The best thing about building your computer is you can customize it to suit your requirements. Whether you are building a high-powered computer for gaming, or just streaming you will be able to buy the best components for the job.
Streaming services are becoming more popular at the moment thanks to high internet speeds. When you stream a video or a game over the internet the processing is done on remote servers. As a result, you can normally use a lower-powered computer to stream. Whether you are streaming games over Stadia or streaming videos over Netflix you will be putting much less strain on your PC hardware.
Components Required for a Streaming PC
* Processor (CPU)
* Hard Drive
* Computer Case
* GPU (Optional)
* Sound Card (Optional)
* Wireless Network Card (Optional)
* Operating System
The first thing you should consider is the processor you want to install inside your PC. If you intend to only use this for streaming then you can make do with a very low-end budget processor to keep the job down. Even a Celeron processor would be sufficient for streaming since you are not putting much load on your computer’s CPU. If you do however want to do some local gaming then you will be better off with a higher-powered processor such as an Intel i5, or an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU.
Modern computer motherboards have lots of integrated features including networking, sound card, and graphics card. The motherboard will only be compatible with certain types of processors. Make sure you are choosing a processor which is suitable for the processor you have already chosen. Choose a reliable motherboard from a well-known manufacturer like Asus, MSI, AsRock, or Intel. Some of the better motherboards also offer overclocking support so you can squeeze a bit more power out of your CPU. this probably won’t be that important when streaming from the internet.
If you are streaming content from the internet then you will need a dependable network connection. Choose a motherboard that has gigabit ethernet connections if you are using a wired network connection. If you intend to use a wireless connection then make sure it complies with the latest Wifi6 (802.11 ax) standards. If the motherboard does not have wifi built-in, then you will need an additional card.
The price of RAM has fallen significantly over the last few years. Make sure you choose the fastest ram your motherboard supports. Normally DDR3 or DDR4 RAM will be the best value for money. DDR5 ram is available, but this is often much more expensive. 8GB of RAM will be the minimum amount of RAM you should consider installing, As RAM is quite cheap and most motherboards can accommodate at least 2 sticks, it’s often worth putting in 2 sticks of 8GB to give a total of 16GB RAM. This will be plenty for streaming games or videos online.
The hard drive is where your operating system is installed, and all your files are stored. Old-style hard drives used spinning platters which are much slower than new SSDs. SSD or Solid State Drives have no moving parts. They use memory chips to store files that can be accessed much quicker. Most standard hard drives connect to the SATA port on the motherboard. However, if you are looking for the fastest drive available then choose an NVMe drive. These connect to a dedicated port on supported motherboards which have a faster connection to the CPU.
The PSU doesn’t have a very exciting job, but it’s an essential part of your computer. Its job is to convert the AC power from your outlet into several different voltage rails to power all of the components in your computer. While all PSUs look the same, they’re not all equal. PSUs are rated in Watts. For most computers, a 500W PSU will be suitable. However, if you are planning on installing a more powerful graphics card, then you will need a bigger PSU.
The computer case is where all the various components are fitted. The case also includes the power buttons, lights, and front-mounted ports. Some cases have a PSU inside already, so you might not need to buy an additional PSU. You will need to choose a high-quality case that won’t let you down. The case should include standoffs and screws to mount the motherboard.
The Graphics card or GPU is very important when building a computer. All modern motherboards will feature some form of GPU. So normally whether you buy a GPU is completely optional. If you are playing a lot of very demanding games then you might want to upgrade the graphics card by slotting one into the PCIe port on your motherboard.
A sound card is completely optional since most motherboards include sound cards already. If you want to use surround sound however you might need to add an additional card. Sound cards can add optical audio out, coax out, or individual 5.1 connections for surround sound speakers. Sour cards can be added to a PCIe slot on your motherboard.
Wireless Network Card
The most dependable way of connecting to the internet is to use a hard-wired connection directly to your router. This is because it will work straight away, and the speed will also be faster. However, if this isn’t possible then you could instead try to use a wireless network connection. Some motherboards have built-in wifi cards, but if not you will need to add one. Choose a wifi network card which either connects into the PCIe slot, or mPCIe connection on your board.
An even easier way to add a wireless network to your computer is to use a USB dongle. These can be connected easily to a USB port at the back of your computer. Windows will automatically detect the card and install the drivers.
The operating system is the software that your computer runs. The most common operating system is Windows and this will be fine for both gaming and streaming. You will need to buy a license to use Windows on your computer. If you are just building a computer to stream then you could consider using Linux instead, this is free. However, it will not be possible to play most games on Linux since they are designed for windows.
By choosing the components yourself you can customize your computer and make sure you don’t need to spend more money than necessary. You will also be able to upgrade individual components to extend the useable life of your streaming computer.