After we connected the cables for the case lighting, fans, and components, we tucked everything away as best we could. From a functionality standpoint, everything looked ready to go, and aesthetically, we managed the cables as much as possible without taking too much time. We were confident, but you're never really sure it will boot up that first time. After screwing the glass sides back in place (the rear panel quietly hiding our cabling sins), we connected our PC to a display and hit the power button.
We paid for it in effort, though. The Gammaxx isn't abnormal for an air cooler, but its bracket orientation was confusing, and we started screwing in the parts out of order. This had a little domino effect during the build; we had to backpedal a few steps, and it took longer than it probably should have, but it was hardly catastrophic. Lesson: Read the manual, or at least flip through it. (We tried to wing it.)
Your processor can be a bottleneck for gaming, but as long as you hit a certain performance minimum, which many modern CPUs do, it's other components that are more likely to hold you back. Recent processors are more efficient than ever, with a much more capable baseline than the average CPUs of the past. For this build, we went with an eighth-generation ("Coffee Lake") Intel Core i5-8400 CPU for $179, which is more than powerful enough for mainstream gaming.
Unfortunately, Coolermaster does not provide any sort of Fan Hub for fan control, you will have to use your Motherboard Sys_Fan headers or 3rd Party fan hubs like the thermaltake Commander FP for PWM (15$) which can accommodate up to 10x Fans. Another option would be using the NZXT Grid+ V3 so you can monitor the fans rpms trough the Cam Software.
An often overlooked component of the ultimate gaming room is the audio setup. Surround sound can really immerse you in the gaming experience and is a popular option for gamers who like to play on the TV. Based on your budget, you will want to research 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 surround sound options. For a real thrill, surround sound speakers that have some setup behind you will have you jumping with fright. Just think about zombies trying to sneak up and take a chomp out of you in games like the Last of Us (on PlayStation 4).
This monitor is referred to as a ‘gaming monitor’ due to the specialized response time and refresh rate. With that ‘gaming’ label, it of course can work for other uses with a computer. It can be used on all platforms aside from a PC as well — enjoy the SE2417HG with your PC, XBOX or PlayStation console because you can also conveniently switch your game play using its dual HDMI ports. If you are a serious gamer, this monitor allows you to customize your style of play, allowing you to access your screen in just about every way possible. Very few high-tech components of gaming are a necessity, but if the screen that you play on surely is one of them for you, and the Dell SE2417HG is our pick as the best.
There’s enough hardware to deal with in a home entertainment setup, so why not reduce remote clutter? The Belkin Beacon takes the form of a small black ornament that sits on the coffee table (or somewhere that’s within IR range of the TV) and works like an all-in-one remote for the TV, sound system, DVD / Blu-ray player, Apple TV, and more. The only way to communicate with it is through an iPad, iPhone, or Android app using Bluetooth.
WePC.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Additionally, WePC.com participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.
This was a tricky one. We originally budgeted for an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060—a modest but effective HD gaming card. Most of the time with that card, in most games, you get at least 60 frames per second (fps) in 1,920 by 1,080 gameplay with settings at or near maximum. But it's not a powerhouse. The GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition retails for $299, so from the start we were picking the rest of the components with a GTX 1060 at that price in mind. As the process went on, though, we were tempted by the more powerful GeForce GTX 1070. Something about going through all of the trouble to build a gaming-specific machine only to use a GTX 1060 just felt underwhelming.
Cords are an unfortunate reality of modern technology, but in the last few years several organization solutions have appeared to helped those helplessly drown in cable clutter. One of our longtime favorites is the stylish Bluelounge CableBox, a clever answer to many who want to focus on the game rather than stray wires. If the CableBox is either too big / too small, Bluelounge has a wide range to fit any homeowners requirements, with IKEA’s FIXA cable management ideal for tying up any loose ends to bundle bunches together.
It’s difficult to imagine a living room or game room without a table, so the question is what’s the ideal table? The Bosco Coffee Table from Safavieh comes in three colors, has a pleasing classic design, and has two narrow drawers which are perfect for spare charging cables, audio/video cables, accessories or peripherals, game guides, and other such objects that are difficult to find homes for.
What also makes this mouse unique is they’ve combined different sensory technologies together enabling the user to reach never before seen speeds. The Chaos Spectrum features a ‘Delta Zero technology‘ as well as an exclusive Fusion Engine Hybrid Sensor that allows you to reach speeds of 500 IPS or higher. For us, a mouse to upgrade for must have additional programmable buttons for quick access to hot keys as well as fast response time to keep our movements precise. The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is just that — a highly advanced mouse that is considered one of the best solutions for gaming equipment in the market. It’s a great choice for gamers but can also be effectively used for work purposes, making this a well-worth it upgrade.
One of my advice would be to not splurge all your money in one go, newer and more powerful hardware are always coming out (six months - yearly), build according to your needs. It’s always nice to have the newest, most bleeding edge hardware, but sometimes it’s just not necessary. Besides, hardware such as additional graphics cards to run SLI or CrossFire and RAM could be added later down the road.
And so, after a lot of rationalizing and budget-slicing, we ended up with a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1070. Its $399 price means some concessions to storage and memory, but we felt it was worth making them. A graphics card is the main factor in the performance ceiling of a gaming machine, and going with a solid but not great option didn't sit right. This card also allows you to play at a higher resolution than 1080p with better frame rates (say, if you have a 1440p monitor). On the flip side, you might feel, understandably, that a GTX 1060 is plenty for this type of rig—and that choice gives you $100 to put toward other components. Our reviews at the link will give you an idea of the frame rates you will achieve with the different cards in different games.
This is so awesome. I’m not tech savvy at all and I installed a small light strip on my bedroom TV in less than 5 minutes. It comes on when the TV comes on, and shuts off when the TV shuts off. Neat! The only downside to this product is that if you install more than one of these in your house and then use any of the remotes, it will change all the lights, even the light strips in other rooms on other floors of the house. That is the only thing stopping me from ordering four more to use in other rooms of my house. But it’s still a very cool, fun product. Can’t wait to see what else this company makes!