This article is presented by be quiet!
Looking to put a smile on the face of the PC gamer in your life? Or perhaps you just want to ensure your own gaming PC is in tip-top shape ahead of the holiday season?
Either way, you should find some inspiration below. We’ve picked out some quality upgrades to give any PC a gaming shot in the arm: internals to eke out as many frames as possible, quality fans to keep things running cool and quiet, and accessories to help gamers play their best.
Read on for our top picks.
Best Gaming PC Case: be quiet! Dark Base 701 Midi Tower case
Most people want their gaming PCs to be seen and not heard, and that’s very much what be quiet! specializes in. The Dark Base 701 case looks bold and stylish but is designed for whisper-quiet operation while keeping even the most demanding internals cool and stable.
It’s been designed for maximum airflow, with an air-permeable front and top cover and fan controls easily accessible from the front. While it comes with three pre-installed Silent Wings 4 fans, it’s as customizable as you like with space for custom water-cooling loops. It’s designed to be a doddle to open up and build with tool-free drive installation too, and there are plenty of connectivity options with hubs for fans and ARGB devices.
Best Gaming PC Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 3 Fans
If you don’t want a whole new case but still want to improve your airflow, then some extra fans will help. The catch is that extra fans typically mean more noise. That’s why you should opt for be quiet!-branded fans.
As the name suggests, the fans’ airflow-optimized blades are designed to keep things cool without making your PC sound like a jet engine taking off. Available in 120mm and 140mm sizes, they can operate at different speeds, so you can prioritize between volume and cooling. And with a lifespan of 80,000 hours, you know that they’re in for the long haul.
The Best Gaming CPU Upgrades
Recommending a CPU is a tough ask. The best CPU for you depends on your needs and budget. Then there’s the always thorny question of whether you favor AMD or Intel.
But in broad terms, the best CPU option for most gamers currently come in at roughly the same price. On team AMD, that’s the Ryzen 7 7700. For Intel, it’s the Core i5-13600K. Either will set you back around $320.
If you want to push the boat out for maximum performance, then you may want to stump up for an Intel Core i9-13900K or an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D. They’ll cost a fair bit more, though, with both typically coming in at over $500.
Best Gaming PC Coolers: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 5 / Dark Rock Elite CPU Coolers
If you’re spending big on a processor, you don’t want to take any chances with the stock fan they sometimes ship with. A chunky heatsink and fan will keep your processor running at safe temperatures, which will make your PC perform better, last longer, be more stable in everyday use, and potentially open to overclocking.
But you don’t want a fan that will pump out extra decibels, which is why be quiet!’s range of CPU fans should be in your shopping basket next to your processor of choice. Both the Dark Rock Pro 5 and Dark Rock Elite CPU coolers boast copper heat pipes paired with two Silent Wings fans for effective and quiet temperature control.
The differences come down to the fans and cover, but both are immensely powerful. In short, opt for the Pro 5 if you value quiet or the Elite if you want the absolute best cooling available.
Best Gaming GPU Upgrade: Nvidia RTX 40 Series
The best shot in the arm you can give your gaming PC is an upgraded graphics card, and Nvidia remains the top dog with its RTX 40 series of GPUs. The latest graphics cards can seriously up your frame rate in the latest games, especially if they support DLSS (a clever way of boosting resolution without hitting performance).
Granted, they aren’t the cheapest cards around, but their price range does at least cater to different budgets. If you’re targeting 1080p, then the RTX 4060 should be sufficient, but if you’re looking at 1440p or 4K, then you’ll want to look at the RTX 4070Ti.
If money truly is no object and you want to future-proof as much as possible, then you won’t be disappointed with the RTX 4080 or 4090’s performance (especially if you like all the ray tracing bells and whistles).
Best Gaming SSD Upgrade: WD SN570 SSD
If your gaming PC is still packing a traditional hard drive, you’re seriously missing out. In short, NVMe Solid State Drives (SSD) read and write data far faster than old-school SATA hard drives. That not only leads to far faster boot-up times but significantly shorter loading screens and reduced graphical pop-in.
While SSDs once cost a small fortune for a decent amount of space, their costs have come down significantly. Pleasingly, one of the best performers on the market is also extremely competitively priced. Right now, you can buy a 2TB WD Blue SN580 for under $120. Just make sure your motherboard has a spare NVMe slot.
Best PC Accessories to Up Your Game
Homall Gaming Chair
For an extended gaming session, you need to be comfortable. While seating is certainly a matter of personal taste, Amazon’s best-selling gaming chair is a sensible place to start.
Homall’s sturdy gaming chairs come in a variety of colors (from a distinguished black to a bright candy pink) and offer comfort, flexibility, and lumbar support for long gaming sessions. They even tilt all the way back to 180 degrees, should you need a little screen break without getting too far away from the action.
Corsair K70 Pro keyboard
For those who think gamepads should be reserved for consoles, a top-quality gaming keyboard is a must. They’re comfortable, customizable, and allow lightning-fast reactions that can make all the difference in close-run battles.
While everyone will have their own taste when it comes to look and feel, Corsair’s optical K70 Pro is a gaming keyboard that should satisfy most people. It combines the clicky feel of mechanical keyboards with the speediness of light-based optical switches. It’s large enough to be comfortable with a detachable wrist rest, and it comes with a handful of useful extra media keys too.
Logitech G502 Hero Gaming Mouse
The Logitech G502 has long been the favorite of PC gamers, offering a superb feel, plenty of features, and lots of options for customization. How customizable? There are 11 programmable buttons, adjustable sensitivity and you can even pop in extra weights to increase its resistance.
In competitive shooters, this can make all the difference between a kill and being killed. We’ve highlighted the Hero version here, which packs a more sensitive sensor and is for some reason cheaper than the original Proteus model.
AOC CQ32G3SU Monitor
Your monitor requirements depend on a whole host of factors. How much space do you have? How close do you sit to it? Is your PC powerful enough for high-resolution gaming? Assuming you have a decent amount of space and a powerful-ish PC, AOC’s CQ32G3SU monitor is a good fit for most gamers.
Why? It’s a generous 32 inches across, offers a sharp resolution of up to 2,560 x 1,440, provides great contrast, and boasts a refresh rate of 165Hz. That means you can get up to 165fps with the right hardware. What’s more, it supports both AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync, meaning you won’t get screen tearing, whoever makes your GPU.
Logitech G Pro X
Whether you want to play games into the night, or just want the performance edge that comes from being able to hear enemies before they see you, you’ll need a good gaming headset.
The Logitech G Pro X is not only brilliantly comfortable for extended sessions, it sounds great too: you’ll be hearing parts of the soundscape you may have never heard before via speakers or a cheaper set of headphones. Speech is also crystal clear through the microphone, and because said mic is detachable, you can be sure that nobody’s hearing you when you just want to listen.
Meta Quest 3
At its best, virtual reality (or VR) can offer gaming experiences like no other. If you’ve played Half-Life: Alyx or The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, you’ll know exactly why.
The Meta Quest 3 isn’t the most high-tech PC solution, but it’s competitively priced and by far the most flexible. Not only can you use it without your PC for experiences stored locally on the headset, but you can connect it to your desktop either via a cable or wirelessly to enjoy the high-fidelity graphics that only a gaming PC can offer. It’s really the best of both worlds.