Note: This is a reader-requested build from our Personalized Parts-List Research Service. Check it out if you need help planning the perfect PC build for gaming or workstation tasks, and you wish to avoid playing the luck game posting for help on forums and praying that someone knowledgeable will take the necessary time to properly design the best build for you. It happens, but it's rare that someone will spoonfeed you a well thought-out 100% specific build for you, 'cause builds take time to research properly.
Date Published: July 31, 2018
Build Requested by: Nick (USA)
Build Designed by: cyberjulz
Overall Build Aim: Best dedicated streaming PC possible for $600 to $1000 for Xbox One S using an Elgato hd60s capture card (not included in budget). Must be Intel, overclock-friendly.
Sub $800 Dedicated Streaming PC: Build Notes
Thanks for sending in your personalized build request. Below is your example build based on considering all the details you sent in and doing any necessary research and market analysis. Note that this is simply my own opinion and always do your own research into whether a particular part fits your requirements or not, but I have tried my best to cater to your specific situation and take into account any nuances/details of your particular situtation. If you need me to clarify/explain anything I say here, or you have any questions, just email me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
So, for the best dedicated streaming PC under around $800 (I've aimed for around the middle of your $600-$1000 suggested budget) for the best quality stream possible for OBS on Xbox One S, your best bet for Intel ('cause you selected you wanted Intel) is the i7 8700K.
It's also overclockable should you want to do that later, and I've included an overclock-friendly motherboard in the build, but you don't need to overclock at all as this high-end CPU is obviously super-fast as is and most importantly is a great streaming CPU.
You don't need a separate graphics card for a dedicated streaming computer like this, and the i7 8700K comes with integrated graphics (ie an iGPU) which is all you need to output basic graphics to a monitor and for any non-gaming tasks.
As for RAM, for simple streaming you don't need a lot of RAM as all the workload falls upon your CPU's shoulders, so a basic 8GB is all you really need unless you'll be doing other intensive workstation tasks on this build such as video editing etc, however you did not mention that when requested this build so I'm assuming you're just using this PC for streaming and streaming only. On the other side of things, you could actually even get away with just 4GB of RAM if you're just using OBS as it doesn't use much RAM at all. As for RAM speed, it doesn't matter at all (unlike Ryzen which loves fast RAM) because not only is this an Intel build, but again the RAM isn't an important aspect of a dedicated box for streaming.
I've included a high-quality yet affordable low-profile (as in, low clearance for small cases) aftermarket CPU cooler to keep your i7 cool and quiet. Noctua is one of the top cooling brands around. You also have a small form-factor (mini ITX) case which is a popular size for dedicated streaming computers as they're not like gaming PCs where chances are you want something that looks awesome and shows off your fancy parts-list. The Cooler Master Elite 130 case is small, practical, affordable, good-quality, has good airflow for a small case (with a mesh front which helps, too) and is all you need as a case for a build like this. Of course, feel free to get a bigger case should you want to do some more upgrades in the future and/or use this build for other things later on.
For storage I've included a 2TB HDD but if you'll be saving a ton of recordings to your PC you may want to get more. But 2TB is a nice size for most people. For the power supply I've gone for a high-quality gold-rated EVGA PSU that will reliably power your i7 rig and that is modular as well - ideal for a small form-factor build so you don't have excess wires lying around in the tight-space you have in there (which can increase heat). Learn more about modular vs non modular PSUs here. Plus, the EVGA gold unit I picked is currently at a nice price at the time of writing this, which is another reason I picked that particular one.
That's pretty much all I can think of at this time. Below is your suggested parts-list. If you need clarification on anything, have any questions or feedback, or want further help tweaking your parts-list, then just let me know and I'll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for sending in your build request, and I hope this helps you plan your build in some way.
Best High-End Dedicated Intel Streaming PC Build Under $800 (August 2018)
I've also compiled this example build over at PCPartPicker should you like that tool and/or want to double check compatibility etc:
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700K|
|CPU COOLER||Noctua NH-L9I Low-Profile Cooler|
|GRAPHICS||Integrated in CPU|
|MOTHERBOARD||AsRock Z370M-ITX/AC (Overclockable, mITX, USB 3.1, WiFi, M.2 support)|
|RAM||Patriot Signature 8GB (DDR4, 2 x 4GB, 2666 MHz)|
|HARD DRIVE||Seagate Barracuda 2TB (7200 RPM, 64MB Cache)|
|POWER SUPPLY||EVGA SuperNova G3 550 Watts (80+ Gold, Fully Modular)|
|CASE||Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX|
Got a question or want to share your thoughts on the above guide? We're listening and you can reach us on the platforms below or email us direct and we'll gladly help you out where possible if time permits. If you need more in-depth help with tweaking a build or planning one from scratch for your specific budget/theme/performance aims/etc - see our Get a Done-for-You Parts-List service where for a small tip we can thoroughly research and plan the very best build for your exact wants and needs. Also, constructive criticism on any aspect of the site is always welcome and appreciated as it helps us continue crafting BGC into the best noob-friendly DIY resource that it can be. Thanks guys.
Former hobbyist game programmer turned tech fanatic, Julz is the founder and lead author at BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming since starting the site in his spare time over a decade ago as an almost-laughably basic, unimpressive little site with a simple aim to try and make building a PC more accessible to the average gamer since most resources were far from beginner-friendly.
Over countless reiterations to the quality and depth of the site's content and research process over the years, it's steadily grown into the fairly expansive, comprehensive and constantly-updated PC building resource that it is today, now reaching and helping thousands of gamers and power users each and every month to more effectively plan optimal setups for their exact needs. His fav PC games of all time are HL1, WC3 and SWKOTOR (OOT, Perfect Dark, DKC2 & MGS2 for consoles) and he promises never to speak in third-person again. You can learn more about the BGC mission here.