Computer Hardware

How To Make Obs Use Less CPU

When it comes to optimizing the performance of OBS and reducing CPU usage, there is one fact that stands out - OBS is a powerful tool for live streaming and recording, but it can be quite resource-intensive. So, how can you make OBS use less CPU without compromising the quality of your broadcasts?

One of the key factors to consider is the encoding settings. OBS allows you to choose between x264 and hardware encoding options, like Nvidia NVENC or AMD VCE. By using hardware encoding, you can offload the encoding process from your CPU to your GPU, resulting in lower CPU usage. This is particularly beneficial for those with powerful graphics cards who can take advantage of this feature.

How To Make Obs Use Less CPU

Understanding OBS and CPU Usage

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a powerful and popular software used for streaming and recording audio and video content. However, one common issue faced by OBS users is high CPU usage, which can result in performance issues and dropped frames during broadcasts. To ensure smooth streaming and efficient CPU utilization, it is important to optimize OBS settings and make it use less CPU.

Optimizing OBS Settings

The first step in reducing OBS's CPU usage is to optimize the settings within the software itself. OBS provides various configuration options that can be adjusted to minimize CPU strain. Here are some key settings to consider:

  • Output Resolution: Lowering the output resolution can significantly reduce CPU usage. Consider setting it to 720p or 1080p if you're experiencing high CPU usage.
  • Encoder: OBS offers multiple encoder options, such as x264 and NVENC. Experimenting with different encoders and their settings can help find the optimal balance between CPU usage and video quality.
  • Bitrate: Adjusting the bitrate can also influence CPU usage. Lower bitrates result in lower CPU load but may compromise video quality. Find the right balance that suits your needs.
  • FPS (Frames Per Second): Lowering the FPS can reduce CPU usage, but it might affect the smoothness of the stream or recording. Consider lowering it slightly if necessary.

By fine-tuning these OBS settings, you can effectively lower CPU usage without compromising the overall streaming or recording quality.

Managing Sources and Scenes

OBS allows users to add various sources, such as videos, images, and screens, to their scenes. However, having too many sources or complex scenes can increase CPU usage. Here are some tips to manage sources and scenes efficiently:

  • Remove Unnecessary Sources: Review your sources list and eliminate any sources that are not actively used. Each active source consumes CPU resources, so minimizing the number of active sources can help reduce the CPU load.
  • Simplify Scenes: Complex scenes with multiple overlapping sources can increase CPU usage. Consider simplifying the scene layouts by grouping related sources or using fewer sources in a single scene.
  • Use Browser Sources Sparingly: Browser sources, such as overlays or alerts, can be resource-intensive. Limit the usage of browser sources or optimize their settings to minimize CPU usage.

Streamlining your sources and scenes in OBS can make a significant difference in CPU usage, ensuring smoother streaming or recording experiences.

Hardware Acceleration

Another effective way to reduce OBS's CPU usage is by utilizing hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration offloads some processing tasks to specific hardware components, such as the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This can significantly reduce the burden on the CPU. Here's how to enable hardware acceleration in OBS:

  • Go to "Settings" in OBS.
  • Select the "Advanced" tab.
  • Under "Video," check the box for "Enable hardware encoder (NVENC, QSV)" if available.
  • Click "Apply" and then "OK" to save the changes.

Enabling hardware acceleration can help distribute the workload more evenly between the CPU and GPU, resulting in lower CPU usage.

Updating OBS and Drivers

OBS and hardware drivers play a crucial role in performance optimization. Outdated software or drivers can cause compatibility issues and increased CPU usage. Here's what you can do to ensure everything is up to date:

  • Update OBS: Check for the latest version of OBS and install any available updates. Newer versions often include performance improvements and bug fixes that can reduce CPU usage.
  • Update Drivers: Visit the websites of your GPU manufacturer (e.g., NVIDIA, AMD) and download the latest drivers. Updated drivers often provide better performance and compatibility.

Regularly updating OBS and hardware drivers can help optimize performance and minimize CPU usage.

Exploring Additional Techniques

Aside from the aforementioned settings and optimizations, there are additional techniques you can employ to make OBS use less CPU and improve performance even further. Here are a few:

Lowering Game Graphics Settings

If you're streaming or recording gameplay, reducing the graphics settings of the game itself can significantly reduce CPU usage. Lowering the game's resolution, textures, effects, or other demanding settings can alleviate the CPU load and result in smoother OBS performance.

Utilizing a Dedicated Streaming PC

For professional streamers or those seeking the utmost performance, using a dedicated streaming PC can offer a substantial advantage. By offloading the streaming and encoding tasks to a separate computer, you can reduce the CPU load on your gaming PC, allowing it to focus solely on delivering an optimal gaming experience.

Using OBS Studio Plugins

OBS Studio supports plugins that can enhance its functionality and performance. Some plugins specifically target CPU optimization, helping to reduce OBS's CPU usage. Popular plugins like "OBS-DirectX-Capture" and "OBS-VirtualCam" can provide alternative capture methods that are less CPU-intensive. Explore the OBS Studio plugin ecosystem and experiment with plugins that suit your needs.

Monitoring Background Processes

Background processes and applications running on your computer can consume CPU resources, affecting OBS's performance. Use a task manager to identify any resource-intensive processes and close or disable them before starting your streaming or recording session. This can help free up CPU capacity for OBS, resulting in smoother performance.

