Finding gifts for the PC gamer can be tough considering there are just so many dang peripherals out there. That’s why we’ve done the dirty work for you and have outlined the best bang-for-the-buck keyboard, mouse, monitor and more that will serve as excellent gifts this holiday season.
Keyboard: Corsair K68 Mechanical Keyboard
A mechanical keyboard is a valuable asset to PC gamers, but they tend to come at a hefty price. Corsair offers some of the better options out on the market and for $100, the K68 features everything you’d need out of a keyboard. It’s water and dust resistant, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally spilling drinks at your desk and destroying an expensive piece of equipment. Dedicated media keys come in clutch and the Cherry MX Red switches give you smooth, linear, and precise keystrokes.
Street price: $100
Mouse: Logitech G403 (Wired) / G703 (Wireless)
Logitech has a great reputation when it comes to gaming mice and the G403/G703 shows why. It’s a simple mouse that fits into your hand whether you use a claw grip or palm grip. Those who prefer a heavier mouse can insert the included 10 gram weight. Two side buttons are easy to hit with your thumb and the distinct tactility of the mouse buttons help with rapid clicking. The G403 uses a Pixart PWM3366 optical sensor, which is extremely precise. The wired version (G403) goes for $70, but can be found for cheaper while the wireless one (G703) will run you $100 unless it’s found on sale.
Street price: $70 (G403), $100 (G703)
Mousepad: Steelseries QCK mouse pad series
The Steelseries QCK mouse pads are smooth. The surface consists of sleek cloth, which tracks precise mouse movements. The grippy rubber base prevents movement of the mouse pad itself. The low-profile styling keeps things simple.
The QCK series comes in several sizes, so you can find the dimensions that suit your play style or desk space setup. Dimensions and street prices of the different versions are broken down below.
QCK: 320x270x2mm ($9.99)
QCK+: 450x400x2mm ($14.99)
QCK Mass: 320x270x6mm ($11.99)
QCK Heavy: 450x400x6mm ($24.99)
QCK Mini: 250x210x2mm ($6.99)
PC Controller: Xbox One Controller
For a long time, the Xbox 360 controller was the de facto controller of choice for PC gamers due to its XInput support. The Xbox One controller is even better, however, with improved joysticks. The newer variants also support Bluetooth, so you can go wireless without a dongle.
Street price: $47
Gaming Headset: HyperX Cloud Alpha
Kingston’s HyperX brand found its way into PC gaming peripherals not long ago and its headsets have been highly regarded. The Cloud Alpha released this year and provides exceptional sound quality. Just as important is comfort; this headset has dense velvet-like ear pads that form nicely around your ears. The microphone is detachable so you can get it out of the way if you don’t need it. HyperX’s Cloud Alpha connects through a 3.5mm connection and can be used on any device that supports the audio jack. Overall, PC gamers will appreciate its sound and build quality.
Street price: $100
Gaming Monitor: LG UltraWide UM57 25UM57
There are a lot of gaming monitors on the market, but LG makes a really good one with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which will be able to give you a viewing advantage in games that support ultra wide resolutions. It also helps that it’s under $200. LG’s UM57 25UM57 uses a 25-inch 1080p panel that offers just five millisecond of delay. This is good enough for most gamers. It also uses an IPS display, which means it offers vibrant, realistic colors and wide viewing angles.
Street price: $180
VR Headset: Oculus Rift
With the recent price drop of the Oculus Rift to $400, now is arguably the best time to get a VR headset, especially since the Rift has a more mature library that includes great games like Superhot VR, Robo Recall, Echo Arena, and more. This price also includes the Oculus Touch controllers, which retailed for $200 alone earlier this year. It helps that the Rift is also much easier to set up than the competing HTC Vive.
Street price: $400
SSD: ADATA SU800 (512GB)
Getting a solid-state drive is arguably the biggest upgrade you can make to your PC. ADATA’s SU800 SSD is a relatively affordable one that offers 512GB of storage for under $160. It also offers sequential read and write speeds of 560 and 520MB/s, respectively, which makes it dramatically faster than the speediest hard drives.
GPU: GeForce GTX 1060
The current cryptocurrency craze has dramatically increased the prices of modern GPUs, but you can still get a good graphics card for under $200. For instance, you can find Asus’ 3GB Phoenix Fan Edition GeForce GTX 1060 for $193, and it happens to be a great GPU for maxing out most games at 1080p.
Street price: $193
Webcam: Logitech C922
Logitech’s C922 webcam is great for both streaming and video calls. It has two different modes that allow you to shoot at either 1080p with 30FPS or 720p with 60FPS. The C922 also offers low-light correction, so you can use it in dim environments.
Street price: $100
Mic: Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Whether you want to stream or simply want a high-quality microphone, Blue Yeti’s USB microphone has you covered. It has three condenser capsules, which allow you to switch among multiple recording patterns that include cardioid, bidirectional, and omnidirectional.
Street Price: $125