Planning to buy some new gaming equipment - recommendations?

I’ve been absent from PC gaming for number of years now, however I’m planning to return and buy some new gaming equipment in the next couple of months. This includes a new monitor, keyboard and mouse, desktop PC for gaming, and also an Xbox One which would plug into the same monitor.

Recommendations would be appreciated.

The monitor is the priority, since I will need it to play Crimson Dragon. The monitor would be a long term investment, so I am prepared to pay for something of high quality. 27" seems like a good size, with a resolution higher than 1080p since I wish to use it for non-gaming tasks as well (web development in particular), and 1080p can look a bit pixelated at that size. Quality built in speakers are a must too. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is nice, if expensive, but it’s a good example of the type of a quality monitor that would be suitable (it will display the Xbox One via a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter):
Any other suggestions?

For the gaming PC, I would probably dual boot Linux and Windows 7. I currently use a Macbook Air for non-gaming activities as I like the Mac’s aesthetic and require a *nix underpinning, so I will probably use the OSX-like elementary OS as my primary operating system, and boot into Windows 7 to play Windows-only games. I’m considering a Leopard Extreme from System76:

I’m also looking for a keyboard that is similar to those found on Macbooks and other laptops with flat, spaced out keys. Not sure about the mouse, any recommendations would be good. I might just get the Apple versions of these (already have the Magic Mouse), although for gaming a two button mouse might be better.

Also considering the Samsung S27B970D for a monitor:,2817,2411911,00.asp

I’m currently using a Dell UltraSharp 27 Monitor ( … =210-41287) which I’d recommend as an option.

Thanks, I think either the Dell or Samsung monitor should be suitable. The Apple one looks to be a bit overkill.

I’m leaning towards this Samsung monitor as I quite like the minimalist design and it seems to have good technical specs. However apparently it has no audio out (something which the Dell monitor that alavaliant mentioned does). I assume if I bought external speakers later I could bypass the monitor’s audio and route the PC or console’s audio through the speakers, but how would that work when HDMI is a single cable for audio and video? In any case, any more thoughts would appreciated before I order one of these.

Mouse wise there’s quite a few options depending on how much you want to spend.

On the cheaper end, logitech is usually pretty solid. Lots of people I know use logitech mice and you don’t have to pay through the roof.

On the more expensive end, there’s Razer mice ( I currently use a Razer Naga as I play a few MMOs and the keypad is great for binds. It was pretty heavily discounted at the time which tempted me into a purchase. As a brand they feel great, I especially love the woven cable. Doesn’t tangle and seems extremely difficult to damage.

In terms of your audio question, having the audio output through speakers for a PC wouldn’t be an issue at all but I couldn’t see how it’d work for the console. You’d have to either have a monitor which offers speaker support which you could then plug into it or hope the console has speaker support, which I’d doubt.

After a quick keyboard search I’ve found that the wired Apple keyboard works for PC it’s just that the Windows and Alt keys are reversed. Alternatively there’s this cheap option: … 6823204019

Thanks for suggestions, Berserker. I’ll have a think about which keyboard/mouse options are right for me.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered that Samsung monitor. Hopefully the speakers will be decent quality and I won’t need external speakers.

Sorry I’m late to the party.

As far as I can see, the only way to concurrently connect both the PC and the Xbone to the monitor is by hooking the PC up via DisplayPort. DVI won’t transmit audio, and you only have one HDMI port, so some kind of HDMI to DisplayPort adapter for the PC would be a good idea.

If the speakers do turn out to be pants, the Xbone has an optical output port for surround sound. I’m not sure how much you care for 5.1 et al, but getting a separate set of speakers with an optical input port will be your best bet in this instance. You could try to plug the optical from the Xbone into the PC, via a sound card with optical in, but getting this to work will be a nightmare and will probably be a rubbish experience. Besides, you’d have to have the PC on whilst playing the console.

As for keyboards and mice, I would definitely go with a Razer mouse, as the two I’ve had have been nothing but brilliant. I’m using the DeathAdder and I don’t really know what more I’d want from a mouse. For a keyboard, I’m using a Logitech K300 which is slim, and flat. It’s fine for gaming, although not a standard keyboard layout so might take a little getting used to.

I have to ask though, if your’e getting an Xbox One why are you building a gaming PC too?

Yeah, I’ve also ordered an HDMI to Mini DisplayPort cable to hook up my Macbook Air. It will be a bit of hassle unplugging the cable each time I wish to change devices, but as a temporary solution I’m fine with that, and it means I can also use the cable to connect the Air up to other people’s HDTVs. So I’ll use that solution in the meantime for non-gaming tasks until I get the PC.

As for the PC, don’t most of them use DisplayPort these days? So in theory I could just use the DisplayPort cable which comes with the monitor. DVI is quite an ancient standard now, and I thought HDMI was mainly for TV-based devices?

Good to know. I imagine I will pick up some 5.1 speakers eventually.

Xbox One for Crimson Dragon, PC for everything else. Crimson Dragon is the only reason I’m getting the Xbox One. Believe me I would rather just get the PC, it seems redundant getting both.

I have the 2011 Macbook Air (4GB, 128GB,, and I use a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter to hook it up to a second monitor at work. Haven’t yet tried it with Mavericks though, so that should be an interesting test. What year/spec is yours?

If most PC’s use DisplayPort then I’m further out of the loop than I thought. I though all GPU’s came equipped with HDMI, DVI, and occasionally DP. I don’t know what sets DP apart from the rest, but I know that HDMI is basically just DVI with audio support and HDCP compatibility.

