Hi All, this is the second post in the setup guide series. This is the in-between setup: you want good performance in your games, but don't feel like gaming is serious enough to spend $2000+. This setup might also be good for an up-and-coming streamer who's interested in delving more deeply into video games. Important note: if you already had one of the PCs from the casual setup - great news! All you have to do is replace the GPU and maybe add more RAM.
As I said previously, if you already have a decent PC, you can save money on processors and storage, and just upgrade the GPU. For a moderate gaming setup, you'll be aiming for at least an RTX 1500 and the newest possible i5 processor (i7 would be better). A Ryzen 5 would work well too. You'll also need a 500gb+ SSD, because many modern games can take up almost 100gb of storage each. Look for powerful cooling systems, a ~450 watt+ power supply, 16gb of DDR4 RAM, and 4-6 cores. The PC I'm using in my example is the Skytech Shiva, a $1000 PC that uses a Ryzen 5 2600, RTX 2060, 16gb RAM, and 500gb of SSD.
For your monitor you need at least 1080 or 1440p, possibly even 4K. If you didn't use at least 1080p, you'd be wasting the graphics card in your system. If you got 4K, it would be unrealistic to play games on it, but it could be useful if you enjoy video editing (or just want incredibly high-definition movies). 1440p will run AAA games at right around 60fps, at least with the Skytech Shiva. You can get big discount buying used monitors on Nextdoor/eBay/Facebook, but if you want one new, the Viewsonic VA2719-2K-SMHD has 1440p for a relatively small price. You can also pick up a curved-screen 144hz monitor from Sceptre, but it only has 1080p.
Now that you are serious about gaming, you can start investing in some serious peripherals; they are so cheap compared to the PC and monitor, if you can keep your budget under $180 you can pick whatever you want. For your mouse, you can go wired or wireless. If you want wireless, I recommend the Razer Mamba Wireless. It has a 50 hour battery life, Razer's great ergonomics, and a high-precision sensor. For wired, I would go Logitech's G502 SE. The Logitech G502 model is a best-seller, featuring a flywheel/scroll wheel, 9 hotkeys including a sniper button, and a great grip. MMO player? I would go with Logitech's G600, featuring twenty hotkeys. For the keyboard, I would highly recommend HyperX's Alloy FPS Pro TKL. Although it does not have full RGB, you can get lots of cool lighting effects just with the red light. Additionally, this keyboard comes with MX Cherry Blue or Red switches, a steel frame, and a detachable braided cable. The Alloy FPS Pro TKL also costs a palatable $69, allowing us to acquire a nice headset and mousepad. For your mousepad, I would go with UtechSmart's Extended RGB Mousepad. This will cover most of your desk, allowing you to keep a full-length keyboard and mouse on with room to spare, and give your setup an awesome RGB vibe. Keeping us in our budget by just a smidge is Corsair's HS60 Pro Headset. It has a detachable, omnidirectional mic, memory foam earcups, and 7.1 surround sound.
Moderate Setup Example:
Computer - $1000: Skytech Shiva
Monitor - $185: Sceptre 27" Black Metal Curved 2019
Mouse - $38: Logitech G502 SE
Keyboard - $69: HyperX Alloy FPS Pro TKL
Mousepad - $20: UtechSmart Extended RGB Mousepad
Headset - $45: Corsair HS60 Pro
Note: you can take a lot of cost off of these setups if you buy monitor used or upgrade an older PC.