Gamers who have their Twitch channels and would like to have optimal broadcasting quality should consider engaging in dual PC streaming.
Even though you can consider buying a more powerful computer in the first place, having a two PC stream setup can give you an extra boost towards Twitch perfection.
Let’s see how to setup dual PC streaming and how your Twitch channel can benefit from that.
Investing in an additional PC would be a good idea if you are into a serious streaming business. Combining two pieces of hardware with a dual PC streaming setup allows you always to have high-quality streams.
Besides two PCs, you will need two monitors, a capture card (internal or external), and cables for connection.
You will need at least the 5th generation of Intel’s processor (or AMD equivalent) packed with 8 GB RAM (the more, the better), Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 390X, or a stronger graphics card, and Windows 10 (if you don’t own Mac).
To start your streaming, you will need streaming software, like OBS, an audio mixer, voice communication software, and a compatible internet browser.
Table of Contents
Ways to Set Up a Dual PC Streaming
You will need two streaming monitors, two PCs, a capture card, and some HDMI and USB cables for a dual PC streaming setup.
The capture card role would be to transfer data from gaming to your streaming computer.
Twitch users enter into the two PC stream setup because they want to separate their streaming from their gaming activity.
Lately, we have seen many online games having higher graphics analysis and ultimate frame per second numbers.
That requires many resources from the gaming computer CPU to reach its natural limits (even multiple cores can have their limitations).
Related: How Many Cores Do You Need?
These enormous processing requirements from gaming exposure can create a serious lag and delay in your streaming activities.
Unless you have a PC with a massive RAM and multiple processor cores running at higher frequencies, splitting the two activities into two separate computers would be a one-way solution.
Related: How Much Ram Do You Need?
You can choose between an internal and an external capture card. The former gets installed inside the gaming computer and processes all data from the gaming activity.
The capture card then transfers all data through the HDMI cables to the streaming PC.
The external capture card works in the same sense. You can connect this card to the gaming computer using a USB cable. Then you will have your streaming computer connected to the gaming one through an HDMI cable.
The goal would be to play the game on the gaming PC (and the connected monitor) and display the game as a video to the streaming computer.
Dual PC Streaming Setup
Advantages and Drawbacks
If you are still unaware of how to stream from another computer, Twitch has the best solution for you.
You can send your video to the Twitch platform while broadcasting yourself from your streaming PC.
In this way, anything that happens to your gaming computer (overheating, blue screens, etc.) could not suspend your streaming.
The dual PC streaming setup may also give you a chance to adjust more cameras and angles to your gaming.
Not to mention that you shall have a better gaming quality since you can present your video at a higher analysis compared to the single PC setup.
Your two computers will last for long since you will not get them close to their limits when broadcasting your gaming.
On the other hand, with the dual PC streaming setup, you have more components to purchase, making your streaming activities more costly.
Here are some of the best and cheapest equipment you can get: Streaming Equipment.
Screen tearing is another issue you may face when you split images between two separate computer settings.
The dual PC streaming setup always requires more application to allow communication between the two system components. The cables and adapters are usually less affordable and could create unbearable issues for your broadcasting sessions.
Finally, some followers complain that a dual PC streaming setup can create more obnoxious noises that come forward to the broadcast from the streaming computer.
If you manage to balance the pros and cons of the two PC stream setup, you will have the optimum chance to attract more traffic and followers to your Twitch channel.
Software Requirements for Dual PC Setup
Streaming and Audio Management Software
You will need some extra software for a successful dual PC streaming setup. Most of them are free online apps you can download to your gaming and streaming PCs.
First, you need streaming software like the OBS, enabling you to stream video and audio from a different computer.
OBS may require lots of experience around computers since it has some of the oddest and most complicated settings. However, you can easily stream with your dual PC settings when you get used to it.
Another kind of software you will need for a two PC stream setup would the Virtual Audio Mixer.
That application is also free to download and gives you access to two separate audio sources at the same time, for a better dual PC streaming audio setup.
Twitch channels enable Voice communication among gaming users; you certainly need online call software.
Using that software and the mixer, you will always have the game sounds and the other users for your followers to listen to and admire.
Finally, the internet browser is one of the most important software you will need for successful streaming.
Dual PC streaming setups require you to mute your streaming computer and share only the audio coming from the gaming computer.
Novice Twitch channel streamers that prefer the dual PC setup make the serious mistake of loading their streaming through the browser.
That can create an echo that will ruin your streaming and make many followers abandon your Twitch channel.
It is important to have your browser loaded only when needed on your streaming PC and leave all the other features coming from your gaming PC.
Even though professional Twitch streamers know the advanced browser settings, it would be better to gain some experience with all available browsers before you started Twitch live broadcasting sessions.
