How can I get my Macbook Pro 16 to stream and record 1080p 60fps

NeverQui

New Member
Hi everyone, I hope you're doing well in these unusual times!

I have a:

Macbook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
2.4 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB
Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB
2 TB Drive

I'm trying to:

  • Live stream 1080p at 24fps with Canon 80D DSLR via Elgato Cam Link 4k + USB-C to USB 3.1 Adapter
  • Record 1080p at 24fps on internal or external SSD
  • Play/stream scenes with 1080p footage + Overlays

I'm also using a:
  • Laptop only, Laptop + Monitor or Dual monitor setup
  • Ethernet connection 500 Mbps Up - 50 Mbps Down
  • Elgato Stream Deck
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  • Shure SM7B Microphone
  • Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2
  • External SSD

I can stream just fine for a short while, but then everything gets very choppy and unwatchable. Even at 720p, it gets choppy after about 20-30 mins.

There's an improvement when I don't switch scenes, but it's hit or miss. Same if I don't record, but recording is a must.

CPU jumps up eventually and my whole system crawls. I'm not screen recording or running any other programs/utilities. I'm not gaming.

I've tried every setting including the recommended settings OBS provides.

I understand that Macs are not ideal for OBS. Is there anything I can do to get a 1080p stream/recording at 24 fps - 60 fps?

Will an eGPU work or make any difference at all? How about Bootcamp?

Is there any way to make my setup work? I'm looking to buy/build a separate PC for streaming as it's central to my work. though I'd prefer it if I could make my expensive, almost full spec, Macbook Pro 16 work.

I've been working on this for almost a year. I had the previous Macbook Pro 15 and it, understandably, worst than the 16 inch. I've read every thread I could find on the subject at least twice.

I've included my last 3 log files.

Am I attempting the impossible?

I appreciate any feedback! Thank you for your time.
 

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twindux

Member
I use OBS all the time with my Mac (streaming 1080p 60 & 30). And I have streamed & recorded. This is on a 6-year old MacBook Pro 15"

If you're having encoding lags, try turning OFF Studio Mode.
 

NeverQui

New Member
I use OBS all the time with my Mac (streaming 1080p 60 & 30). And I have streamed & recorded. This is on a 6-year old MacBook Pro 15"

If you're having encoding lags, try turning OFF Studio Mode.
Are you streaming from a DSLR, or gaming? Are you recording locally?

I’ve never used studio mode.
 

fornatron

New Member
I almost have the exact same setup as you except my 16" MacBook Pro is a lower spec'd one than yours and I dont have any issues. This is what I do

MacBook Pro 16" 2019
16GB RAM
1TB SSD
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 4GB

Elgato HD60S+ (Or any capture card with UVC support)
Canon 80D - Canon Webcam utility over USB
Blue Yeti - USB Mic

Upload speed - 25Mbps

Also made a video on this

 

Nass86

Member
I use OBS all the time with my Mac (streaming 1080p 60 & 30). And I have streamed & recorded. This is on a 6-year old MacBook Pro 15"

If you're having encoding lags, try turning OFF Studio Mode.

Hey would you mind sharing screenshots of your settings? I've got a similar mac to you.
 

NeverQui

New Member
[SOLVED] For the record, I think it was a thermal issue. When the CPU gets too hot, the 16" Macbook Pro would slow to a crawl. There doesn't seem to be a way around it. Intel's CPU runs too hot. The 16" Macbooks cooling is insufficient.

I moved to an iMac 5k 27" 2020 with 72 gigs of user upgraded ram which seemed to work a lot better. I tried both the i7 with the 5500XT and the i9 with the 5700XT, I didn't notice any hiccups during my tests (1.5 hours at 1080p), though I've yet to do a full broadcast. I haven't tried it with less ram yet.

I decided to try the M1 Mac Mini 8 gig, 8-core base model because the fans on the iMac were too loud, and I was worried the iMac would overheat eventually. So far, the M1 Mac Mini works flawlessly with no hiccups.

I bought a Canon 90D to go along with my Canon 80D and both work great at 1080p with multiple media, scenes and sources, 6500 kbps CBR.

The M1 Mac Mini also runs silently and stays cool, which is a huge plus. nevermind the fact it was ~$2500 less than the iMac and ~$4k less than the 16" Macbook Pro.

Praise be to M1!
 

twindux

Member
Hey would you mind sharing screenshots of your settings? I've got a similar mac to you.
Sorry I missed this for so long! Here are my settings for 1080p30

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 12.38.14 PM.jpg
 

twindux

Member
Twindux, do you find using studio mode is a problem?
At what speed can your network uploading?

Studio mode is a huge problem. I never use it as it kills my CPU, increasing render time and killing framerate.

That said, multiview in a window is often doable.
 

twindux

Member
Studio mode is a huge problem. I never use it as it kills my CPU, increasing render time and killing framerate.

That said, multiview in a window is often doable.
Gads, I hate the time limit for editing a post!

Even with my newer Macbook Pro (2018), I find I cannot use Studio Mode either.
 

Nass86

Member
AMD GRAPHICS / APPLE MAC USERS

You guys may find it valuable to note that after years of OBS needing us to use the CPU as the encoder (x264 mode), if you have AMD graphics in your Macbook or iMac, you can now use a new setting since last year that slipped under the radar for many.

Under OUTPUT SETTINGS switch the encoder to:

APPLE VT H264 Hardware Encoder

(If you can't see this mode, you need to update OBS)

It will take the load off the CPU and enable you to use higher bitrate. You should be able to get 60FPS.

