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The PC hardware you should spend your holiday money on

Holiday Gift Guide Pc Gamer 2014

Gift cards and holiday cash stuffing your pockets? You could be responsible and put the money in the bank, or do as we do—blow that money on a bunch of new PC components! If you've been saving up to build a new PC and can finally afford those parts, let us help you out. Here are a few of our guides, hand-picked to help you get the most out of your holiday fortune.

First off: if you don't already know what you need, we can help with that. Refer to our easy PC upgrade guide to help determine which of your parts are out of date.

In dire need of a big graphical boost? A new graphics card should be your first stop. Here's our list of the best graphics cards, with a few options depending on your budget.

Still gaming on an ancient Microsoft Intellimouse and a rubber dome keyboard stuffed with crumbs and cat hair? Treat yourself to a new gaming mouse (you can get a great one for $50) and a mechanical keyboard. We don't tend to update these accessories as often as we do our other CPU components, but they play just as important a role in the PC experience.

Looking to build a whole new rig? If you're trying to stretch every dollar, check out our guide to the best budget gaming PC. It's not the very cheapest PC you can build, but we think it offers the best possible gaming experience at an affordable price point. If you've been saving up longer and have more to spend, definitely step up to our recommended gaming PC build, which will give you more power and be a competitive rig for the next few years.

Naturally, a new PC deserves a new case. We recently updated our gallery of our favorite PC cases. All 25 are worthy of your next rig, and there should be something in there for everyone, whether you like subtle or flashy.

Want to treat yourself to a luxurious upgrade? One of the biggest improvements you can make to your gaming experience is buying a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor. Our favorites are big, beautiful 1440p IPS screens that can refresh up to 144Hz. With the variable refresh technology, screen tearing and VSync are both worries of the past. Here's our guide to the best gaming monitors.

Computex custom rigs gallery 12

If it's style you're after, you may want to spend that cash on the liquid coolant, paint, and flashy LEDs used in case modding. Our beginner's guide points out some ideal paints, RAM, cables, and other components ideal for case modding, and how to get started using them.

That about wraps it up for our suggestions, but if you've already bought a heaping load of new PC gear, tell us about your haul!

Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games. When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old RPG or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).