We had the opportunity to catch up with a member of the CyberPowerPC team and ask them some questions about streaming, the business of building PCs, and what goes into a good streaming PC. Check out some of the CyberPowerPC builds and pick one up to get your streaming career started.
Live Streamer Setups: First of all, I just wanted to talk about your role within CyberPower. What is it that you do?
CyberPowerPC: So, I actually am the social media manager, but I handle the streaming side of the company. So we do steam, we do like Tech Talks, and we do like PC builds, and of course we game and stuff like that so maybe that’s why. So we could talk a little about the streaming set up, but I also like I said I do the live builds so I do build all of our show PCs and also our sponsorship PCs. We do sponsor like Twitch streamers and stuff like that, and then I build other PCs.
LSS: Yeah, I think I actually watched the live build when you guys were building Summit’s PC a while ago.
CPP: Okay. Yeah, that was like when I first started there.
LSS: So what is kind of like a typical day look like for you working with streamers and things like that?
CPP: Well, I guess it depends. Typically, we don’t really do too much with the streamers per se. Depending on the streamer right so typically the larger number, or viewers that you’d stream such as [inaudible 00:01:22] and like the Ninja, or Summit1g, Lirik. They all have managers, so most of the time we talk to the managers. And we’ve been working with these managers for quite some time, and they would have like different streamers that they manage, and we’ll talk to them and talk about their numbers and see if it’s worked for us to sponsor to them and so on and so forth. But once we do have them sponsored of course we talk to them directly, and we plan out like social media campaigns or ad campaigns that we have for our marketing.
CPP: Sometimes we’ll even have like a specific skewed up system, so we’ll have like a Summit1g built, and we’ll have like a whole marketing campaign around that, having their image of course being portrayed next to the system that we’re trying to sell, so on and so forth.
LSS: Okay. And so what is your background in building PCs then? Are you more interested in social media background?
CPP: A little of both. So in terms of like just background and building I mean I’ve always been passionate about PC gaming. Built PCs for … I mean I’ve built PCs with my cousins and stuff like that when they were first playing Classic WoW, playing like old school like Counter-Strike 1.6, stuff like that, building systems, helping them build systems. I mean obviously I was a little bit younger. I’m 25 now, so back then I was probably around 10 or 12 years old, but that’s kind of how the passion started, building PCs. And then and then an opportunity arose for me to get interviewed here at CyberPower PCs. They asked me about my PC knowledge. I told them a little about it and then here I am now.
LSS: Okay so do you… you have a pretty solid foundation as far as the technical aspect of choosing specs and building a PC and knowing what would be needed for what.
LSS: So just a little background for you. My side pretty much focuses on streamer like streamer’s builds so I will go in and I’ll look up streamer’s specs and talk about them and all of that kind of stuff. And so I’m starting to get into more content for this site outside of just basically a database of current live streamer builds.
LSS: And so I figured it will be cool to reach out to a company like you guys where that’s like all you do is focus on just building PCs for gamers and streamers, and so talking to somebody with a little more technical knowledge on what people should look at and what they should consider when building a PC or choosing a pre-built PC for that matter.
CPP: Yeah. Yeah, of course.
LSS: And so are there anything that you don’t think people think about when building a PC that’s actually a lot bigger deal than it’s hyped up to be? Everybody obviously thinks about the graphics cards. It always seems to be like the main thing that people want to talk about, but are there other main parts that you think about?
CPP: So are we just talking strictly for the gaming side or gaming and streaming, or is it just kind of generalized?
LSS: I’d say gaming and streaming.
CPP: Okay. I would definitely say storage is a huge part especially in the recent years probably six years ago the storage thing kind of like blew up in terms of like having NVMe drives and coming up with different technology such as Intel Optane. I think storage is the number one thing that people don’t realize bottleneck their system. You could have an insane CPU, insane GPU but in terms of like load time you’re going to be stuck sitting there forever waiting for your PC first to boot up, then you start up a game, or if you do any type of video editing like having to transfer files would be a pain.
CPP: So I think people don’t realize how important it is to get… instead of … Having a hard drive of course is important. You need massive storage but also having an SDD to have your important files on so that way you can load up quick. For instance, you would have your boot drive, or your Windows drive where you have Windows as the operating system installed you would have that on your faster drive, your SSD. So a lot of people just kind of opt for getting a cheaper drive, which would be a big hulking mechanical drive.
CPP: So yes, just I’m kind of rambling sorry, but yeah just getting an SSD or any type of faster storage drive like M.2 NVMe drive is like super critical or super vital.
LSS: Okay. And for streaming specifically, how would you kind of put that hierarchy of needs? Like if you are kind of on a tight budget, what would you say people should focus on components-wise? If you had to say like CPU then GPU or storage and then GPU, what would you kind of rank?
