15 Perfect Holiday Gifts For Streamers 2017
The holidays are drawing near, and it’s time to think about gifts to get the favorite streamer in your life, or what you’d like to get yourself for your own stream! I’ve accumulated a list of my favorite pieces of tech from my own usage and from recommendations from fellow streamers (shoutouts to them for the feedback!).
*For full disclosure, I am “partnered” with a small handful of the companies whose products are mentioned below (meaning they have sent me product and I use it on stream). However, I also would like to truly stress that I work with them because I was excited about the products they had released and wanted to use to improve my stream. I will mark those I’m partnered with.
So many pieces of equipment are critical to having a fluid and polished stream, big and small. So here’s a list of some of my favorites any streamer would love, and maybe ones to look out for in holiday sales!
Also, don’t forget to sign up for StreamElements, giving yourself the gift of time, convenience, and fluidity with the all-inclusive streamer tools they offer. Never again will you need 80 pages and programs open just to run a basic bot or alerts.
NVIDIA GTX 1070/1080
Let’s start off with one of the most important products you need for gaming or streaming — a great GPU! I’ve loved my different NVIDIA graphics cards I’ve had over time, and am currently repping a GTX 1080. With each game coming out using more and more graphical power (think Witcher 3, PUBG, Ark: Survival Evolved, GTAV, or the notoriously graphically-demanding Crysis series), it’s one of the more important pieces of equipment, and possibly the one you want to most make sure you’re up to date with.
AMD RYZEN 7 Series (1700X)
Next up: the other debatable champ of equipment, the CPU. Earlier this year, I started my partnership with AMD Ryzen and haven’t looked back. I personally use the 1700X and think it’s one of the best bangs for your buck in the CPU market (or go with the 1700 and get the cooler, too!). If you’re a techy person, get seduced by the 8 cores and 16 threads, or if simply a if you’re a streamer looking for a great stream setup, it’s allowed me to step up my game completely. So many games were pushing me to 100% CPU usage with my prior CPU setup (I stream/game on the same rig, for now), but now I’ve been able to crank my OBS settings to much higher quality with less worry.
Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD
While I haven’t had an opportunity to use one of these in a rig yet, I’ve admired them from afar. An SSD (solid state drive) is so helpful to ensuring your operating system and games run smoothly and load quickly. The EVO M.2 drive has incredibly fast read and write speeds, is wireless, and about the size of a stick of gum. I’ve personally had so many issues with mechanical drives eventually failing, so am trying to fully convert to an SSD setup (just make sure your motherboard has an M.2 slot).
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Logitech C920 Webcam
Next, have to shout out one of the most popular webcams in the biz. One of the most ubiquitously used cameras across Twitch, it serves many streamers reliably and is often found on sale on Amazon (so be sure to check for Black Friday sales!). It’s software leaves some things to be desired though, as the white balance I’ve found needs to be reset with each use. Otherwise, though, the settings offer a good range of options to tweak, and it’s is crisp at 1080p (make sure to select custom resolution > 1080p in OBS configuration settings).
Blue Yeti Microphone
I’ve had a few mics throughout streaming, but have really been grateful for the Blue Yeti. It’s easy to set up, as you can immediately plug in and use via USB and the price is reasonable! Again, with full disclosure, I am partnered with Blue, but have had a great time streaming with the Yeti mic. You can change the direction of the audio, which is a huge plus and set the gain to your liking for optimal sound. (Also, if you are looking for a cheaper mic, you could try the Snowball, or a Spark+Icicle combo if you prefer an XLR setup).
RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
Next, you’ll want a sturdy and long-lasting boom arm to go with your mic, and from the lovely Lolrenaynay’s suggestion — the RODE PSA1 boom arm is apparently the one to beat! It is on the pricier end ($98 on Amazon) but is incredibly well-reviewed and has lasted her 5 years of use. Nothing is more annoying than having your mic constantly need readjusting mid-stream because it’s drooping, so a good mic stand is a definite requirement.
Elgato 4k60 Pro
If you ever want to stream console games or want to run a two-PC setup, you need a great capture card! I’ve personally had less-than-great experiences with some external capture cards in the past, so for me I prefer internal cards. Elgato recently announced their newest card, the 4k60 Pro, which can do 2160p capture at 60fps — amazing! It releases November 21, 2017, and I can’t wait to see it in retail use!
