Question What is really preventing me from recording with OBS at higher res?


Oct 12, 2014
I have an outdated PC which I need to replace everything, yet I was wondering what would really make a difference when it comes to using OBS:

To record/capture PC games.

Well, first of all, this is my current setup:

And this is how OBS is configured to make these recordings:

Audio bitrate is 320 and sample rate 48 Khz, stereo.


As you can see, if I record this game here (Resident Evil, 1996, PC):


At 1280x960 (more or less 720p) no problems. OBS creates a MP4 file with no slowdowns or any hint of any issue.

However if I change both resolutions from the previous image to 1920x1200 which is the max for my system, then the entire video created will be useless, freezing 100% of the time.

That of course indicates anything higher than 720p is more than this system can handle.

That includes recent PC games, however in this case as you can see I am trying an old one that is much less demanding.

To answer my question, there are 4 possibilites:

a) A change in CPU + mobo + RAM and using Windows 10 will be all I need. Regardless of using the same video card.

b) Even if the same system remained, a newer video card would make all the difference. That means the bottleneck here is the video card, meaning that even if I remained with this old CPU/ram/motherboard, buying a new one would prevent this freezing at a higher resolution such as 1080p or even higher than that, say, 4K. At least for this game, not recent ones.

c) Even my current system would be able to handle these recordings, the problem here is the configuration used for OBS.

Or d) you need to replace a) and b) together.

So which is it?

  • New CPU + MB + RAM
  • New video card
  • Both
  • Or just configuring OBS correctly?
My guess is new CPU, perhaps this recording isn't so GPU dependent.


Start here:

Compare your system to OBS's system requirements.

Overall, OBS's Help page includes a rather extensive listing of support options. There is a Wiki with multiple troubleshooters and guides.

Create your own "checklist" and work through the possible problems and options.

The objective being to narrow things down to where any given hardware/configuration will be the most effective towards improving performance.

Use Resource Monitor and Task Manager to observe system performance while gaming and recording with OBS. Determine what resources are being used, to what extent ( % ), and what is using the resource.

Note: use both but only one at a time.

Discover the "bottleneck".
The i7-4770 is still pretty good, and about as fast as a Ryzen 5 2600 per core/thread. I would look at buying at minimum a GTX 1650 Super as a nearly 200% upgrade over your R7 265, so you can use Nvidia NVENC encoding on the GPU with OBS. You would really be better off with a GTX 1660 Super or an RTX 2060 Super (2060 would still be a giant upgrade) as minimum upgrades though.
And this is how OBS is configured to make these recordings:
You are using the GPU while you have a perfectly good iGPU that could do the job using quicksync.
Your system is great except for the GPU, unload the encoding to the iGPU and you will be fine, and if it turns out to be a windows problem you can put the encoding to a high priority so that windows knows that you want a smooth recording rather than more frames.