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Streaming! (OBS & FPS)


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#1   TheSimms

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:15 PM

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So for quite some time now i've been asked questions on how I achieve high in game fps when streaming in pretty high quality, and to further extension what my OBS settings are/how I set it up. The simple answer in short, is a stupid amount of extensive testing/research and tweaking little things here and there to maximise frame rates. Admittedly, I do have a pretty decent PC now with a 7700K at the heart of it but it wasn't always this way and managed to kick out some pretty sick fps. Many big streamers have dual kick ass PC setups and I still see grainy/choppy streams, hoping the below helps a few people out there grab some more FPS in game, a better looking stream and maybe even gets a few of you to give streaming a go!

 

Disclaimer - This is what works for me, my PC and my personal setup/preferences, everyone's will vary.

 

 

Streaming, Setting up and configuring OBS.

 

First things first, download and install the latest version of OBS Studio. A few people use XSplit due to its incredible easy of use and set up but I personally find the overall quality and CPU usage is much better on OBS Studio.

 

First things first, If you have a 64 bit PC please make sure you use the 64 bit version of OBS. I've seen a few friends running the 32 bit version but i'm 99% sure when you install a  fresh version it puts the 64 bit shortcut on your desktop. The ‘default’ install location for me was C:\Program Files (x86)\obs-studio\bin\64bit. If you don't know if you have a 32 bit or 64 bit computer chip, to put it simply -64 bit will not run so revert to 32.

 

https://s1.postimg.org/msxgfd3kf/image.png

 

General tab. Only 2 things to note on the image above, theme - i personally prefer the dark one as it's easier on the eyes. Automatically record while streaming, it will use some more of your computer and take up a fair bit of room. Personally would say just leave ‘archive broadcast’ on twitch then download any clips using twitch leacher.

 

https://s27.postimg.org/x8mg2sjsj/image.png

 

Stream tab. Stream type - This is where you chose how you will use OBS, Streaming services is what we will need! Service - only ever used Twitch but do know facebook/youtube streaming is just as easy and this is where you would choose that format. Server - closet one to you, you can install 3rd party software to check your best ping and server. Finally Stream key is obtained via your twitch dashboard, settings, stream key and show key. I always recommend hitting refresh key also to generate a new one and then simply copy and paste over (it's a big long number).

 

https://s29.postimg.org/o03r09ld3/image.png

 

Output tab. First off at the very top in Output mode select ‘Advanced’ to show greater menu options. Encoder should be set to x264, other encoders use graphics cards and other means of streaming and honestly the quality just looks garbage, you really don't want to use any other method - use x264 and tick ‘Enforce streaming service’. Tick rescale output, (unless you play in 1280) unless you have an absolute monster PC or dual PC setup i’d highly recommend 1280x720. It uses FAR less resources, you get better bang for your buck in framerates and overall unless you stream full time 1280 is perfect. Rate control = CBR, I set the Bitrate to 4000 but many people say twitch only allows 3500 which i don't believe as i see streams in 6/7/8000 + so i choose 4000 becuase i have a decent broadband connection and it looks nice and crispy, anything above an 6/7 meg solid connection is fine on 3500. Keyframe is 2 as per twitch.

 

Now this is the fun part and sometimes confusing part but let me make it clear, THIS PRESET MASSIVELY IMPROVES QUALITY BUT MAKES YOUR CPU WORK HARDER. If you have an OK CPU, leave it at default which is ‘very fast’. If you have a sick nasty new kick ass i7 cpu or above and want your stream quality looking better than most, bump it to ‘faster’, if you have a bad CPU and are dropping lots of frames and your game framerates are dying choose ‘superfast’ (but you will see a large quality degrade here). Profile = main, Tune = none, VFR = unticked unless you have a really spiky and unstable connection at home due to a bad area or lots of people in the house using the line at random times and throttling your connection.

 

https://s27.postimg.org/4lnr9ilar/image.png

 

Audio tab. Nothing massively of interest here except the red box is where you choose your mic input, i recommend streamers buy a decent USB mic. Start off at the cheap end with a Blue Snowball ice (very cheap entry level), Blue Snowball (better quality), AT2020+ USB (high end and best on the market imo when geared with a pop filter and mic arm).

