On today's Tips & Tricks, we will be talking about the best ways to stream on your Shadow PC so that your games do not suffer (as much), while still streaming at a decent quality.
The Shadow PC is amazing, but there is one thing that causes a bottleneck. The processor. With a 2.5GHz Intel processor, a lot of programs, and games for that matter can suffer from poorer performance because the processor can not keep up.
Streaming is heavy on the processor, so it puts some limits on what we can do while streaming, as well as how we can stream. So let me start with some optimization tips before we go into the goodies of setting up a streamer.
Streaming Optimization on Shadow
First things first, the graphics cards on the current generation Shadow's are much more suited for streaming then the processor is. I would highly recommend switching the encoder while streaming to a version of the NVENC encoder.
This will offload the streaming to your graphics card, which will be able to handle the encoding process a lot easier, without causing your games to suffer too much.
However, if the game you are running is already struggling to hold a frame rate of 60+, streaming on your Shadow will affect FPS by about 5-10% (maybe more depending). So be warned.
Another thing to make sure you set is the correct bitrate for your stream. Shadow has fast upload speed, and thus setting your bitrates to the recommended should not affect your gaming at all. Check out this page on Twitch to find out the best bitrates for the quality you plan on streaming.
If you enjoy gaming at a steady 60+ Frames-per-second, you will have to test how streaming affects your in-game performance. You may have to adjust the graphics quality of your game to allow for smooth frame rates while streaming.
Best clients to stream on Shadow.
OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS are both wonderful streamers. OBS Studio is an open-source software, and Streamlabs OBS is based on OBS Studio. Streamlab OBS, however, allows for integration with their add-ons that allow you to spice up your streaming game.
After downloading your preferred streamer, go ahead and install it. You will need to follow the setup instructions for your streamer. Most of the time they have a wizard built directly into the software to get you set up easily.
Once all the settings are set with your preferred settings, you should be good to start streaming!
Streaming on Shadow vs using your PC
Another way you can stream your Shadow PC is by streaming directly from your host PC, by adding Shadow as a Game Capture/Window Capture. This does work, however, you should make sure both your computer and your internet can handle streaming without messing with your Shadow's playback.
If you do not have a good enough upload speed, you threaten to have a lagging Shadow stream, as well as having issues with peripherals if you use Shadow's USB over IP or similar products.
If you think your computer and internet can handle it, give it a try. If it works for you without any noticeable issues with your Shadow stream, this may be better for you, as you are not putting any actual stress on the hardware running your games.
I have streamed on my Shadow before. It was not that bad of an experience, however, I am not the streaming type. I do, however, record all videos for benchmarks on this blog using Streamlabs OBS on my Shadow PC, and I have little to no issues (maybe a 5% framerate drop).
I highly suggest trying it out if you want to stream, and with Shadow's new upgrades around the corner for Europe, the new tiers should have no issue handling live streaming your games while playing, even with the x264 encoder set vs NVENC.
Do note, that with Shadow's 256GB hard drive, be wary of recording, as you can eat up hard drive space rather quickly. I highly suggest you look into Cloud Storage if you want to record and do any video editing with your Shadow!
Have any comments, feedback, anything to add, etc to this post? Feel free to comment below! I look forward to hearing from you :)!