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Streamline Your OBS Performance: Maximizing CPU Efficiency and Video Quality

Title: Optimizing OBS CPU Usage: Updating Drivers and Adjusting Output ResolutionAre you an avid streamer or content creator facing constant issues with OBS high CPU usage? Don’t fret, as there are steps you can take to optimize your OBS performance and provide a seamless streaming experience for you and your viewers.

In this article, we will delve into the two main pillars of OBS optimization: updating drivers and adjusting output resolution. By following these steps, you can minimize CPU usage and enhance the quality of your streams.

So let’s jump right in!

Updating Drivers

Updating GPU Card Driver

To cope with OBS high CPU usage, a primary troubleshooting step is to ensure that your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) card driver is up to date. Below are some steps you can follow:


Determine your GPU card manufacturer: Identify whether you have an Nvidia, AMD, or Intel GPU card installed on your system. 2.

Visit the manufacturer’s website: Go to the website of your GPU card manufacturer and search for the latest driver updates. 3.

Download and install the driver: Download the latest driver for your specific GPU card model and follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Using Dedicated Driver Updater

For a more convenient and efficient approach to updating drivers, you can utilize dedicated driver updater software such as Outbyte Driver Updater. Follow these steps:


Install a reliable driver updater: Download and install a trusted driver updater software like Outbyte Driver Updater, which helps automate the driver update process. 2.

Launch the software and scan for outdated drivers: Run a scan with the driver updater to identify any outdated drivers on your system. 3.

Update drivers: Once the scan is complete, review the results and update any outdated drivers with the click of a button.

Adjusting Output Resolution

Lowering Output (Scaled) Resolution

Another way to tackle OBS high CPU usage is by adjusting the output resolution settings to reduce the strain on your processor. Consider the following steps:


Open OBS and navigate to the settings: Launch OBS and click on the “Settings” button in the lower-right corner of the screen. 2.

Access the video settings: In the left sidebar, select “Video” to access the video settings. 3.

Modify the output resolution: Under “Output (Scaled) Resolution,” lower the resolution to a level that suits your needs while minimizing CPU usage.

Balancing Stream Screen Resolution

To strike a balance between stream quality and CPU usage, optimizing your stream screen resolution is crucial. Follow these steps:


Assess your hardware capabilities: Evaluate the capabilities of your CPU and GPU to understand the maximum resolution your system can handle without impacting performance. 2.

Adjust the base canvas resolution: In OBS settings, under the “Video” tab, locate the “Base (Canvas) Resolution” and set it to match your monitor’s native resolution. 3.

Consider downscaling options: If needed, navigate to the “Output” tab and experiment with the “Downscale Filter” and “Common FPS Values” to find the optimal settings for your system and stream quality requirements. By adjusting output resolution settings effectively, you can significantly reduce OBS high CPU usage and ensure smooth streaming experiences for both you and your viewers.


Optimizing OBS for optimal CPU usage is crucial for a seamless streaming experience. Updating drivers, specifically GPU card drivers, and adjusting output resolution are two key areas where you can make impactful changes.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you are well on your way to minimizing OBS high CPU usage. So, embrace these techniques and take your streaming endeavors to new heights!

Modifying Frame Rate

Lowering Common FPS Value

Another effective method to combat OBS high CPU usage is by adjusting your frame rate settings. By lowering the common FPS (frames per second) value, you can alleviate strain on your CPU.

Follow these steps:

1. Open OBS and access the settings: Launch OBS and click on the “Settings” button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

2. Navigate to the video settings: In the left sidebar, select “Video” to access the video settings.

3. Lower the common FPS value: Under “Common FPS Values,” reduce the frame rate to a value that matches the requirements of your stream.

Lowering the FPS value reduces the number of frames your CPU has to process, thus reducing its workload. By adjusting the frame rate to a lower value, you can significantly decrease OBS high CPU usage while still maintaining a decent stream quality.

Experiment with different FPS values to find the balance that works best for your streaming needs.

Balancing Resource Usage

Achieving a balance between stream quality and CPU usage is essential when optimizing OBS. Consider the following tips to help you strike the right balance:


Monitor your CPU usage: Keep an eye on your CPU usage while streaming to determine the threshold at which OBS starts causing performance issues. This will help you understand your CPU’s capabilities.

2. Adjust the frame rate and resolution: Lowering the frame rate and output resolution can alleviate CPU strain.

Experiment with different settings to find the optimal balance between resource usage and stream quality. 3.

Consider your target audience and content: If you are primarily streaming fast-paced action games, a higher frame rate might be necessary for smoother gameplay. However, for less demanding content, you can reduce the frame rate further to reduce CPU load.

Remember, finding the balance that works for you may involve some trial and error. Monitor your system’s performance and gather feedback from your viewers to ensure a smooth streaming experience.

Adjusting X264 Preset

Choosing CPU Usage Preset

In OBS, you have the option to adjust the X264 preset, which determines the CPU usage during encoding. By selecting an appropriate preset, you can optimize OBS performance and reduce CPU usage.

