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Capturing In-Game Video
Make sure the in-game video you share is of a quality that doesn't undermine your hard work.
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a good starting point. It is free, and while there is a little bit of a learning curve, once you have had some experience it is a powerful and versatile tool.
Other setups will either not be free (Camtasia), not flexible enough for good quality recording (Shadowplay), or require more advanced knowledge and additional hardware (secondary computer with a capture card).
OBS (or the StreamLabs fork: SLOBS) strikes a nice balance between ease of use and advanced options while also having a lot of tutorials and plugins if people want to learn more.
These suggestions are based on available hardware in 2021.
Hardware is always being updated, so make sure to check for the latest industry updates.
Random-access memory (RAM) is a computer's short-term memory, which it uses to handle all active tasks and apps. None of your programs, files, games, or streams would work without RAM.
16 GB DDR4 RAM is recommended for smooth video production. You could get away with 8GB at a bare minimum, but it's really going to start lagging your system during HD video editing.
When you record video those files need to be stored somewhere, and the rate at which that data can be stored can have an impact on its quality. Video files also take up a lot of space, so you will need enough storage for the rough capture as well as the final export.
Decently fast 250GB SSD is a good standard. It doesn't have to be your primary OS/Software drive, but it is where recordings should save to and be edited from.
The extra speed will help prevent dropped frames during recording. Not all HDDs can keep up. Video editing is a lot less frustrating when playback is fast and smooth, which is hard to get on an HDD.
The CPU central processing unit or CPU is a brain-like piece of hardware that calculates and interprets instructions while you're surfing the web, creating documents, playing games, or running software programs.
The AMD Ryzen 5 CPU or better is a good benchmark, but know that there is an overwhelming number of options and no one perfect answer.
A lot of people prefer the faster clock speeds on the Intel i5 and i7 while AMD is generally cheaper and, while a little slower, have a lot more cores, so multitasking a game and recording software can actually perform better.
More money here will see a serious return and better long term use.
Your graphics processing unit or GPU is a dedicated piece of hardware used to render images, video and 2D or 3D animations for display. A GPU performs quick math calculations and frees up the CPU.
The RTX 20xx series or better GPU is a good baseline here.
Be aware that, in most cases, a good GPU isn't going to be a cheap investment. But always work within your budget, and if you have a recent enough motherboard, strong enough power supply, and efficient cooling, you can upgrade in stages.