The PC Gamer team’s personal gaming setups

Building a gaming PC is almost as satisfying as actually playing games on it—maybe more. The feeling of setting a fresh CPU into its socket, the sensual snap of the RAM sticks, that moment you realise you have no screw for the freaking M.2 slot you just filled. Makes you want to build one right now, doesn’t it?

There are an infinite number of ways to configure and design a gaming PC, and so to inspire each other and our readers, we thought we’d take a look at how members of the PC Gamer team have approached the hobby.

No matter the contents, there’s a lot of love here. A love of all things gaming, and of the tech that makes all those frames per second possible. Here’s what PC Gamer is gaming on today—you can decide if the confidence in our writing reflects in our rigs, or whether we’re maybe compensating for something.

Lauren Aitken – Deputy guides editor

Lauren’s PC specs

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700F CPU @ 3.00GHz
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B360-H Gaming
RAM: VENGEANCE® LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666MHz C16 Memory
SSD: Samsung SSD 970 EVO plus 500GB
HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 5TB 2.5″ Hard Disk Drive/HDD
PSU: 850W Corsair RMx Series RM850x
Case: Corsair Carbide 275Q Quiet Black Midi Tower Gaming Case
Displays: Dell U2415x2
Keyboard: Mountain Everest 60
Mouse: Logitech G305 Lightspeed wireless mouse
Headphones: Beats by Dr Dre on-ear headphones 

Tell us about your computer
I tried and failed to get my paws on a 3070 midway through the pandemic and was kindly sent this fairly impressive rig upon joining Future. I previously had an RTX 2060, so the jump to 2070 Super was nice and this bad boy is lightning fast for loading things. The big HDD means I can horde many cat photos, screenshots and questionable memes. The only downside is that, unlike my previous PC, there isn’t a glass panel with lots of RBG lights.

What are you playing?
As the Deputy Guides Editor, I could be playing literally anything, from Fortnite to Destiny 2 to Crusader Kings 3. I like to keep it spicy.

What upgrade are you planning next?
My screens are definitely a little old so would like to upgrade those, as well as install a glass side and some lights to keep in with my RGB/ chaos theme of my office. I like having the two landscape monitors though so will probably get two or possibly a third since I’m that kind of nerd.

Imogen Mellor – Features Producer

Imogen’s PC specs

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600X
Graphics card: RTX 2070
Motherboard: MSI X570-A Pro
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 32 GB (2 x 16 GB)
SSD: SanDisk Ultra 
HDD: Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
PSU: I’ve forgotten and don’t want to open my case lmao 
Case: Cooler Master H400
Displays: An ASUS VG245 and AOC Gaming 24G2U5/BK
Keyboard: Logitech G815
Mouse: Razer Naga Trinity
Headphones: I don’t want to talk about it

Streaming gear:
Elgato Ring Light
Elgato Stream Deck
Elgato HD60 S+ Capture Card
Elgato Wave 1 Microphone
RODE PSA1 Mic Stand
Sony a6000
Elgato Cam Link

Tell us about your computer
Let me take you back to Imogen at university. This young, fresh thing had dreams of getting into games journalism, but had not ever owned a gaming PC. She decided it was time to spend the final dregs of her student loan and personal savings on a set up so she could be taken seriously, and so googled ‘how to build a PC’. I found a website that recommended a decent set up, and not knowing anything about PCs or what I wanted from one, I bought all the components and put it together. It’s not perfect but honestly, it’s been a great workhorse throughout my career, my streaming, and even has a smidge of RPG inside. It sits on my desk proudly, though obscured by a PS5, and even without knowing a thing about PC building, the cable management is pretty lush.

What are you playing?
Anything I need to for work. That’s Elden Ring, indie games, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Dying Light 2. Literally anything except horror games. Oh and an embarrassing amount of Overwatch.

What upgrade are you planning next?
I’m kind of hoping to build a new PC entirely soon and run both as part of a streaming set up. Alternatively, I need a nicer non-budget monitor at some point, and probably should get a second hard drive. 

