9toToys Gift Guide: Jared’s top PC gaming battlestation upgrades from $35

PC Gaming Peripherals

When it comes to shopping for those PC gamers in your life, there can seem to be an endless amount of options out there whether you’re looking for a keyboard, monitor, or even just a gaming laptop. Well, today we will be taking some time to break down what to look for and how to pick the right gaming peripherals for those on your list. You will find that in the sea of keyboards, mice, and other accessories, there are a handful of notable brands the majority of the gaming community focus on, including Razer, CORSAIR, Logitech, and SteelSeries just to name a few. Ready to cross those final names off your list and find some great PC gaming upgrades? Let us begin.

Keyboards have one of the biggest impacts on gaming

You may not realize this, but a keyboard can truly change the feel of an entire gaming rig, especially if you move from a membrane-style board to one with mechanical switches. This is why I personally keep an eye out on keyboard deals even though I upgraded to a Logitech G403 Carbon earlier in the year. However, keyboards can be tricky to shop for because there are all the different form factors from full size to 60% and all the various key switch types. Most switches are broken down into three categories: linear, tactile, and clicky. An example of a linear switch would be CHERRY MX Red and an example of a clicky switch would be CHERRY MX Blue.

Then there’s SteelSeries asked, “Why should gamers be constrained to one type of switch?” Well, maybe they didn’t ask exactly that, the OmniPoint 2.0 key switches found within the Apex Pro Mini Mechanical Keyboard are a solution to that problem. These switches can have the actuation point, or when a keypress is registered, adjusted between 0.2mm and 3.8mm with the 2.0 version adding the ability to program two actions to one key. You can press W halfway and walk then fully press W and start running, for example. The mini version of this keyboard comes with a 60% form factor though, if preferred, you could gift the full-size version with these switches as well. The mini model comes in at $179.99 and is the latest addition to SteelSeries’ stable with the full-sized model coming in at just $139.99. Be sure to check out our hands-on review of the mini wireless model to get an idea of what your gamer can expect.

Monitors also have a large impact on gaming setups

Ever since I built my first PC back in 2020, I was using two mismatched monitors with a BenQ 27-inch 1440p 60Hz as my primary display and a secondary BenQ 27-inch 1080p 60hz off to the side. This worked well enough for what I did, but I knew I’d eventually want to experience more than a 60Hz refresh rate. Earlier this year, I picked up the ASUS TUF VG27AQ 27-inch 1440p 165Hz and GIGABYTE G27Q 27-inch 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors. Let me explain why I chose these two monitors as it could help you decide what to gift. I was looking to upgrade both monitors to the 2560×1440 resolution because having mismatched resolutions creates a funky feeling within Windows, and I wanted at least 120Hz refresh rates, and at least AMD FreeSync Premium support.

The ASUS model hit everything I wanted as it was a certified G-SYNC compatible monitor, the reason I wanted at least FreeSync Premium support, it ran at high refresh rates up to 165Hz if I chose to overclock, and even met the VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, though I wasn’t planning on using HDR. As for why the mismatched brands, let’s just say mixing refresh rates is not something I’d recommend. I was hoping to get away with only upgrading one monitor to save cash but, shortly after installing the ASUS monitor, I went and ordered the GIGABYTE model as the ASUS I had just ordered went out of stock.

If the PC gamer in your life has been running with a 60Hz refresh rate monitor, they will certainly appreciate the improvement in responsiveness with a 1440p monitor that has at least a 120Hz refresh rate. If they already have a 1440p high refresh rate monitor, then perhaps it’s worth looking to improve another aspect of their setup.

Don’t get lost in the sea of gaming peripherals

There are tons of gaming peripherals on the market, all with catchy branding and looks seemingly shouting “Buy me, buy me!” Don’t be fooled. The best way to find the perfect gift for the gamers on your list is by asking simple questions like, “If you could improve one thing about your setup, what would it be?” More than likely, there will be more than one thing there and you’ll then be able to focus your search. Should it be their mouse, I’d recommend sticking to brands like Logitech, Razer, and CORSAIR. I would especially stick to Logitech as they’ve been in the game forever and produce quality products.

The G305 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse is regarded as one of the best wireless mice on the market with its no-nonsense design and feature set. You get up to 250 hours of battery life on a single AA battery and it only costs $34.99.

The takeaway from all of this should be to stick to notable brands such as those mentioned here and to communicate with those on your list so you can focus your search efforts, and not get lost in the sea which is PC gaming peripherals.

FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links

Subscribe to the 9to5Toys YouTube Channel for all of the latest videos, reviews, and more!

Load more...
Show More Comments