The NZXT Streaming PC Series is designed to capture the appetite for game streaming and offer people a simple pre-built system to make all their Twitch celebrity dreams come true. Okay, maybe that’s over-promising on NZXT’s behalf there, but the basic idea is to make a range of PCs that will play comfortably while still being able to host a steady stream.
But they also come at a variety of prices, and the most affordable of the lot, the base NZXT Streaming PC (opens in a new tab), is actually just a good mainstream gaming rig with lots of added quality of life features. There’s a high-quality multi-core CPU at its heart, a fast SSD and a fair amount of relatively fast system memory. That’s what makes your stream run smoothly, but the 12GB RTX 3060 (opens in a new tab) will make the 1080p game run as silky smooth. Then there’s a bunch of USB ports, Wi-Fi 6E and a solid VRM to balance it all out.
And it’s a neat rig, especially as they now ship with NZXT’s own ASRock-built N7 motherboards. And I thought they looked great with the original Gigabyte Aorus Pro motherboards they came with. The updated B550 boards now match the restrained style of the classic H510 chassis with the covered aesthetic of the NZXT mobos, and also offer a better feature set. Now we’ve had issues with the first NZXT boards in the past – and our Jacob just won’t let it go – but now they come from ASRock, they actually have decent BIOSes in them.
As streaming-focused machines, NZXT points towards the AMD Ryzen 5000 series of processors, and this streaming PC and the higher-spec Streaming Plus PC both use the mighty Ryzen 5 5600X (opens in a new tab). It’s an awesome six-core, 12-thread CPU that has the gaming chops to back up its streaming prowess. NZXT has also attached its own Kraken 120 AIO cooler to it, to keep it cool and quiet.
Specs for streaming PC
PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard: NZXT N7 B550
Cooler: NZXT Kraken 120
RAM: 16 GB (2×8 GB) TeamGroup DDR4-3200
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Warranty: 2 years parts and labor
Price: $1399 (opens in a new tab)
In the $1,399 streaming PC that’s all backed up by 16GB of DDR4-3200, in a dual-channel configuration to maximize memory bandwidth, and a 1TB NVMe SSD. The gaming grunt is then carried by the RTX 3060.
Basically, these are the kind of gaming PC specs you’d expect from a $1,400 gaming PC in 2022. Personally, I’d like an RTX 3060 Ti (opens in a new tab) at this price, but you can see from the Redux Good Tier (opens in a new tab) machine which is where we are right now. Slowly, though, that’s changing and you’ll start to find more discounted systems with higher specs (opens in a new tab) from other builders appearing at the same price level as we approach the launch of the next generation at the end of the year.
In fact, NZXT has its own Starter Pro PC (opens in a new tab) which comes with a weaker 10th gen CPU and RTX 3060 Ti, but is $100 cheaper. Wouldn’t be as much cop as a streaming rig – with a Core i5 10400F and basic Asus B560-Plus motherboard – but it would deliver higher frame rates across the board.
This streaming PC system is more balanced, but a laser-focused build on gaming can cut some costs when it comes to the more basic components.
It’s still going to make it harder and harder to recommend full-price rigs angled towards a more niche focus, such as the NZXT Streaming PC, especially just from a pure cost standpoint. The RTX 3060 Ti is a measurably better graphics card for any PC gamer, and if that’s 100% your focus, it’s probably the kind of machine you should be looking for.
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But if you need those USB ports for more productivity-focused stuff, you’ll be thankful NZXT dropped in a more feature-rich mobo, rather than a basement that only has enough ports for a mouse and keyboard.
What NZXT also has on its side, compared to some other system builders, is its two-year warranty. I mean, you’d hope it never becomes a factor, but having a full two-year parts and labor warranty on a pre-built machine really gives you peace of mind. Especially if your budding streaming career is starting to take off, right?
In terms of performance, it’s pretty straightforward, with the streaming PC delivering almost identical 1080p gaming performance compared to the Redux machine we recently reviewed. It is slightly slower, but only by a negligible number of frames per second. And if it wasn’t consistent just behind the competition, we would just put such a delta down to variance in testing. But here it highlights the difference in AMD and Intel CPUs between the two rigs.
AMD has rightly been praised for its excellent Ryzen 5000 series processors, but Intel really nailed its 12th gen chips, and especially at the lower end of the market. The Core i5 12400F is another six-core, 12-thread CPU, but only has the edge over the 5600X in both gaming and general productivity.
I don’t disagree with NZXT choosing Ryzen for its streaming PC lineup, but an Intel build certainly isn’t missing the mark these days either.
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Where this system has the edge over the Redux and many other mainstream rigs – 1TB SSD and warranty aside – is that the NZXT B550 is a feature-packed mobo, with Wi-Fi 6E support, two M.2 slots and a whole host of USB -gates. The back panel is padded, something you rarely see these days, and so is USB Type-C. It was a big miss from the basic Redux engine.
There’s also an internal Type-C header that connects to the connector on top of the stylish H510 chassis.
If you really want to get into streaming, that means you’ll need a variety of accessible USB ports with your webcam, microphone, Loupedeck/Stream Deck, and various other peripherals. And the Streaming PC certainly delivers on that front.
As a smart package, the NZXT Streaming PC is a quality game streaming machine. If you were looking for a simple, feature-packed PC to kick-start your budding streaming career, you could do a lot worse than this system. However, if all you’re looking for is a pure gaming machine, there’s no need for a rig with such a clear focus, and you’ll find faster systems, without the balanced feature set, for less.