Here’s how:

1. Access the OBS settings: Open OBS and click on the “Settings” button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

2. Navigate to the video settings: In the left sidebar, select “Output” to access the output settings.

3. Modify the X264 preset: Under the “Encoder” dropdown, select “Software (x264)” if it is not already selected.

Then, adjust the “Preset” setting.

Balancing CPU Usage and Video Quality

Balancing CPU usage and video quality is crucial when adjusting the X264 preset. Consider the following tips to achieve the optimal balance:


Choose a preset according to your CPU capabilities: The X264 preset options range from “ultrafast” to “very slow,” with each preset trading CPU usage for encoding quality. Test different presets to find the one that offers the best compromise between CPU usage and video quality.

2. Monitor CPU performance: While streaming, keep an eye on your CPU usage and adjust the preset accordingly.

If your CPU is nearing its maximum capacity, consider selecting a faster preset to reduce the strain. 3.

Impact on video quality: Keep in mind that choosing a faster preset may result in a slight decrease in video quality, while slower presets will improve quality at the expense of increased CPU usage. It’s essential to find the right balance for your specific system to ensure smooth streaming without sacrificing video quality.

Experiment with different presets and monitor both CPU performance and stream quality to find the sweet spot. As you implement these adjustments to your OBS settings, you’ll gain control over CPU usage and enhance your streaming experience.

Remember, finding the perfect settings may require some tinkering and testing, so be patient and monitor the impact of each change. By considering factors such as updating drivers, adjusting output resolution, modifying frame rate, and tweaking the X264 preset, you can overcome OBS high CPU usage and deliver high-quality streams.

So, take the time to optimize your OBS settings and provide your viewers with an exceptional streaming experience. Happy streaming!

Updating Windows

Checking for Updates

In addition to updating drivers, keeping your Windows operating system up to date is crucial for optimizing OBS performance and reducing CPU usage. Here’s how you can ensure that your Windows is always updated:


Open Windows Settings: Click on the Start menu and select the gear icon to open the Windows Settings. 2.

Navigate to Windows Update: In the Settings window, click on “Update & Security” and then select “Windows Update” from the left sidebar. 3.

Check for updates: Click on the “Check for Updates” button to initiate the search for available updates. 4.

Download and install updates: If updates are found, click on the “Download” button and let Windows install the updates. Note that you may need to restart your computer for some updates to take effect.

By regularly checking for Windows updates, you ensure that your operating system is equipped with the latest bug fixes, performance improvements, and security patches. This can help alleviate OBS high CPU usage caused by outdated Windows components.

Ensuring PC Compatibility

If you are experiencing persistent OBS high CPU usage, it’s important to consider the compatibility of your PC with both OBS and Windows. Outdated hardware or insufficient system requirements can lead to performance issues.

Follow these steps to ensure PC compatibility:

1. Check system requirements: Make sure your PC meets the minimum system requirements for OBS and Windows version you are running.

Visit the OBS and Windows websites to find detailed information about system requirements. 2.

Update your hardware: If your PC does not meet the requirements, consider upgrading your hardware components such as CPU, GPU, or RAM. This can significantly improve performance and reduce CPU usage.

3. Optimize system resources: Even if you meet the minimum requirements, optimizing your PC for performance can help alleviate OBS high CPU usage.

Close unnecessary background applications, disable unnecessary startup programs, and perform regular system maintenance (e.g., disk cleanup, defragmentation). By ensuring PC compatibility, you create a solid foundation for optimal OBS performance.

Upgrading hardware components and optimizing system resources can address performance bottlenecks and reduce the strain on your CPU. When it comes to OBS high CPU usage, updating your Windows operating system is a crucial step in optimizing performance.

Keeping Windows up to date ensures that your PC has the latest features and improvements, addressing any compatibility issues that may contribute to OBS performance problems. In addition to updating drivers, adjusting output resolution, modifying frame rate, and tweaking the X264 preset, monitoring your Windows updates and ensuring PC compatibility are important steps.

By holistically addressing potential factors contributing to OBS high CPU usage, you can create an optimized streaming environment and provide a seamless experience for yourself and your viewers. So, regularly check for Windows updates and ensure your PC meets the recommended requirements.

Remember to experiment with different settings, monitor CPU performance, and gather feedback from your viewers to achieve the perfect balance between OBS performance and stream quality. With these strategies in place, you can take your streaming endeavors to new heights.

Happy streaming!

In conclusion, optimizing OBS CPU usage is crucial for a smooth streaming experience. Updating drivers, adjusting output resolution, modifying frame rate, and ensuring Windows compatibility are key steps to alleviate OBS high CPU usage.

By following these recommendations, you can reduce strain on your CPU, improve stream quality, and provide an exceptional experience for both yourself and your viewers. Remember, finding the right settings may require some trial and error, but the effort is well worth it.

So, take control of your OBS performance and unleash your streaming potential. Happy streaming!

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