CPU or GPU investment for 2019 27” 5K iMac for live streaming?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aristotelis27, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. aristotelis27 macrumors newbie


    Jul 24, 2019
    Hey guys, first time I write in Mac Rumors! So here is the deal.

    I have a total of 15% discount + beats (student offer) from any Mac product that I will buy. I have decided to get the 2019 27” 5K iMac and I am thinking about the best system upgrades for live streaming on Twitch through OBS or Elgato software because of the known issues with Mac drivers.

    Should I invest in the 3,6gHz i9 8-core processor with Radeon pro 580x 8GB or in the 3,7gHz i5 6-core processor with Radeon pro Vega 48 8GB? Both machines will have 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Are these specs enough to live stream with my capture card from PS4 on twitch on 1080p and 60fps and which one would you choose for better performance, CPU or GPU upgrade? Internet speed won’t be an issue as I am upgrading to 100/100 connection. Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thank you in advance.
  2. lJoSquaredl macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2012
    I suppose it depends on what you're playing. I still have my desktop PC and use my GPU to stream League of Legends cuz it's CPU dependent, and CPU to stream Overwatch cuz it's GPU dependent. Having said that, I can stream League and Overwatch at 1080p 60fps with a decent bitrate on my old i7 4790 and Nvidia 960 so I would assume anything in a newer iMac could handle it despite it being in MacOS.

    Not entirely sure I don't stream in MacOS, I myself may get an Macbook Pro and eGPU for that soon tho i've heard eGPUs and OBS don't work yet. It's for this reason I wouldn't suggest an iMac with a lower specced GPU coupled with an eGPU for gaming/streaming right now, tho that's probably the best idea if or when it starts working. (Unless they fixed it, anyone with an eGPU know?)
  3. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    4K streaming right now is only possible on a Mac if running Windows. Don't know if this is an issue but you should be aware of it.

    That's going to change in September. Any 2019 iMac, 2018 MacBook Pro or Mini will be able then.

    So should most 2017s but we won't know more till then — and you want a 2019, right?.
  4. Trusteft macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2014
    What's so special about this September?
  5. CheesePuff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    Next major macOS release
  6. JimmyjamesEU macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2018
    Do we know what is different about 10.15 with regard to streaming? I haven't noticed or seen anything that would make a difference.
  7. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Then you haven't been paying attention—with all the click-bait info that engulfs us all, it happens.

    iTunes is becoming 3 apps. The new TV app that's supposed to be one of the replacements will allow 4k streaming without having to run Windows. All Macs "released in 2018 or later" will support it according to Apple. It isn't here yet.

    Because Apple didn't say a thing about 2017 Macs, there are a few threads where the usual suspects are declaring the end of the world because of an imagined hardware issue that will prevent earlier Macs from supporting 4k streaming ... while ignoring the fact that it works now if running Windows — so much for the supposed hardware issue.

    I have no idea if it does or doesn't work now with the app you're trying to run — nor do I care. Not my issue.

    You are now up to speed.
  8. JimmyjamesEU macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2018

    Lol. the op is talking about live streaming their games/screen to Twitch using obs. Not iTunes movies! I think you may have totally misunderstood the topic at hand. Might want to hold back on the rather patronising tone until you demonstrate you can understand a simple post.
  9. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I don't stream through Twitch, nor do I use either of the software solutions you mentioned. As such, I can't directly advise you on whether the CPU or GPU is more important. But at least I can visualize your setup - most of the replies above are well-intentioned but a bit off.

    As an explainer to anyone who wants to help, what he (or she) is trying to do is to run a game off of their Playstation 4, using a video capture card through Elgato or OBS (presumably) to pipe the video output to their Mac. They are trying to have their Mac then telecast the Playstation 4's output, possibly combined with input from a webcam, in real-time to the Twitch service. They're trying to ensure maximum quality output at 1080p and 60 fps (the output from their Playstation 4).

    This doesn't sound like an overly demanding task for modern computers; the heavy graphical lifting is being done by the Playstation 4, and your computer is just doing encoding and sending work. If you already have a setup where you're doing this, whether it's struggling or not I'd recommending using the Activity Monitor (for Mac; Task Manager for Windows) to try and get a sense of whether your processor is being heavily utilized. If you have the capability to see graphics card utilization, then check that, too. Long story short, you can get a sense of which resource is being used more heavily, and choose based on that.

    Assuming no major difference (which is my guess), I'd choose the system with the better processor. The reason for that doesn't have to do with Twitch streaming, but future-proofing: your 2019 iMac will support external graphics cards, meaning that in the future you can "upgrade" your graphics chip to something superior than what is being offered today. By comparison, you'll never be able to upgrade your processor. (OK, sure, maybe you'd be able to crack the system open and swap in a new processor - that's possible with some systems, but it's no easy task and probably not worth the trouble.)

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8 July 24, 2019