I am using a dual-system streaming set-up now. One system is essentially dedicated to encoding and streaming while capturing the monitor of another system that is exclusively dedicated to running the game at the highest possible settings on a 1440p QX2710 monitor.

NOTE: NZXT offered me a partnership in exchange for the H440 case and the Kraken X61 cooler. I want to include this tidbit here in the interest of full disclosure.

Part list/rationale

All parts listed below use my referral link. It may be possible to find the parts at a better price if you look elsewhere. Ordering via my referral link helps me continue to do what I do and is appreciated, but it’s not required nor would I suggest doing it if you can find lower prices elsewhere.

Streaming System

CPU: Intel i7-5960X

I wanted the absolute best processor possible. Streams are still limited due to bandwidth (you can’t push more than 3.5mbs, really, from Twitch to the client) so the more compression you can achieve, the better. This is the most powerful consumer-level CPU on the market, so it’s an obvious choice here.

Cooler: Kraken X61

I wanted to get something beefier this time than a Thermaltake 3.0 Extreme or an h100i. The Kraken X61 has always gotten great reviews on performance, but people have said it’s rather bulky. I have a case, however, that allows me to fit the radiator with relative ease so I can take advantage of the cooling it has to offer. So far it’s done an exceptional job.

Motherboard – ASUS X99-DELUXE

I love ASUS boards and this board is decked out with features for overclocking support and potential SLI stuff down the line, as well as a ton of SATA ports for all of my HDDs.

Memory – G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB 2400

Just 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. Nothing special here.

SSD – Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB

Amazing SSD with an amazing controller using amazing NAND.

GPU – MSI GeForce GTX 780

Considering this rig is now dedicated to streaming, this graphics card is complete overkill. I’m only using it now because it’s a carry-over from when I played games on this system as well.

Capture Card – Datapath Limited VisionDVI-DL Capture Card

I needed a capture card that had a pixel clock high enough to do a full 1440p/60fps capture with accurate colors. This is the best card I could find. It’s extremely pricey ($1,500), but it’s performing absolutely marvelously. I don’t regret this purchase whatsoever.

Case – NZXT H440

As I’ve had this case for longer, I’ve ran into a few issues as I try to push more and more performance from the chip. I’ve had to remove the front and top of the case as the case itself simply seems incapable of getting rid of the heat being generated. The case still looks nice, aesthetically, but I don’t think it’s capable of keeping up with everything the 5960X can generate. I’ll probably look to move my build into a different case in the future, but we’ll see if I can find one large enough to support the cooler.

PSU – SeaSonic 850W

What can I say? SeaSonic makes excellent power supplies and 850 watts is more than enough power for my system.

Gaming System

CPU: Intel i7-4790K

Since this rig is dedicated to gaming I’d normally opt for an i5, but the stock speeds of this i7 were too good to pass up. I’m happy I went this route as I was easily able to overclock the chip to a cool 4.9GHz with zero problems.

Cooler: Swiftech H220-X

Honestly, it took every fiber of my being to purchase this. I had horrible reliability problems with the H220. I had three, THREE separate H220’s die on me in the course of 5 months, and both H220’s that I sold to customers died within a year as well. I decided to ignore my gut and go for an H220-X as the reviews (at least for functioning units…) were so amazing for this cooler. So far it’s been working amazingly, though. Keeps my i7 nice and cool, and I haven’t had any reliability problems with it yet.

Motherboard – ASRock Z97 EXTREME9

This ASRock board has made the top of a few lists for reliability/overclockability. So far so good, everything’s been working fine.

Memory – G.Skill Trident X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600

Just 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. Nothing special here.

SSD – Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB

This SSD is BLAZINGly fast. I think I restart my computer in like 15 seconds now, it’s insane.

GPU – 2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0

I want to be able to slaughter games at max settings at 1440p. Two of these bad boys definitely get the job done. I haven’t overclocked them yet, but I’m not sure if I ever need to. These have performed amazingly so far for me, and they’re quiet, too.

Case – Fractal Design Define R5 (Black)

I’ve built so many customer rigs using the R4 that I just had to give the R5 a shot. I absolutely love this case. It’s quiet, I was able to put a smaller fan on the side to keep my GPUs cool, and it seems to have no problem dealing with the heat generated inside the case. I absolutely love this thing.

PSU – SeaSonic 860W

Another SeaSonic PSU. Not much to say here, this provides more than enough power for my system.


Microphone – Rode NT1-A

I purchased a pair of these microphones many years ago when I was in college for recording music. I’m using one now for my voice and it seems to work splendidly.

Mixer – Behringer XENYX X1204USB

I needed a mixer that could take sound from both of my systems and output it to a single channel for streaming. I’m also using this mixer to output just my microphone to both systems as well so I’m able to chat with people on Skype on one system and in game on the gaming system.

Headphones – Sennheiser HD598’s

I’ve owned these for 5 years. It will be a sad day when I finally have to part ways with these.

Headphone Amplifier – Fiio E10

Cheap, great quality. I don’t necessarily recommend everyone get an external DAC, but my previous motherboard didn’t have sound and I carried this over. I don’t actively use this as I’m now using my mixer for sound, however.