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Pixio PX277 144hz Monitor
You’re capturing for your viewers at high quality, but any gaming aficionado wants to also have the best viewing experience for themselves mid-gaming! I partnered up with Pixio because I was thrilled at their PX277 monitor. For me, I tend not to like many HD TVs or TN monitors because the colors look “off” and oddly contrasted to me compared to IPS. But, with the Pixio PX277 you get the lovely colors while still getting a high refresh rate.
Elgato Green Screen
While I don’t currently use a green screen for my setup, I would have killed for this one in the past. My cloth green screen would get wrinkly, was a pain to set up and take down everyday, and overall was just added stress. The Elgato Green Screen allows you to cleanly chroma key out your background, while being so simple and convenient to set up. It’s collapsible, so the instant you’re done, you can shrink it down and put it out of the way if you need, and its rolling function ensures the next time you get it out it will look just as crisp and smooth as before.
Elgato Stream Deck
Next up is another Elgato product (thanks to them for making such a great range!) — the Elgato Stream Deck. Its 15-key control pad set up allows you to map over 200 actions without the hassle of constantly alt-tabbing or hotkeying a series of buttons to do what you want mid-stream. Now you can meme away freely or simply switch your stream scenes with much more ease.
Logitech G502 Mouse
When my last mouse died recently (the first crappy one I started streaming with, RIP little buddy), I spent a lot of time shopping around for a new and more precise mouse. After all, I have to keep my awesome MLG pro 360 no-scope skills in PUBG! I found everything I wanted in the G502 mouse, which has great reviews and well-suits the grip I like, while still being reasonably priced.
NZxT S340 ATX Mid Tower Case
With all these cool pieces of tech we’ve discussed, you’ll also want a sleek and refined case to finish it off. I really like the NZxT case I use, as it’s design is incredibly clean, still has a big window to see your cool parts, and is more lightweight and compact than other cases I’ve had in the past. This means I have more room around my setup, and also makes it easier to move around while not being an eyesore.
Vertagear S-Line Racing Series Chairs
One of the most integral but often-overlooked pieces of your streaming setup is your chair. If you want to make sure you stay healthy and comfortable, you NEED to invest in a good chair, or otherwise will experience back pain or even nerve damage from prolonged use. I have always had a tense and strained back, no matter what I do, but the Vertagear S-Line chairs have provided much relief for me and have greatly helped my posture when streaming. I sought out a partnership with them because I was super impressed with Youtube videos of their S-Line chairs, and use an SL4000 myself (I am a 5’9”/175cm female) which fits my shoulders and body shape well, and I like the removable/adjustable-sized headrest, adjustable armrests, and (super key!) lumbar pillow. If you are larger/huskier than me (probably 6’0” up), you could go with the SL5000 for better shoulder fit. If you’re set on these chairs, you can get 5% off with code: girlvsdumb on Vertagear (sellout mode, Kappa). Truly, though, I am so grateful for the improvement it’s made in my back, posture, and lack of pain.
Anker USB 3.0 Port Hubs
Anker is BY FAR my go-to on charging banks, hubs, adapters, etc. Their mobile charging banks have got me through many trips and conventions, and the USB 3.0 Port hubs are also incredibly reliable. It’s your choice with how many ports you’d like, and they offer many options, but I would suggest at least 6. It makes it so easy to have your USB cords in one place and not reaching around the back of your PC constantly to change controllers, and also is great if you’re someone who rearranges your cords or setup often. All the cords you need stay in one place, and have 3.0 speeds. Make sure, though, that you buy from Anker directly on Amazon,their site, or an approved retailer, since (while I’ve never had a product of theirs die on me yet) buying from a third-party retailer will void their warranty.
Belkin Conserve Surge Protector
Lastly, with all the money and time you’ve invested in your setup, you do NOT want your parts getting ruined with a power surge!! Belkin is a well-known and well-respected company, and I was thrilled to find a energy-conserving surge protector offered through them. You can rack up your utility bill unwittingly by having your electronics still running in the background, but this surge protector comes with a timer if you want to make sure all your electronics are off and protected when you’re done with your streaming day.
Lastly, don’t forget to give yourself the gift of StreamElements!
As cheesy as that might sound, it’s true! StreamElements has made a huge difference in my stream, making it much more stream-lined to run alerts, overlays, a points system, HypeCup, bot, and more both at home and on the road at conventions. It’s cloud-based and has helped me save incredibly on CPU use while also having everything ready for me on the go through the website. I’ve been using it for over a year and could not recommend it more!
Hopefully this list was helpful to you, and you know a present or two to get for yourself or your favorite streamer! I am truly grateful to many of these products for improving my streaming game, and hope they can help you out, too.