Optimizing Your PC as a Streamer
Different people have varying primary uses for their computers, and one such use that's rising heavily in popularity over recent years is that of streaming. More and more people are using computers as their primary method of watching shows, movies and various streaming services that feature these products, and optimizing your device for this need can go a long way.
At PC Laptops, we're here to offer a wide range of laptop and desktop computers to clients around Salt Lake City, Riverdale, Layton, Murray and many other nearby parts of Utah - and optimizing for any particular need is something we're happy to help with. Here are some simple ways to maximize your device's streaming capabilities, whether on your own or with the help of our team of professionals.
One of the most important parts of streaming is ensuring that your operating system is up to date. Operating systems can be especially vulnerable to the onslaught of spyware, malware and other malicious programs, so keeping it updated with the current version can help prevent a lot of headaches down the line.
For instance, if your machine is still utilizing an older version of Windows like Windows 7 or 8, it may be time to upgrade to the latest iteration. Doing so will ensure that your device is better equipped to handle streaming needs with the latest hardware and software enhancements.
Another important aspect of streaming is making sure that your processor can handle the demand. The more intensive the streaming service, the higher quality processor you'll need to keep up with it - so make sure you're investing in something that won't lag or stutter during playback.
At the very least, your machine should be equipped with at least an Intel Core i5 processor - but if you're looking for something more powerful, then opting for the Intel Core i7 or even the AMD Ryzen 7 is a good bet.
For those unaware, RAM refers to Random Access Memory - the temporary storage space your computer needs to run different programs. When streaming, having enough RAM is essential for keeping up with various services like Netflix and Hulu without any hiccups or outages.
At least 8GB of RAM should be good enough for most applications, but if you're looking to use more intensive programs then you'll need 16GB or more.
As you can imagine, streaming also relies heavily on your graphics card. A good GPU will be necessary for 4K streaming and other types of high-definition content, so make sure you invest in something powerful enough to handle these needs. Some great choices include the NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 for most users; if you're looking for something more powerful, then the GTX 1080 Ti or AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 are some great choices.
Some devices come with hardware accelerators, which are designed to improve graphics performance. However, these can also cause issues with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so it's best to disable them if you're having any trouble.
Hardware Accelerator can usually be found in the BIOS or other settings menus of your device - just look for a setting labeled "hardware accelerator" and disable it.
This may sound overly simplistic, but you'd be surprised how often this is overlooked. A bad internet connection can cause significant issues with streaming, so make sure you have at least 25 Mbps of download speeds for the best results.
Down related lines, the closer you are to your router the better - as the further away you are from it, the more likely you'll have issues with streaming. If you're experiencing a lot of lag or slowdowns then consider moving your computer closer to where the router is located.
If distance from the router isn't something you can alter, you might consider hard-lining your connection instead of relying on a wireless signal. Doing so will provide a much more consistent and reliable connection that's far less likely to be affected by external factors.
In some cases, simply optimizing your hardware may not be enough to ensure quality streaming. If this is the case, then installing a software video accelerator like Xtendplay can help take things to the next level.
This type of program will allow you to adjust settings on the fly and optimize performance automatically depending on what you're doing - so if you find yourself having issues with streaming then installing one of these can help quite a bit.
For more on how to optimize your device for streaming capabilities, or to learn about our computer sales or repair services in SLC, Riverdale, Layton, Murray or many other parts of Utah, contact our team at PC Laptops today.