Best Setting at the Lowest Cost to CPU


New Member
TLDR: What are the best settings when you can't do 1080p.

I've been streaming at 720p/60fps just fine on my M1 MacBook Pro. I was using 3500 Bitrate, and Base Canvas + Output Scaled where set to 720p + CPU Usage Preset 'veryfast'. On average OBS was running at 27% to 35% at a push. I always ran my Capture Card at 1080p but just transformed to to 'Fit to Screen'.

I now want to do higher resolution...and here is where the problems start.

I ran a few streams at 1080p/60fps, the only settings I changed where Base Canvas and Output Scaling to 1080p and Bitrate changed to 6000 - everything ran fine - OBS was now running around 45%. I was using a Logitech c920 Preset High + Game Capture at 1080p.

I got a Elgato FaceCam and the minute I added it the CPU went to 99% when trying to use it within a 1080p stream - the Cam Capture was also set to 1080p. I've tried a few options and I nothing is working for me to lower my CPU usage at 1080p - here comes the list:
  • Set Webcam Capture to Lower Resolutions
  • Used Less Sources + Switched Them Off and On
  • Lowered Bitrate
  • Changed Output Scaled Resolution to 720p (Hoping It Would Retain Quality with 6000 Bitrate)
  • Changed CPU Usage to 'superfast'
  • Tried Different Downscaled Filters
I'm at a loose end. I was to run at as high a resolution as possible. When I made clips of my gameplay after 1080p streams they were so much clearer, so I want to maintain that clean crisp resolution. I just can't now seem to find a combination of settings that will allow that to happen since the introduction of the new camera (I want to keep and use the new camera, the picture quality is so much better).

So what are your thoughts. Which of all the settings lets you maintain resolution with the least amount of pressure on the CPU/GPU. I thought if I Output Scaled 1440x810 coming from a Base Canvas of 1080p with 6000Bitrate, and Downscale Filtering of Lanczos that I could maintain the quality at a lower output - but how do I maintain these settings without the CPU running out.

Reminder I run my entire setup from one M1 MacBook Pro (2020) - I have USB Mic, USB Lights, StreamDeck, Capture Card, USB Ethernet Adaptor, Mic Amp, WebCam all running on one MacBook, you add in OBS + Audio HiJack (separate audio eq app) - I think I'm doing ok...


New Member
Hi, i am using a MacBook Air M1 and I use the Apple x264 Hardwareencoder, not the CPU. I usually can stream fine with 1080p at 30fps at 6000Bitrate. I also use a CaptureCard and an iPhone as Video input, both at 1080p.
(I tried a few set ups myself and found that currently, since OBS is running through Rosetta as an Intel application and not natively on M1, the RAM is the bottleneck for me. I only have 8GB of RAM though. As soon as I do ANYTHING the framerate drops in OBS.)
So yeah, try hardware encoder and lets see if that helps. :)