Last Updated on December 17, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
When it comes to streaming live on Twitch or YouTube, I am on the fence with two pieces of software. XSplit Broadcaster has a lot to offer for easy streaming while OBS has a great deal of flexibility. So, which is better: XSplit or OBS?
Actually, that has more to do with your own personal needs.
Everyone has their idea of the perfect streaming software. And what you find to be vital may not be the same as someone else.
9 Things to Consider for OBS and XSplit Broadcaster
So, everyone has certain features, capabilities, and integrations they want in streaming software. While one person wants CSS customization, others might just want a quick plugin install.
I am a bit somewhere in between.
Here are nine things I consider when comparing XSplit and OBS. Remember, though, you’re opinion of the best features may be different from my own.
1. Cost to Use: OBS
As OBS is free, open-source software, there’s no doubt that it wins when it comes to cost. Although XSplit Broadcaster has a free version available, it’s a bit limited compared to its premium license.
Personally, I don’t mind paying $25 every three months to use XSplit Broadcaster. That’s because of all the things I’ll list in this comparison.
However, my daughter streams all the time with the free version of XSplit, and it serves her purposes well for both Twitch and YouTube.
2. Ease of Use: XSplit
Both XSplit and OBS are very easy to set up and use, but I would have to say XSplit is just a bit easier overall. For one thing, it’s far more straightforward to resize image elements in the overlay.
A lot of the options in XSplit are self-explanatory, and you don’t have to do much digging to find certain features.
If you don’t have a decent webcam, XSplit also has the option to use its VCam service. This turns your mobile device into a camera for streaming.
For those who just want to set something up without having to think too much about the stream, XSplit Broadcaster is probably the way to go.
3. Resource Use: OBS
As both pieces of software continue to update, they are quite comparable when it comes to resource usage. For the most part, I really don’t see much of a difference today when it comes to CPU and GPU use.
Both XSplit and OBS run exceptionally well with an 8-core Ryzen 7 and an nVidia 1050ti video card. But, OBS uses far less of the CPU while running.
For instance, I tested both streaming apps while running Diablo III using the nVenc video encoder. Although XSplit tapped the CPU up to 13%, OBS never went over 1.3%.
But as I said, I really don’t see a difference in quality when comparing live streams or recorded video. And, it will also depend on what games you play and how the rest of the system is set up.
Why is this important?
Because encoding video to broadcast live from streaming software requires a great deal of CPU usage. The more CPU you have available during gameplay, the smoother the broadcast is. This is especially true if you want to stream in high-definition.
But if you can use the GPU instead, it relieves a lot of pressure from the CPU, allowing you to do more in the background.
And, it helps that I maxed out my motherboard with 64GB of memory.
4. Plugins and Tools: XSplit Broadcaster
This one was a hard decision to make. Both have a long list of plugins and tools you can add to make the stream stand out. But, XSplit has a built-in plugin store that makes adding functions quick and easy.
For instance, I can quickly add the Extra Life counter to XSplit in mere seconds.
I don’t have to edit files, manually install add-ons, or really fight much of the tools in XSplit. In contrast, I’ve had a few instances of frustration when it came to making similar adjustments in OBS.
For me, it’s just simpler to use XSplit for certain plugins and tools that I specifically use. You might have a different experience depending on your needs.
5. Customization Settings and Functions: OBS
For me, this is another one of those difficult choices between XSplit and OBS.
But, OBS does have a wide scope of ways you can customize the stream. And if you know anything about CSS coding, you can take it even further.
For example, it didn’t take me long to set up the ability to mute Discord during a live stream while retaining the game audio. This is one of the reasons why I use OBS to record our multiplayer games for YouTube.
Don’t get me wrong, XSplit also has a lot of ways to customize various elements. And in some instances, it is a bit easier to do so. However, OBS just has more flexibility for specific custom settings.
I do want to point out how the options for each element in XSplit does come with a lot of different options. For instance, you can alter the size, color, and font quite easily for text in XSplit.
6. Overlay Customization: XSplit Broadcaster
So, this one might be simply a case of personal preference. But for me, it’s simply easier to adjust the overlay for streams and recordings in XSplit over OBS.
As I mentioned before, XSplit Broadcaster is simple to navigate. Especially when you consider resizing on-screen elements is extremely more manageable.
Plus, I don’t have to think too much to move items to fit perfectly, and the quick-install widgets and plugins are easy to add.
But, that’s not to say that OBS isn’t without its charm. Some things are just as easy to add to an overlay in OBS. I just find it much simpler to customize those things in XSplit.
7. Video and Sound Options: OBS
One of the biggest reasons I started using OBS in the first place was for noise reduction and gating. That was because I had so much noise going on in the background of my streams.
However, XSplit added these features as well and is capable of handling sound functions nicely.
But when it comes to the number of options and filters available, OBS has the advantage. Especially considering the ability to mute Discord as I mentioned above.
Various aspects of video and sound are easier and more extensive in OBS for what I need.
8. Multistream Capabilities: XSplit Broadcaster
When it comes to multistream capabilities, I would have to say XSplit Broadcaster is definitely a better choice. Although there are all kinds of solutions for OBS, it’s far easier to simply click on where you want the video to stream.
You can simplify multistreaming from OBS if you use third-party services, like Restream. And there are some pros and cons that come with those kinds of services.
But from my computer system, multistreaming is simple with XSplit.
9. Support Staff: Tie
I would have to say the support for either XSplit or OBS is close in comparison.
While it takes the chat system for XSplit a bit of time to respond, they usually handle things amazingly well. And OBS has a quite helpful forum to browse when you need questions answered.
Luckily, I haven’t needed either of them very often lately. But when I’ve had a problem, both XSplit and OBS had expert advice on hand.
Which is Better, XSplit or OBS? It’s a Tie, for Me
Both pieces of streaming software have their high points, which is why I go back and forth a lot. For instance, I’ll use OBS to record videos for YouTube, but XSplit is what I often turn to for live streaming gameplay.
For me, it depends on the situation and what I’ll need at any given time.
Another example is how I can easily switch back and forth from YouTube to Twitch without having to sign back in or grab stream keys. XSplit just makes this process a bit easier to manage.
Out of both pieces of streaming software, it’s almost impossible for me to determine which one is better.
The Best Streaming Software is What Works for You
In the end, it really comes down to personal preference. Everyone has different needs and wants. The best streaming software is one that you get the most out of for your purpose.
But if you’re still undecided, I suggest trying both platforms out for yourself. XSplit has a free version you can try, and OBS is already free.
So, the only thing you really lose is a few moments of your day.
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