I'm not joking when I say this mini-fridge has been one of the most transformative PC gaming purchases I've ever made (and it's on sale today)

Danby mini-fridge

(Image credit: Danby)
Danby Designer Mini-Fridge | 4.4 Cu.Ft. | Energy Star compliant |$419.99$199.99 at Amazon (save 52%)

Danby Designer Mini-Fridge | 4.4 Cu.Ft. | Energy Star compliant | $419.99 $199.99 at Amazon (save 52%)
The Danby mini-fridge's three main shelves are enough to stock more drinks than even the most degenerate MMO player can expect to get through quickly. The can holsters in the door are great for easy access and you can also slot some taller bottles in there. Temperature is easily controlled via a dial and I've had zero issues with leaks or accidentally freezing items.

Price check: Best Buy is also $199

Most years, I log on to work over the Black Friday weekend with the intention of discussing the best deal I've bought. This time I've had my eye on extra storage, with a Lexar 4TB SSD (-19% off at $187) making it all the way through checkout. However, I cancelled once I remembered that the Alienware R10 it was destined for, which I bought a couple of Black Fridays ago (and honestly have regretted due to the hassle it's caused) only has one NVMe slot. I don't have the brainspace to futz around with an adapter or migrating my data on the current drive, particularly as the case is such a pig to deal with that I hast actually drawn blood. So instead, let's talk mini-fridges, and why they're one of the best upgrades you can make to your PC gaming setup.

I had wanted a mini-fridge for years, but my fiancée resisted on the not unreasonable basis that we shared a fairly cramped office that was already full of electronics. As the WFH era wore on, and we moved to a slightly bigger apartment, she folded and bought me one for my birthday. 

Readers, it has been everything I dreamed and more. Could I just go upstairs to grab a drink and would it take no more than about 30 seconds? Yes, obviously, but I am a lazy, lazy man. And trust me, you haven't known freedom until you've felt the slightest hint of thirst and simply leant across and pulled that cold soda from a matte black plastic vault. I've rarely felt more master of my own domain than opening the mini-fridge door and seeing the massed ranks of Diet Coke, Barq's root beer, Sunkist, and Celsius lined up like my hand-picked privates on parade. It is my personal wine cellar, but full of caffeine and colouring. Perhaps no wonder my kidneys are not in tremendous shape.

The model we went for, after quite a bit of research, is a Danby. I actually have the 2.6 cubic feet model, although somewhat bizarrely that's going for $217 today (a purported saving of 28%), but the larger 4.4 cubic feet model is cheaper at $199, a claimed discount of 52%. That is the lowest price it's been for months, although back in March it very briefly dropped to $160 in another sale. Generally speaking it's been going for about $280-300 this year. 

At $200 I think it's great value for what you're getting, although do bear in mind that this size will definitely feel less mini. The reason we went for a Danby is that reviewers had praised their near silent running and ability to keep drinks colder than the competitors. I've been very happy on both fronts, and have also used it to keep choc bars cool and store medicines.  

The only issue I've had is that occasionally when the cooler clicked into gear it would cause a momentary wobble on my monitor, but I think that's down to my current house's shonky wiring and stopped as soon as I moved the fridge to a different outlet.

Here's a picture of the smaller Danby in situ next to my cursed Alienware rig. You too could be living this dream. Yes, the plant is dying. (Image credit: Tim Clark)

Obviously, you could spend this money on more material upgrades to your gaming setup. But assuming you don't need a budget CPU or graphics card, think about what might actually materially alter your experience of gaming on a day to day basis. After a good office chair, I genuinely think the fridge might be my favourite quality-of-life upgrade. Ask yourself this: Don't you deserve an ice cold refreshment on hand at all times? Or in other words: Do you even game?

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.