CPP: It would probably be CPU as the most important just because the multitasking factors. You would need to have like a really decent CPU so that way you can stream. That would take up one core. And then play video games, that’s another core and then well, I mean there’s hyper-threading but I’m just kind of simplifying it but yeah. Basically, CPU would be the most important, after that definitely GPU. Storage isn’t really affected by your steaming, the streaming side of things, but obviously if you are streaming you don’t want to be sitting there in like a loading screen for like 30 minutes just because you don’t have the right amount of storage. So then I would say that storage would be next and then of course memory. And then well that’s pretty much the core components.
LSS: And how would something like that change if you’re building a two-PC setup where you have a dedicated streaming PC and then dedicated gaming PC?
CPP: So for the dedicated streaming PC you don’t need a graphics card, you can just use the integrated graphics. Oh excuse me, but yeah you would just use the integrated graphics in the streaming system and then CPU would… you don’t really need that strong of a CPU because it’s sole purpose is just encoding and uploading your information that it’s pulling from your gaming PC to straight to Twitch or Mix, or what ever platform you use.
CPP: Yeah, you don’t need a whole lot in the streaming system, but then the gaming system of course you’d want a relatively strong CPU as well even though you’re not streaming, but you still are going to be listening to music, playing games, other stuff like that on that system. So multitasking is still being used on your gaming PC. So I would still say that I would probably prioritize GPU a little more on the gaming PC though and then CPU and then storage and RAM.
LSS: Okay. And so if somebody is on a budget you’d say that the best place to spend their money would be on the CPU side?
CPP: It’s difficult to say. Give me a number because it’s really, I kind of base it on like an actual number like how much would you say is the budget, right?
LSS: So I guess it’s just a theoretical question. So it’s not necessarily something that has to have a perfect answer. So I guess maybe there is a better way to rephrase it if there are common brackets that you guys see here when you’re building your budget PCs, where do you focus or do you just try to balance everything on the same level?
CPP: Yeah typically everything tries to get balanced. I wouldn’t say that there is a … because like the thing that you need to focus on is to prevent bottlenecking in your system. So for instance, you wouldn’t want to have like a fourth generation CPU and then have the latest RTX 2080 Ti inside your system. You know what I mean? So you would want to have everything either from the same generation I guess you would say or like everything just would have to be in the somewhat same range.
CPP: So if you’re looking at like an $800 system, you can probably go for a Ryzen 3 2300 CPU, get like a RX. I know you could probably get a little bit lower like a GTX 1060 GPU, probably like a terabyte hard drive with like an Intel Optane to speed up the hard drive, [inaudible 00:09:52] RAM and then like a cheap case 600-watt power supply. All that right there is probably like around I’d probably say like 700 to 800 dollars. I wouldn’t quote me on that but that’s just like at the top of my head what I would think it would probably be around.
LSS: So for streamers out there that are just starting up and don’t want to go all in on it they can get into it for a pretty affordable price?
CPP: Yeah. I mean well we have… I mean just to like kind of dip your feet in the water we have systems that are as low as like 600 bucks, $599, something like that on Amazon.
LSS: Wow. And so for a company like CyberPower, where you’re building these insane combinations of like so many different variations of PCs, what is a challenge when building at scale like this?
CPP: Could you repeat that? Sorry, you cut out a little.
LSS: Yes. So when you’re a company like CyberPower and you’re building these crazy gaming and streaming PCs at scale, what is kind of like one of the bigger challenges that you guys face doing that? Is it like getting parts or is it just keeping up with all the builds or what?
CPP: I mean keeping up with the builds isn’t that much of a problem, I mean we have like a pretty big warehouse and production line. Getting the parts? Yeah, it could be difficult especially what was it? Was it late last year I believe when the bitcoin craze was going on and everything for bitcoin mining turned to GPU instead of the CPU-ish or like prioritizing CPU over GPU. Everything was being encoded then and all of the blockchains were created by GPU so there was a huge, huge CPU shortage.
CPP: But of course we’re a pretty big manufacture system integrator that we have like pretty decent connections with Nvidia and other retailers that sale graphics cards, so we weren’t hit too hard I would say, but it definitely can be pretty crucial. It all depends I mean there’s also memory shortages, so micron basically had a shortage on memory, so we weren’t getting as much memory, or the pricing was just like extremely high, so we had to raise the prices here. There’s a lot of different factors, but I wouldn’t say that’s too much.
CPP: I’m trying to think of something that’s really like would be something that would like tip us over I guess. I mean I can’t really say. I don’t know what would be the hardest part about building these kinds of systems with special with having a variety of components because I think we’re pretty diverse in terms of like what products we sell. We sell pretty much all of the major brands [inaudible 00:12:42], ASUS, Thermaltake components. I mean we pretty much sell everything here Intel, A&D, Nvidia. Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that question, I’m sorry.
