Avoid the Pitfalls of High CPU Usage in OBS: 10 Expert Tips and Tricks

Jenefey Aaron Jenefey Aaron
Mar 31, 2023 (Updated: Mar 31, 2023)Filed to: Solution

Of all the problems that can disrupt a smooth streaming experience, the high CPU usage of OBS is among the most frustrating. It can lead to dropped frames, laggy video, and poor audio quality and cause your computer to run sluggishly or even crash altogether. But fear not! In this article, we'll dive deep into what causes high CPU usage in OBS and provide practical tips and tricks to help you solve this problem and get back to streaming easily.

Part 1: Issues When OBS Takes High CPU Usage

When OBS takes high CPU usage, it can cause several issues that can affect the quality of your stream or recording, including:

Dropped Frames: When your CPU is overloaded, your computer may not keep up with encoding the video frames. This can result in dropped frames, which can cause stuttering or freezing in your stream or recording.

Audio and Video Desync: High CPU usage can cause audio and video to become out of sync. This can happen because your computer struggles to encode the video frames quickly, delaying the audio and video.

Poor Performance: When OBS uses many CPU resources, it can cause other programs on your computer to slow down or even crash. This can impact your gaming experience or make using other applications while streaming or recording difficult.

Overheating: High CPU usage can cause your computer's CPU to generate more heat, which can cause your computer to overheat. This can result in performance issues or even damage your hardware if checked.

To prevent these issues, it's essential to monitor your CPU usage while streaming or recording with OBS and take steps to reduce it if necessary. This can include adjusting OBS settings, upgrading your hardware, or using a dedicated streaming PC. And next part will give you solutions to solve the high CPU usage of the OBS problem.

Part 2: 9 Solutions for OBS Occupying High CPU

When OBS uses too much CPU, it can cause issues such as dropped frames, audio/syncing video issues, and poor performance. Here are some potential solutions to fix high CPU usage in OBS:

1. Lower Video Settings: High video settings can increase CPU usage. Try reducing the resolution, frame rate, and bitrate to reduce the load on your CPU.

2. Use Hardware Acceleration: OBS supports hardware acceleration, which uses your computer's GPU to help encode video. To enable hardware acceleration, go to the "Encoder" menu and click the "Hardware (NVENC)" or "Hardware (QSV)" button, depending on your graphics card.

OBS Hardware Acceleration

3. Close Unnecessary Programs: If you have other programs running in the background, they can also increase CPU usage. Try closing unnecessary programs to reduce the load on your CPU.

4. Disable Preview: The preview window in OBS can increase CPU usage, especially if you have a high-resolution display. Try disabling the preview to reduce the load on your CPU.

Disable Preview on OBS

5. Upgrade Hardware: If none of the above solutions work, it might be time to upgrade your hardware. Consider upgrading your CPU or graphics card to improve performance and reduce CPU usage.

6. Adjust the Process Priority: You can adjust the priority of the OBS process to allocate more or fewer CPU resources. To do this, right-click the OBS process in the "Task Manager" on Windows or "Activity Monitor" on Mac, and click the "Set Priority" or "Renice" button, then choose a priority level.

Set Priority

7. Use a Different Encoder: OBS supports different encoders, including x264, NVENC, and QuickSync. Try using a different encoder to see if it reduces CPU usage. You can change the encoder under the "Encoder" menu from "Settings".

8. Update OBS and Graphics Card Drivers: Ensure you have installed the latest version of OBS and graphics card drivers. Newer versions may have optimizations that improve performance and reduce CPU usage. It is a good choice to record game audio with OBS smoothly, as well as game video.

9. Adjust Bitrate: The bitrate determines how much data is streamed or recorded. Try adjusting the bitrate to reduce CPU usage. Lower bitrates require fewer CPU resources but may result in lower video quality.

Lower Bitrate in OBS

Hopefully, one of these solutions will help you lower OBS high CPU usage on Windows and MacBook. It also helps improve your streaming or recording experience.

Part 3: OBS Alternative to Avoid High CPU Usage

If you want to avoid the high CPU usage of OBS on your computer, using an alternative is also a recommended solution. And AnyRec Screen Recorder is a software program to record your computer screen and audio. With this tool, you can easily capture high-quality videos of your screen activities, such as video tutorials, gameplay, webinars, and online meetings.

AnyRec Screen Recorder has low CPU usage when you record the screen activities. This means that it uses minimal processing power while recording your screen, which can help reduce the strain on your computer's resources and improve overall performance. One of the ways that AnyRec Screen Recorder achieves low CPU usage is by using hardware acceleration to encode video. This allows the program to offload some processing tasks to your computer's graphics card, which can handle them more efficiently than the CPU.

AnyRec Screen Recorder
AnyRec Screen Recorder Package
AnyRec Screen Recorder

Use a low CPU when recording to avoid slowing down the device.

Support up to 60FPS and high-quality recording without delay.

ProvideCustomize recording performance with frame, encoder, and so on.

Edit the recorded video without downloading extra software.

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

Part 4: FAQs about OBS High CPU Usage


In conclusion, OBS is an excellent open-source software with numerous features for setting recording in OBS. However, when OBS takes up high CPU usage, it can lead to poor streaming quality, dropped frames, and other issues. This post has outlined several solutions to this problem. By following these steps, you can reduce the CPU usage of OBS and ensure a smooth streaming experience. But if you can’t solve this problem, you can use AnyRec Screen Recorder to capture your screen in 4K and 60FPS with low CPU usage.

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

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