Everything You Need For A PC (Other Than The PC!)

So you’re about to buy a new PC or laptop? Congratulations! Unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as buying a laptop or desktop PC, and moving on with your life. There can be a LOT of different products and peripherals that you need to purchase.

Naturally if you just want to quickly use your laptop for an hour a week on your kitchen table, then you might not need to buy much, but if you’re buying a computer for work or gaming, you’d be surprised how many extra items you need to purchase. I run through everything you need to consider in this video.

If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.

Video Transcript And Guide

Hey everyone, buying a computer is really exciting BUT whether you’re using it for work, gaming or surfing the web, it’s ‘kinda only the START of your PC journey. That’s because while you CAN just get a laptop or a desktop PC and monitor, there’s a few other things that you MIGHT want to purchase to improve your experience with using your new PC.


A photo of my study with my computer case on the floor
A photo of my old study, with my computer case on the floor

Let’s start out with a desk. You CAN just use your laptop or desktop PC on your kitchen table, of course, but this can get in the way of other people plus it’s often not the most comfortable experience – especially if you’re doing HOURS of work or gaming at a time. That’s where a computer desk comes in. Some are fairly simple and don’t take up much space, while others are MASSIVE and have room for various peripherals and also a floor tray where you can put your PC tower to keep it out of the way. Some also have little sliding drawers which can be really useful for hiding away your keyboard, mouse and even a laptop.

To be honest there’s loads of different desks out there, and the one you end up choosing will vary depending on how much space you have at home (of course). One thing I would point out though, is that if you buy a separate monitor, the middle of the screen should be roughly at your eye level – or slightly below it. You never want to be looking UP at your screen, because this will cause eye and neck strain. So desks that have a large raised area for your monitors to sit on might look good, but you’ll either need to put your computer chair fairly high up OR get used to having constant cramp in your neck.


Simple chairs showing on Amazon
Simple chairs showing on Amazon

The second thing you might need to purchase is a chair. YES you’ll probably already have a bunch of chairs around your home, BUT if you plan on using your PC for hours at a time, doing ULTRA important things like gaming (or pointless things like “work”) then a good quality chair IS really important. YES you should take regular breaks, do stretches and the downward dog, blah blah blah, but the reality is that a quality chair will still help you a lot.

This doesn’t have to come at a massive cost though – while some influencers drop £900 on a Herman Miller chair, any chair which has lumbar support will probably work out fine – or you could even explore using an existing chair but buying a lumbar support cushion for it. Alternatively if you’re really into PC gaming and maybe plan on streaming, you can buy special “gaming chairs”:

Someone playing a PC FPS game in a gaming chair
Someone playing a PC FPS game in a gaming chair

Some of these ARE just fancy looking chairs, but some actually have built-in lights and speakers. They won’t make you a better gamer, sorry, but they can look pretty cool.

Laptop Stand

Next up, if you have a laptop, you might want to look into buying a laptop stand. While you CAN use the laptop “flat” on a table or desk, this often results in you straining your head and body down too much to use the laptop. A good laptop stand will allow you to raise your laptop up but also adjust its angle so that the keyboard and screen are easier to use. Some stands also contain phone docks so you can always see your phone’s screen (and sometimes charge them up when they’re docked), and other stands have built-in fans that help cool down your laptop, which can be quite useful.


Playing Serious Sam on a 27 inch 4K monitor
Playing Serious Sam on a 27 inch 4K monitor

The fourth thing to consider buying is a monitor… or multiple monitors. These ARE necessary if you have a desktop PC, of course, but many people actually find them useful with laptops too. That’s because many laptops only have a 13 or 15″ screen and this often restricts how many windows you can have open at a time. So you can often get more work done when hooking another screen up to your laptop, BUT many of us find that having two (or more) monitors is useful when gaming on a desktop PC too. That’s because you can THEN have your game (or work) running in your main monitor, and then the EXTRA programs – like Discord and a web browser – open in the other monitor. Windows has lots of settings that allow you to configure exactly how your different monitors or screens will work – for example you can have both screens show the same display, or you can have each act as a separate screen to get more work (or gaming) done.

