A graphics card, or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), is a piece of hardware specifically designed for the purpose of converting data into the images displayed by your monitor.
If you are looking to build your own PC for streaming this is one of the first pieces of hardware you are going to need, along with a quality camera and microphone.
Does a Better Graphics Card Help with Streaming?
Graphic cards don’t actually affect the streaming quality. Not directly, at least.
However, having a low-end GPU means you will have to run video games on lower settings to improve performance. As a result what will be captured on-screen and streamed will, therefore, be of a lower quality as well.
This isn’t much of a problem if you are playing video games with low graphical requirements. But if that isn’t the case, we recommend at least a mid-range gaming GPU.
The Best GPU for Streaming and Gaming
5. Radeon RX 570: $423.37
Stream processors: 2048 | Core clock: 1168 MHz | Memory: 7 GB | Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
The Radeon RX 570 is the ideal GPU if you are on a budget or don’t plan on streaming too demanding video games. It has enough power to run most modern games at HD without problems and the most demanding games at lower settings.
4. GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: $759.96
Stream processors: 1536 | Core clock: 1500 MHz | Memory: 12 GB | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti will let you run any modern game at HD resolution at ease. It also features dedicated hardware encoders that allow you to game and stream simultaneously.
3. GeForce RTX 3060 Ti: $1,099.00
Stream processors: 4864 | Core clock: 1410 MHz | Memory: 8 GB | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
The GeForce RTX 3060 is capable of delivering a 1080p stream very close to its highest standard. It includes NVIDIA Broadcast app, whose AI capabilities improve audio and video quality, and offer webcam autofocus.
2. GeForce RTX 3080: $2,699.99
Stream processors: 8704 | Core clock: 1440 MHz | Memory: 10 GB | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
The GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the best GPU for Twitch streaming. It will let you run video games at 4k at 60 FPS. Offering the lowest latency and best responsiveness, this GPU delivers the both the performance and image quality necessary to give your audience the very best.
1. GeForce RTX 3090: $3,699.00
Stream processors: 10496 | Core clock: 1440 MHz | Memory: 24 GB | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
The GeForce RTX 3090 really does take it one step further. With its Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, multiprocessors, and jaw-dropping 24 GB of memory, it is capable of delivering the ultimate 4k gaming experience while downsampling to 1080p for streaming.
There are many decent GPU options capable of handling live streaming perfectly well, but if you want to keep some versatility and allow yourself to stream even the most recent video game titles you probably want at least a mid-range GPU.
If you are just getting started, or on a budget, a Radeon RX 570 is a good place to start, but you would probably be better off with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti if you can afford it. However, if you are looking for the best GPU for streaming and gaming, the GeForce RTX 3090 wears the crown.