Streaming with a dual-PC setup – The OBS method

This guide will walk you through how to setup a dual-PC stream with a capture card using OBS Studio on the gaming PC. Note that this only covers Video at this time.  

The idea behind this is that OBS Studio captures the game and using its preview, projects it onto the capture card. This is not resource intensive as no actual video encoding is happening on the gaming PC. 

The great thing about this setup is that you no longer depend on your capture card needing to capture a specific resolution. Want to play in 4K but your capture card only supports 1080p? That’s fine. Want to play in 1440p240Hz or 4K120Hz? That’s fine too. With this method OBS Studio does the scaling of the video and frame rate for you.

Note that in this setup, the gaming monitor has a resolution of 2560×1440 commonly known as 1440p. Your resolution may differ. 

Initial setup 

1.Using an HDMI cable, connect the HDMI output of the GPU in the gaming PC to the HDMI input on the capture card that is connected to the streaming PC 

Your gaming monitor should be connected to the same GPU via DisplayPort cable

2. On the gaming PC, right click on the desktop and select Display Settings to open the Windows display options 

3. You should see your main monitor as well as a new monitor – This new monitor is the capture card. 

In this example monitor 1 is my 1440p144Hz gaming monitor, monitor 3 is my 1080p secondary monitor and monitor 2 is the capture card

4. Click on the capture card monitor and scroll down in the settings to the resolution list 

5. From the resolution list, select the same resolution that your main monitor runs at. 

Gaming PC 

1. Download and install the latest version of OBS Studio 

2. Open OBS Studio and open the settings 

3. In the settings to to the Video tab

4. Set the Base resolution the same as the resolution of the monitor you are playing on

5. Set the output resolution to the same as the base resolution 

6. Set the FPS to 59.94 

7. Click on Apply then on OK to close the window. 

8. Right click in the sources box and select Game Capture 

9. Give the game capture source a name 

10. Now you have a few options for the mode for how game capture will capture your game 

Capture any fullscreen application – In this mode OBS Studio will check every second if a game is running in fullscreen – If a game is, then it will be captured by OBS Studio. 

Capture a specific window – In this mode you need to run the game, then manually select it in the “Window” dropdown menu. This mode will not capture any other games besides the one you selected 

Capture foreground window with hotkey – In this mode OBS Studio wont capture anything until a specific hotkey is pressed 

For easiest setup, using the capture any fullscreen application mode is recommended. It will capture fullscreen games and borderless windowed games automatically when they are launched. 

When alt+tabbing out of an exclusive fullscreen game the game will still be captured by OBS Studio. 

11. Close the game capture properties 

12. Right click on the game capture source in the scene

13. Hover over the fullscreen projector (Source) option and select the capture card output

Your capture card output may have a different name

14. On your streaming PC, if you have OBS Studio open and the capture card added, you should see a game (If OBS on the gaming PC is already capturing a game) 

15. Open the OBS Studio settings again and go to the General tab at the top 

16. Find the Projectors category and check the box Save projectors on exit

This option means when you start OBS Studio you don’t need to re-add the fullscreen projector every time OBS Studio is launched

17. Then click on Apply and then Ok. 

While streaming you can minimize the OBS Studio window. 

Optimizations 

Should you run into any trouble with OBS Studio not capturing games at 60fps, try these optimizations: 

Run OBS Studio as administrator


If you are playing a high-end game that is using 100% of your GPU, or you let your games run at an uncapped framerate, that will also use 100% of the GPU. When this occurs, OBS Studio cannot capture frames from the game. 

OBS studio has a secret method built-in to make sure it always has enough GPU resources to capture frames. 

By running OBS Studio as administrator, Windows assigned priority to OBS Studio. This means even if your GPU is at or near 100% usage, OBS Studio can still capture frames. 

For this to work, Windows 10 Game Mode must be enabled. 

Type “Game Mode” in windows search to open the settings and make sure its enabled. 

How to run OBS Studio as administrator

  1. Right click on the OBS Studio.exe 
  2. Select Run as Administrator 

Disabling the OBS Studio preview 

OBS Studio uses the GPU in your computer to not only capture frames from the currently running game, it also uses the GPU to composite (Render all the items in a scene together) and then display them in the preview. 

To reduce overall CPU usage and GPU usage, the main OBS Studio preview can be disabled. 

Note that in my testing, when playing Overwatch the GPU usage of OBS Studio was 3%. With the preview disabled, it was 2%. Not a major decrease. 

How to disable the main preview: 

  1. Right click inside the OBS Studio preview window 
  2. Uncheck Enable Preview

Questions? Leave a comment below or contact @LtRoyalShrimp