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As of May 2018, this is the gear in my recording setup. I built this system in late 2014 and it was relatively state of the art back then. Over the years a few things have been added (VR headset, extra screen) but the core is relatively good even for today's games. That said, I will probably replace this somewhere during 2018 with the next generation of hardware. Stay tuned :-D

  • CPU: Intel i7 4790K @ 4.0 Ghz
  • CPU cooler: Corsair Hydro H80i (closed loop water cooler)
  • GPU: 2x ATI Strix GTX 980 graphics cards
  • Mainboard: Asus Maximus VII Hero Z97
  • Memory: 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3
  • Storage: 2x Kingston HyperX 3K SSD 2.5" 240GB + 1x Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1TB
  • PSU: Toughpower Grand 1050W ATX2
  • Case: Aerocool XPredator X3 Evil Black edition ATX
  • Extra fans: Alpenfohn Wingboost 2 Orange 140x140x25
  • Main gaming screen: Asus Republic of Gamers PG278Q (27", 2560x1440, 144hz)
  • Secondary screen: LG 34UC87C (34" 3480x1440 ultrawide, 60hz)
  • VR: Lenovo Explorer, a Windows Mixed Reality room-scale VR headset
  • Mouse: Razer Naga
  • Razer Orbweaver Chroma Stealth: mini keyboard with fully remappable keys and lighting, wrist rest. More comfy to use than using WASD on your normal keyboard.
  • Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Chroma (clicky, noisy, not helpful for typing a lot while recording)
  • Headset: Razer Manowar
  • Microphone for recording: Razer Siren Pro.
  • Microphone preamp: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB 2nd Gen

Notes:

  • CPU is a little underclocked so I can keep my fans running at about 30% of their speed and keep my rig quiet. If you're not recording, and don't mind the sound, you can crank this up without too many issues because the "K" series is the overclockers series. For my new system I'm not sure if I'll stick to Intel or jump to AMD for Ryzen or Threadripper.
  • I've got two graphics cards: one for gaming and one for video encoding. Each screen is connected to a different card. I've got a SLI bridge, but I've actually disabled SLI for performance reasons. Some games are very glitchy with SLI, and VR and SLI apparently does not go well together :-) For a new system I'd probably go for a single 1080 Ti or whatever comes next.
  • Main screen: I'm not a twitchy FPS player, so 144Hz is more trouble than I think it's worth. A lot of games framerate limit themselves to your screen, so they render up to 144 Hz. I record at 60 fps, so everything more than that only puts more stress on my system and potentially interferes with the recording. The Nvidia Profile Inspector tool allows me to limit framerates globally and per-app, so I've set a default cap of just over 90 fps (for VR you want that 90 fps) and for PoE and Grim Dawn at just over 60 fps.
  • Secondary screen is nice as secondary, but gaming on an ultrawide is something that enough games have issues with that it's not worth the bother in my opinion. Also: most folks have a regular 16x9 screen, so recording ultrawide is not great for YouTube.
  • Storage: for a new build I'd go for M.2 storage instead of 2.5" SSD drives. M.2 I/O is much faster and thus you get better performance. I've got the 1TB old-schoold hard drive to store my recordings, but for a new system I'd go with a larger SSD for that as well. The two 240GB SSDs have been joined into a Raid 0 drive of 480GB.
  • Memory/Mainboard/PSU/Case/Fans: they work fine, nothing special about them.
  • VR: This headset does not need beacons placed around your room to work, though you want good lighting and a 1.5 by 2 meter area to walk around in. So far, it seems better than the Oculus and Vive. VR stresses my GPU to the limit, so that's one of the reasons for wanting to upgrade to the next generation. My 980 is 3 generations (soon 4) old now :-)
  • Mouse: The Razer Naga has 12 buttons on the side that you control with your thumb. It took me 2 weeks to train my thumb muscles to click the buttons, after that I never wanted to use another mouse ever again. I recently replaced my old one from 2009 with a new Chroma version and I'm happy to say that it's still great.
  • Headset: Wireless with a USB charging cable, good sound quality and the microphone is good enough for voice comms while playing with friends
  • Microphone/preamp: the microphone can be connected via USB, but I connect it via XLR into the pre-amp so I have more control over the volume. The result is less need for amplification in software and thus better sound. Recently (May 2018) I updated to the latest version of OBS Studio (recording software) which has a good Compressor and Noise Filter, which has substantially improved the audio quality because I can rely even more on the preamp to boost the volume and the Compressor to deal with volume spikes.
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