Battlestation showcase: the best of your PCs
One week ago we asked you to send us pictures and descriptions of your gaming setup, so that we might separate a few of the most enviable battlestations from others, and enshrine them in a little round-up. This has come to pass! We've parsed through your excellent submissions, and found a few of the prettiest, oddest and most innovative desktops we've seen so far. Read on to see what made the cut.
Mikhail's gorgeous attic battlestation
I love it. From the clean lines and airy feel to the copious number of monitors an that huge, towering PC to the right. It's also a bit of a monster inside. Here are the specs Mikhail included with his post.
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme
CPU: Intel i7 3930K C2
GPU: 3x Titans
RAM: 8GB GMTGX8(going to change it to 32GB or 64GB)
PSU: EVGA 1500W
SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 "512Gb Version" + Samsung 830 "256Gb Version"
HDD: 8x Seagate Barracuda 3TB
Soundcard: Asus Xonar Phoebus
Fans: 22x Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition
Screens: 3x Asus VG278H + 1 x BenQ XL2720T
Headset: Razer Tiamat 7.1
Keyboard: Steelseries 7G
Mouse: Steelseries Sensei
Extra Gamepad: Logitech G13
The interior of that huge PC is beautiful too. Take a look.
Jake's custom-built gaming chair
19 year old Jake built his own marvellous futuristic gaming cockpit as part of a year 12 HSC project. "I made and designed everything. Rolled the arches. Found the red leather seat at the local autowreckers." The three 40-inch Samsung screens run with Eyefinity for super-wide gaming and the roll-cage holds the surround-sound setup in place.
Stephanie's driving and flight sim battlestation
This one It like it could drive off right through the the wall if you turn it on. Stephanie says that she mostly uses her rig for racing simulators, "but I do switch out the racing gear for HOTAS when I have the itch to dogfight." As well as a Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog and CH Pro Pedals (not pictured), the rig includes the following hardware: "TIR5 | Fanatec CSW w/Formula rim & CSPv2 | TH8RS | Obutto R3Volution | DSD CSW Panel & The Black Max | Spek Pro Tachometer & Oil / Water Temperature Gauges | Sym Projects Rev Burner & Pro-Gauge | M-SPEC Shift Light | Simvibe | 5 – Aura Bass Shakers 40" | Sharp LCD | iPad 2 & 3"
The PC powering it all is a custom built setup that looks like this.
CPU: i7 CPU 950
RAM: 24GB Patriot DDR3
GPU: 2x EVGA GTX 460 1GBs in SLI
SSD: SanDisk 120GB
HDD: VelociRaptor 600GB
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Chris' glorious green gaming cave
There's an easy rule you can apply to assess the quality of a battlestation. "Does it look like something NASA would use to launch a spaceship?" In Chris' case, yes, thanks largely to that looming HDTV. The LED lighting adds a certain hacker ambience, too. I can imagine having a great game of Battlefield 4 on the monitors, with the map writ large above the set-up. It looks like Chris has a PS3 hooked up to that TV as well, because when you have that number of screens in one place, why not share the love?
Mike's treadmill PC
Mike offers a new take on "run and gun" with his battlestation. He's used a spare table to create a custom mount for his Alienware gaming laptop and assorted peripherals. Mike admits that "the laptop is currently dead because the GPU lit on fire from extreme overclocking". Unlucky, but I can't help but think there must be a way to harness the running motion to power the PC to cool it, or feed it more power. Here are the specs for Mike's (slightly fried) PC.
GPUs: QX9300 Core 2 Quad Extreme, AMD 5870M
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz ram
SSD: Crucial M4 256GB SSD
HDD: 1.5TB HDD
Screen: 1440x900 screen
Jeff's simulator setup
Jeff's wide and well-equipped battlestation is perfect for flight and driving sims. He mentions that it it "also runs Plex media server in the background and encodes video while idle." I like the idea of powerful home PCs taking on secondary tasks while idle. If we turned the idle power of these collected battlestations into a single aim, think of what we could do.
CPU: i7 2700k @ 5.2ghz 1.320v
RAM: 16gb Team Xtreme LV 2133 CL9
Motherboard: MSI Mpower Z77
GPUs: Crossfire HD7850 @ 1150mhz core, 1229mhz memory
HDDs: 2tb Western Digital Black media drive, 500gb Western Digital RE4 software drive
SSD: 64gb Patriot Torqx boot drive
PSU: 850watt Silverstone Stryder Plus
Cooling: Dual H100 radiators keeping the processor under 50C under full load.
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 black/black case
Sim biz: Logitech extreme 3D Pro joystick/ Saitek Pro Flight yoke, pedals, and throttle quadrant for flight. Logitech G27 for driving.
Eric's total surround gaming battlestation
Eric's is one of the few battlestations we received that incorporated a projector. They're expensive, and if a bulb goes the price only goes up, but a good projector can give you a good HD image, and are perfect for a bit of gaming when slouched on a couch. It also means that one whole wall of his gaming space is devoted to games - that's commitment. In addition, he's wired up four further screens and an Oculus Rift. From virtual reality to mini-cinema-sized gaming, this is a mighty fine assortment of technology.
Those are some of our favourite picks so far. Got a rig that you'd like to show off? Don't worry, we'll be doing more of these round-ups, so feel free to post pics and details of your own battlestation in the comments below, or email them to me at email@example.com with the subject line "Battlestations!". All that remains is to dish out a few honourable mentions, firstly to this attempt - literally a basket case - which gives me hope that PC gamers will still find a way to play when the apocalypse has come and gone, and we're all living on tinned tomato soup and reminiscing about alien concepts like warmth and sunlight. I approve, too, of this poster's cooling solution of "if in doubt, put more fans on it", which sadly pales to Vasko's classic cooling method. Well done, everyone.