Wowza Community

Which CPU for Wowza engine and playout


We are going to set up and test our remote playout server.

Our current provider does not have any more E3- based servers.

We have been offered the following two options:

The difference is CPU (other specs are same)


2 TB HDD (might do 240 SSD for OS + 1TB for media)

** NO GPU **

Option 1) Intel i7-4790K - 11193 passmark

Option 2) Intel Dual X5650 - 11527 passmark

We will want to run Playout system (1 x HD 720p feed from Playout) and a local Wowza streaming engine instance (for multicast, and transcoding into 720p for Point to Point RTSP delivery to remote H264 IP-ingest decoders and 420p for Facebook Live Stream delivery)

My dilemma is I don’t know if there is any difference, as far as playout and video transcoding is concerned, between a single CPU (i7-4790k) or dual CPU (X-5650). What difference does it make, if any, and which of these two options would be recommended?

Thank you.

We have an article on how to find the right hardware for your workflow. It can be found in the link below.

Well thank you but that doesn’t answer my question, whether I am better off with

  1. single CPU, with fewer but faster cores


  1. dual CPU, with more cores but slower cores

Given that total CPU passmark is roughly the same between the two, I need to know whether I am better off with option 1 or option 2.

That is a tough one to answer directly. I would look specifically at benchmarks showing encoding speed as Transcoder performs encoding on the fly. If you have insufficient processing power then Transcoder will, per the H.264 specification, skip frames to keep up with the load. This will result in choppy playback for the client.

We do have a list of benchmarks regarding how Transcoder performs that I highly recommend that you read before making any hardware purchase.

The closest equivalent to the Intel Core i7-4790K we have in our benchmarks is Server 1 which uses an Intel Xeon E3 1285. Below are a few links for comparative purposes between those two CPUs.

If the results in the Transcoder benchmarks show that your system needs more processing power then you will need to use a GPU to accelerate both decoding and encoding of your live content.

You can also use Intel’s QuickSync to help with decoding and encoding incoming streams.

One more question, is it better to run Wowza on regular HDD or on SSD? The media (video files) itself would be stored on HDD on the same machine.

I do not know if it makes any difference to Wowza performance to have the engine instance itself running on SSD?

Thank you.

Our hardware requirements state that you need a fast hard drive. This is important for both VOD delivery and writing logs to your file system.