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How Does a Dual PC Streaming Setup Work?

What is Dual PC Streaming, how does it work, and is it worth considering?

 

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As the world of online streaming continues to grow, more and more people are looking for ways to improve the quality and stability of their streams. One popular solution for this is a dual PC streaming setup. But what is a dual PC streaming setup and how does it work? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what it is, the benefits and drawbacks of using one, and whether or not it's worth it for you.

What is a dual PC streaming setup?

A dual PC streaming setup is exactly what it sounds like – a setup that uses two computers to stream instead of just one. The main idea behind this setup is to separate the tasks of playing the game and streaming the game. This way, the computer that is playing the game can focus on running the game at the highest possible settings and the computer that is streaming can focus on encoding the video and audio and sending it to the internet.

The gaming PC is the one that runs the game and sends the video and audio signal to the streaming PC. The streaming PC is the one that receives the signal and encodes it into a format that can be streamed to platforms like Twitch or YouTube. The video and audio signal is sent through a capture card, which is a device that allows the streaming PC to receive the signal from the gaming PC.

How does it work?

 

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Example of a Dual-PC Streaming Set-up. Image credit: Chillblast

The main advantage of a dual PC streaming setup is that it allows you to separate the workload of playing the game and streaming the game. This means that the gaming PC can run the game at the highest possible settings without worrying about the performance impact on the stream. The streaming PC can then take the video and audio signal and encode it into a format that can be streamed to the internet. This separation of tasks leads to a number of benefits, including better heat management, the ability to add additional cameras and viewpoints, reduced workload, and reduced lag in the stream.

Another benefit of a dual PC streaming setup is that it allows you to stream with higher graphics and visuals settings. This is because the gaming PC can run the game at the highest possible settings without worrying about the performance impact on the stream. Additionally, with a dual PC streaming setup, you can withstand any game crashes, GPU errors or system errors during a live stream. This means that your stream will not go off air and you will be able to communicate with your viewers while you remedy the problem.

Benefits and Drawbacks

While there are many benefits to using a dual PC streaming setup, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the main drawbacks is the initial outlay for the setup can be expensive, and it may also lead to extra electricity costs. Screen tearing can also be a problem, and when issues arise they can be complex to fix even with a bit of technical know-how. Additionally, there is a possibility of extra background noise from the streaming PC - though this can be mitigated with the correct hardware, using a quiet PSU and fans.

Another thing to keep in mind is that having two PCs means more cables and more devices to set up and configure. This can be a bit more complicated than simply using one computer, and it can take some time to get everything set up and working properly.

 

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Is it worth it?

Whether or not a dual PC streaming setup is worth it for you depends on your goals and needs as a streamer. If you're serious about streaming and want to improve the quality and stability of your streams, then a dual PC streaming setup might be worth considering. However, if you're new to streaming and just want to try it out, it might be better to start with a single PC setup and see how it goes.

Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that a dual PC streaming setup is not a requirement to stream, it's an optional upgrade. In most cases, a powerful single PC with a good CPU, GPU, and enough memory can handle both gaming and streaming without any issues. However, if you are a professional streamer or looking to make streaming your full-time job, the added stability and flexibility of a dual PC setup might be worth the investment.

Another important consideration is your budget. A dual PC streaming setup can be quite expensive, especially if you're looking to build a high-end gaming PC and a dedicated streaming PC. If you're on a tight budget, you might want to consider upgrading your current PC or using an older PC as your streaming PC, rather than buying two new PCs.

In conclusion, a dual PC streaming setup can be a great way to improve the quality and stability of your streams. It allows you to separate the workload of playing the game and streaming the game, leading to better heat management, the ability to add additional cameras and viewpoints, reduced workload, and reduced lag in the stream. However, it's important to consider your goals and budget before deciding if a dual PC streaming setup is right for you. If you're just starting out streaming or on a tight budget, a single PC setup might be a better option. But, if you're serious about streaming and have the budget for it, a dual PC streaming setup can be a great investment for the long-term.