In Conclusion

Reducing CPU usage in OBS is essential for achieving smooth and high-quality streaming or recording experiences. By optimizing OBS settings, managing sources and scenes efficiently, enabling hardware acceleration, keeping OBS and drivers up to date, and exploring additional techniques, you can effectively make OBS use less CPU and unlock its full potential. Experiment with different settings and techniques to find the optimal balance between CPU usage and stream quality, ensuring an enjoyable streaming or recording journey.

How To Make Obs Use Less CPU

Tips for Reducing CPU Usage in OBS

  • Lower the Output Resolution: When streaming or recording, OBS uses CPU power to encode and process the video. By reducing the output resolution, you can significantly lower CPU usage without compromising video quality.
  • Disable Unnecessary Sources: Each source added to your OBS scene consumes CPU resources. Disable any unused or unnecessary sources to free up CPU usage.
  • Use Hardware Acceleration: If your computer's CPU supports hardware acceleration, enable it in OBS settings. This offloads some of the processing tasks to the GPU, reducing CPU usage.
  • Adjust Encoding Settings: OBS has various encoding options that affect CPU usage. Experiment with different settings to find the optimal balance between video quality and CPU load.
  • Close Unnecessary Background Applications: Running multiple applications in the background can hog CPU resources. Close any unnecessary programs before using OBS to reduce CPU usage.
  • Update OBS and Drivers: Keeping OBS and your graphics drivers up to date can improve performance and reduce CPU usage by fixing any bugs or compatibility issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Lowering the video resolution can help reduce CPU usage in OBS.
  • Adjusting the frame rate to a lower value can also help reduce CPU load.
  • Using hardware encoding can offload CPU processing to the GPU.
  • Closing unnecessary applications and background processes can free up CPU resources for OBS.
  • Using a dedicated streaming PC can significantly reduce the CPU usage in OBS.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to streaming or recording content with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), it's important to optimize your CPU usage to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted experience. Here are some commonly asked questions on how to make OBS use less CPU.

1. How can I reduce OBS CPU usage?

Reducing OBS CPU usage can be achieved by adjusting the settings and utilizing hardware acceleration. Start by optimizing OBS settings to lower the CPU impact, such as lowering the video bitrate and changing the x264 CPU preset. Additionally, enabling hardware acceleration and utilizing a dedicated graphics card can offload some of the CPU workload.

It's also important to close any unnecessary applications and processes running in the background to free up CPU resources. If possible, dedicate your computer solely to streaming or recording to minimize CPU usage.

2. How do I lower the video bitrate in OBS?

To lower the video bitrate in OBS, follow these steps:

1. Open OBS and go to the "Settings" menu.

2. Click on the "Output" tab.

3. Under the "Streaming" or "Recording" section, adjust the "Bitrate" value to a lower value. Lowering the bitrate will reduce CPU usage but may affect video quality.

Remember to find the balance between CPU usage and video quality to ensure optimal performance.

3. What is the x264 CPU preset in OBS?

The x264 CPU preset in OBS determines the speed and CPU usage during video encoding. It offers different presets, each with its own trade-off between CPU usage and video quality. The preset options range from "ultrafast" to "veryslow," with "ultrafast" providing the lowest CPU usage and "veryslow" offering the highest video quality but increased CPU usage.

To adjust the x264 CPU preset in OBS, follow these steps:

1. Open OBS and go to the "Settings" menu.

2. Click on the "Output" tab.

3. Under the "Streaming" or "Recording" section, find the "x264 CPU Preset" option and select the desired preset according to your requirements.

Consider testing different presets to find the right balance between CPU usage and video quality for your specific needs.

4. How can I enable hardware acceleration in OBS?

To enable hardware acceleration in OBS, you need to ensure that your graphics card supports it. Follow these steps:

1. Open OBS and go to the "Settings" menu.

2. Click on the "Advanced" tab.

3. Scroll down to the "Video" section and check the "Use hardware acceleration when available" option.

If your graphics card supports hardware acceleration, enabling this option can offload some of the CPU workload, resulting in lower OBS CPU usage.

5. Should I close other applications while using OBS?

Closing unnecessary applications while using OBS is highly recommended to reduce CPU usage. Applications running in the background consume CPU resources, which can affect OBS performance. By closing these applications, you free up more CPU power for OBS, ensuring a smoother streaming or recording experience.

Consider disabling automatic updates or notifications from programs that are not essential during your streaming or recording session. This helps minimize the impact on CPU usage and ensures OBS has priority access to system resources.

By following the tips and techniques mentioned in this article, you can effectively reduce the CPU usage of OBS and enhance its performance. Firstly, optimizing your settings by adjusting the video and audio settings can significantly decrease the CPU load. Lowering the resolution and fps, as well as using hardware acceleration, can make a noticeable difference in CPU usage. Secondly, closing unnecessary programs and background processes before starting OBS can free up valuable system resources.

Additionally, utilizing scene and source specific optimizations can further decrease the CPU usage. It is recommended to use the Studio mode to preview scenes before switching, as it minimizes the impact on CPU. Furthermore, removing any unused or inactive scenes and sources can also reduce the CPU strain. Lastly, keeping your OBS software and drivers up to date can ensure that you have the latest bug fixes and performance improvements.

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