 

https://s3.postimg.org/itgfxufg3/image.png

 

Video tab. Base resolution is the resolution you play at (usually 1920 x 1080), Output Res is what res you will be streaming at. (Using 1080 here will eat your pc and game frame rates and would highly advise 1280 x 720 unless you're a full time streamer and have a monster or dual PC setup). Downscale Filter is personal preference but i'm a fan of Lanczos as its nice and crisp and finally Common FPS should 100% be 60 unless your PC is pretty bad, it's 2017 and people want to see games streamed in no less than 60 FPS.

 

https://s22.postimg.org/l7a4klbfl/image.png

 

Hotkeys tab. I don't use these but this is where you set up start and stop stream keys, most people use it for the scene selection so you can just hit a key and the scene around them will change.

 

https://s3.postimg.org/rq5smz2eb/image.png

 

Advanced tab. Process Priority, I leave it at normal. I did mess about with it and saw weird issues, this is where you can set OBS to have priority on PC resources over other things. Streamers with Dual PC setups may benefit from Above normal/Higher settings as those PC’s are dedicated for streaming. Render = Direct3D 11, YUV Colour Range, set this to Full and you will notice the colours of the game look better! Stream Delay, set this to build in a Delay if you do not want to use twitch’s dashboard delay setting.

 

 

Add PC game, Overlay and Webcam. (Click the + symbol below sources)

 

Looking at webcams i personally find 432 x 240 a nice resolution. Feel free to also click configure video and turn off any stupid extra features these webcams come with like ‘right sound’ or ‘right light’. They just slow it down and make the fps choppy, go buy a Natural Daylight Bulb/Lamp from amazon and you will glow on cam! And if you are looking for a nice webcam you can't go wrong with a Logitech C920, cheap and reliable. If you want the new 60FPS version it's the c922!

 

https://s30.postimg.org/cl8nu51sh/Webcam.png

 

Overlays are a fun one, make sure the image size is small, a blank PNG and a nice layered file. Had some people add HUGE great big 4K HD res images and it just causes the stream to lag. If someone is creating you an overlay ask for a 1920 x 1080 overlay size or 720. Also please put it above your webcam in the menu ad then your cam will sit below the overlay and look nice and not out of place. This is added via + ‘Image’, if you want to add follow/sub alerts from somewhere like Streamlabs you do this by selecting + ‘Browser Source’ and then inserting the link found on Streamlabs dashboard as seen below.

 

https://s21.postimg.org/73jv9w09z/Browser.png

 

FInally adding you game, now if this is an Xbox or PS4 game you simply add the capture card under ‘Media Source’ (Avermedia's cards are awesome and super cheap from the bottom line to the top end, internal and external they are the best on the market imo) but if it's streaming a game like PUBG for example them I highly recommend using ‘Game Capture’ and then choosing Mode - ‘Capture Specific Window’ Adding it this way basically allows OBS to see what's coming from the game only direct out of the card and won't show ur steam/desktop/skype etc etc. In my testing this was the best way to stream PC games without dual PC setups and capture cards etc etc and gave the best quality/fps/used least amount of resources.

 

https://s3.postimg.org/n1v9fsjxv/Game_Cap.png

 

 

Increasing frame rates and PC performance.

 

OK so OBS and other things can be a little hard hitting on the old PC, here are a few tips to make sure your PC is running smooth along with some tricks to helping PUBG run better.

 

PC Power plan, set this to High Performance to stop your gfx card and CPU bottlenecking. To do this go to ‘Choose a power plan’ or ‘Edit a power plan’. Be sure to check the Minimum and maximum processor states in here also as I have found in the past friends PC’s have been set at low %’s.

 

https://s17.postimg.org/8gwrfm9vz/image.png

 

https://s2.postimg.org/dad40t349/image.png

 

Run disk cleanup (C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe)

 

Run disk defrag (C:\Windows\System32\defrag.exe)

 

Update GFX card drivers.

Nvidia = http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx

AMD = http://support.amd.com/en-us/download

 

Set Nvidia control panel to ‘Use my preference emphasising: performance’ To do this right click your on desktop, click Nvidia Control Panel.

 

https://s28.postimg.org/5hu826j2l/image.png

 

 

PUBG specific startup commands

 

Open Steam and right click on the game then select Properties

Left click on 'SET LAUNCH OPTIONS...'