If I were in your shoes I would just save a bunch of money and just get an Xbone. In fact, my PC will soon not be able to cope with the demands of modern games, at which point I just plan to stick with consoles. Right now I’m a PC gamer, and to be honest it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

The main reason I find to get game A on platform B is to play online with friend C. However, I’m less interested in online gaming these days and I only have one friend who doesn’t have an Xbox.

It’s the late 2010 model (also 128GB, but only 2GB of RAM). I picked it up used a few months ago. Would have preferred to wait and just get the PC, but my old 2008 regular Macbook’s display died and I needed something to use right away; it worked out cheaper to buy the used Air than fix the old one.

My understanding is that DisplayPort is similar to HDMI in that it was designed as a single cable for video and audio. Mini DisplayPort is essentially the same thing, but a smaller version designed for laptops. Then Thunderbolt came along as the latest evolution and is backwardly compatible with Mini DisplayPort, but it has not been widely adopted outside of Apple.

Looking at the latest GeForces, they appear to support DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI.

I thought about that, but the Xbox One has barely any games, and can’t run any games older than 2013. There are lots of “older” (Xbox 360 generation) PC games that I want to try. Also, I can’t use the console to go back to recent, but older games that offer replay value such as the NiGHTS remake.

Quite honestly it sounds like you’re in a similar situation to me. I imagine you find the MBA does literally everything you want it to, right? Apart from gaming… Also, you should be able to update it to Mavericks I imagine… check the App Store :slight_smile:

I don’t think we’ll see Thunderbolt adopted very quickly outside of Apple devices… IIRC it’s owned by Apple but I might be wrong on that one. But aye, as long as you have DisplayPort as at least an option you’ll be okay.

The Xbone doesn’t have many games at the moment, but neither does the PS4. They will come, for both platforms; although they may not necessarily come for PC. Using your PC as retro-gaming machine is (I think) a really good idea… I don’t think I’ll be updating mine again. You could save a lot of money and get a mid-range machine that will do everything released to date.

Already updated. :slight_smile: Beware of upgrading if you use Apple Mail together with Gmail.

But yeah, the 11" Macbook Air is a great little machine for non gaming tasks. Fast with the SSD, light, and not bulky at all. A tablet doesn’t suit the tasks I do (in particular, programming), so the Air is the next best thing for a portable computer. In some ways it’s better than a Windows or Linux machine; apps like Pixelmator for image editing and iA Writer for writing feel more polished than anything I’ve used on competing platforms. My only problem with the Air is the lack of disk space. It would be nice to store things like my photos (over 40GB) and more of my music directly on the hard drive so that I could manage them with apps; right now they’re sitting disorganised in folders on an external drive. So getting a PC would solve that problem (or a Mac with more disk space). Elementary OS which I mentioned earlier comes with music and photo management apps similar to those on OS X.

Thunderbolt is owned by Intel. It’s a shame that there hasn’t been more widespread adoption as it is a great piece of technology - supports power as well as audio and video.

I think we will see more support for the PC when Valve’s low budget Steam machines start being released next year, although how much more support will depend on their success. I suppose getting a mid range PC is an option, but then future proofing it a bit might be a good idea too. I expect I’ll use it to play a lot of indie games, but likely some newer titles too. Decisions, decisions.

Have you considered building your own PC? I always buy all the components and assemble it myself.

Yeah I considered building one myself, but I’d rather pay a little more and get someone else to assemble it in case I mess up. I’m more of a software person.

What do you think of the Leopard Extreme I linked to earlier? Appears to powerful and quiet (liquid cooling), with a nice looking case (a lot of PC cases have ugly lights all over them).

Also, my monitor arrived. The built in speakers are okay, but I’d like to get some better ones. Any thoughts on these?
Will they work with the Xbox One?

I’ll have to have a look at the PC specs later, but the speakers you list only have stereo RCA input (red/white connections). I’m not sure the Xbone even supports these connections, and if it does then you’ll only be limited to stereo or 2.1 sound.

I know it’s a lot more expensive, but if you want to make the best of your Xbone surround sound 5.1 audio experience, you’d be looking at something like this: as it has the Optical (aka Toslink) input the Xbone supports.

Yeah those speakers are expensive, might be worth it though. Another option I thought of would be to use earbuds instead of speakers. That actually might be preferable, given how noise travels through walls, especially at the place where I am currently living. Would I need some sort of TOSLINK to regular headphone adapter to use my standard earbuds with the Xbox One?

You know, I have a 5.1 setup but I rarely use it. I’ve basically been using nothing but my Senheisser HD 595 for years for anything audio. 5.1 seems like a waste of money anyway to be honest. Sure it’s more cinematic, but it won’t match the audio quality of decent entry level headphones or earbuds. Not sure about connecting it to the Xbox One, I just connect it to my TV or my receiver (for that matter you can get an Onkyo/Sony receiver with 5.1 that supports HDMI pass-through at a cost lower than the Logitech setup).

I’m not sure about Toslink to 3.5mm possibilities, adapters seem to exist on eBay but I’ve never used one personally.

Alternatively, you can get 5.1 headphones that have Toslink input. That’d be fine for the Xbone but you’d need them to also have PC compatibility too. To make sure they work with your PC:

  1. Make sure the headphones also have 3.5mm inputs, 1 for stereo, 3 for 5.1.
  2. Make sure the PC has Toslink output. This is more likely to be a pain in the arse, as you might be limited to stereo from the PC if it works at all. I’d recommend option 1.