How to build the ultimate PC gaming setup

Building a battlestation fit for a king

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PC gaming is undeniably one of the coolest corners of technology today. Between the ever-increasing core count in consumer processors and higher compute power of graphics cards, computers are more powerful than ever. And, beyond towers of power, gaming monitors are only getting bigger, gaming peripherals are becoming wireless and virtual reality is rising in ubiquity.

When you add up all these factors, there’s never been a better time for PC gaming. Just to illustrate this, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together the ultimate PC gaming setup featuring the best and coolest gear you can assemble.

Table: Evodesk Gaming Desk

Every great PC gaming setup is built upon an altar, and the Evodesk Gaming Desk serves as the foundation of ours. This mechanized standing desk comes with a unique coating that turns its entire surface into a gaming mouse pad. We’ve also got the Evodesk equipped with a few options, including built-in power strip, USB and audio jack passthrough and a giant cable tray to keep everything tidy.

Gaming PC: TechRadar's ultimate mini gaming PC

Not to toot our own horn, but we couldn’t imagine a better PC than our own ultimate mini gaming PC. Just to catch you up on our build, we set out to put together the most impressive Mini-ITX computer we could construct. At its core, it features a powerful combo of an Intel Core i5-8600K Coffee Lake processor and Nvidia’s latest GTX 1070 Ti. On top of that, we packed in blitzing fast DDR4 RAM, 4TB (!) of solid-state storage and a ton of RGB lighting.

TechRadar's Ultimate Mini Gaming PC

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Intel Core i5-8600K
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$238.99
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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
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$440
Asus ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming
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$179.03
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G.Skill Trident Z RGB
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$183.97
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DeepCool Captain 120EX RGB
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$66.08
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SilverStone SFX Series SX600-G
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$119.99
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Samsung 960 Evo
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$469.99
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WD Blue SSD
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$109.99
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Phanteks Evolv Shift
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$109.99
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Corsair LED Lighting PRO Expansion Kit
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$39.99

In case you might feel building a PC such as this is beyond you, may we recommend a badass, pre-built mini PC, like the Corsair One or MSI Trident 3. They pack just as much power in an even smaller, albeit harder to upgrade, package.

Best Pre-Built Mini Gaming PCs

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Corsair One
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$2233.87
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MSI Trident 3
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$898.95

Monitor: Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor

Alienware’s a fairly new player in the gaming monitor world, but it’s come out swinging with some of the fastest monitors on the market. What we’ve picked here is a 34-inch, WQHD (3,440 x 1,440) ultra-wide curved monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor is one of the few displays on the market that lets you play games with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio and extremely high frame rates at the same time.

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Gaming keyboard: Logitech G613

While there are practically thousands of mechanical gaming keyboards to choose from, the Logitech G613 is one of the very few that’s completely wireless. Not only is lag non-existent, this gaming keyboard offers all the tactile feel, media buttons and macro keys we need.

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Gaming Mouse: Logitech G603

Seeing as our entire gaming desk is basically a mousepad, a wireless mouse was a no-brainer. Thanks to its two low and high operating modes, we can enjoy its long battery life for casual computing and then switch things into high-gear performance while gaming.

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Today's best Astro Gaming A50 wireless headset deals

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Gaming headset: Astro A50

Keeping the wireless theme going, the Astro A50 is our gaming headset of choice. We haven’t felt a comfier gaming headset we can wear for hours. The Astro A50 also comes with one of the most elegant bases that acts as an audio hub, charging station and headphone stand all at the same time.

Speakers: Logitech MX Sound

While we normally like to do all our PC gaming with a headset on, sometimes it’s just more comfortable to go with a solid set of speakers. The Logitech MX Sound is an engineering feat that squeezes the power of much larger speakers into a tiny package with fewer wires than other systems. Plus, the Bluetooth connectivity makes pairing the MX Sound to phones a breeze.

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VR headset: Oculus Rift + Touch

The HTC Vive Pro might be on its way, but the Oculus Rift remains as the most polished and affordable virtual reality headset on the market. The Oculus Rift and Touch controller bundle comes with everything you need to get going out of the box, including headphones attached to the headset, two motion tracking cameras and a pair of seriously comfortable motion controllers. 

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Livestreaming webcam: Razer Kiyo

At this point, PC gaming and streaming are inextricably tied, so we’ve elected to include one of the best web cameras for live video. This 4MP webcam captures 1080p video and, on top of its ability to automatically create a green screen around you, the Kiyo comes with its own built-in ringlight to perfectly illuminate you.

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Livestreaming microphone: Razer Seiren X

You’re going to want a crisp microphone to go with your high-quality webcam, and we can’t imagine anything better than the Razer Seiren X. Thanks to a super cardioid pickup pattern, this condenser microphone records sound from a tighter cone to reduce unwanted background noise. Overall, it does a great, but not exceptional, job of capturing clear sound compared to the tried-and-true Blue Yeti mic, but we’ll take a slight hit on audio quality for the Seiren X’s substantially better portability.

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