Mike Slinn
Mike Slinn

OBS Studio Streaming Using Nvidia GTX 1660/1650 GPUs

Published 2021-12-29.
Time to read: 2 minutes.

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OBS Studio running on my desktop PC was able to record audio and video at any resolution and frame rate that I desired, but whenever I tried to stream to YouTube, the video did not work. Instead of live video, just the first frame was sent; a still image.

To help me diagnose the problem, I ran UserBenchMark, available for free from userbenchmark.com. The benchmark showed that my PC's video card, an old EVGA GeForce GTX 760, was mismatched to the rest of the computer; it was by far the weakest link. The video card was able to drive a 4K monitor and a 1080p monitor simultaneously, for displaying static windows, but it was unsuitable for gaming and streaming live video.

OBS Studio Recommendations

Nvidia video cards are strongly recommended by the OBS Studio developers, “preferably a Turing-based unit”, and that the best value cards were GTX 1660 (all flavors) and GTX 1650 Super GPUs. Currently, video cards are in extremely short supply, so prices for used units are higher than those for new units because new units are often not available.

I bought a used EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 video card (model 06G-P4-1067-RX) here in Montreal for $550 (CAD) and popped it into my computer. After installing drivers from https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx, and rebooting, OBS Studio was able to stream live without straining the PC. I also noticed that the Windows system performance was smoother, and more stable than it had been with the older video card.

Facebook Live Stream

This is the Facebook Live Stream I tested with:

Over/Under- Clocking

There is no need to overclock this video card.

Overclocking causes more power to be consumed, which means more heat must be dissipated, which means fans must work harder, which means the computer is louder.

The fans on this video card only spin when needed, and they only spin as fast as required when needed. Fans are noisy, so the recording room is quieter when the video card is not working very hard.

I want the computer I use for streaming to be as quiet as possible. This video card barely breathes hard as it streams live, so underclocking might be a way to further reduce power usage, and hence reduce the need for fans to spin.