It's not quite as good as NVIDIA NVENC Encoder on Windows machines, think of this as the next best thing on Apple.

I've seen people online say that 3000kbps is recommended in this situation and you may be able to go higher. The screenshot above said 7000 which was pretty wow but I dunno how sustainable that is or if there are limitations as to how many things you can do at that rate.
 

twindux

Member
AMD GRAPHICS / APPLE MAC USERS

You guys may find it valuable to note that after years of OBS needing us to use the CPU as the encoder (x264 mode), if you have AMD graphics in your Macbook or iMac, you can now use a new setting since last year that slipped under the radar for many.

Under OUTPUT SETTINGS switch the encoder to:

APPLE VT H264 Hardware Encoder

(If you can't see this mode, you need to update OBS)

It will take the load off the CPU and enable you to use higher bitrate. You should be able to get 60FPS.

It's not quite as good as NVIDIA NVENC Encoder on Windows machines, think of this as the next best thing on Apple.

I've seen people online say that 3000kbps is recommended in this situation and you may be able to go higher. The screenshot above said 7000 which was pretty wow but I dunno how sustainable that is or if there are limitations as to how many things you can do at that rate.

Well, as you can see, the settings I screenshotted include using the GPU for encoding. Note to all: you need to use Advanced settings to get this options. And yes, using the GPU is a huge help.

Regarding your "wow" above, first off, YouTube suggests a minimum of 4500 kpbs for 1080p30 streaming. 3000 would be fine for 720p.

My 7-year-old MB Pro handles 7000 kbps just fine...in fact, I've just been livestreaming the inside of our church for 12 hours uninterrupted at that bitrate. In fact, I can go at 10K or greater if it would add any quality to the stream...which it will not at that res/framerate. I use 7000 to make sure there's plenty of headroom in case there are any dips, etc. At this bitrate, I use multiple cameras, screen capture sources from other computers, media sources, image sources, slideshows, etc...about the only thing I cannot do is use Studio Mode, which can't be used successfully at any bitrate.
 

Nass86

Member
Well, as you can see, the settings I screenshotted include using the GPU for encoding. Note to all: you need to use Advanced settings to get this options. And yes, using the GPU is a huge help.

Regarding your "wow" above, first off, YouTube suggests a minimum of 4500 kpbs for 1080p30 streaming. 3000 would be fine for 720p.

My 7-year-old MB Pro handles 7000 kbps just fine...in fact, I've just been livestreaming the inside of our church for 12 hours uninterrupted at that bitrate. In fact, I can go at 10K or greater if it would add any quality to the stream...which it will not at that res/framerate. I use 7000 to make sure there's plenty of headroom in case there are any dips, etc. At this bitrate, I use multiple cameras, screen capture sources from other computers, media sources, image sources, slideshows, etc...about the only thing I cannot do is use Studio Mode, which can't be used successfully at any bitrate.

That's really great to know mate. From my perspective I've had a massive learning curve on OBS this last year.

I've been in a situation where:

A 2012 Macbook Air outperformed a 2015 Macbook Pro

Then I switched the Macbook Pro to one with AMD graphics. Before OBS started supporting them.

Then I started to respect what this eco system is and what it needs - so stopped shooting from the hip and decided to read ahead before buying.

As I'm not gaming and just using a few cameras and 1 looped media source I bought a Windows Laptop with an Nvenc Encoder. This worked brilliantly twice, then a Windows Update has messed up the TCP/IP / Adaptor settings to the point of no return and my amazing little stream on an 8mb Microwave connection now can't get above 1200kb/s. Yet all the other macbooks/imacs/iphones can fully utilise the upload speed.

So I'm reverting back to the Macs.

I have a 2011 iMac with an AMD graphics card and a 2015 Macbook Pro with AMD graphics looking the same as yours.

I DJ on the 2015 Macbook Pro and using the same machine for Rekordbox and Streaming is a bit of a no-go. I'm really conscious that I've heard of these MacBooks basically running the graphics chips so hot that they melt off the motherboard and are expensive / sometimes impossible to repair. I did do a stream from the Macbook Pro once and boy did she feel too hot over the keyboard area.

I really just want my Windows machine to work but I'll be damned if I can undo what Windows update has done and might have to revert to Windows 8.1 (that laptop is literally used solely for OBS, nothing else).

For the moment I'll have to use the 2011 iMac 8gb 2.5ghz quad core with AMD. Which has it's own limitations - it doesn't seem to like having more than 2 cameras attached.

I just can't believe how hard everything makes it for me to just... stream!
 

Yetisbreda

New Member
Who could help with the settings.
Last weekend we did our second livestream but the video is laggy.

we Have the following setup:
- MacBook Pro mid 2012 with 1tb ssd and 16gb internal
- iPhone 12 Pro as video device

what would be the best settings for us to have a good quality stream.

the upload speed is 50 mbits and the stream we had now was the following:
1920x1080 at 60fps with a bitrate of 9000.

thanks in advance
 

twindux

Member
Who could help with the settings.
Last weekend we did our second livestream but the video is laggy.

we Have the following setup:
- MacBook Pro mid 2012 with 1tb ssd and 16gb internal
- iPhone 12 Pro as video device

what would be the best settings for us to have a good quality stream.

the upload speed is 50 mbits and the stream we had now was the following:
1920x1080 at 60fps with a bitrate of 9000.

thanks in advance
Given the age of the MB Pro, you might consider going 720p60 and see how it goes. Make sure the main canvas is 720p and that you're not rescaling.
 
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