Best Holiday Gifts for PC Gamers in 2015
The holiday season is upon us, and finding the right gift to give the PC gamer in your life can be exceedingly difficult. Dedicated gamers are a picky bunch, and not just any old accessory will do.
So, what do you get the PC gamer in your life? We’ve compiled a list of the best gifts for PC Gamers in 2015.
Razer DeathAdder Chroma
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma is an outstanding gaming mouse. Not only does it have a sleek design that is comfortable in the hand, but you can control the hue and intensity of the 16.8 million color chroma lighting. This makes it a perfect fit with virtually any PC gamer’s setup.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma has an ergonomic design that fits well in most teen and adult gamer’s hands. Its five-button design makes it a great choice for first-person shooter (FPS) and real-time strategy (RTS) players. One notable feature missing from this mouse is the option for side-to-side mouse wheel scrolling.
Its 10,000dpi optical sensor is capable of handling 200 inch-per-second movement and up to 50g acceleration. In laymen’s terms, it rocks!
Steam Wallet Funds
A gamer’s taste in games is typically very personal, and unless you know that they’ve had a game on their wish list, taking a wild guess and buying them a particular title can backfire. That’s why many gamers prefer gift cards and certificates.
Steam is now the most popular resource for purchasing games out there. Your purchases follow you from system to system, and everything can be downloaded from the cloud and installed at will.
A gift certificate gives them the freedom to put these funds towards the games they want, and saves you the trouble of having to guess what they do and don’t already have. This is especially handy during Steam’s holiday sales where popular titles are marked down as much as 75%, making every available dollar count.
You can buy Steam Wallet Cards at most major game retailers, including Best Buy.
The Steam Controller is now available, bringing a PC-centric handheld controller to the masses.
Dual trackpads, HD haptics, customizable configuration, and thousands of compatible titles makes it an interesting alternative to simply plugging your Xbox or PlayStation controller into the system. It’s designed to work seamlessly with PC titles that are optimized for keyboard and mouse play, as well as titles that are ported to PC from consoles.
This is an especially great choice for players of popular titles like Grant Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, and Star Wars: Battlefront.
Logitech G440 Gaming Mouse Pad
Mouse pads are often an afterthought for PC gaming. A good mouse pad that is optimized for high-end gaming mice will make a difference in your overall gaming experience. Ideally, gamers want a smooth, consistent experience.
For fans of harder mouse pads, the Logitech G440 is an excellent choice.
It features a robust three-layer design that provides a smooth surface without sacrificing the cushioning that makes extended gaming sessions more comfortable. It’s large enough to satisfy gamers that love lower mouse sensitivity, giving them plenty of space to roam.
While this mouse pad is advertised as being especially well matched with Logitech’s gaming mice, it works very nicely with optical and laser mice that demand a low friction, high precision surface.
SteelSeries XXL Gaming Mouse Pad
For gamers that want a lot of space to move their mouse, and not a lot of love for hard mouse pads, there is the SteelSeries XXL gaming mouse pad.
This mouse pad doesn’t just give your mouse a place to roam, it is nearly three feet long, making it a great surface for your keyboard, game pads, and any other desktop accessory that would benefit from sitting on a soft, precision surface.
The tracking surface is no slouch. It works perfectly with high-end gaming mice of all varieties. SteelSeries is known for its mouse pads, and the SteelSeries XXL is a prime example of why.
EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
Graphics cards are an essential part to any PC gamer’s rig. A good graphics card will improve frame rates, enhance 3D graphic details, and take pressure off the CPU enabling an overall improved computing experience.
For the money, the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 is one of the best choices now available. It sits in a pleasant space between mid and high-end graphics cards that makes it a perfect choice for PC gamers that just want to play the latest games at high quality settings.
Nvidia’s chipset is rock solid, and EVGA is among the most trusted brands in the industry. This particular card is powerful enough to handle today’s most demanding games, and will almost certainly be capable of keeping up for some time.
You will want to make sure that the PC you’re putting it in has the ability to handle this card’s power and connection requirements. If it does, then it will certainly be a welcome sight under the tree this year.
MSI R9 390 Gaming Graphics Card
For folks that aren’t fans of Nvidia, there is an excellent alternative with AMD graphics chipsets, and the MSI R9 390 8G graphics card is one of the best now available at this price point.
8 GB of DDR5 video memory means that your card will run at peak performance at the highest graphics settings. Running out of VRAM can hinder your card’s ability to produce smooth graphics at high resolutions, or with heavy textures.
This is also a great card for video editors as it is capable of storing more data in its memory, making things like scrubbing tracks to find specific moments to trim out a joyfully lag-free experience.
BenQ XL2411Z Gaming Monitor
Modern gamers need a lot from their monitor. It has to be big enough to make immersive gaming possible, fast enough to serve pixels with minimal ghosting and maximum frame rates, and a color clarity that is true to the game.
For the dedicated gamer, not just any monitor will do. You want to have one that has a fast enough response time, enough pixels, and a high enough refresh rate to offer a smooth, seamless gaming experience.
The BenQ XL2411Z 144Hz 1ms 24 inch gaming monitor is one such option. It is built from the ground up for gaming.
With a configurable refresh rate of up to 144Hz, you are not limited to the common 60 FPS found on most monitors.
One downside would be pixel density. At 27 inches, a 1920×1080 display isn’t nearly as densely packed with pixels as a modern smartphone, tablet, or high-end laptop screen would be. If the gamer in your life is especially picky about Retina-style displays, then this might be a pass. That said, this monitor is a giant step up from your typical display.
SteelSeries H Wireless Gaming Headset
For competitive gamers especially, what you hear can be every bit as important as what you see. Headsets with surround sound capabilities give you a competitive edge in first-person shooters where enemies can come at you from all sides.
The SteelSeries H wireless gaming headset delivers Dolby 7.1 surround sound without annoying wires to get in your way.
This headset features incredibly low latency, a frequency-hopping method that ensures minimal interference, two swappable batteries for uninterrupted gaming, and a soft over-the-ear design for maximum comfort.
The microphone on this headset is good, but not exceptional. It retracts into the headset to get out of your way when you don’t need it, and features a mute light indicator to let you know when you can and can’t be heard by other players.
Volume controls are conveniently located on the ear cup for easy adjustment, even from the couch.