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Top 10 Ways to Fix OBS High CPU Usage

Oliva Eve
2023-04-20 19:30:37 • Filed to: Screen Recording Troubleshooting

"Seriously high CPU usage problem. Please help! Hey everyone, I have read everything I could find on google so far about this problem but no fix yet. I'm getting between 55-70% CPU usage in Task Manager when I open OBS. If you would like any more info, please let me know! Thanks in advance!"

- an OBS user from Quora

If you ever experience high CPU usage, then you need a faster computer or you can reduce the load of the CPU by adding more RAM. It also helps to reduce the frequency of internal data transfers and memory allocations. Here, you will be going to learn about the common issue regarding OBS high CPU usage and how you can overcome these issues. Before that, let’s understand how anyone can check the CPU usage in their device.

Check CPU Usage in Windows

To check the CPU usage in windows, you have to open the windows task manager by pressing the shortcut tabs control+esc+shift. After that, you have to open the performance tab that gives you a closer look. Here you can check the problems and the factors that contribute and are the factors that help to figure out how to lower down the CPU usage. If your system also uses a large amount of CPU, then scroll down this article till the end and perform the below steps. 

check cup usage win 10

10 Ways to Fix the OBS CPU Usage too High

1. Downscale your output resolution

To determine the CPU usage, you have to check or downscale the output resolution. The OBS software is specially developed to record your screen in real-time. When you use this software on your device, then the CPU uses rises significantly according to the number of pixels you use with each frame. But can your CPU handle this load for a specific time period?

Sometimes you received a notification on your display "Encoding overloaded!" which means your CPU is loaded, and it may affect the performance of your system. At this time, you can do only one thing that is downscaling the output resolution. By performing this thing, you are allowing OBS to shorten the video before sending it to the encoder. In this way, you can give a break to your CPU.

downgrade output resolution

To perform these things, you have to follow the below steps:

  • First, click on the setting section that is placed on the bottom right side of your screen.
  • Open the video tab and click on the resolution tab to lower down the parameter.
  • To lower down the parameter, you can manually write the numerical digit or choose the existing menu.
  • Now check whether it works or not. Now, click on the OK and exit the OBS.
  • After completing the above steps restart your computer and check whether the warning appears again or not.

When you customize the output resolution, you will see three filters, bicubic, and another two are bilinear and Lanczos. When it comes to bilinear, then it uses fewer resources but doesn't look as much as good. In the case of Lanczos, it takes more resources but performs better. To get more ideas, you can change the filters each time to measure the changes.

2. Use your Graphics Card for Encoding

A dedicated graphic card also helps to overcome the OBS high CPU usage issue. Many people use this step to get rid of the overloaded CPU. A dedicated graphics card can perform better than an APU. It has its own onboard memory that helps to encode the CPU. It works efficiently and gives a break to your system CPU.

By customizing the graphic settings, you can minimize the CPU Usage as well as the GPU usage. When you play a game in the monitoring software, then you can see the percentage of the CPU that indicates how much load the processor has. The higher percentage you have, the more load your CPU has. So, to get rid of the issues, you have to use your graphics card for encoding.

In this way, you can save your system as well as CPU from a lot of pressure. It gathers all the information from the device and then compares it to a similar database to provide more value.

3. Lower Frame Rate

If you also face similar issues while creating videos and streaming, apply these points. If the above 2 points can't help you overcome the issue, you can use the 3rd one. In this step, you have to lower your frame rate. The frame rate is the most important factor in OBS's high CPU usage. By this, you can control the number of frames you capture every second. It can render all the frames because this is a powerful option that people use.

When you are capturing the videos at a high frame rate, then you may find some lags, and maybe your device can't run faster, and it freezes for some seconds. So, you can achieve things by lowering the frame rate to 24FPS. In most cases, gamers and streamers lower this value to 30FPS to run smoothly.

It reduces the number of frames and CPU usage. But at the same time, if your CPU is weak and works in the struggling mode, then you can lower down this value up to 24 FPS. To perform this, you have to go through some steps that are discussed in the below sections.

low frame rate obs

Steps to lower down the frame rate:

  • In open broadcast software, to lower down the frame rate, you have to first open it and then visit the setting option.
  • After visiting the setting option, go to the videos section and choose the FPS value.
  • After choosing the FPS value, you can click OK. Now, opt to exit the OBS.
  • Now, opt for restarting your computer and access the software to check whether it shows any issues or not.

4. Change your x264 preset

When you talk about the OBS, it put in use an encoding open video source library popularly known as X264. The software includes different presets that can balance the use of CPU by maximizing the quality of your video. You can also opt for using a default set of preset that is very fast.

By customizing the preset value, you can set the speed as well at which you may look for the encoder to run. The faster speed you choose the lesser load on CPU you get. But by doing so, you will minimize the overall video quality. The different preset has a different preset value. By customizing the preset, you can dramatically change the amount of CPU you used. It will share that how fast the encoder should run.

When it comes to a faster preset, then it uses less CPU load, but at the same time, a slower preset will use more CPU power. You can reduce the CPU usage by modifying the x264 value. In this case, your image may look a bit uglier. Modifying the preset of the OBS system is the most common way of resolving the CPU overload issue. To reduce the usage of your CPU, you can continuously customize the FPS and resolution. The best way to overcome the issue is to change the preset to super or ultrafast.

change encoder preset

Ways to Change your x264 preset:

  1. To do this, visit the setting section and then open the output tab.
  2. After that, check the advanced encoder settings
  3. Now verify that the encoder selected by you is X264. Now choose the encoder preset.
  4. After that, restart your window and check if the issue is resolved or not.

