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2018 Holiday Hardware Gift Guide

By Joseph Bradford on November 15, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

2018 Holiday Hardware Gift Guide

Looking for the perfect tech gift for your friend, wife, husband or child but are unsure what to grab? MMORPG has you covered! With the holiday season gearing up, here are the top peripherals and accessories to get your hands on this Black Friday, Cyber Monday or whichever pre-Holiday sale you frequent!

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Keyboards

As the medium with which every PC gamer uses to do even just basic PC functions, the keyboard is an integral part of the gaming setup. An extension of the user themselves, everyone has a preference: mechanical, Mem-chanical and membrane. Prices vary based on features such as switch type, quality of materials, RGB integration and more, but thankfully the market is saturated with great quality keyboards that will last and have you or your favorite gamer cruising to a Chicken Dinner in no time.

Top Recommendation: Razer Blackwidow Elite Mechanical Keyboard

One name is ubiquitous with gaming peripherals: Razer. The newest iteration of their long line of Blackwidow keyboards, the Blackwidow Elite was designed with gamers in mind. Using Razer’s patented Green switches, our reviewer called the Elite keyboard “a worthy weapon for any gamer’s arsenal.”

Alternative Recommendation: Cooler Master CK552

As an alternative to the $169.99 Razer Blackwidow Elite, the Cooler Master CK552 is a fantastic budget keyboard for any gamer watching their wallet. Using the Gateron Red switches as opposed to the more expensive Cherry MX switches seen on other models, this might be the best Cooler Master CK552 might be the best value sub-$100 keyboard on the market now.

Mice

Like the keyboard, having a high quality mouse can make or break any Fortnite or PUBG session. We’ve reviewed many different mice over the course of the year and these are the ones that really shined.

Top Recommendation: Logitech G502 HERO High-Performance Gaming Mouse 

One of the best mice I’ve ever used is the Logitech G502 Mouse, and it’s currently the mouse I use every day. However, with the HERO16K sensor, the G502 HERO is an even better iteration than the last. Additionally, who doesn’t love some RGB?

Alternative Recommendation:  Gigabyte AORUS M5 Gaming Mouse

Known mainly for their hardware, Gigabyte have also started to become known for their accessories and peripherals as well. Their AORUS K9 Optical keyboard impressed us earlier this year, and most recently their M5 Gaming Mouse left our hardware editor Chris Coke with nothing but glowing words. The Pixart 3389 sensor works “wonderfully” in games, it’s accuracy being tracked down to each individual pixel. And of course, even at only $69.99, it’s gotta have that RBG.

Headsets

Audio is incredibly subjective, each person hearing the world around us differently at any given moment. Thankfully, gaming audio has drastically improved from the cheap, plastic shells that used to house underpowered drivers. We’ve reviewed a veritable pantheon of headsets over the year, and these are the few that really stood out.

One of the best mice I’ve ever used is the Logitech G502 Mouse, and it’s currently the mouse I use every day. However, with the HERO16K sensor, the G502 HERO is an even better iteration than the last. Additionally, who doesn’t love some RGB?

Top Recommendation: Victrix Pro AF +ANC Headset

Victrix is a newcomer on the audio scene, but their mark is being made on the gaming world - specifically the competitive scene. As the official headset of the Capcom Pro Tour, Victrix’s powerful headset drives stellar audio, and with the active noise cancelling blocking out any ancillary noise, the Victrix Pro AF lets you really absorb yourself into your gaming experience. As someone who uses this headset daily, the Victrix Pro AF has never let me down or disappointed.

Alternative Recommendation: Sennheiser GSP 550 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

One thing the Victrix does not do is surround sound. If you’re looking for an incredibly immersive aural experience, the Sennheiser GSP 550 headset can provide what you need. The open ear design and large drivers pump Dolby 7.1 surround sound, which can be highly customized thanks to Sennheiser’s own software. At $249, the price isn’t cheap, but the quality is why we’ve given the Sennheiser our Golden Hardware Reward.

