A kick-ass PC without equally kick-ass gadgets and accessories is a bit like someone who shows up to a buddy's holiday party sans trousers — i.e., it's a system that's ready and raring to rock-n'-roll, but sorely underdressed for the occasion. Happily, from mice to keyboards and custom controllers in every shape and size, hundreds upon hundreds of amazing new gaming peripherals are yours these days to enjoy. If you haven't considered investing in these increasingly essential tools of the trade (psst, hey carpenter, meet hammer), just fire up your favorite digital diversions to see the difference in motion... Six seconds playing any FPS or RTS should be enough to convince you that a stock mouse and keyboard just won't do. Below, you'll find the first in a two-part series of roundups cataloging several of today's hottest new PC gaming gadgets and accessories — each designed to up your game, and take your skills to the next level.

View to a thrill

Some say the eyes are the window to the soul. If so, it pays to remember not to skimp when hunting for a new monitor to go with that killer gaming rig (not just to boost immersion levels, but also to make a statement).

A good place to start? Try the 27-inch WQHD 2560x1440 resolution ROG Swift PG279Q gaming monitor, which offers a wide 178-degree viewing angle that provides for lifelike gaming visuals. An ultra-swift 165Hz refresh rate (so fast that if you blink, you may miss the sword swipe that just took off your buddy's head) also ensures fast-paced and ultra-realistic action.

Sister product ROG Swift PG278Q is also worth keeping on your radar. As the world's first WQHD G-SYNC monitor to offer a rapid 144Hz refresh rate, coupled with 1ms response times, it's ultra-swift, ultra-speedy, and an ultra-incredible piece of gear to pack — especially if you're into fast-action titles like fighting games and shooters.

Last, but not least, we'd be far happier if only reality looked as good as the ROG Swift PG27AQ 27-inch gaming monitor, which offers 4K/UHD (ultra high-definition) graphics, pumping out visuals at 3840x2160 resolutions with in-plane switching (IPS) panels that provide seamless visuals for hyper-smooth play in all your PC gaming favorites, including action offerings, arcade outings, racers, and more.

While each of these PG27 gaming monitors offers G-SYNC, the just released ASUS MG Series come with Adaptive-Sync to give you even more choices.  The MG Series provides an addition 28-incher into the mix, and more 4K options for ultra-detailed graphics in games and ultra-productive non-gaming duties. MG24UQ and MG28UQ are 24-inch and 28-inch gaming monitors both with 4K, while MG248Q is perfect for those who seek a dedicated display for their gaming console, gaming in 3D or competitive gaming where you want super-fast 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and rely less on your peripheral vision to seek out your prey.

The big daddy that will take you to gaming nirvana and make you the envy of gamers everywhere is the ROG Swift PG348Q, one look at it below and you won't need to know anything else except that it's 34" big, has sexy curves and surrounds you with silky-smooth G-SYNC action. 

You probably still want to know more, so here it is

Gaming to go

Traveling much these days? You'll also want to keep a high-end gaming laptop on hand (unless you've been working out, and feel like hauling a full-size rig along). The right system won't just offer up tons of horsepower, cornea-blistering visuals, and a top-end keyboard. It'll also pack everything you need to blow the competition away into one simple and tidy package.

Case in point: the ROG GX700 is the world's first water-cooled portable gaming rig, and it has been designed to deliver superior overclocking performance, and enough computing muscle to run virtually anything you can throw at it. Incredibly, the system also features a 17-inch 4K/UHD (ultra-high-definition) display, a 3.2GHz (4.0GHz overclocked) quad-core Intel Core i7-6820HK mobile CPU, and up to 64GB of DDR4 — the kind of hardware nearly any premium PC game would be proud to run on. A built-in water-cooling system helps cool this beast down for maximum performance — as a result, the only thing getting heated up should be any competitor that dares face you.

For a sleeker take on portable gaming, the ROG G501VW offers a great way to go too. This notebook PC provides a slimmed down ultra-thin and light design, but still packs a punch with its Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 graphics card, 4K/UHD display, and Hyper Cool technology — all of which will leave you well-equipped for gaming sessions. The ROG G551VW further boasts a 6th gen Intel Core i7 processor and a full HD IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle that ensures rivals won't know what hit 'em.

The mother of all systems

The heart of any given computer is very much its motherboard, and for gaming, rest assured you want one bad mother-you-know-what indeed. The central component around which PCs revolve, a high-end motherboard means the difference between playing to win, and just playing around.

So it's no surprise that you'll want to get a good look at the ROG Maximus Z170 — premium boards that don't cut corners. It offers a gaming-oriented design, including 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning, 2nd-generation T-Topology, and OC design.

