Help with advice on system crashing & freezing.

Alrighty everyone, so I work for a company that live streams local schools sporting events on a dedicated encoder that has Wirecast 6.0.8 on it. Every school has their own encoder with the same setup and besides from some how-to situation, there are no problems there. We originally wanted everyone on the same setup with the same version of Wirecast but that quickly fell apart so we now have encoders out there with Wirecast v6 - v8 on it. The problem we are running into is that we will get freezes and crashes throughout the night on our encoder that we use in the studio, pretty sure it has something to do with how many incoming web streams we have on at a time. It can be from 4-6 different web streams depending on the week. I know about adding or modifying while Wirecast is streaming but the only thing we touch it for would be for a replay or to update a graphic with a new scoreboard. I am in the process of trying to convince management that we need a budget for our own dedicated encoder with roids but who knows how long that will take. It very well might be something that we set up wrong causing us issues. Please let me know what additional information you need because I'm sure I didn't include everything. Here are our current specs:

OS Windows 10 Home not activated :)

Wirecast v6.0.8

1 TB 7,200 RPM WD hard drive

i7 core 6700 3.4GHz

Intel (R) HD Graphics 530 <-- we don't have a dedicated GPU would that matter?

Black Magic Deck Link Duo 2 card

Intensity 4k card <-- we don't really use this unless we are using older cameras.

8 GBs DDR4 RAM

H.264 1280x720p 30fps

When we are streaming I want to say we stay around 2,200 kbps

Network: during the live streaming we get anywhere from 100 down / 100 up and the lowest I've seen it is around 60 down / 60 up.

What could we add to our current encoder, as a temporary fix, to make things go smoother?

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  • Incoming web streams might be placing high demands on the system. Look at CP% in Wirecast status on its top. As it nears 80% there can be issues.

    You could reset preferences. Wirecast > Help > Sent Support Information but click on the lower left Reset Preferences and then open Wirecast and use a New Blank Document and rebuild your shots.

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  • CraigS Okay, darn. I've done those steps. Would disabling High Quality Video help us in our situation? We are definitely hitting 80% CPU usage at times but we idle around 40%-60%, would adding & deleting the web stream sources as we need them be any better than just having all 6 sources plugged in?

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  • alric wittmann For quality's sake I'd keep it on High Quality unless you've exhausted all other options.

    Yes, remove webstreams you're not using as they are processed as long as the source is present.
    More recent versions of Wirecast use Intel QuickSync or NVENC if available to lower CPU use. In fact this is a major reason to upgrade. Wirecast 8 is generally more CPU efficient.
    Disabling Live Icons in Preferences Performance can also lower CPU use.
    If you don't need to use the Preview window, disabling that can help as well.

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  • CraigS Okay, I'll see if we can upgrade Wirecast on our encoder. I believe the i7 6700k has the QuickSync feature on it. Would having a dedicated GPU instead of the on-board graphics be better? If I understand it correctly, doesn't integrated graphics use the RAM for its memory bank? And us only having 8GBs we might run into some trouble there. 

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  • alric wittmann said:
    I believe the i7 6700k has the QuickSync feature on it.

     Yes and it could lower CPU use, in some cases significantly.

    alric wittmann said:
    Would having a dedicated GPU instead of the on-board graphics be better?

     If NVIDIA (and supports NVENC, most recent ones do) you'd also be able to NVENC to lower CPU if you wanted that option.

    alric wittmann said:
    If I understand it correctly, doesn't integrated graphics use the RAM for its memory bank?

     True so a separate GPU could be more RAM efficient. 

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