If you, like many other gamers out there, the dream of setting up your own gaming battle station, you have probably made the following observation more than once: gaming gear can be expensive. And it’s not just the hardware for your PC build. There are monitors, peripherals, chairs and desks, even RAM, and PSUs out there with the “gaming” label slapped on them – and they usually cost at least a few percents more than their “average” counterparts. Is this price difference justified? Does the fact that they are “gaming” come with any real benefits?
Well, the answer is often “Yes” – but in some cases, it’s a certain “No”.
When comparing office chairs and gaming chairs, you’ll see that there’s apparently not much of a difference between them – at least in a certain category. Gaming chairs have a design strikingly similar to a certain category of office chairs designed to offer as much ergonomy and comfort to their users as possible. At the same time, they are robust and stable, perfect for spending hours upon hours in them while coding, designing or playing monster sessions of Fortnite or LoL.
The only major difference between the two is their design – gaming chairs are certainly way cooler than the office chairs in the same category, and have a similar price, too. So, why not invest in a chair that looks good?
When it comes to mice, the differences between the average products and their gaming counterparts start to show.
A standard office mouse will never need the precision of a gaming mouse. Also, it has little to no use for programmable keys. Not to mention the switches designed to withstand the millions of clicks a gamer performs in a relatively short time. And it’s usually dirt cheap.
A gaming mouse will have all of the above, and more – usually, it comes with a super-ergonomic design to offer an experience as seamless as possible. It will have multiple programmable keys that the gamers can set up to perform various in-game tasks, and sensors to offer the precision needed to deliver a virtual bullet exactly where it needs to go.
While there certainly are some overpriced gaming mice out there, the vast majority is well worth the price difference compared to even the highest-quality office mouse – especially if you are serious about gaming.
If you have invested a small fortune in your gaming rig, make sure to also pair it with a monitor that will allow you to use it to its best. Compared to a standard monitor or TV, a gaming monitor will not only have a higher resolution in most cases but also a much higher refresh rate.
Until a few years ago, a refresh rate of 60Hz (good for playing at 60 FPS) was considered sufficient. The development of new, more powerful gaming hardware that allows games to run at a much better performance made monitors with a refresh rate of 120Hz or even 144Hz desirable for many. These, coupled with the right gaming rig, can offer a much smoother gaming experience that matters especially when engaged in a high-speed, high-FPS game.
While most high-end 144Hz monitors are pretty pricey, there are more affordable options out there, too, representing a compromise between smoothness and resolution.
Is there such a thing as a “gaming” power supply? Actually, no – there is no such thing. The difference between a high-end gaming PSU and a high-end “normal” PSU is usually just cosmetic – a few LEDs here, an RGB light there… If you have to choose between two power supplies for your PC build, make sure to choose the one that has the better specs, not the one that looks pretty while you play. After all, it’s the screen you’ll be watching, not the pretty lights of your PSU.
The same goes for your PC case. The design, trinkets, and lights are secondary – what matters is for it to have enough space for all your hardware while also keeping the airflow efficiency and the dust away. That being said, if you find a gaming case that checks all the right marks and also looks great, nobody says you shouldn’t invest in it.
Having a high-spec gaming rig is great. Spending extra on “gaming” accessories, in turn, is counterproductive in most cases. While it may feel appealing to have a rig that looks and feels the way you want it to, make sure to choose performance and ergonomy over RGB lights and attractive design.