We all have that one lynchpin of our gaming setup, that vital component that makes the place where we play not just functional but habitable. On the last day of Dealsmas across the web, I asked PC Gamer’s worldwide team: what’s a less-than-obvious thing you rely on every day at your desk?
Dygma Raise | 64-key design | Aluminum body | 7 switch options | $419 $335 at Dygma.com
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief
You know how every gaming keyboard calls itself ergonomic? The Dygma Raise actually is. This boutique board has a split form factor, which lets me position my wrists at a less acute angle than traditional keyboards. And in place of a traditional space bar, there’s an array of four buttons. Every key is easily reprogrammable with proprietary software (I rebound to be my Del key), and the absence of a Num Pad means my mouse has a little more space. This keyboard is a major investment, but as the single object I use most for work and not-work, I need something that feels comfortable at all times.
Sennheiser HD 650 | Audiophile headphones | Over-ear | Open-back | w/ Schiit Modi/Magni DAC/amp combo | $219 $179 for the HD6XX at Drop (save $40)
Jacob Ridley, Senior Hardware Editor
If you tell me you’ve never listened to a pair of properly decent headphones, powered by a dedicated DAC/amp, and playing uncompressed audio files, I’m probably going to stick the HD 650 on your head and stare at you from across the room as you appreciate the fine tunes ringing through your ear drums. It’s tough to explain why high-end headphones are worth it in words… you have to sit down and listen to it. Give yourself a moment to just listen to music without doing anything else at the same time. You could spend a lot more on a pair of headphones than Sennheiser asks for the HD 650, or more likely nowadays what Drop asks for the almost identical yet cheaper HD6XX, but I find this fulfils the audiophile tendencies in me just great. I use Schiit’s Magni/Modi DAC amp combo usually, though lately I’ve been testing the XFUOO TA-84 OTL Tube Amp/DAC, and I’m starting to think I love how that makes the HD 650 sound even more.
Aria Touchscreen Toaster Oven | 30 Quart capacity | 17.75″D x 14.75″W x 12.5″H | Stainless steel | $199.99 $109.99 at Amazon (save $90)
Morgan Park, Staff Writer
I know air fryers are very 2019, but if we’re suggesting stuff we don’t want to live without, it’s on my list. A few years ago, we unplugged our microwave and tried out this Aria air fryer/toaster oven we got for Christmas. We love it so much that we gave away our microwave and haven’t used our stovetop oven since. We also briefly tried out one of those “bowl” shaped air fryers with a big handle on the front, but we prefer this one’s window to easily track a cook. It’s got an internal light, a handful of racks and trays, and heats up really fast. I use it almost every day.
Oria Precision Screwdriver Kit | $21.99 $11.19 at Amazon (save $10.80)
Tyler Wilde, Executive Editor
It’s something every PC gamer will need eventually: a screwdriver with a ton of little bits. This set also includes a nifty flexible extender for getting into tight spots in your PC case, and the bits are lightly magnetized, which you’ll be thankful for when you inevitably drop a screw into a labyrinth of jagged edges inside your build.
I was a little wary of buying such a cheap set—there are tons of near-identical sets on Amazon with other brand names you’ve never heard of—but three years later I’m glad I didn’t spend more, because I have no complaints. I especially like the case. The molded insert that holds all the pieces in place is the typical flimsy clear plastic, but the box it sits in is quite sturdy, and the thick latch snaps shut with a satisfying click—it’s chunkier than the latches on the much bigger case that came with my Dremel rotary tool. (Also a neat tool to own, if not really essential for PC building.)
You don’t have to do any jostling to get all the bits and extenders to fit neatly, either, so you’ve got no excuse for losing parts. After three years as my go-to screwdriver set for small screws, mine looks like it did when I bought it.