There’s LOTS of different ways of setting up your monitors, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference to be honest. I actually usually use just a single 27″ screen but because it supports 4K resolutions, I can have lots of different windows open if I’d like.

Before this, though, I had two 22″ monitors and that worked out fairly well too. You should however make sure that the monitor’s resolution is high enough for you – for example if you have a fairly good gaming PC, you probably want to buy at least a 1440p monitor because otherwise you’ll be capped to 1080p gaming which would be a waste of your PC’s hardware. Before moving on, I should quickly point out that many monitors still only come with a HDMI cable in the box – however DisplayPort is often better than HDMI, especially for higher end PC gaming. So if both your computer AND monitor support it, you might want to purchase a DisplayPort cable to get the best results when gaming.


The next things you might need to purchase are a keyboard, mouse and a mat. Let’s start with the keyboard first. Naturally if you have a laptop then you already have one built-in, but for a desktop PC you WILL need one – unless you plan on relying on the on-screen keyboard. I wouldn’t recommend this. It will take forever. Some keyboards are wireless, meaning that you plug a little USB receiver into your PC and THEN you can use the keyboard with no wires. That’s pretty cool, but you’ll then need to change the batteries on the keyboard every so often – or charge it up, if you have a rechargeable one.

That’s not much of an inconvenience, but some people prefer a wired keyboard as a result because they get powered by the USB cord which is nice and easy.

A simple wired Microsoft keyboard
A simple wired Microsoft keyboard

Wired keyboards usually have less input lag too (compared to wireless keyboards) – which basically means that when you press the keyboard key, the PC will respond a bit quicker. To be honest though, unless you’re a pro gamer who’s playing really competitive FPS games, you won’t really notice much of a difference here. There’s loads of keyboard companies to choose from, although Logitech, Razer and Corsair are fairly good. Some keyboards have built-in RGB lights or mechanical keyboards which can be pretty sweet, but I personally just use a simple wired Microsoft keyboard and this works out fine for me. It really all depends on WHAT you plan to do with your computer. I do more video editing than gaming so a simple keyboard is fine for me, but if I was MAINLY gaming, I’d probably go with a mid-range Corsair or Razer RGB mechanical keyboard to be honest.


Next up, we have the mouse and again you can go for a wireless or wired mouse. Both can work well. I have a wired Razer mouse because I was finding my previous wireless mice to sometimes lag a bit, which was REALLY ANNOYING when video editing. But higher quality wireless mice can be really, really good and reliable – the Logitech Lightspeed ones are well worth checking out. Other useful features include an economic grip, programmable buttons (which can be useful for some games and professional workloads like video editing) and also SHINY LIGHTS!

A Razer wired mouse with programmable keys and RGB lights
A Razer wired mouse with programmable keys and RGB lights

I’m joking on that last one, ‘kinda, but some people like having RGB lights on their mouse. There’s loads of mice to choose from and if you only want a simple one, something from Microsoft or Logitech can work well. On the higher priced end of the market, both Logitech and Razer offer some good options – especially for gamers.


A keyboard and mouse mat on the LTT Store
A keyboard and mouse mat on the LTT Store

The next thing to consider is whether to buy a mouse mat, or a whole desk mat. These are quite good at offering a smoother surface when using your keyboard and mouse, but they also protect against spillages, crumbs and dropping your mouse. “Back in the day” – I always feel really old when saying that – it seemed like EVERYONE had a mouse mat, especially ones that had one of these bumps to protect your wrists from RSI. But no-one seems to use them anymore. Either people skip mats entirely and have a “clean desk” look, or they buy a whole desk mat which does look pretty good, to be honest. It’s sorta down to personal preference though.

Let There Be Sound!

Me listening to music wearing Sennheiser over ear wired headphones
Me listening to music wearing Sennheiser over ear wired headphones

The eighth purchase you might need to make is an “audio outputting device”, also known as one of these. Laptops and some monitors will have in-built speakers which are pretty useful, and you CAN rely on these – especially if you’re mainly using your computer for basic work and web browsing. However if you plan on gaming or listening to music, and there’s other people around, you probably won’t want to “spam” everyone with your PC’s audio. In that case you have a few options. You can buy simple in-ear headphones and these are often cheap to buy, and they can work well enough. I used to use these all the time in office environments because I only put 1 headphone in, meaning I could listen to music but still be aware of my surroundings.