Nat Clayton – Features Producer

Nat’s gaming setup.

Nat’s PC specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Graphics card: RTX 2070 Super
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX
RAM: 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix RGB 3600 DDR4
SSD: WD Blue SN550 1TB High-Performance M.2 PCIe NVMe
HDD: No.
PSU: Corsair RM750 
Case: NZXT H510
Displays: Acer, uh, something
Keyboard: Steelseries Apex [RAW]
Mouse: Steelseries Rival 
Headphones: Logitech G432

Tell us about your computer.
I hate building computers. Nothing stresses me out more than shopping for PC parts and putting them together, so when tasked with replacing my ageing student PC the other year, I gave my smartest friends a budget and told them to figure it out.

I lucked out on the timing, and while buying a 20-series card just before the 30-series came out was a bit of a pain, it also pre-empted the great GPU drought so I cannae be too upset. Besides, it runs everything I’ve thrown at it pretty much flawlessly, and the upgrade from a 1080 screen to a 1440 was enough of a jump that I don’t think my eyes could handle 4K even if they wanted it.

Otherwise, I’m not too fussed about making a statement with my setup. The rig sits in a white box under the desk with only a couple unintentional RGBs. The monitors and peripherals try to avoid the jagged glowing gamer gear aesthetic as much as possible. It works, and that’s enough.

What are you playing?
Literally only Apex Legends.

What upgrade are you planning next?
I guess I should probably get a drive with some actual bloody storage space. 1TB doesn’t go very far these days.

Phil Savage – Editor-in-Chief

Phil’s gaming setup.

Phil’s PC specs

CPU: Ryzen 7 3700X 
Graphics card: ASYS RTX 3080 Ti ROG Strix
Motherboard: MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUS
RAM: 2x16GB Corsair DDR4 Vengeance
SSD: 1TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2, 2TB Samsung 860 EVO
HDD: WD Black 2TB
PSU: 850W Corsair RMx Series RM850x
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C
Displays: Asus PG279Q 27-inch, Dell U2410 24-inch
Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Chroma
Mouse: Razer Deathadder V2
Headphones: HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro

Tell us about your computer.
About halfway through 2020, I decided I needed a new CPU. My i5-6600K was feeling a bit long in the tooth, and, with a new generation of consoles on the way, it seemed like a good time to prepare for the inevitable jump in system requirements. The thing is: you don’t just upgrade a CPU. I also needed a new, compatible motherboard.

And if I’m doing that, I may as well replace my increasingly shabby Fractal Design Define R3 case—its top USB ports long since broken—with something a bit more modern. By the end of my spending spree all that remained were the graphics card and the PSU. A year later, they were gone too. I still maintain that this was an upgrade rather than a new build, and not even Plato will convince me otherwise.

The peripherals are mostly older. Back in 2016 I invested in a 165Hz 1440p monitor, and I’ve no intention of moving up to 4K anytime soon. My second monitor is older still: a 16:10 ratio Dell that does the job as a second screen. I also recently augmented my Razer Chroma keyboard and mouse with the accompanying RGB mousepad. They all flash in sync, which makes me happier than it should.

What are you playing?
Currently I’m mostly bouncing between Destiny 2 and Guild Wars 2, with vague plans to finally start Elden Ring sometime soon. “Neither of those games need an RTX 3080 Ti,” you say? This may be true, but I would suggest that my decision to buy one was neither rational nor good. But I was able to find one during the worst of the GPU drought, and I wasn’t about to let reason or common sense get in my way.

What upgrade are you planning next?
I’m not. Unless something breaks, I’ll not be touching it again for years.

Jacob Ridley – Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob’s personal rig.

