I have a 2 BMD Intensity setup running off my HP Pavilion P6520F Desktop PC Athlon II X4 635(2.9GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity ATI Radeon HD 4200. When I'm broadcasting in h.264 720p the CPU is really working overtime. I'm worried that one day it will just crash on me.
I guess my question is 2 fold. How can I lower my CPU without sacrificing the quality (not to mention that I want to add on a record to disk that I haven't even attempted yet)
And secondly, if I were to start from scratch on a new machine what would one recommend for solid/reliable performance?
There may not be enough info so I'm going to have to make some assumptions.
Don't stream 720 unless the player and your viewers can handle it.
Lower the Wirecast Canvas size. Lower the encoder frame size and data rate.
Your CPU/GPU combination don't seem to have the resources needed to do what you're doing.
Quality is subjective. You're going to have to sacrifice something. In terms of bits per pixel if you lower the data rate, lowering the frame size can maintain bits per pixel. Lowering the frame rate can also help but then you sacrifice temporal resolution.
Record to drive using an I-Frame codec. It's easier on the CPU although the file size can be much larger than GOP based encodes such H.264. Make sure the drive is at least 7200rpm, not the system drive, not USB2. Faster drive and faster connection the better.
I'd get at least a Ivy Bridge Quad Core I7 although Sandy Bridge Xeons would give you more room to expand. Get a good GPU although it's hard to be specific. My preference is for AMD GPUs at least 1GB VRAM.
HP Z series are very good.
Any time the CPU% shows above 80% in Wirecast you're in a danger zone.