LSS: I think that’s a sufficient answer, I like that.
LSS: And so what do you see as the future of streaming? Is there anything you guys are prepping for specifically whether it’s maybe building rigs for people who want to go out and IRL stream or is it just really doubling down on gaming side of things?
CPP: I think that’s really the next thing, right? It’s just being mobile. Of course, people have [inaudible 00:13:23] with stuff like that, but I wouldn’t say that’s exactly mobile, right? Like something like we get a pretty decent person creating pretty affordable as well as high-powered laptops. We have RTX 2080 inside laptops with an i79758 CPU. So I mean those are…that’s a like a [inaudible 00:13:42] that we have right now. We just launched that early this year but a lot of … It’s a trend, it’s a trend.
CPP: A lot of system integrators are doing that too because they’re starting to see the need for people to want to go out and live stream. I mean for instance right now, [inaudible 00:13:59] is going on, and a lot of people, a lot of streamers are going to them, and it’s harder for them to keep up with their audience, so they need to be mobile in live stream, so a lot of them do it through laptops and such. There’s a pretty big push on being able to allow our users to be mobile through, and still have like a high-powered gaming system with them.
LSS: Got you. Do you guys have anything new coming out that you want to talk about or promote through this article or just anything in general that you want to say?
CPP: Buy CyberPower PC. No. That’s more of a norm question, but I would say yeah. I mean you can just catch us on our personal Twitch, twitch.tv/cyberpowergaming. That’s where you can find us if you have any questions about PC gaming or something that maybe we didn’t exactly cover in your article. You can always ask any questions on there.
LSS: And for you guys, What’s been the biggest thing in you guys growing your channel? Is it just partnering with streamers, so you naturally get the exposure, or do you guys make an active push to really grow your Twitch channel as well?
CPP: Honestly, it’s more so another outlet for customer service, is really what it is. I mean of course growing and making it huge so that way we’re a big part of the community is super important, but we don’t really leverage our streamers like, “Oh hey you know like let us play some games with you.” We try not to be those kinds of people, right? We’ve tried to grow it kind of organically. I mean it’s not like we’re [inaudible 00:15:42], we get like probably around like 30 to 50 concurrent viewers like every stream. We stream Monday, Wednesday, Friday at around 2:00pm PST. So I wouldn’t say that our stream is huge, but I mean we got a decent community. People who are loved, like love gaming, love PC components.
CPP: They’re not all CyberPower PC fans. A lot of them like to build their own PCs, or they have other friends that they love, but they still come over just to kind of chat and watch our stream. We haven’t really been too active on it. Recently, we just hired some other people in the company that are kind of helping me with that. We have a videographer now, professional videographer and they do videos and stuff like that, we post on Instagram and stuff like that to kind of like promote it. I guess recently we’ve been kind of a little bit more active than we have in the past.
LSS: Just more content.
CPP: Yeah, just more content and bringing more content, more ideas because for a PC company it’s a little bit different than your average Twitch streamer, right? You can’t do the same thing or ask like, Oh, what’s the difference between you and Summit1g? I’ll rather just go watch Summit1g destroy people in whatever game he is playing, right? So we try to be a little bit more active, interactive with the community and we also like to give back of course. Sometimes we would have little giveaways like, Oh, watch the stream today. We would have like a key word at the end of the stream and then you just sign up for this giveaway and you have a chance to win some RAM or some mice and keyboard.
CPP: It’s kind of a appreciation for saying, hey there, thanks for watching us. We know we are not the best at streaming, but we appreciate you guys coming around and showing us some support and stuff like that. So we do a little bit of everything.
LSS: I guess to kind of wrap up, what are some of your favorite streamers to watch?
CPP: I’m really big into [inaudible 00:17:42], that’s also another thing that we like to watch. So [inaudible 00:17:44] Talker is probably one of my favorites and then … I mean just the normal big streamers too like I love Lirik, he always brings funny content. I’d been also recently watching a lot of GTA V, so watching I don’t his actually Twitch. I think it’s Lord_Kebun, he plays Chang on a GTA V real play. And of course somebody that we just recently sponsored, AnthonyZ or Tony Corleone in GTA V, another great guy.
CPP: Lets’ see what else. Yeah, that’s pretty much the most. Honestly, I haven’t really been watching it, I’m more of a player than I am a Twitch watcher and sometimes I have time to sit down and watch here at the office, but most of the time I’m pretty busy.
LSS: Definitely. All right. Well, I appreciate you taking some time to chat. I’ll make sure to send this article over once I get it kind of written up and thinned up and everything. And if you have anything you want to add or any promo codes or anything like that, feel free to just email those over to me and I’ll make sure to include them.