Jacob’s PC specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
Graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
Motherboard: MSI MPG X570 Godlike
RAM: 32GB (4x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR4 @ 2,666MHz
SSD: WD Black SN750 1TB, Samsung 870 QVO 1TB, Addlink SATA 1TB, Crucial P2 500GB, Samsung PV128 128GB
HDD: None
PSU: EVGA 850W Gold G2
Case: Corsair iCUE 5000T RGB
Displays: Gigabyte M28U + Asus XG32VQ
Keyboard: Logitech G915 Wireless (clicky)
Mouse: Logitech G Pro Wireless Superlight
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 650

Tell us about your computer.
Being a hardware journo I tend to find my PC build is on a constant rotation of parts. I receive a steady churn of new headsets, keyboards, coolers, and other components that require testing, and there’s no better trial by fire for review than using them yourself for a week or two. It’s a perk of the job playing with all the latest gear, though I am running out of storage space for cardboard boxes at an alarming rate.

That said, there are some PC peripherals I always return to. I’m so used to typing on my clicky Logitech G915 wireless keyboard that I find it weird to type on anything taller nowadays. I still have a soft spot for the Topre Realforce, however. Similarly, the Logitech G Pro is my go-to mouse, so much so that I’m starting to wear down its matt finish to a shiny plastic.

For audio, I always have my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones at the ready with my Schiit DAC and amp combo, though a set of Logitech G560 speakers are useful in a pinch. I also have a Loupedeck on hand at all times and really rate my trusty Rode PSA-1 boom arm.

What are you playing?
I’m a Hunt: Showdown man and have been for over a year now. That game takes up most of my time as I’ve usually a friend online keen to play a round or two. Though I sometimes dip my toes back into Destiny 2, and I regularly plug in a racing wheel for some F1 2021 action.

What upgrade are you planning next?
I could do with a faster RAM kit, as my four sticks are from two different sets that have to run slightly slower than advertised for stability. Though I’m also eyeing up a larger 1000+ Watt PSU so that I can slip this 850W one into a test machine.

Lauren Morton – Associate Editor

Lauren’s PC specs

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME Z370-A II
RAM: 32GB (4x 8GB) G.Skill DDR4 SDRAM
SSD: 500GB WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD 
HDD: 2TB WD & 6TB SanDisk
PSU: Some 1000w EVGA
Case: NZXT H710 White
Displays: 2x ASUS VN279QL 27″ and 1 Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27″
Keyboard: Steelseries Apex 7 TKL Ghost
Mouse: Steelseries Aerox 3
Headphones: The earbuds that came with my phone, I’m sorry.

Tell us about your computer.
My rig is relatively flashy and new these days, but I’ll always consider it the shambling facelift of my first pre-built dedicated gaming PC in 2013—which I treated myself to after suffering through the first year of Guild Wars 2 on a bootcamped Mac laptop.

I’ve never done a complete rebuild, so even though none of the internal parts still exist from that first machine, I’ve always replaced things piecemeal (actually, one of my monitors was from 2013 until a week ago). I’ve never been one for cutting edge upgrades, owing to an indecisive personality, so my system is ever a couple years behind the latest tech.

Aesthetically, I’ve finally arrived at an almost entirely crisp white and black setup with all my RGBs (RAM, GPU, motherboard, mouse, keyboard) set to cool blues.

I’ve also finally subscribed to proper cable management inside and outside my machine after about a decade of being a chaotic cable jungle gamer. My main extravagance is my three monitors. I don’t know why I wound up here, but I cannot ever go back.

What are you playing?
At the moment, mostly Elden Ring. After the initial hype passes, I’ll likely be back to Red Dead Online or whatever low-spec indie game becomes the new co-op hotness. 

What upgrade are you planning next?
I was planning to finally ditch my two auxiliary monitors, the much older, huge bezel ASUS creatures I had before. Then I went ahead and did that right before writing in with my specs. I now finally have a 140Hz and 2K monitor as my main display. The next thing on my list is getting rid of the two hulking HDD storage drives I have so I can finally be entirely on SSD storage.

Source: PC Gamer

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