Don't miss out on ASUS Pro Gaming Series models either - a must-see for serious players looking to take their game (and computing muscle) to the next level.

Of course, in life, it's important to remember that there are clock watchers and there are overclockers. For the latter amongst us, the Maximus VIII Gene is the choice to make. Gene boards have been the offical BlizzCon motherboards for three years, so if overclocking is in your genes, well... let's just say this one is probably for you.

Graphic content

After you've made your choice of motherboard, it's also crucial to think about which graphics processing unit (GPU) and card you'll be grabbing. A killer GPU works in tandem with your computer to pump out blistering visual content, so cutting corners on a graphics card is like having an HDTV and only watching black-and-white late night reruns on it. Pro tip: you'll definitely want to choose a graphics card that can handle today's, as well as tomorrow's, most beloved titles, because let's face it — PC gaming moves fast, and tomorrow will be here sooner than you think.

The ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Ti with DirectCU H2O for hybrid air/liquid cooling is not only ready for the future, and the next generation of graphic engines, but it also stands up to the test now, no matter how intense the action gets, especially in the heat of online competition. Capable of literally staying cool under pressure, it can handle the most heated action and still go the distance, lasting several times longer than comparable cards. Even more entertaining: it features an LED light that just might warn the competition that things are about to get all too real.

Strix R9 Fury is a real beast, even in the thick of battle. Making use of HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) provides seriously fast gaming performance especially at high resolutions. It also runs smooth, cool, and quiet — an unexpected bonus from such a lethal piece of PC game hardware.

Of mice and men

When it comes to PC gaming, a mouse should practically come pre-grafted onto players' hands. It is the sword that cuts through metal, the gun that targets your enemy, the flag that leads your armies into battle. And you wouldn't use a kitchen knife in battle, so why would you stick with any old generic mouse to lead the charge the next time you're ready to make heads roll?

The ROG Sica offers a great choice here, as it's a compact, ambidextrous mouse that features enhanced click resistance — features that will help opponents in RTS (Real-Time Strategy) and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games especially learn that resistance is futile. For those looking to draw first blood, the ROG Gladius — named after the standard sword of the infamous Roman Legions — also presents an amazing option, featuring an ergonomic design that makes it hard to tell where your hand ends and the mouse beings. Its 6400dpi resolution ensures absolute in-game precision as well. Built for FPS (First-Person Shooter) games, make sure your system gets lots of FPS (Frames Per Second) also. With swappable world-renowned Omron switches, you're set for up to 20 million kills.

The ROG GX860 Buzzard Mouse, by contrast, provides a welcome all-around go-to mouse for gaming of all kinds, offering a two-way DPI switch, LED illumination (think five customizable independent LED zones) to indicate current settings, and easy-to-use software to aid in setting up new profiles.

The key to victory

Of course, you won't just want a great mouse, but its classic partner in PC gaming crime as well — a great keyboard. Having a keyboard that is responsive, durable, and customizable can often mean the difference between enjoying the thrill of victory and experiencing the agony of defeat. The Strix Tactic Pro provides a useful companion to the Strix Claw gaming mouse, offering full mechanical switches for lightning-fast response times, and 21 easy-to-reach macro keys with on-the-fly recording.

Listen up

Last, but not least, while a solid set of speakers can provide a great PC gaming experience, remember... The right headset can truly immerse you into any given game, and ensure that you won't scare the neighbors into thinking World War III has started by sending the sounds of a battlefield echoing throughout the halls and out the windows. Even more importantly, a gaming headset is a key component in terms of multiplayer communication, which can make the difference between winning and losing, every time.

The ROG Orion Pro Gaming Headset represents one of the best options out there in terms of audio solutions. It works at the hardware level and requires no drivers to install, while its 7.1 virtual surround sound will truly put you in the center of the action. Online multiplayer enthusiasts may especially enjoy it — doubly so, as a one-click on/off button allows for clear and audible communication with teammates on the fly as situations dictate.

And while you can always join the Navy and see the world, the Echelon Navy makes a welcome alternative. A military-camo-inspired gaming headset that offers premium audio playback and solid multiplatform support, it's super-versatile and compatible with PCs as well as smartphones, tablets, and even the PlayStation 4. Similarly, the Vulcan PRO can practically transport you to another world, as it features the world's only active noise cancellation for gaming.


Clearly, as you can see, there's no shortage of killer PC gaming gadgets and accessories to be had, all ready and waiting to help you power up your gameplay experiences and overall hands-on performance.


By Scott Steinberg