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ndriver182

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2007
569
4
Hey everybody. My question is about using an M1 MBP for streaming. Currently I've got an M1 MBA and I definitely cannot stream at the quality level or stream complexity I want. I've been streaming from my desktop PC (Ryzen 5900X + RTX3080), which of course doesn't even break a sweat. The MBA sees pretty high CPU usage in OBS Studio and cannot keep a constant 60fps and stutters often. That said, maybe some of this is related to an immature OBS build for Apple silicon.

In any case, I saw the info on these new MBPs and had this pipe dream idea of consolidating my gear into a single MPB. In other words, sell my MBA and desktop PC as I don't play many PC games these days (mostly console). So, I wasn't sure if I could expect solid performance out of the MBP for a streaming/recording setup. I know it would have zero issues with FCP, Motion or any of the other software I use.
 

Gnattu

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2020
1,020
1,396
OBS Studio is not officially native as of 27.1.3 on Apple Silicon. It was even worse on OBS 26.x, which cannot even(properly) use the hardware encoder and the OBS itself is only using a single core. On version 27 and later we can use the hardware encoder to get acceptable performance despite the rosetta emulation as the most computing intensive tasks are offloaded to hardware, but I guess you are using software encoding because you want some kind of complexity.

There is a pull request draft for Apple Silicon here.

You can download unofficial builds for arm64 here. Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the quality of that build. You can try if that improves the performance.
 
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ndriver182

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2007
569
4
OBS Studio is not officially native as of 27.1.3 on Apple Silicon. It was even worse on OBS 26.x, which cannot even(properly) use the hardware encoder and the OBS itself is only using a single core. On version 27 and later we can use the hardware encoder to get acceptable performance despite the rosetta emulation as the most computing intensive tasks are offloaded to hardware, but I guess you are using software encoding because you want some kind of complexity.

There is a pull request draft for Apple Silicon here.
Actually, I set OBS (27.1.3) to use the VT H264 hardware encoder. I was seeing all kinds of significant frame drops in game capture using an Elgato HD60S+. Then again, maybe there was some kind of weird bandwidth issue when plugging the capture card into the USB hub (link below). That said, I did notice some frame dips even when just playing a static video file as the only scene source.


All that said, even with the less-than-ideal performance of OBS at this moment, could the MBP essentially "brute force" performance, not to mention be a device that could be essentially used to consolidate/streamline my tech setup?
 

Gnattu

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2020
1,020
1,396
Actually, I set OBS (27.1.3) to use the VT H264 hardware encoder. I was seeing all kinds of significant frame drops in game capture using an Elgato HD60S+. Then again, maybe there was some kind of weird bandwidth issue when plugging the capture card into the USB hub (link below). That said, I did notice some frame dips even when just playing a static video file as the only scene source.


All that said, even with the less-than-ideal performance of OBS at this moment, could the MBP essentially "brute force" performance, not to mention be a device that could be essentially used to consolidate/streamline my tech setup?
I don't recommend to use a capture card with any USB based hub. Thunderbolt based hubs are okay. When I was using my Elgato Camera link 4K with USB Hub, it will even disconnect itself from time to time and freezing the frame. This issue is not present when I was using it with my Thunderbolt dock and connecting it directly to my MBP.
 
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ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
619
31
Just outside Boston, MA.
I know what I'm about to recommend isn't OBS, but Ecamm Live is Apple Silicon native and it should work quite well. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but it's quite powerful. The biggest downside with it though is that it's not free... It uses a subscription model at different tiers, though a fully featured trial is available if you wanna try it out before committing to pay for it. Until OBS gets an official AS build that's the second best option at least as far as I know. I hope that helped.
 
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ndriver182

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2007
569
4
It's been a while since the last post and the new Macs are out. I wonder if any of the new information about these Macs could indicate whether or not OBS performance could be improved via "brute force" until (hopefully) an M1 compatible version is released.

I like your idea @ShiggyMiyamoto , but after seeing the pricing plans for Ecamm, I'm not sure I can stomach it at this time. I'm just a small streamer and not raking in a bunch of cash off my streams, so an expense like that every month may not be worth it yet.
 
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ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
619
31
Just outside Boston, MA.
It's been a while since the last post and the new Macs are out. I wonder if any of the new information about these Macs could indicate whether or not OBS performance could be improved via "brute force" until (hopefully) an M1 compatible version is released.

I like your idea @ShiggyMiyamoto , but after seeing the pricing plans for Ecamm, I'm not sure I can stomach it at this time. I'm just a small streamer and not raking in a bunch of cash off my streams, so an expense like that every month may not be worth it yet.
Yeah I get it... But that's basically the only other option besides StreamLabs OBS though the macOS version is behind the Windows version by a bit...
 

wtbman

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2016
4
4
@ndriver182 I'm using the newest beta unofficial build by callimeron https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/obs-on-apple-silicon.133606/page-10#post-556373 on a 16" MBP Max and it is working great. I use Xsplit to remove my webcam background and OBS to inject other video backgrounds using a chroma key filter (on PC Xsplit makes the background transparent, on Mac I use a green background image). Together the two use about 25% on the ARM version of OBS. With the intel version it was about 35%. Oddly the vlc-video plugin works on the ARM version but I couldn't get it to work with the intel version - even with the intel version of VLC.
 

ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
619
31
Just outside Boston, MA.
@ndriver182 I'm using the newest beta unofficial build by callimeron https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/obs-on-apple-silicon.133606/page-10#post-556373 on a 16" MBP Max and it is working great. I use Xsplit to remove my webcam background and OBS to inject other video backgrounds using a chroma key filter (on PC Xsplit makes the background transparent, on Mac I use a green background image). Together the two use about 25% on the ARM version of OBS. With the intel version it was about 35%. Oddly the vlc-video plugin works on the ARM version but I couldn't get it to work with the intel version - even with the intel version of VLC.
I've used those community M1 builds of OBS many a time.. I've compiled them myself as well, and as well as they work they're missing any easy Browser Source capability... If you're any kind of streamer and you use StreamLabs or StreamElements, then you know why that's important. StreamLabsOBS has all that stuff integrated into a nice pkg, but some people don't need all that stuff, so simple Browser Source versions of the alerts and other things work really nicely if implemented properly.
 
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Sergio The One

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2022
3
13
According to OBS' support team, an M1 version is coming, but the current version already. uses M1 optimized encoding via VideoToolbox. So the "hard part" is already optimized.

They advise to use x264 for streaming since Apple's Video Toolbox API is limited so they're forced to use x264 which hits the processor harder.
Apple's Hardware Encoder works for recording, but not for streaming since it doesn't support CBR.

So that can be useful for any of you trying to stream on M1 and OBS. Use x264 for streaming and Apple VT only for recording.
 
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