PC 2013 Holiday Buyer's GuideS

Thinking about building someone a PC? Replacing a part? Adding an accessory? Buying a game? We've got some suggestions.

DO buy a Steam gift card for PC gamers. Most new games cost $50 or $60 on Steam, but they often go on sale, so a savvy gamer can make a $60 gift card go a long way.

DO consider any one of these games.

DO consider gifting games on GOG if you have a friend with a low-end PC. Apart from indie games, GOG has some of the best retro PC games available, from excellent RPGs such as Baldur's Gate to some of the most famous classic shooters like Duke Nukem 3D.

DO consider a PC game streaming solution. The NVidia Shield can stream PC gameplay over a wireless signal to it's tiny screen or a television set via HDMI. Soon, Mad Catz' M.O.J.O. Android console will do the same. Beats having to hook up a dedicated living room PC.

DO find out whether your PC gamer friend prefers wired or wireless before buying them a keyboard/mouse. There are pros and cons to both, and your friend might be more interested in the reliability and precision of wired versus the portability of wireless, or vice versa.

DO make sure your friend's PC can run the game you want to buy them. If the game is on a console your friend happens to own, it might even be a safer idea to buy that version instead if you can't otherwise find out for sure if your friend's PC can play it.

DO consider getting your friend an internet-capable tablet. Having a game guide or a wiki open in front of you on your desk can be really useful, and not having to alt-tab out of the game to interact with a browser saves both time and immersion.

DO take your friend's style into account when purchasing PC accessories. Do they prefer function over form? Look at Logitech. Are they into high-tech toys that look like they're from the future? Many of Mad Catz' latest pieces look like they fell off of robots. Do they think they're a ninja? Razer makes excellent keyboards, mice and headsets for the discerning ninja. Point is, the desktop is the living room of the PC gamer, and you wouldn't blindly buy them a new couch.

DO pick up a set of Astro gaming headphones, either the wired A40 or the wireless A50. They're not cheap, but they're some of the best gaming headphones on the market, and they'll work with just about any gaming platform. (The new Xbox One has some compatibility issues, but Microsoft is working them out.) Any gamer who lives in a shared space will thank you for the ability to make their games quieter without losing surround sound, and their roommates/significant other will probably thank you, too.

DO buy the PC gamer in your life a gift card for Newegg or Amazon. It's much easier than trying to gamble with individual parts, and chances are that they'll know better what upgrade parts they want, anyway.

DON'T buy specific parts for PC gamers unless you're absolutely sure that it'll be compatible with their rig. Unless they've told you precisely what they want, in which case, go nuts! If possible, just have them send you a link to what they want.

DON'T buy a PC gamer a new chair without first making sure their ass and said chair have met. PC gamer butts are very particular about where they sit, and just because a chair is expensive doesn't mean it's going to be comfortable.

Got your own suggestions? Drop them down below.