You can also buy wireless versions of these – which are often called earbuds – and they are pretty convenient because you get to eliminate wires. They’re also quite a popular option with runners and gym-goers but naturally you can use them with your PC too. The downside of THESE is that the audio quality will never be quite as good as some alternatives (due to their small size). That’s where over-ear headphones come in. They are typically really good at blocking out the sound around you, and they often have fairly good audio quality too. There’s loads of makes to choose from here, including Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, JBL and more. I personally really like Sennheiser but I’ll put some further information in the YouTube description because I could be talking for hours. The final way of listening to audio is by buying separate speakers. These often deliver better quality audio than the on-board speakers on a laptop or monitor, but naturally everyone around you will be able to hear them so they won’t really work in open plan offices.


Close up of my Logitech C920 webcam
Close up of my Logitech C920 webcam

You might also need to purchase a webcam. These obviously allow other people to see you, which you’ll need for things like online meetings and streaming. To be honest, while you CAN spend a lot of money on a webcam, unless you’re doing 4K game streaming, you probably won’t need a really expensive one. And that’s because many programs like Zoom and Microsoft Teams lower the quality of your camera output quite a lot during meetings. So something like the Logitech C920 (or one of its variants) will probably work out just fine for you. In terms of making them work, you just connect them to your PC with the USB cable, and then Windows should recognise it and set it up for you with minimal hassle.

Let There Be Light

My desk and PC monitor with stuck on LED lights
My desk and PC monitor with stuck on LED lights

The next thing to consider is your lighting. If all you’re doing with your PC is basic work or web browsing, you can probably rely on the overhead lights or a side lamp. BUT if the bulb is quite dim and your screen is bright, you can quickly get eye strain. I actually try and buy a bright bulb wherever I have a PC nearby – for example the light up there is 1100 lumens.

Lighting doesn’t have to stop there, though. Nowadays there’s lots of additional lighting options which is often called ambient lighting, and these can include LED light strips that go around your desk or even your monitor to provide extra lighting. Some of these can automatically adapt to what’s on your screen too, which can result in a REALLY immersive gaming or movie-watching experience. Finally you can buy wall mounted panels – they are NOT cheap but they can look pretty awesome, and Govee and Nanoleaf are probably the best companies to consider here. Wall panels are quite a popular option with Twitch streamers and tech YouTubers because they provide a fairly nice looking background effect.

Cable Management Kits

A CAT7 ethernet cable from my loft running into my desktop PC
Too many cables and not enough cable management!

The final point I wanted to cover here is that unless you’ve ignored everything in this video and you’re just using a laptop at the kitchen table, you’ll probably have LOTS of cables everywhere. Some computer desks do have extra panels that allow you to hide these away, but often you’ll need to cable manage them so that you don’t get your feet caught in them or something.

There’s lots of different options here, to be honest. You can buy under-desk cable trays where you hide away all your cables, or you can buy cable sleeves and ties to group your cables together. You could even consider buying PVC trunking to run various cables through.

If this is your first time cable managing though, I wouldn’t go overboard and buy a really expensive cable management kit. Maybe just buy some cable ties and group your cables together a bit. This simple step can help a LOT, and you can then always go out and buy some extra cable management products in your local hardware store in the future if you need to.

So that covers most of the “other” things that you MIGHT need to consider when you buy a computer. Of course, you don’t NEED to buy every single thing that I have covered. Some people spend £100 or less on these “extras”, whereas other people go crazy and spend tens of thousands. It’s entirely up to you.

cropped A picture of me Tristan
About Tristan Perry

Tristan has been interested in computer hardware and software since he was 10 years old. He has built loads of computers over the years, along with installing, modifying and writing software (he's a backend software developer 'by trade').

Tristan also has an academic background in technology (in Math and Computer Science), so he enjoys drilling into the deeper aspects of technology.

Tristan is also an avid PC gamer, with FFX and Rocket League being his favorite games.

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