Add the following commands each with a space between for the following improvements. -USEALLAVAILABLECORES

-malloc=system

-sm4

-sm4 changes shaders from dx11 to dx10

-malloc=system lets windows handle the memory allocation and helps with leaks/crashes

-USEALLAVAILABLECORES let’s PUBG use all cores of your CPU!

https://s18.postimg.org/eot87euqx/startup.png

Below I have also attached my in game settings just as an FYI.

https://s27.postimg.org/5amni5wkz/Inked20170817190454_1_LI.jpg

 

Also just recently found - https://www.reddit.c...fps_new_method/

 

Helps a lot with FPS ^

 

 

Recommended software for cleaning your PC and keeping it running smooth!

 

CCleaner, use this to remove old programs, fix registry issues and also stop startup programs starting. Having programmes start up and run in the background will just slow your pc down. END THEM!

 

Spybot, use this program to find spyware.

 

Malwarebytes, use this program to find Malware.


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#2   Cursed Lemon

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:03 PM

Good guide. One thing of note that I can't remember offhand, if OBS allows you to use HEVC/H.265 via NVENC (and you aren't pushing your graphics card balls-to-the-wall, maybe playing a game like Overwatch or whatever), it might be worth it to do some A/B testing between x264 and the former. The assertion that H.265 can cut bitrates in half is fairly accurate.

 

EDIT: It doesn't. So, disregard. 


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#3   Cursed Lemon

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:08 PM

Also, as an addendum, you should always use CRF to manage your bitrate in x264, as the perceptual coding behind x264 works best in that fashion; x264 hates CBR and will always look worse when utilizing it (for example, NVENC will look as good or better than x264 in almost every case when utilizing CBR).

 

At 720p60, the quality of CRF 20-25 (which is roughly the sweet spot of x264) at "medium" preset will hover right around 2Mbps, which will slot in nicely with Twitch's bitrate limitations and allow you to adjust your preset to see what your CPU is capable of. This setting barely pushes my i7-6700K with no overclock. 

 

2IpaFQ0.png


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#4   TheSimms

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 08:44 AM

Also, as an addendum, you should always use CRF to manage your bitrate in x264, as the perceptual coding behind x264 works best in that fashion; x264 hates CBR and will always look worse when utilizing it (for example, NVENC will look as good or better than x264 in almost every case when utilizing CBR).

 

At 720p60, the quality of CRF 20-25 (which is roughly the sweet spot of x264) at "medium" preset will hover right around 2Mbps, which will slot in nicely with Twitch's bitrate limitations and allow you to adjust your preset to see what your CPU is capable of. This setting barely pushes my i7-6700K with no overclock. 

 

Will look into this as I've never used anything different so thanks for the heads up, also small note on the above highlighted. I actually think the limiting numbers are BS and Twitch doesn't cap you, there will be a hard cap somewhere but unless they allow different/bigger streamers to stream in larger bit rates (1080 needs at least 6000 to look event remotely good quality) what they say on paper is different to what is achievable. Unless it all changed and i'm lost in old age but i know Twitch always stated a 3.5K cap but i watch streamers pumping about 7/8/10 hell even 12K.


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#5   Cursed Lemon

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 12:30 PM

I don't know much about Twitch and how they treat their big streamers, but maybe they give special consideration to their biggest draws in the same way that Youtube does. 

 

Also, some evidence about the CBR/CRF thing. Here are three screenshots from differently encoded videos that show you how big the difference is. All of these videos are running about 900-ish kbps bitrate. 

 

Here's a screenshot of a video encoded with NVENC CBR (high quality option), all other options default (GOP 25/250, etc.): 

 

NgJ3dCM.png

 

Here is a screenshot of the same video encoded with x264 using CBR at Medium preset:

 

NgJ3dCM.png

 

And here is a screenshot of the same video with x264 using CRF of 30: 

 

z7lP2oM.png

 

As you can see, even though the bitrate is the same for all the videos, x264 with CRF is a MASSIVE increase in quality, especially with motion shots which is where these screenshots were captured from. 

 

Also worth noting is that the CRF variable is far, far, FAR more influential on the video's quality than the quality presets ultrafast through placebo. 


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