PC Hardware

Building a PC to play the latest and greated games can be daunting. Thankfully, though, MMORPG.com has been fortunate enough to review countless pieces of hardware in order to help you make the best purchasing decisions.

SSDs

SSDs are becoming the new norm in gaming rigs nowadays. With most people running their games and operating systems off some sort of SSD, picking the right one can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

Top Recommendation: Intel 760p NVMe m.2 2TB SSD

Intel’s 760p NVMe m.2 SSD packs a ton of storage in a small package. Using both sides of the piece of hardware, the 2TB version gives you a large amount of storage with a small form factor, perfect for streaming PCs, small builds or simply maximizing space for extra RGB in your gaming case. It’s not cheap, but the speeds and space on offer more than make up for it as your primary drive if your budget is aligned.

Alternative Recommendation: Plextor M9Pe m.2 SSD

Plextor’s newest gaming-focused SSD is an amazing value - at $94.99 for the 256GB version, or $139 on Newegg for the 512GB variety, the M9Pe provides speed and value to the SSD solution. And thanks to its own heatsink, the M9Pe will stay at cool operating temperatures even under the heaviest of loads. It’s truly one of the better SSDs on the market to date and one I recommend to everyone who asks about them.

CPU

CPUs are one of the most important components you’ll buy. However, there is a lot to choose from and they aren’t always cheap. Here are our recommendations for which CPU to get this Holiday.

Intel’s impressive i9-9900K is one of the most power CPUs we’ve ever tested. Excelling at everything we threw at the beast, the i9 handled it with ease. It’s not cheap, and will require a 9th generation motherboard, the 9900K is “the most capable mainstream processor you can buy.”

However, AMD isn’t out of the running either, with their Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X improving on last year’s offerings. Zen+ provides a meaningful update to the whole Ryzen ecosystem, continuing the give Intel a run for their money.

GPU

Geforce released their new RTX cards this year, only recently delivering on the Ray Tracing promise from their summer reveal. Battlefield V looks amazing on the new RTX 2080 ti, and while it’s not cheap, for your more discerning gamer looking for the best around it’s definitely the best card on the market.

However, if you want to get into a cheaper RTX ecosystem, MSI’s ARMOR 8GB RTX 2070 GPU is a great start. At performance levels on average higher than the similarly priced GTX 1080 from last generation’s architecture, the 2070 also brings with it the capability of ray tracing, letting you experience the next level of gaming without considerably eating into your budget.

Unfortunately there is nothing from AMD I’d really recommend at this point, as the pricing versus value proposition just isn’t there, especially thanks to falling prices on Pascal hardware and the price point of the 2070 line of cards.

Everything Else

Throughout the year we’ve had the ability to check out some of the best and greatest peripherals and miscellaneous the gaming world has on offer. For the aspiring streamer, Elgato’s Mini Stream Deck is a fantastic accessory to help facilitate those late night streaming sessions. While you’re at it, check out the Razer Seiren Elite Streaming Microphone for crystal clear audio.

And if you’re looking for something to stream from, AVerMedia’s Live Gamer ULTRA brings with it 4K streaming at an affordable price compared to the competition. Capable of 4K, 1440p and HDR capture, the USB3.1 type-C connection allows for low latency streaming of the data. However, for those looking at an internal card, the HD60Pro from Elgato is a great choice as well, though it does not capture at 4K like the AVerMedia.

If you’re like me and spend hours upon hours sitting at the same desk all day, VersaDesk’s Standing Desk Riser can turn any standard desk into a standing workstation. When you have to sit down, however, Noblechairs HERO gaming chair provides great comfort, especially if you decide to spring for the real leather version.

Looking for something to kit out anyone’s collection of figures and collectibles? PDP’s light-up Pixel Pals can really illuminate the room. Now releasing the major players in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III game from Square Enix, these would look great in the background of any streamer’s room.

Do you have a suggestion or favorite accessory that you think every gamer should own? Let us know what you think in the comments below!