Only with the right software combination will you be able to share a successful and profitable Twitch stream.
Being online is the ultimate goal but make it look simple and safe.
How to Stream with Two Computers
Every Twitch user knows how important it would be to have a fast internet connection.
The dual PC stream setup adds many more variables to the system since both PCs need to be online at the same time.
The more PCs you have connected to your router, the lower your bandwidth could be in a particular time frame.
The optimal internet connection for your gaming computer would be the one giving your system up to 100Mbps of downloading data.
The uploading data rate should always reach at least 50 Mbps for your streaming computer.
Related: Best Streaming Router
The internal connection between the gaming PC, the streaming PC, and the capture card is also important for fast data transfer speed.
Always use a free online service like OOKLA to measure your internet upload and download speed.
That will give you the chance to talk to your internet provider and find the best solution for the line coming to your house.
Today all professional Twitch streamers have optical fibers connected to the central network computers to avoid any lags and delays in their Twitch streams
You can also use tricks to increase your followers’ satisfaction when having a dual PC stream setup and a limited speed internet connection.
First, you have the chance to lower the bitrate of your streaming. Even though your gaming computer will give you the highest analysis, you can reduce the bitrate and make your followers have the best streaming experience.
Then you can also play with the frame per second ratio. That can give your followers the inception that your gaming runs smoothly when you face serious connection and internet speed issues.
In general, an uploading speed that comes close to 50 Mbps is enough to give you a great streaming quality and help followers enjoy their session.
With such internet speed, you can also show ads and create online competitions that run live while streaming.
A wider bandwidth would also be plausible for Twitch channel owners who like to have a decent speed for their chatrooms and website shows.
The best internet strategy would be to adjust your video and audio quality to the available top speed the best streaming router can provide.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will analyze the most frequently asked questions related to how to stream with 2 computers, as expressed on the Google search engine.
Should I Use Two PCs for Streaming?
There is no reason to use two PCs for streaming when you don’t intend to play online games.
However, when you finally decide to stream on your Twitch channel presenting an online gaming session, it would be better to have two PCs for reasons analyzed before.
On the other hand, it is possible to perform streaming simultaneously with gaming from the same desktop or laptop computer.
Provided you have one of the newest PCs that can handle both functions; you may easily present a game to your followers and stream them your image and audio.
When you decide to use two PCs for that kind of streaming, you may look more professional to followers.
You are ready to accept new challenges and show them you really count their opinion when you use both PCs. Combined computing power can always give you better results and make people engaged in your channel.
Can I Stream on Two Computers Without a Capture Card?
There is no way you can stream on two computers if you don’t have a capture card. This capture card can be necessary for your processor unit to mix the two different video and audio sources, either internal or external.
This card’s presence makes it possible to unify what you see on the two separate screens. The external card is always better since you can connect it to the screen with an HDMI cable and have a mutual connection with USB to the gaming PC.
The OBS capture card can also adjust the image quality and give you better results when you have your internal graphic card issues.
Twitch channel owners who have repeatedly used a captured card for their streaming confess that it’s the only way to present a flawless session to your followers.
Its price is not high enough to make it hard for you to purchase it. If you consider yourself a pro-gamer and streamer, it would be the right equipment to have.
Does More RAM Help With Streaming?
RAM is not the same as the capture card. Although a capture card has its internal memory resembling the RAM, it has a universe of different features.
Buying and applying more RAM to your PC’s motherboard will not help you with dual streaming. You will need to have a capture card to present your online gaming sessions to your followers while streaming yourself.
However, more RAM for your PC can help you reach some internal CPU functions in a lower time and avoid overclocking. In this aspect, a bigger RAM can make your streams more stable than before.
Can I Use My Graphic Card as a Capture Card?
Your graphic card has a different setup than the capture card. These cards may share common features but are not the same. A capture card can accept audio and video from two or more separate devices and mix them in the streaming PC.
The graphic card has no internal modifier for the signal it accepts from the gaming PC. As a result, you will always need a separate capture card to mix the two streaming sessions from the dual PC sets.
You may choose between an internal and an external type of capture card according to your system configuration.
Are Gaming And Streaming Better on a Dual PC Setting?
The Dual PC setting has some clear advantages and some drawbacks, which are hard to disregard. For many experienced Twitch users, the dual PC setting acts as a guarantee for their streaming.
Other users think it makes their setup more complicated, especially when they need to change streaming locations. If you have the best dual PC setting and optimal internet provider speeds, you can claim to have better gaming and streaming experience.
On the other hand, no dual PC setup can make your streaming better if all the other factors remain the same. Try to choose the dual PC setup when you have improved your streaming hardware and software’s rest characteristics.