 slots and Turbo USB 3.0 Gen 2 ports on MSI B450 motherboards like the MORTAR make it the perfect fit for a streaming PC. The option to expand your storage and bump up your storage speeds is always great for heavy tasks like streaming and gaming. It’ll improve game load times and even operating system boot times.
Extended heatsink ensure that you can safely push your processor to its limit without running into heating issues. Moreover, better temperatures effectively extend the longevity of not just your motherboard, but of all connected peripherals as well.
The better performance that these features can unlock is crucial for any streaming PC. It gives you that extra bit processing power you’ll need to deliver a smooth, crisp stream to your viewers without affecting your own gaming experience in the slightest.
2. Graphics Card: MSI Radeon RX580 ARMOR 8G OC
This factory overclocked graphics card from MSI features a robust design and an efficient cooling system for maximizing the performance of the Radeon RX 580 GPU. Not only can this graphics card comfortably handle 1080p gaming, it also allows high-refresh rate gaming in some competitive titles at 1080p.
In addition to being built sturdily, this graphics card is also elegant and tasteful in a quiet way – tempting you to show off your hardware with a cabinet featuring transparent side panels at the very least.
The factory overclocking helps draw just a bit more performance out of these graphics cards. Since you’ll be using your processor to process and stream your games, this graphics card can be trusted to breeze through even the latest AAA games with ease.
3. Monitor: MSI Optix MAG271C
There's no point of building a powerful gaming PC if you settle for sub-par monitors to experience the games you play. The MSI Optix MAG271C Full HD (1080p) gaming monitor strikes a balance between gaming features, killer looks, and raw specs to elevate your gaming experience almost immediately.
While the 178° viewing angle ensures that no detail is lost even at extreme angles, the 1800R curved display serves to enhance immersion like never before. Furthermore, the 144Hz refresh rate will keep you a step ahead of the competition, reducing blur and bringing a certain, undefinable fluidity to your games.
Build configuration overview
To see more about MSI's latest motherboard, visit our GamersGoLive landing page for complete information
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