What graphics card for streaming is best?

To be successful as an online streamer, you need a few things: high-speed internet connection, good quality webcam and microphone, and above all a powerful computer, which will be based on a high-end graphics card.

The popularity of streams is amazing – the largest streams have viewership in tens of thousands of viewers in one moment. This shows how much internet users like to watch how another person plays and keeps in touch with their audience. The successes of such platforms as Twitch and the relatively new YouTube Gaming show that more and more people are streaming thoughts. Players want to stream, because it can be simply a job for them. However, first you need to invest some money, including in computer components. An efficient graphics card is in this case the “must have” of each streamer. Although the CPU plays a more important role in the stream, the graphics card is also extremely important. So which models currently work best?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or GTX 1080

We’re looking for really powerful graphics cards, so the choice falls on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and GeForce GTX 1080 chipsets. However, you have to be aware that along with the power of the equipment goes its high price. For the new version of the Ti version we have to prepare a minimum of $800, while the GTX 1080 version will get up to around $600-700. The first model handles games in 4K UHD resolution very well. It is equipped with 11 GB of VRAM memory. The GTX 1080 version has 8 GB of VRAM on board and also handles the 4K UHD resolution in games.

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The parameters of both cards will be discussed on the example of their versions manufactured by MSI. The GPU core clock for the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming Trio version is up to 1683 MHz, memory clocking is 11264 MHz. In the case of the MSI GTX 1080 Gaming graphics card, the GPU clock speed is 1759 MHz, and the 10010 MHz memory. Both versions of the cards are a real top on the market, which will allow us to enjoy a truly smooth gameplay – rich in graphic details and a large number of displayed frames per second. However, if we do not have such a large budget, then we have to go down to the lower segment of graphics cards. We can be comforted by the fact that streaming takes place mainly in Full HD resolution, or even HD (720p), which means that we do not have to play live at the highest resolutions.

Also, streaming is only comfortable when using at least two screens in your setup. One screen for gaming and second one for stream settings, twitch chat, browsing Internet etc. Here’s a little guide how to make sure your Windows setup will work well on two screens/monitors while gaming and streaming.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti or GTX 1070

We are going down in the price range department and we have the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti – this version is closer to the GTX 1080 than the GTX 1070. This means that it has very high computing power – it is available in the 8 GB version and costs depending on the version manufacturer about $400-500. In the case of GeForce GTX 1070 (also 8 GB version) the price is a bit lower – we will buy this card for around $400. It’s enough for playing in Full HD resolution with pretty high graphic settings. The streaming will be fine too, especially if streamed on lower resolution.

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Top notch graphics card for streaming –¬†GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

The powerful graphics card – next to the processor and RAM – is the most important element of the gaming and streaming computer. The graphics processor must stand out with its high computing power, be supported by as much VRAM as possible, and the data should be transmitted on a wide bus. If we have an unlimited budget, we can be interested in the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card – with 11 GB VDR DDR6 memory and a 352-bit bus. However, we must prepare for an expense exceeding $1200. In this case, if we also have a high speed internet connection (on fiber), we can afford to play smoothly and streaming even in 4K UHD resolution.

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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