News Nvidia and OBS Want You to Say Bye to Dual-PC Livestreaming

abryant

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Nvidia announced that a new version of the popular OBS streaming tool improves in-game performance via optimizations to its GPUs' hardware encoder, NVENC. Read more here.

NATHANIEL MOTT
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Nathaniel Mott is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software and hardware component news.
 

ezst036

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What would be the difference between this and a multiseat system? Pretty much any linux distro is super easy to set up with multiseat and that eliminates the need for a second pc. Just use your second seat.

Other than, of course, giving nvidia more of your money. :) That's the real difference.
 

TJ Hooker

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What would be the difference between this and a multiseat system? Pretty much any linux distro is super easy to set up with multiseat and that eliminates the need for a second pc. Just use your second seat.

Other than, of course, giving nvidia more of your money. :) That's the real difference.
The whole point of using the 2nd PC is so that there would be no performance impact to gaming from encoding + streaming. If you're using multi seat, you're still splitting your PC's resources between streaming and gaming, entirely defeating the purpose.

And how is this giving Nvidia more money? Pretty much all modern GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD already include hardware encoders, it doesn't cost you any extra. This update is just taking better advantage of the hardware you already have.
 
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The purpose of dual-PC setup is more than the performance hit on your gaming PC, it is the ability to maintain connected with your audience during your stream.
Often Live streamers may encounter issues with the gaming PC such as Windows updates (yikes), driver updates or Blue Screen!!
Having a dedicated streaming PC is a GREAT way to ensure your connection with the audience is maintained!!!

Its great to see advancement on the Gfx Cards, but spending that much money on a new RTX card will not resolve the key reason why many Streamers use two PC setup!
 

gggplaya

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The chart only goes to X264 MEDIUM, but if you're using your own separate PC then why not use x264 HIGH(slow)???????????? Which would look much better without all the macroblocking at lower bitrates.

Nvidia trying to pull a fast one?
 

TJ Hooker

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The purpose of dual-PC setup is more than the performance hit on your gaming PC, it is the ability to maintain connected with your audience during your stream.
Often Live streamers may encounter issues with the gaming PC such as Windows updates (yikes), driver updates or Blue Screen!!
Having a dedicated streaming PC is a GREAT way to ensure your connection with the audience is maintained!!!

Its great to see advancement on the Gfx Cards, but spending that much money on a new RTX card will not resolve the key reason why many Streamers use two PC setup!
It would seem all those things could also happen on your streaming PC. Plus you could just configure your PC to only update at certain times or when you tell it to. Blue screens shouldn't really be a common concern unless you're still running Windows XP...
Seems like a bit of a stretch to justify the 2nd PC.
 

Rocky45

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It would seem all those things could also happen on your streaming PC. Plus you could just configure your PC to only update at certain times or when you tell it to. Blue screens shouldn't really be a common concern unless you're still running Windows XP...
Seems like a bit of a stretch to justify the 2nd PC.
BSODs are very common in windows 10 especially when overclocking. Any faulty hardware will still produce a bugcheck no matter what version of Windows you're using, even Win95.
Having a separate PC for streaming is the most reliable solution at the moment. It can still be affected by a wide variety of issues but it'll also limit most of them.
 

TJ Hooker

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BSODs are very common in windows 10 especially when overclocking. Any faulty hardware will still produce a bugcheck no matter what version of Windows you're using, even Win95.
Having a separate PC for streaming is the most reliable solution at the moment. It can still be affected by a wide variety of issues but it'll also limit most of them.
I guess I assumed that people do stability testing while OCing to make sure it's stable, such that crashing isn't a persistent concern after they've got their OC sorted out. If someone is crashing "very commonly" after OCing they should probably just learn how to OC properly before they go and build a 2nd PC. And I've never had a crash/BSOD in Win10 that wasn't related to an OC.
 

Gam3r01

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BSODs are very common in windows 10 especially when overclocking. Any faulty hardware will still produce a bugcheck no matter what version of Windows you're using, even Win95.
Having a separate PC for streaming is the most reliable solution at the moment. It can still be affected by a wide variety of issues but it'll also limit most of them.
Agreed. If you get BSODs from a hardware OC then you didnt do it right.
Additionally, anyone serious enough about streaming to consider a second PC would know better than to risk the stability of their stream over marginal performance.
 