Dyson Hot+Cool | Heater and fan | $469.99 $299.99 at Amazon (save $170)
Chris Livingston, Senior Editor
I live in a region with unbearably hot summers and pretty chilly winters so it’s nice to have an option to heat or cool myself without tinkering with the thermostat for the whole house. This Dyson fan is perfect—it blasts refreshingly cool air and also acts as a toasty space heater. Since I bought one (it was refurbished so it cost even less than the discounted price here) it’s remained a fixture beside my desk and I use it almost every day of the year. It even has a remote, a sleep timer, and different modes for if you’re aiming it at yourself or want to cool/heat an entire room.
Secretlab Titan Evo | 3-year warranty | 180kg capacity | $549 $519 at SecretLab
Dave James, Hardware Lead
The Secretlab Titan is the benchmark by which we judge all other gaming chairs. To earn that role it ticked all the boxes you could ask of gaming furniture: it’s comfy, supportive, and importantly looks great too. A big part of the Titan Evo’s high level of comfort is the adjustable lumbar support. It works by extending and retracting an internal support both in and out and up and down, through the use of the two dials on the side.
Huanuo Monitor Wall Mount Bracket | $65.99 $55.99 at Amazon (save $10)
Andy Chalk, NA News Lead
This gas spring-powered arm fits monitors up to 32 inches. I’m not a particularly handy guy, but they went up easily (I had the advantage of putting them into wood and concrete, so I didn’t have to worry about anchoring them into drywall or the like, which is something you’ll definitely need to be careful with if you’re going into more modern wall surfaces) and without overstating the matter, I love these things. My monitors are all that perfect height, I can raise, lower, and reef them around as needed, they can be turned for either horizontal or vertical alignment, and after nearly a year of use the arms aren’t showing any signs of sagging under the weight, which was my biggest worry prior to buying them.
Ryobi Desktop Vacuum Kit | $50 at Home Depot
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief, again
OK, I’m cheating: there are two things I can’t live without. Gang, I *loathe* desk debris. It makes my skin crawl when unspecified chip shrapnel is sitting on my desktop. But I’m not going to pull out my 40-pound Hoover every time I see a crumb. Ryobi’s handheld surface vac is an invaluable sidearm for desk hygiene.
Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer | Wired | Seemingly infinite (5 year) lifespan | $19.99 $13.20 at Amazon (save $6.79)
Lauren Morton, Associate Editor
This is the one item on my desk that I didn’t know I wanted until it actually had a noticeable impact on my life. I’m not saying I was a person who used to microwave my coffee after leaving it unattended for three hours (I was) but I’m definitely not that sort of person now. No more hasty mid-game “be right back!”s from me. This isn’t the fanciest mug warmer by far, but I don’t want some induction plate. I just want it to work with all my mugs. And it does. And I ran the thing into the ground until the finish wore off after about five years and I bought the exact same model again that I’ve had for about four years. Maybe next time I should get one with an automatic shutoff though. I’m not saying I’m a person who sometimes leaves it on all night by mistake (but I am).
A comically-long HDMI cable for the Steam Deck | $10 on Amazon
Tyler Colp, Associate Editor
I play a lot more PC games in my living room now that I’ve got a Steam Deck OLED. But my smart TV’s proprietary software doesn’t support the Steam app, and I don’t have a dock. Most HDMI cables are a couple feet. You can see where I’m going with this? I got an obnoxiously long USB-C-to-HDMI cable and now I can enjoy Spelunky 2 from three full meters away.
Rode PSA1 microphone boom arm | $98 on Amazon
Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor
I used some cheapo $15 microphone boom arm for a couple years, and it served me well until I needed to reposition where my microphone was mounted. Suddenly that arm wasn’t long enough, and it had also started to bend a bit, the cheap, thin metal wearing out over time. So I did what I should’ve done from the beginning and bought Rode’s boom arm, which I’m pretty sure every streamer on Twitch and every podcaster with a studio setup already clued into. And y’know, it’s just a perfect product. Sturdy, long enough to reach across my desk, silent when I move it back and forth. It feels premium as hell and is one of those bits of kit I think about whenever I’m considering buying the cheapest no-name alternative on Amazon. Sometimes there’s real pleasure in just using something that’s clearly so nicely built.