5. Check your sources

There are various factors and software available on your device that uses a higher CPU. If you use capture cards and a webcam, then it can also use a lot of CPU power. So, check the webcam whether it is running in the higher resolution or the lower. Browsing for some sources also consumes a lot of CPU power. So, try to minimize the active sources so that your CPU can get a break.

obs sources

If the device or tool that decodes video with a considerable amount of CPU is not balanced correctly, then it captures a lot of space in the CPU. So lower down the resolution from 480p. The same thing is applicable for browsing sources. Along with this, you should also check whether any other streaming applications are running in the background or not.

Due to this, you can face various issues with your device. By checking all these sources, you can save a lot of space on your device and use them later. This is the easiest step to get rid of the issue, but if you still don't get enough satisfactory results, then you can use the next steps.

6. Close Extra Applications

Some extra application also takes a lot of space in CPU. So, you should close the extra applications to save your CPU space. When it comes to streaming software, then you have to close these extra applications from your device. If you run software like discord and window game bar in the background, then close the tab bars.

These software conflict with the open broadcast software and slow down the performance of OBS. So, disable the applications or uninstall them. Close all the unnecessary programs and save space from your CPU. Along with this, there are many more programs available on your device that take a lot of space in your CPU.

You should also close and uninstall the games that run behind the scene. The high-definition games used a lot of space in your CPU. It can interfere with the game so, you need to consider turning it down. To perform these things, you have to follow the below-discussed steps:

Ways to close the other programs from the background:

  1. To close the other programs, you should go to the process priority and then visit the settings section.
  2. Visit the settings section and then go to the advanced to increase or reduce the program's processor priority.
  3. After that, check whether your system runs smoothly or not.

7. Run all audio sources at the same frequency

If you still have the same issue with your device after performing all the necessary steps, you should look for other options. Well, there are few more options available that you can apply to get rid of this.

To get rid of the issue, you should notice that all the audio sources available on your device should run at the same frequencies. The different frequencies of audio rate you play, the more CPU loads your experience. So, to minimize CPU usage, it is necessary to run your audio devices at the same frequencies in OBS. For example, if your desktop audio runs to the frequency of 44100HZ but your OBS are set to the other frequencies, then you will experience more CPU load.

It can affect the working speed and performance. So, check the frequencies and set this according to your preferences. A lot of people perform this step and get positive results. Check whether it works for you or not. To do this, you have to follow the below steps.

Ways to set frequencies:

  1. To set the frequency, you have to open the OBS system and then visit the setting option.
  2. After that, search for the frequency option and set it as per your desktop frequency.
  3. Now, close the OBS, restart your device, and check whether the issue is solved or not.

8. Free Disk Space

The open broadcasting software requires RAM and a lot of space in the hard drive. It needs to check the configurations and other output files. Because of this, there may be a lack of storage facilities in the CPU. To get rid of this, you have to delete or make space on your disk. It may cause a lack of local storage.

So uninstall all the necessary programs and perform a disk cleanup. To perform this, you have to go through certain steps. A lot of people apply this trick and received positive reviews. At the same time, some people use this trick but didn't receive positive results. So, apply this on your device and check whether it works for you or not.

Ways to perform Free Disk Space:

  1. To perform this task, you have to press the window key, and e right-click on the device.
  2. Now go to the properties section and clean the programs.
  3. After that visiting the general tab and click on the Disk cleanup.
  4. Restart the computer and launch the stream whether the above-discussed step works for you or not.

9. Turn Game Mode Off

To remove this issue from your device, you can try one more step. Yes, you can turn off the gaming mode from your device. If you want to play the game and stream the video simultaneously, you don't need to channel all your CPU resources. Just turn off the gaming mode. By doing so, you can save a lot of space in your CPU. To perform this, you have to follow some steps that are discussed in below steps.

Ways to Turn Game Mode Off:

  1. To turn off the gaming mode from your device, press the window key with the I tab.
  2. Now, type game mode in the search box and click on the control game mode section.
  3. After that, just turn off the mode or switch it off.
  4. Now restart or refresh your device and check whether it helps you or not.

10. Use an alternative recorder

If you still have the same issue with your device and the above-discussed steps don't recover you from the issue, then use the alternative recorder. As an alternative, you can use the Wondershare DemoCreator. This video recorder can capture your computer screen and webcam with audio at the same time. Moreover, it also comes with a built-in video editor to cut, crop, and add effects as you want. It supports Windows laptops(such as HP, ASUS, and Lenovo), desktops, and Mac devices. Download this software and follow the guide below:

Install DemoCreator on your computer and it should run automatically after installation. Click on the "New Recording" from the screen.

run democreator

A new window will appear and you can customize the frame rate, recording area, and other parameters.

democreator settings

Click on the red button to start recording once everything is okay. You can end the process anytime by pressing F10.

democreator start recording

After that, the recording will be opened in the edit, you can do some basic editing with this tool as you want.

democreator edit videos


After summarizing the above OBS high CPU usage fix, we can conclude that the high CPU usage issue is common for streamers and gamers. If you are a live streamer and a gamer who faces this situation in your day-to-day life, then you can check the above-discussed steps and apply them or use an OBS alternative software to create video recordings as you want.