We’re using the best PC hardware now and why we love it

Some great components we couldn't live without.

We heart this hardware

We love all our gear, from our desktop PCs to every last one of our high-tech gadgets, but some pieces of kit hold a very special place in our hearts.  A component either fulfills its performance promise so spectacularly, or it perfectly satisfies a particular need, or we’re just plain attached to it out of well-worn habit.

The bottom line is, when gearheads are asked to identify which components they simply cannot live without, certain parts immediately come to mind. That was certainly true when we polled the PCWorld staff. See what hardware we treasure, and why. Then let us know which components you can’t live without in the comments.

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
Back in 2014 I replaced my previous go-to mouse—the Zowie AM—with Logitech’s G502 Proteus Core. Two years and countless mouse reviews later, I still haven’t found something better (though I’m now using the RGB-enabled Proteus Spectrum).

With the renowned PWM3366 sensor, customizable weights, an oversized scooped shape, three thumb buttons, and a heavily stepped mouse wheel (that can change to smooth on-the-fly), this mouse does everything I need and then some. For people with smaller hands or who like a lightweight mouse, I might recommend something different (like the Logitech Pro Gaming Mouse), but the G502’s still a personal favorite. ­–Hayden Dingman

HyperX Cloud

We’ve written about the HyperX Cloud a lot in the past, so its inclusion on this list should come as no surprise to longtime PCWorld readers.

It deserves the praise. For $80 you get one of the most comfortable gaming headsets ever made, and with sound fidelity that punches way above its price. And sure, you could spend $150 for Logitech’s wireless G933, or $300-plus for the SteelSeries Siberia 800 (I’m fond of its hot-swappable batteries). But the point is you don’t have to. The Cloud is an amazing bargain. 

AmazonBasics Dual Side-by-Side Monitor Display Mounting Arm

When I upgraded to a sitting/standing motorized desk last year, I decided to make one other quality-of-life upgrade and mount my monitors on swing arms. Now I wonder what took me so long.

To some extent it changed my workflow. The ability to turn one monitor vertical or bring one forward to the front of my desk when I’m using it for gaming... it’s both wonderfully novel and immensely practical. 

But I’m more impressed by the small, day-to-day tweaks. My neck feels a little stiff? Or maybe my keyboard isn’t quite centered? Just move the monitor to a more natural, ergonomically sound position. Can’t do that when you’re tied to the rigid plastic stands most monitors ship with.

As for the AmazonBasics brand? It’s great. These mounts are equivalent to Ergotron’s, but almost $100 cheaper. 

Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard

Over the years, as a hardware reviewer, I’ve used every mechanical keyboard on the market. But the one I shelled out my hard-earned money for is the Corsair K70 with Cherry MX Red switches.

There are several reasons why. I love the volume wheel at the top, which makes it so easy to just slide my hand over from the mouse and adjust the audio level to my liking. I also love the feel of the MX Red switches, which are crisp and light to the touch, and don’t make a lot of clicky noise, either. I also appreciate the adjustable backlighting, comfortable palm rest, and USB pass-through for my wireless headset.

Add it all up and you have the most perfect keyboard ever. The OG version I have is rare and therefore expensive, but Corsair now offers the K70 in a “Lux” version, whatever that means. The RGB version is also super-sweet, but I personally don’t care about fancy lights.