Find out how to get the best quality streams! Optimizing OBS - [Open Broadcaster Software]

Alright, I've been putting this off way too long, time to get right into it! Let's discuss how to get the quality streams and recordings without killing your CPU.

First of all, the settings. Images are the best way to show what's going on, so I'll jump straight into the screenshots.

For the output settings, here's what I have.
Rate Control is set to CBR (constant bitrate) as that's required by most streaming services for optimal viewer experience.
Bitrate is set to 1500kbps, for the best tradeoff between quality and maximum viewer watch-ability.
Keyframe Interval is set to 1, it has to be less than 2, but we want every frame to be recreated from scratch for optimal quality.
CPU Usage Preset is set to VeryFast. Going over this isn't recommended as quality gained is diminished quite a bit. Going to Fast or Medium is fine if you have a powerful enough CPU.
Profile should be set to High. All it does enable some extra features that help with better quality at lower bitrates.
Tune is set to Film. This preset is designed for higher bitrates and higher quality, but it still has some noticeable improvements at lower bitrates.

Changing the Profile and Tune doesn't massively impact quality, but when you're working with low bitrates for streaming, you should take anything you can get.

obs output settings for x264

Now, for the Video Tab section of OBS Studio, it's super simple. So simple, I won't even screenshot it.
Simply set the Base Resolution and the Scaled Resolution to 1280x720. Then set the FPS to 30. Use the Bilinear downscale filter, as we're not downscaling anyway.

There we go! OBS Studio is now fully optimized the best we can get it for 720p streaming. The only other thing we can do is increase the bitrate. Goto 2500kbps if you have much higher motion, but for most games, 1500 should be enough. You can always change the bitrate mid-stream, so if you notice you suddenly have transcoding options, up it to 3500.

Note: This guide is for Twitch streaming. For YouTube Gaming streams, go with the maximum bitrate your internet can support, as all streams there get transcoded into several lower options. Use this linked guide for bitrate recommendations on YouTube .


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