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Agreed. If you get BSODs from a hardware OC then you didnt do it right.
Additionally, anyone serious enough about streaming to consider a second PC would know better than to risk the stability of their stream over marginal performance.
While I agree with yours and TJ Hooker's points, redundancy is something that comes to mind for me.

If we're talking about a professsional streamer, someone who generates an income they rely on, I think a device dedicated to that aspect of their job makes good sense. If a streamer is using one system and their box crashes, they're offline. They're not playing the game, they're not entertaining their viewers, they're not making money.

I think there's value in the ability to stream while experiencing "technical difficulties" with any particular gaming platform.
 
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Gam3r01

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While I agree with yours and TJ Hooker's points, redundancy is something that comes to mind for me.

If we're talking about a professsional streamer, someone who generates an income they rely on, I think a device dedicated to that aspect of their job makes good sense. If a streamer is using one system and their box crashes, they're offline. They're not playing the game, they're not entertaining their viewers, they're not making money.

I think there's value in the ability to stream while experiencing "technical difficulties" with any particular gaming platform.
Redundant, or twice the failure points?
All of those are good points, and all of that can happen to the stream system as well.
 
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Feb 28, 2019
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It would seem all those things could also happen on your streaming PC. Plus you could just configure your PC to only update at certain times or when you tell it to. Blue screens shouldn't really be a common concern unless you're still running Windows XP...
Seems like a bit of a stretch to justify the 2nd PC.
Blue-Screen only happens on XP? what makes you say that? do you have enough data to backup on that claim? i know it happens on my Win 10 PC!
Do you Live stream? The appreciation and acceptance of the dual PC is consistent amongst the live streaming industry.
i also know for fact that Streaming SW companies frequently receive complains that windows updates/graphics driver updates often breaks the stream settings.
Besides, how many applications Live Streamers use during the stream? Based on the information provided in this article, one would assume it is written based on the outsider's simplistic view of the Live Streaming industry; not the mainstream Live streamer's use cases.
 

TJ Hooker

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Blue-Screen only happens on XP? what makes you say that? do you have enough data to backup on that claim? i know it happens on my Win 10 PC!
I didn't say they never happen, just that they shouldn't be common. As I said above, I can't remember ever having a BSOD/full system crash on Win10 that wasn't related to a recent overclock that wasn't as stable as I thought it was, or tinkering with settings I didn't fully understand. Even Win7/8 I seem to remember it being pretty rare. If they're happening on a routine basis I would say that warrants a reinstall of the OS or similar troubleshooting, because that is not expected behaviour.

If someone is a professional streamer I could definitely understand, as they can justify the cost of the 2nd PC because it helps make them money. But I see average Joes on this forum everyday talking about streaming, and I'm pretty sure having a dedicated streaming PC is unnecessary for the vast majority of them.
 
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Redundant, or twice the failure points?
All of those are good points, and all of that can happen to the stream system as well.
Yes, the streaming system ""may" experience the same problems as the gaming system; however, this is the concept of redundancy,
The value of Redundancy for live streamer is to maximize your uptime and connection with your audience.

This may not be the right solution for you but just stating the fact such deployment is popular amongst the live streamers who take streaming seriously.
 

TJ Hooker

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Yes, the streaming system ""may" experience the same problems as the gaming system; however, this is the concept of redundancy,
The value of Redundancy for live streamer is to maximize your uptime and connection with your audience.
But if each PC is doing different things how is that redundant? If your streaming PC goes down then your stream goes down. So it still only takes one PC going down before your stream is offline.
 
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But if each PC is doing different things how is that redundant? If your streaming PC goes down then your stream goes down. So it still only takes one PC going down before your stream is offline.
lots of good discussions and exchange of ideas... before replying to your questions... would you mind sharing your experience in live streaming??
are you expressing your opinion as a technologist, live streamer or ......
 

TJ Hooker

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lots of good discussions and exchange of ideas... before replying to your questions... would you mind sharing your experience in live streaming??
are you expressing your opinion as a technologist, live streamer or ......
I have no experience with live streaming. I'm not even necessarily saying that I think dual PC streaming is a bad idea. I just saw the tenuous or illogical reasons people are giving for it in this thread and felt compelled to question them.
 

digitalhecht

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Assuming use of a fast drive (internal or external SSD), could this same setup with new OBS version be used to simply capture gameplay (e.g. for Machinima) with a minimal CPU/GPU hit? (I currently use a two machine setup for this using Elgato Game Capture HD. It would be nice to eliminate some clutter...)
 

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